Looking after young children can be tiring and socially isolating. Parents sometimes have the perception that others are finding parenting easier than they are and can then fall into the trap of comparing their children to others.
One way to gain and give much needed support, have fun together and relax is to join a local child-focused group. Community groups such as those run by local churches, Plunket and the Parents Centre offer a lot of great options – as well as looking in your local paper, Citizens Advice Bureau in Orewa has listings where new parents can find information about such groups.
The Hibiscus Coast also has a wide range of locally run businesses that provide opportunities for the parents and caregivers of preschool children. These are often sport, music and play based.
A recent addition is Hartbeeps Hibiscus Coast owned by Diane McKinstry, which offers music and movement sessions for 0–6-year-olds. Diane says the benefits of groups like hers include parents gaining mutual support, focusing on their children and having time to relax as the active sessions wind down.
“I encourage parents to become involved in local groups for young families,” Diane says. “The groups you choose will be led by what you interested in and what you are comfortable with. Not only will you and your children have fun, you will also discover a community of mutual support where others share an understanding of your parenting journey.”