Emotional parent support within the Chinese community

SKIP champion Eva Chen talks about emotional support parenting workshops being run in Auckland.

SKIP champion, Eva Chen first noticed a need for family support in the Chinese community in 2015. When she initially partnered with SKIP the workshops that were run were parenting workshops led by local mum Lanya Chiu which were popular within the Chinese community. These workshops were based around adjusting to parenting in New Zealand and moving away from the use of physical punishment.

Eva noticed that there are some people she was helping in these workshops who were struggling to make the changes they wanted in their parenting often as a result of the impact of harsh parenting in their own childhoods. Based online conversations and interactions from workshops Lanya and Eva developed the idea of emotional support parenting groups.

Uncle Pan’s story

Uncle Pan is a grandfather who came along to one of these workshops, he still believed in tough parenting as a parenting technique and felt it was better than the SKIP six principles of early development being taught at these workshops. After only attending one of these workshops he recognised some of his own struggles and trauma stemmed from his childhood. He then became an active participant in these workshops and started sharing his own story.

Overcoming cultural norms

Uncle Pan’s active participation was significant and had a strong impact within the community. This was largely due to his age. Many Chinese grandparents spend a lot of time looking after their grandchildren. His advocacy has made it more viable for others within the community to see that a more positive, emotionally aware style of parenting works. He is very active in the online parenting community and will often share SKIP parenting tips based in the six principles.

Culturally, Chinese people can struggle talking about their emotions or their feelings about parents not being good to them as children. However, the safe environment of the support group, designed for exactly this type of sharing, has allowed them the chance to seek out and move towards using more positive parenting practises.