Hamilton Chinese community grows connections

John Ho and Summer Xin, a Chinese couple based in Hamilton, have been working with Chinese parents and families to help them reduce social isolation and form stronger social connections.

Hamilton Chinese Community

Monthly get-togethers encourage discussion

With the assistance of SKIP champion Eva Chen, John and Summer have facilitated monthly meetings with the community since October 2018.

The couple share their own experiences with the group, hoping to encourage others to open up and share their stories. The community has been able to connect through their shared experience of migrating to New Zealand and the impact it’s had on their parenting and families.

“Some families revealed that they have to work more than two jobs to keep their family going, while others have moved to Hamilton from Auckland to try and save on living costs,” Eva Chen says.

“Some have felt excluded from their local communities while others worry about building healthy family relationships.”

The project encourages those who attend to get support and help, rather than hiding personal difficulties. The group were encouraged to try new positive parenting strategies, based on the SKIP principles.

Participants have an increased awareness of the impact of family violence on children and they understand more about the importance of nurturing relationships within the family.

Some of the work completed during the funday

Connecting through fun

John and Summer recognised that one of the best ways to connect with local Chinese families was to organise a family funday. Held at the Waikato Table Tennis Stadium in June 2019, this was the first event of its kind in the area for a long time.

Positive parenting messages were shared throughout the funday, and free SKIP parenting resources were provided. Eva delivered a short workshop about conscious parenting and healthy relationships.

The event was a huge success, with 80+ families attending, giving an indication of the level of interest there is in learning more about positive parenting.

Positive feedback after the event

The Hamilton group received widespread positive feedback from those who attended, highlighting a promising change in attitudes and a shift to using more positive parenting strategies.

“The parents were impressed that the messaging throughout the day was very positive with no labelling or shaming,” Eva says.

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