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Reaction to the Glenn Inquiry

Reaction to the Glenn Inquiry

An initial browse of the Glenn Inquiry encouraged me.

Of course, the reality of so much abuse and violence in our homes is horrifying but I am encouraged that people are looking beyond a simple crime-and-punishment model of abuse to look at root causes. Much of the report necessarily grapples with coping with the problems of ‘here and now’ – the support, the protection, the appropriate processes so justice is served without re-traumatising those that have already gone through much pain. But people making submissions to the Glenn Inquiry had also thought carefully and even compassionately about the perpetrators of violence and abuse. Repeatedly there is the assertion that today’s abusers were yesterday’s victims. There is the realisation that if this tough nut of abuse and domestic violence is to be cracked then the solutions must fix the ingrained and cyclic problems besetting too many homes.

When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. My hammer is parenting, and domestic violence and abuse looks very much like a nail to me. Poverty, drugs and alcohol, mental illness and a host of other contributing factors must play a part in the root causes but I genuinely believe that mentoring and training parents can break so many of these cycles in a single generation.

One thing that repeatedly comes back to us as we train parents is that, even before they apply their new knowledge to their children, they apply it to themselves. They gain insights into their own parents and the way they were treated – and mistreated – as they were being brought up. Parenting courses usually aren’t designed to be psychological therapy but they certainly seem to have that effect. With the new knowledge of how families work, they are able to retell their own story back to themselves and it can be wonderfully cathartic and healing.

Then, of course, new parenting skills can powerfully change the way they handle their own children. When their baby cries or they are confronted with some other frustrating problem they have more options than just yelling or whacking; they can open a ‘kete’ full of techniques that are far more effective and peaceful. Research shows it makes a huge difference.

One other benefit comes from parenting courses that directly impact on the Glenn Inquiry’s concerns: the skills one learns – such as communication skills and empathy – are completely transferable into adult relationships.

Making peace with your past, living peacefully with your partner and peacefully parenting your children... can you find a better hammer than that?

About The Parenting Place
The Parenting Place is a not for profit organisation whose mission is to positively impact families.

The Parenting Pace has been in operation for 21 years, enhancing the lives of families and young people, by encouraging and strengthening parents with parenting programmes that make a difference, while being accessible, fun and inspiring. At the same time we speak to young people in nearly 100% of high schools and an increasing number of intermediate schools, encouraging healthy thinking and positive choices. When parents and their kids are positively impacted at the same time, we are really making a measurable difference in our communities.

The Parenting Place offers an extensive range of resources and courses for parents and students. Check out www.theparentingplace.com.

The organisation serves families through a wide range of programmes - Toolbox parenting groups, Hot Tips for communities, Hot Tips for businesses, Fathers' Breakfasts, The Parenting Show with Pio, Pasifika Families, Parenting magazine, Family Coaches, our centre in Auckland, Attitude Programmes for Schools, and the NYLD events. The Parenting Place is the only organisation that provides programmes for parents from prospective parents right through to 18 years of age. They are regularly called on to comment on events and activities that impact the young in this ever changing environment. Our coaches and presenters are some of the most respected in New Zealand.

ENDS

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