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Young parents are tackling a whole new set of challenges, which can affect their confidence and wellbeing. They often need extra support to help them in their parenting role.
Young parents are often still figuring out who they are, while at the same time learning how to be a parent, partner, caregiver, and role model. One of the biggest challenges for young parents can be having the confidence to trust their instincts, and stay positive about the road ahead.
With your support and encouragement to feel confident in their new role, young mums and dads are capable of tackling new challenges and being fantastic parents.
While young parents are generally resourceful and resilient, here are some things you may notice, which might suggest they could do with a bit more support:
New mums: If a new mum is irritable, anxious, depressed, having a lot of trouble sleeping, or saying she's a bad mother, she could be showing signs of postnatal depression. She will need to talk to her doctor or Plunket nurse about getting some extra support.
It’s important to stay involved with the young parents you are supporting, and show them they don’t have to go it alone. It's a good idea to:
The more people there are around to help out, the better - rally the whānau and get everyone involved in supporting the young parent and their children. Ensure you:
Thrive primarily works with mothers and fathers who have had their first child, or were pregnant with their first child, before the age of 21.
Youth Service aims to get young people into education, training or work-based learning. Youth Service provides a Young Parent Payment - financial support for 16 to 18 year old parents who have a dependent child or children, and are in need of financial assistance.
SKIP works with national and local organisations to support New Zealand parents and provides support, information and parenting strategies for parents and caregivers of children up to 5 years old.
Parents Centres New Zealand Inc provides childbirth and parent education. It offers support to parents at all stages throughout the postnatal and antenatal periods.
Teen Parent Schools in New Zealand offers information on the education opportunities available for teen parents in New Zealand and has links to existing schools.