Having been a witness to abuse and neglect in her childhood, Hari believed that anger and violence were just a normal part of life. However, that view changed when she gave birth to her adorable baby Max.
Through her Plunket playgroup, Hari took Max to see the Funky Monkeys, a children’s music group, at a free concert organised by Plunket and the Ministry of Social Development. The Funky Monkeys’ songs deliver positive parenting messages in a fun, entertaining way, and have proved hugely popular with kids and parents alike.
When Hari was given a free CD of the songs to take home, her world turned upside down.
“Listening to that CD changed my whole way of thinking,” she says.
“I thought you had to raise your voice to get a child to obey, but now I know to use positive words to get Max to do what I want or need him to do – like saying, ‘Nice shot but let’s eat instead’, rather than getting mad at him for throwing his food. That would never have occurred to me before I heard those songs; in my family, discipline was all about yelling and smacking.”
Hari says Plunket was the key to her ending the cycle of abuse.
“The songs put me on the path, but Plunket helped me to make the changes happen. They gave me support and tools, answered all my questions and encouraged me to try new ways of doing things.
“I now know that I can give Max what I didn’t have: a loving, caring environment where he’s happy and willing to learn and grow,” she says. “I can’t imagine the upbringing I would have given him without Plunket.”
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