This report for Mana Ririki Trust, Traditional Māori parenting – an historical review of literature of traditional Māori child rearing practices in pre-European times is based on a review of literature exploring Māori parenting practices and the philosophy supporting these practices before 1642. This knowledge can be found in the whakapapa, the tipuna (ancestral) links to the spiritual world, the purakau (oral histories), the waiata oriori (lullabies), whakatauki (proverbs), and nga korero iwi (tribal stories). In all of this literature, the tikanga (rules, custom, methods) of parenting are signposted.
The fundamental principle for raising children was the underlying belief that children were favoured as gifts from the atua (spiritual beings), from the tipuna (ancestors) and preceded those unborn, which meant that they were tapu (under special rules and restrictions). Any negativity expressed to them was breaking the tapu by offending the atua and the tipuna gone before. Because of their intrinsic relationship to these spiritual worlds, the children inherited their mana (power, prestige). They were treated with loving care (aroha) and indulgence. Punitive discipline in whatever degree, as a method of socialising children, was an anathema to the tipuna.
The purpose of this report is to research the traditional, pre-European settlement, Māori child rearing and parenting practices, with particular reference to socialisation and discipline. The research shows how these practices might form or do form the basis for a 21st century kaupapa of parenting for Māori and potentially for other New Zealanders. This review has revealed the Māori system of parenting and the philosophy behind it. The values of the tipuna are fundamental to any parenting today. These strengths are the base of the parenting model developed by Te Kahui Mana Ririki for use with whanau today.
– Text taken from the report itself.
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