Family Hui Hawaii’s (FHH) aim is to connect you with other parents to share the triumphs and struggles on this amazing journey called parenting.
Michelle O’Byrne, Maui Coordinator for Family Hui Hawaii says, “I found leading a Hui is so fulfilling, not only because it provides a forum for parents to support each other, but also because I got so much back and made lasting friendships for myself and my son.”
Now mom to a six-year old, Michelle says when her son turned two she found it challenging to remain patient and respond without yelling. A local parenting class taught her the importance of not punishing and, “ having other peers to talk to about what’s working and not working on a regular basis was critical. We parent everyday so regular meet ups are so important to feel supported.”
Family Hui Hawaii works by getting caregivers together in family friendly environments for guided discussions on principles and practices of child development while the keiki play (or sleep or feed). Everyone operates from a place of compassion, presuming everyone wants to be the best parent they can be, which is hard sometimes.
“I like that FHH already has an organized curriculum and I didn’t have to find all the resources myself. I’ve made lasting friendships with parents who do not judge me when I have a rant. We give a non-judgmental ear, a hug, a gentle suggestion when needed most, which makes us feel like things are going to be okay.
Developing my own resilience enables me to hold space for meltdowns and to just be present when he’s crying, in the grocery store, park, house. It’s not being a permissive parent but setting and enforcing limits without punishing or making kids feel they are bad.”
I interviewed Michelle during a playground visit with children continuously interacting, which afforded us the opportunity to talk about wish fulfillment. “When a child is asking for something over and over that we’re not going to give them – pizza for dinner, try – ‘When you grow up you can do it.’ Fulfilling their desire in fantasy doesn’t always work, but nothing works all the time.” Another parent offered their words, “Next time you can make a different choice. Let’s do it together.”
Family Hui Hawaii is currently seeking to train more parents/caregivers to become group facilitators on Maui.
Please visit www.familyhuihawaii.org and click JOIN A HUI
Image Credit: Michelle O'Byrne