Famously known as the “Paradise of the Pacific” and even “God’s own country”, New Zealand offers some of the world’s most jaw-dropping scenery and natural attractions that lift, soothe and inspire. So how has living so intimately within the wonders of nature influenced the Kiwis’ parenting style? Here’s what we know.
Kiwi parents lead their kids in exploring nature
Swimming in the ocean, bush hiking and spotting friendly wildlife in the middle of nowhere is a big part of family life in New Zealand1. Taking kids out to follow in their literal footsteps not only helps little ones develop a natural taste for adventure, it also gives parents a chance to spend time in natural surroundings.
Kiwi parents and kids go barefoot everywhere
Barefoot freedom is ingrained into the Kiwis’ national identity2. As peculiar as it may seem, many are raised to be perfectly comfortable wandering barefoot on the streets, in restaurants, grocery stores and even clinics.
In school, children are required to arrive and leave in shoes, but they don’t have to wear them during the time in between1. It’s believed that going shoeless helps kids toughen up their characters as well as their soles.
Kiwi parents and kids are both involved in cultivating life skills
In school, rather than focusing on academic studies, there’s a bigger push for kids to learn outdoor, practical skills such as gardening, cooking, woodworking, sewing – and even the legendary haka1! This means that when Kiwi parents help their kids with “homework”, they go all in and get their hands dirty to learn or refresh important life skills together.
As they embrace the wonders of nature with their kids and guide them to discover more, Kiwi mums often find new inspiration and gain fresh insights through the eyes of their children.
By experiencing all of nature’s elements first-hand, Kiwi kids develop a hardy mentality and are encouraged to follow their curiosity with a sense of adventure.