Saanvi’s story

“I’d encourage all parents to do this programme.”

Saanvi* is a mother to two teenage girls, aged 18 and 13  years. Like many parents, family life became very challenging when her youngest daughter, Aisha*, began to spend more and more time online.

“We tried to make the girls aware of the dangers of social media and with Aisha, we did limit her time on the phone,” explains Saanvi. “She was allowed to play games for an hour a day, but she started to override these boundaries and spend more and more time on social media.”

Saanvi said they come from a very traditional background, and she was getting more and more concerned about Aisha’s behaviour online. “I have always said to my daughter that it’s very dangerous to chat with people you don’t know,” she says.

Despite her advice, her daughter continued to use her phone inappropriately and one day, the situation came to a head. “I got very angry with Aisha and she left the house very upset one evening. We were very worried and couldn’t find her,” she says. “The police found her in a park, and it was then that Oranga Tamariki got involved.”

Learning to listen and stay calm.

Oranga Tamariki suggested that Saanvi do a parenting programme with Iosis, which she started soon after the incident. “I wasn’t keen to start with, as I have never done anything like this before, but it was extremely helpful,” she says. The programme gave her parenting skills a real boost and she now feels a lot more confident to deal with different situations.

“I’ve learnt to not react instantly and to create space before I respond to a situation. I focus on observing and listening and taking time to think about my response first,” she says. Saanvi has also learnt the importance of taking time out for herself. “I go for a walk on my own and make this a priority now.”

Saanvi said she would highly recommend the Iosis parenting course to others. “Susan, the programme facilitator was great and explained everything really clearly. I’d encourage all parents to do this programme – it was amazing.”

Saanvi is keen to continue the relationship with Iosis and is in the process of arranging counselling for Aisha. “Iosis is a wonderful organisation who have helped me and my family so much – thank you!”

*Name has been changed and a stock image used to protect privacy.