Are you a tāne with a family, or are you a whānau man?

This video makes you think about the complex roles men play within families. It compares two types of roles: one where the man mainly focuses on providing for the family and isn't as involved in parenting, and another where the man actively engages with their partner and children. It encourages viewers to think about their own roles in their families and stresses the importance of finding balance and communicating well to maintain healthy relationships.

A man speaks:

Let me ask you a question. Are you a 'tāne (a man), with a whānau/family' ...or are you a 'whānau/family man'? This is a question that a lot of men really grapple with, particularly younger men who often have a busy life with their mates as well as having family commitments. We go through a lot of changes as we journey through life. One of the big changes is when we either have our own tamariki, our own children, or we develop a relationship with someone that does have tamariki/children and we become a step-parent. Think for a moment about how these different identities would look like. A tāne, a man with a whānau (with a family) is more likely hard to provide resources for the whānau, not be involved much, with their tamariki. Leave the heavy lifting around parenting, to their partner.

Spend a lot of time away from home with friends and mates. Put their mates' interests before their whānau. On the other hand, a whānau or family man is more likely to: think about the impact of their decisions on the whānau; model respectful behaviour towards their partner; be engaged in the lives of their tamariki...say by reading stories, playing, or being part of school or sport; maintain a safe place for tamariki, so they can flourish. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't spend time with our friends. In fact having a wide a wide circle of friends is really important for our wellbeing. The tension is how to balance the needs of whānau alongside our needs for friendship. The other tension is how to ensure that both partners in the relationship can have time together, as well as time apart.

Your challenge is to ponder the question about what identity you want to embrace moving forward. Talk to your partner about what you want as a couple, what your dreams are and how you can both strengthen your family.