Storytime strategies for managing tamariki emotions

A new resource has been launched by He Paiaka Totara Māori psychologists to teach tamariki the tools to manage their emotions with the help of parents and teachers.

Kei whea a mauri tau, is aimed at tamariki, to help them learn about themselves, others, their environment, and how to respond to their emotions.

At the back of the stories, there are notes and strategies for parents and teachers to use while reading the stories, guiding them to use the right kupu and ensure the correct way to use emotion management strategies.

Māori psychologist Andre Mclachlan, told these books are important for both parents and teachers.

The resources and activities are guided by Māori knowledge, Pūrākau, and provide a way to find meaning in the events of everyday life, and identify pathways for their resolution.

Mclachlan said that “it’s a vehicle in introduce a more comprehensive way to talk about emotions and our state of being due to mauri”.

As the tamariki are invited to the story they are encouraged to think and feel the activities of the story providing a link to experiencing mauri tau, “not only to hear the kupu or the words around emotions but to reflect on them and experience them as they do the activities”.

'ccess to matauranga Māori

Mclachlan said that the story is a resource is to introduce emotion regulation skills while increasing the access to matauranga Māori.

“Across the story, the reader is guiding the listener, what is happening for them ngā tohu of the environment and ngā tohu that’s inside them, so they are really taking notice of what is happening around them and for them and they are able to respond."

The story has broad appeal for tamariki, having been tested on six-year-olds to 11-year-olds.

Parents can get their digital copy of the resource from and, if they would like a hard copy, it is sold at the New Zealand Physiological Society and part of the proceeds goes to support Te Whakaruruhau Māori Women's Refuge.