YOU probably share my yearning for our country to be safer for children. And for them to have the skills and resources to deal with the challenges that will face today and in the world they will inherit from us.

To help achieve this, what is needed is better communication skills at every level … parliament, boardrooms, workplaces, staffrooms, schools and families. Each of us can be part of the solution.

Parents have a key role in this. They profoundly influence the next generation by the way they teach and model the way to communicate effectively.

And just doing things the same way as their parents did does not work. In the last 30 years researchers have learned more about what actually happens in relationships than ever before. Our parents did not have the benefit of this new knowledge.

Mike O’Hagan

There are enormous gains to be had from better quality communication skills at every level. These include happier couples, safer families, better mental and physical health, and more productive and profitable workplaces.

According to the Mental Health Foundation in Britain “The lack of quality relationships is killing us faster than obesity and lack of exercise.” And according to the UK Marriage foundation, “The single biggest predictor of teenage mental health is marriage breakdown”

Good relationships don’t just happen. They need to be worked on. There are many good books, and resources on line. What works best, though, is a method for learning these skills, not just in theory, but in our hearts and in our bodies.”

You can have a taste of such a method and at the same time learn simple, effective skills that will make an immediate difference to the quality of your relationships.

Whatever each of us does to model and teach good relationship skills, well known teacher of communication Richard Bolstad says, “In 5000 years from now our descendants will be grateful. The future belongs to our children. Let’s makes them proud.”

Why don’t you consider the fun and affordable course to be run over three weeks at Pou Whakaaro, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, on Monday nights, March 16, 23 and 30. The course costs $30.

I can be contacted for further information and to register by email at or by phoning 07 307 9085.

By Mike O’Hagen