Wow – what an amazing month October has been. We formally launched the site on Monday 16 October and we’ve been in a whirlwind of activity ever since!

On the 27, 28 and 29th of October we introduced Kiwi Families to thousands of parents at the Auckland Parent and Child Show. It was a real pleasure meeting so many mums and dads in person. I have never seen so many pregnant tummies in one place – it makes me wonder how the hospitals are going to cope with what looks like a mini-population boom! The number of baby buggies was also mind-boggling – it was a case of taking your life in your hands if you wanted to cross an aisle.

Feedback from Members

Our results for the month have far exceeded our expectations – we have tripled our target for visitor numbers and already have over 1,000 registered members. It’s also been wonderful to get such positive feedback from parents. Common comments include:

  • “I love the site – it’s so clear, clean and easy to navigate”
  • “It’s great to have a New Zealand-specific site – now I can stop using the [American/English] one I’ve been visiting”
  • “I love the New Zealand look and colours of the site – and the logo is great – it’s so embracing / nurturing”
  • “The articles are really high quality – and there’s so much information there to read!”
  • “Great site – about time someone tried to bring the parenting minefield together in one place – thanks”
  • “I found it very useful this week when my brand new grand-daughter had feeding problems. Mum in tears, baby ditto, and the hospital was useless. Kiwi Families had all the help we needed, with advice and referral info – thanks!”

New Topics on Site

Our midwife Paula Skelton has been very busy in the last month writing articles on Pregnancy, Birth and new Babies – you will find her first 10 articles loaded onto the site, with more to come shortly.

Monthly Features

We’ve got some great columns for you this month. Diane Levy writes about Minimising Mealtime Mayhem and Fiona Boyle provides advice on how to handle Fussy Eaters. Dame Susan grapples with teenagers Texting Away, and Mark Leishman asks his kids if they think he’s a Super Dad; “Yeah Right!” was the response.

Contentious Issues

Given that we’re a parenting website, it’s inevitable that at some point we will have to grapple with some contentious topics. Some that spring to mind include breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding, immunisation, and to smack or not to smack.

If you’ve read our Philosophy (in About Us) you’ll appreciate that one of our prime objectives is to provide independent, unbiased information. That also includes providing balanced coverage of any issue, so that parents can make their own informed choice for their families.

As owners and managers of Kiwi Families, we will not promote our personal views on the site, nor will we preach or promote views from any particular religion or political party. We will endeavour to follow that wise old adage “never talk about politics, religion or money” (the only exception we’ll make is for money – as we want to help you manage your family finances!).

This month Mark Leishman has chosen to write on an issue about which he is passionate – that of the Repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act (commonly known at the anti-smacking bill). It is great that on this site, passionate parents can raise these sort of issues. These are Mark’s own personal views, but they are not necessarily the views of Kiwi Families Ltd.

We fully appreciate that Mark’s views will not be shared by everyone. For this reason, we would like to open up this issue for debate amongst members. You will find that we have set up a topic heading in the Forum area where you can share your thoughts. We are also running our first poll for members – visit the home page to lodge your vote on this important issue. If anyone feels particularly passionate and would like to submit an article on this issue, we would certainly welcome this (but reserve the right to edit content or tone if appropriate).

Respect and Courtesy

Now is probably a good time to set some ground rules for the site; this is a forum where passionate parents can share and exchange their views, but we would expect that this would be done in a courteous manner, with respect for other peoples’ views.

As parents, Ian and I repeatedly tell our children that [other people] are different, and that’s OK. We hope that they will grow up to respect those differences – after all, that’s what makes life interesting!

We would therefore encourage healthy debate of this issue on site, but will be on standby to issue “time out” notices if people don’t “play nicely”

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Kerry Burridge is mum to three great kids and was Kiwi Families founding Editor.

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