What makes a good life: Young parents

Published: November 28, 2019

Report discussing the views and experiences of wellbeing for young people who are parents.


This is the second follow-up report in the 'What makes a good life?’ series. Earlier reports focused on the wellbeing of all children and young people and on children and young people in care. This one focuses on the views and experiences of wellbeing for young people under the age of 18 who were themselves parents.

We heard how young parents envisage a good life for themselves and for their children, and about the barriers they face which can prevent them and their children from truly experiencing this good life.

Young parents’ ideas of the "good life" were inextricably linked to the good life that they hoped for their children. Their goals and aspirations were centred on the wellbeing of their children. The parents we spoke to told us about their hopes for their children, including wanting them to have good values, be respectful and be well supported.

“I just want her to know she can rely on people, she has the support, I don’t want her to think she has to box herself out.”

Young parent from Kaikohe

Key findings

Other key themes were:

  • We need to feel supported and valued to be good parents.
  • Education will secure our future and our children’s future.
  • We need to be financially secure and have our basic needs met.
  • We love our children and we want the best for them.

The common theme heard throughout all our engagements with young parents was the emphasis on their child. Their aspirations and ideas of success were centred on their baby; a good life for them meant being able to provide the best they could for their child. Education, support and having the basics were the main enablers the young parents saw to achieve their vision of the good life for themselves and their children.