Top tips from the #1 parenting program in the world

24 May 2017

The Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is the United Nation’s top-ranked parenting program based on the body of research and evidence supporting it.

Developed by clinical psychologist Professor Matt Sanders and his team at UQ, Triple P is supported by more than three decades of research and has already helped more than four million children and their parents worldwide.

We recently caught up with Professor Sanders who revealed five effective strategies to help parents handle those everyday parenting hurdles.


  1. Take care of yourself

    “Too many parents forget about looking after themselves, but in order to be a calm and effective parent, you need to make this a priority. Try and find a bit of ‘me time’ every week to unwind and do something you enjoy,” said Professor Sanders.

  2. Talk to your kids

    “Whether they are toddlers or teenagers, take the time to talk to your kids about the things they enjoy, how their day was and – particularly with older kids – ask them how they feel. Teenagers can often be switched to high-alert and become easily defensive, so asking them how something makes them feel keeps an open dialogue.”

  3. Help them find ways to entertain themselves

    “Younger children often misbehave when they are bored, to avoid this, help them find ways to entertain themselves such as colouring books or building blocks. Teenagers often crave peer acceptance and group activities, so channel this into safe, supervised, positive activities such as sports or social clubs.”

  4. Lead by example

    “It’s important for you to set the standard for how your child should act, regardless of their age. In children under 12, this can mean giving them the opportunity to learn a new skill, for example, talking politely to adults, and also prompting your child to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.”

  5. Set clear rules and consequences but also teach risk evaluation

    “Sit down with your child at home and have a clear discussion about rules and consequences. With older children, rather than lecturing, encourage them to develop their own risk evaluation skills, give them hypothetical situations and encourage them to think of solutions,” Professor Sanders said.

Queensland-based parents and carers of children up to 16 years of age have access to Triple P for free thanks to a Queensland Government-funded initiative.

“Tips are one thing but actually putting them into everyday practice is another, which is why we encourage parents to get involved with a hands-on Triple P program,” Professor Sanders said.

The work that Professor Sanders and his research team do at UQ’s Parenting and Family Support Centre seeks to tackle some of society’s biggest issues, such as the transmission of poverty across generations, family violence, and promoting positive wellbeing and educational attainment. Supporting this program means more than just helping families, it means having a wider impact on society that contributes to our vision for a safer and more equal world. To support this work visit: