Top parenting tips from the world’s #1 parenting program, which is now making its way to the USA

The Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is the United Nations top ranked parenting program due to the depth of the evidence it is based on and the demonstrated benefit it has had for children, families and the wider community.

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

The program was also recently welcomed to the White House under the Obama Administration’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative where it showcased its work in addressing the toxic health effects of poverty.

We recently caught up with Professor Matt Sanders who revealed his top practical tips, skills and strategies for handling everyday parenting situations.

 

  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 t 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-years old 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,” said Professor Sanders.

 

Professor Sanders encouraged parents and carers to also take advantage of the variety of programs offered by Triple P, which range from online modules and telephone consultations, to group sessions.

“Tips are one thing but actually putting them into everyday practice is another, which is why we would encourage parents to get involved in one of the hands-on programs we run,” he said.

 “The work that Triple P is doing is not only of benefit to parents and children, but has wider implications for society in equity and health outcomes.”

The Triple P program is constantly trying to expand its reach in order to help disadvantaged communities by providing low-cost, simple solutions that tackle big societal issues such as poverty, educational attainment and violence reduction. 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 program visit: https://www.uq.edu.au/giving/donations/fund/triple_p