Empowering Parenting: Exploring the Triple P Approach and Essential Practices for Lasting Connections
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is a nurturing approach that strives to foster the optimal development of children while effectively addressing their behaviours through constructive and non-harmful methods. This parenting philosophy centres around the cultivation of strong, positive relationships with children and employs strategies that encourage their growth and learning. In embracing positive parenting, children are more prone to honing their skills and cultivating a positive self-image. Furthermore, they are less inclined to encounter challenges related to social, emotional, or behavioural issues later in life.
Origins of Triple P (Positive Parenting Program)
The Triple P was developed by Professor Matt Sanders, a clinical psychologist, and his colleagues at the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland in Australia. The program originated in the 1980s as a response to the need for evidence-based, practical parenting support. Professor Sanders and his team aimed to create a comprehensive and accessible program that would assist parents in developing positive parenting skills and strategies.
Triple P has its roots in research on family intervention and behaviour management. Over the years, it has evolved through ongoing research, incorporating feedback from parents and children involved in various phases of the program. The goal was to provide a flexible and adaptable framework that addresses a wide range of parenting challenges, promoting positive family relationships and children’s well-being.
Since its inception, Triple P has gained international recognition and has been implemented in various countries, contributing to its status as one of the most widely used and researched evidence-based parenting programs worldwide.
This program is a testament to the invaluable contributions of numerous parents and children who actively participated in its development. The ideas and principles of positive parenting within this program have evolved organically, shaped by the experiences and feedback garnered from parents and children involved in research and therapy programs. Their insights have played a pivotal role in refining and enhancing the effectiveness of the Triple P program.
There are five key aspects to positive parenting:
1. Having a safe, interesting environment
Ensuring the safety and engagement of young children is paramount, as accidents at home rank among the leading causes of injuries in this age group. An effective preventive measure is to create a secure home environment. Safeguard against potential hazards by placing dangerous or breakable items out of reach, and restrict access to areas deemed unsafe for children. A secure home not only fosters a relaxed atmosphere for parents but also allows children the freedom to explore and stay occupied.
A stimulating environment, rich with opportunities for exploration and skill development, contributes significantly to a child’s growth. Providing diverse activities such as drawing, dancing, cooking, building, talking, and playing enhances language proficiency, cognitive abilities, attention span, and independence. Keeping children actively engaged reduces the likelihood of boredom or engaging in troublesome behaviours.
Supervision is a key element in ensuring child safety. It involves being aware of your child’s whereabouts, companions, and activities at all times. When planning to be away from your child, entrust their care to a reliable and trustworthy individual. This comprehensive approach not only safeguards against potential accidents but also nurtures a supportive and enriching environment for a child’s overall well-being.
2. Having a positive learning environment
Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children’s learning journey by making themselves available and responsive. This doesn’t necessitate constant presence but rather being accessible to assist and listen when children seek attention. When your child approaches you, take a moment to pause from your activities and dedicate time to engage with them. Encouraging independent exploration and acknowledging positive behaviour are effective ways to foster learning.
Empower your child by encouraging them to attempt tasks on their own, and when you observe commendable behaviour, take notice. Demonstrate your appreciation for their actions, letting them know that you value what they’re doing. By positively reinforcing their efforts, you create a motivating environment, increasing the likelihood that they will repeat these desirable behaviours. In this way, the connection between parent and child becomes a supportive foundation for learning and personal growth.
3. Using assertive discipline
You can empower your child to express their individuality while still maintaining expectations for appropriate behaviour. Implementing assertive discipline involves effectively managing misbehaviour in an acceptable manner. When your child misbehaves, make prompt decisions and respond consistently to convey clear expectations. Opt for a calm demeanour, steering clear of yelling, name-calling, threats, or physical punishment.
By employing assertive discipline, children gain valuable lessons in responsibility, empathy towards others, and the cultivation of self-control. Consistency in parental reactions plays a crucial role, as it helps children understand and internalize behavioural expectations. This approach significantly reduces the likelihood of developing behavioural problems, fostering a harmonious environment for both parents and children.
4. Having realistic expectations
Every child is unique, learning and developing at their own pace. Some grasp new skills quickly, while others may take more time. Toilet training, dressing themselves, assisting at home, and gaining independence are milestones that children reach at different stages. It’s crucial to understand that no child is proficient in everything at once, and expecting perfection in politeness, happiness, tidiness, and helpfulness all the time is unrealistic.
Issues arise when expectations exceed what is developmentally appropriate for a child. Sometimes, children may need more time to learn certain skills, or they might have an off day. It’s essential for parents and caregivers to comprehend each child’s capabilities as they grow and to be realistic about when they are ready to acquire new skills.
Equally important is for parents to maintain realistic expectations of themselves. While everyone strives to be a good parent, aiming for perfection only leads to frustration and disappointment. Acknowledge that every parent makes mistakes and that learning and improvement come through experience. Embracing a realistic approach to parenting allows for a more supportive and understanding environment for both children and parents.
5. Taking care of yourself as a parent
Effective parenting is facilitated when our own needs as adults are met. Just as children have needs, adults require emotional connections and understanding. It is essential for us to cultivate closeness with others, spend time with friends, allocate moments for ourselves, and engage in activities that bring us joy. Being a good parent doesn’t equate to surrendering one’s entire life to their child. When our adult needs are fulfilled, it becomes more feasible to exercise patience with our children and be emotionally available to them. Moreover, maintaining a sense of calm in handling misbehaviour becomes more achievable when our own needs are attended to.
If you seek advice from a Triple P trained professional, reach out to tailor guidance to your child’s and your unique needs through the lens of Triple P principles. Develop detailed plans and utilize specific resources, such as tip sheets, to navigate your parenting journey towards a calmer household and foster strong, positive relationships with your children that will last a lifetime. To book an appointment with Ania, select Online Booking or call Vision Psychology Wishart on (07) 3088 5422.
- Sanders, M. R., Turner, K. M. T., & McWilliam, (2017) J. Positive Parenting (edition II)
- Sanders, M. R., Turner, K. M. T., & McWilliam, J. (2016) The Triple P—Positive Parenting Program: A community-wide approach to parenting and family support.
- Na Li , Jin Peng, Yi Li (2021) Effects and Moderators of Triple P on the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems of Children: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Department of Sociology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW article, Front. Psychol., 26 August 2021, Sec. Developmental Psychology,Volume 12 – 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.709851 This article is part of the Research Topic. A collection of systematic reviews or meta-analyses on the effects of behavioral and psychosocial interventions for psychological well-being