After a year that’s put Australian families to the test, keeping parenting realistic and focusing on spending time together rather than trying to present a picture-perfect image is more important than ever this Mother’s Day, according to the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program.
Triple P International Country Director, Carol Markie-Dadds said that COVID-19 had led the way for Australian parents to openly share experiences and talk about how things are really going at home: everything from how to stop children interrupting important Zoom calls, finding ways to equally share home duties to changes in employment and coping with financial strain.
“This Mother’s Day, we encourage parents to be honest about the pressures of work and family. Along with any special treats that mums may receive, it’s a good time to think about building a more enjoyable family life and finding positive parenting support.
“It’s also a really nice time for families to develop their own low-key, fun and sometimes silly, family traditions – and share the love with those who might need a hand, like single parents for whom Mother’s Day can be difficult,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.
“We know that when children are in a calm, low-conflict home with plenty of positive interactions with their parents, it’s good for their emotional wellbeing and overall resilience. But that can be easier said than done in a world where the ‘perfect Mother’s Day’ is presented as an achievable goal – which is why we want to let parents know support is available.
“If parents expect children will always be polite, tidy up, and never be unhappy or uncooperative, it’s a bit like expecting MasterChef-standard breakfast on Mother’s Day – we all know it’s unlikely! Kids and adults make mistakes, and we can’t expect more of a child than they are emotionally or developmentally capable of.
“Having realistic expectations means that mums can enjoy Mother’s Day, and every day without the pressure of living up to an impossible standard,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.
Triple P’s Four Top Tips for a Happier, More Harmonious Mother’s Day
- Have realistic expectations about what your children are capable of
- Keep it simple and calm by committing to just one or two key events on the day
- Take care of yourself and look after your own needs too
- Plan some fun family activities that are low-key and low-cost: a picnic in the backyard, a twilight walk, or popcorn and a family movie.
Ms Markie-Dadds said that what parents do and say makes a difference every day in a child’s life, and this is easier with extra tips, skills and knowledge.
“The reason so many parents enjoy doing Triple P is that it’s not about telling parents what to do – it’s about finding out what’s working, what’s not going so well, and getting ideas and strategies that can be tried if they suit your family,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.