League star urges parents to keep calm and do Triple P

Rugby league captain Corey Parker has joined thousands of Queensland parents, grandparents and carers taking advantage of Australia’s first free statewide parenting program.

Halfway into a two-year State Government initiative to give parents free access to the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, international parenting expert and Triple P founder Professor Matt Sanders said more than 20,000 Queenslanders have already gained valuable new parenting skills and confidence by attending a seminar, group program, one-on-one support or by doing Triple P Online.

He said that as part of the statewide rollout, 540 early childhood educators, teachers, nurses, guidance officers and psychologists have now been trained to provide free Triple P support to parents.

“We’re on target to help thousands more parents over the next 12 months because organisations such as BUSHkids, Goodstart Early Learning, Parentline, ACT for Kids, The Benevolent Society, UnitingCare Community and Scripture Union now have significant numbers of staff trained to deliver Triple P parenting support,” Prof Sanders said.

Triple P Online is proving particularly popular with time-poor and isolated parents looking for tips to create a harmonious home, with more than 8500 Queenslanders registering for the program so far.

Most parents doing the online program were looking for help with everyday parenting issues, but about one-third (32 per cent) reported feeling depressed and nearly 37 per cent reported feeling stressed.

A survey found more than half (56 per cent) of online participants reported serious levels of parenting conflict with their partner.

Triple P Ambassador and dad-of-four Corey Parker said seeking parenting help was nothing to be worried about.

“Having kids brings a lot of joy to your life but there’s no doubt parenting can also be frustrating and challenging at times,” Parker said.

“It makes sense to learn as much as you can about how to raise a happy, resilient family so you can prevent small issues from becoming major problems.”

Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said the Triple P program offered parents flexible, non-judgmental, evidence-based parenting support in a range of different formats and intensities.

“Our Government is committed to making sure all Queensland mums, dads, grandparents and caregivers have easy access to high quality parenting support if and when they need it,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Of course, not every parent may need support, but we want them to know that it is okay to ask for help.

“Triple P gives parents simple, practical tips to help cope with the everyday challenges, from toddler tantrums, self-esteem issues, bedtime battles, disobedience, aggression, bullying or teenage rebellion.

“It’s not about telling parents how to parent - it’s about offering a range of strategies based on the best research available to help parents build happy, resilient families.”

Professor Sanders said Triple P’s evidence-based strategies helped parents positively manage their children’s behaviour as well as their own stress levels.

“Clinical studies consistently show children raised in a calm, consistent and positive home environment are more likely to succeed at school, have better jobs, experience more positive relationships and enjoy better mental and physical health,” he said.

“Parents who do Triple P are also more likely to have lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress, so there are plenty of good reasons for parents to learn more about the benefits of positively parenting their children.”

Parents can register for free Triple P seminars, group programs, one-on-one consultations and online support.

Immediate Triple P help is available by phoning Parentline on 1300 30 1300 (from 8am – 10pm) for the cost of a local call.