Parents flock to hear world’s best-researched parenting strategies: Triple P Qld gets underway

Dealing with challenges such as screen time, bedtimes, mealtimes, tantrums and teenage rebellion just became easier for local parents, as a free parenting seminar (and plenty of media coverage) at the Broncos Leagues Club in Brisbane marked the official kick-off of the Queensland-wide $6.6 million roll-out of Triple P.

“It’s a very exciting day, and I think the government should be congratulated for making this kind of commitment to promote the well-being of kids and children by supporting parenting,” said world-renowned parenting researcher, author, and Triple P founder, Professor Matt Sanders, speaking in an early-morning interview on 612 ABC Brisbane.

Professor Sanders, referred to as “the Wayne Bennett of parenting” in a venue-appropriate nod to the football coach extraordinaire, officially launched the Queensland Government-funded rollout alongside Queensland Communities Minister, Shannon Fentiman.

“We know parenting is hard work, and we are committed to making sure all Queensland mums, dads, grandparents and caregivers know they are not alone in raising the next generation of Queenslanders,” Ms Fentiman said.

Professor Sanders, who originally developed the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program as part of research at the University of Queensland, and who now speaks at events all over the world, went on to deliver the launch seminar on the topic of “The Power of Positive Parenting” to around 100 parents keen to hear his advice.  A later evening seminar was standing-room only, with more than 150 mums, dads and carers packing the Broncos' function room. 

“Doing a seminar is a bit of a taster: you come in, you’re given a chance to really pause and reflect on the parenting issues you’re confronting, and how you’re dealing with them,” Professor Sanders said.

“You decide whether or not what you’re doing is working. If it’s working, keep doing what you’re doing. It’s not about preaching to people that they must do differently.”

Over the next two years, Queensland parents will have the chance to do various kinds of Triple P including seminars, discussion groups focussing on specific issues like hassle-free shopping, more intensive programs for families who’d like more support such as eight- to 10-session group or individual programs, and Triple P Online. There are programs for parents of young children, and for parents of teenagers.                                                                

“So there’s a full suite of options that are available and it’s really designed to cater for differences in levels of need that families may have,” Professor Sanders said.

“For many parents, they may have tried some of these strategies in the past. But it’s all about the combinations: bringing the combinations of the right skills and strategies together. And sometimes, something that the parent has been working on for years and it hasn’t worked – when it’s combined with this, this and this, it now does work,” he said.

PHOTO: Queensland Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman and Professor Matt Sanders.