Take The Challenge: Less Money For More Quality Time This Christmas

Your mission – should you accept it – is Triple P’s “Ultimate Christmas Challenge”!

The brief: For parents to spend more time with, and less money on, their kids this Christmas.

Parenting expert and Triple P’s Prof Matt Sanders said parents who put gifts like balls, books and board games instead of digital devices under the Christmas tree are doing their children – and possibly their bank balances – a big favour.

“Whatever the age of your child or teen, gifts that prompt more interaction between parents and kids help strengthen relationships and make family life more fun, which is really important to a child’s ongoing social, emotional and physical development,” says Prof Sanders.

“Parents will also be pleased to know the brief but frequent interactions most people have with their children over the Christmas break are generally better for child development than spending lots of time with our kids but not really interacting with them.

“It’s all about how mentally and physically available and responsive we are with our children, which is a lot easier for parents when we’re on holidays and under less pressure.

“A good things to remember is when kids initiate contact and want to show us something, talk to us or get our help, it’s important to respond right there and then and give them positive attention.”

One Queensland parent who plans on taking up the challenge is Kenmore mum-of-three Lascinda Fraser.

“I heard about Triple P’s Ultimate Christmas Challenge and thought it was a great opportunity to increase our family’s physical activity, and to limit screen time and access to digital devices,” Ms Fraser said.

“We love going to the park with the kids’ bikes and exploring trails in our area, so we’re planning to spend more time doing this and to also take the kids fishing over the holidays.

“On the kids’ Christmas lists this year are things like a scooter, baby dolls, prams, Lego and fishing rods, which I feel good about buying because they’ll benefit the kids’ development, and will help the family budget.”