Mother’s Day may be just around the corner, but the traditional gift-buying frenzy is out of step with the news that not all mums feel they’re getting the parenting support they need
A Triple P – Positive Parenting Program survey of almost 900 Queensland mothers has found about 50 per cent say a lack of support from their nearest and dearest makes parenting more difficult for them. (Dads may feel similarly unsupported, however most survey respondents were mothers.)
The survey found 64 per cent of mothers raising children with a disability believe parenting is harder because of a lack of partner or family support, and 79 per cent of single mothers feel the same way.
Mothers with partners don’t feel they’re on easy street either, with 45 per cent reporting a lack of support makes parenting more difficult for them too.
Triple P founder and international parenting expert Professor Matt Sanders said the figures are concerning.
“Children thrive when they’re raised in a positive parenting environment, but that’s really hard to do if you’re not getting the emotional and practical support you need from the people around you,” he said.
“Parents are more likely to feel supported when parenting responsibilities and everyday tasks are genuinely shared. If a partner really only acts as a helper, the overall responsibility still sits with the mother.”
Professor Sanders said children who grow up in a positive home environment do better at school, get better jobs, have better health and enjoy more positive relationships.
“Parents who do Triple P also report lower levels of stress and depression, so there are lifelong benefits for the whole family from adopting a positive parenting approach to raising children. The benefits apply regardless of a person’s family structure or cultural background.”
The Triple P survey found mothers who feel unsupported are less likely to say they’re glad to be a parent, and less likely to nominate being part of a loving family is one of the three best things about parenting.
Mothers who feel unsupported are also more likely to identify pressure on their relationship with a partner as one of the three hardest things about parenting.
The good news is, both parents (and their relationship) can benefit from doing Triple P, and positive parenting courses are free in Queensland under a State Government initiative. Visit www.triplep-parenting.net for more details and to register.