dad and son selfie with phone

Father’s Day focus on mental health key to positive parenting

Ahead of this Father’s Day, Triple P parenting experts are encouraging Queensland dads to focus on their own mental health and wellbeing, so they can be a positive parent for their children.

Triple P International Country Director and co-author of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program®, Carol Markie- Dadds, said that fathers and father-figures are experiencing increased levels of anxiety and stress due to the pandemic and balancing work and family, which can in-turn, have a ripple effect on their relationships with their children.

“Lockdowns, changes in employment, and financial strain are having a greater impact on family relationships than ever before,” Ms Markie-Dadds said. “But, by looking after our own mental health and wellbeing, we’re better able to provide our children with a calm, low-stress home with plenty of fun and love,” she said.

“We all have ups and downs, and that’s ok, but by role-modelling resilience and acknowledging that sometimes life may be uncertain, dads will be showing their children the coping skills needed to manage life’s challenges.

“We know that children are more likely to develop good language, social and relationship skills when their fathers spend quality time reading and talking with them, and react to their behaviour in sensitive ways1,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.

“We also understand that talking about our own mental health and parenting struggles can be daunting – that’s normal. The Triple P Parenting Program® helps dads understand that they’re not alone and provides them with practical strategies to raise confident and resilient children.

“Father’s Day is a great 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 create their own fun and sometimes silly, family traditions and memories– and don’t forget to extend that to grandparents and other father figures in your life,” she said.

Triple P’s Top Five Tips for a Fun, Loving Father’s Day

  1. Have realistic expectations about what you and your children can do together that you will all enjoy
  2. Share your fatherhood journey with your family – children love hearing stories involving them
  3. Take care of yourself and look after your own needs too
  4. Plan some low-cost, low-key activities like a BBQ in the backyard or a family movie with snacks
    1. Take some time to smile, laugh and enjoy the small things with your family, (and of course, share a dad joke or two!).

“Parenthood isn’t always easy, but it can be so rewarding and enjoyable. So, this Father's Day, as well as wishing dads a Happy Father's Day, let’s provide the positive parenting support to make this a reality,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.

Queensland parents and carers of children aged 0-16 can get Triple P’s online courses for free, including the latest Fear-Less Triple P Online for parents of children experiencing anxiety.

1 Breiner H, Ford M, Gadsden VL, editors. Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2016 Nov 21. 2, Parenting Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK402020/