Housing affordability, unemployment and drug use are the top three worries Queensland parents have for their children, according to the state’s biggest annual parenting survey.
Almost 800 parents took part in the 2017 Triple P Queensland Parenting Survey, which revealed a wide range of aspirations and fears.
Triple P founder and international parenting expert Professor Matt Sanders said Queensland parents have high standards when it comes to their children’s behaviour.
“It’s terrific to see that modern manners are still in fashion,” Prof Sander said.
“Our survey showed 98 per cent of parents believe it’s very important to be polite and always say please and thank you, 93 per cent expect their kids to stand up for adults on public transport, and 86 per cent say table manners are vital.”
Almost half those surveyed (48%) expect children to address their elders as Mr or Mrs as a sign of respect.
The traits parents believe are most important for their children to develop are self-confidence, followed by good character (positive values and morals) and caring and compassion for others.
The number one concern parents have about their children is whether they would afford their own home, followed by unemployment, drug use, mental health issues and exposure to violence.
“It’s wonderful that Queensland parents aspire to have happy, healthy, civil, sociable children, and want the very best for them,” Prof Sanders said.
“The good news is parents can do something very simple to set their children up for success and steer them away from difficulty, and that is to raise them in a positive parenting environment.
“It’s proven that children who are raised with positive parenting are more likely to be healthier, wealthier and more resilient adults.”
The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is available free-of-charge to Queensland parents and carers thanks to a $6.6 million State Government initiative.
Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said the survey clearly showed parents were concerned about the impact of technology on their relationship with their children but particularly about online safety.
“Around 79 per cent of mums and dads felt they were having fewer conversations with their kids because they were on a digital device, be it a phone, a tablet or a computer,” Ms Fentiman said.
“I think that’s an interesting glimpse into the impact of technology on our lives and on our relationships with our kids.
“Triple P has some great strategies and tips for parents to help manage screen time, so I’d really encourage parents to get online and sign-up for a course or do one of their seminars.”
Ms Fentiman said last year, 43 per cent of parents surveyed said their child had been bullied recently.
“In 2017, that figure grew to 60 per cent,” she said.
“It’s distressing this is a growing issue for our kids and I know many parents are concerned.
“That’s why, we must take a stand against bullying so that every child feels safe and welcome, and that includes being a good role model in our own home and work environment.
“I’d also encourage parents to check what their children are up to online and talk with them about safe online behaviour. The Queensland Family and Child Commission and many schools run online safety workshops for both students and parents, so I’d encourage people to get involved.”
More than 51,000 Queensland parents and carers have already received Triple P support through the statewide program and 633 providers have been trained to deliver it.
MORE FINDINGS FROM THE TRIPLE P QUEENSLAND PARENTING SURVEY
- 66% have a zero-tolerance policy to alcohol until their teenager reaches the legal age.
- 22% are comfortable with their under-18 teenager drinking in moderation at home.
- 7% are happy to provide alcohol to their under-18 teenager to take to parties.
- 80% are worried their child will be exposed to pornography.
- 78% are worried their child will be bullied online.
- 68% are concerned about their kids becoming online addicted.
- 60% of parents said their child has been bullied in the past year:
- Most in person by another child, 5% online and 4% by a teacher.
- 36% verbal, 26% excluded, 20% physical assault.
When we take the kids to a restaurant:
- 86% provide colouring books and other quiet activities to keep them occupied.
- 58% give kids a digital device so they stay quiet.
- 22% yell at or smack them if they don’t sit quietly and eat their meal.