The results are in and the numbers for the third annual Queensland Parenting Survey have been crunched.
So what are the top three parenting issues keeping Queensland mums and dads awake at night?
- Encouraging kids to be fit and healthy
- Managing screen time
- Dealing with kids’ emotional outbursts
Of the almost 2000 parents who responded to the survey:
- 52% said encouraging kids to live a healthy lifestyle was in their top three concerns
- 43% said managing screen time was a major worry
- 36% said they worry about how their children dealt with emotions such as temper tantrums
- 28% said managing disobedience and dealing with bullying were also concerns
Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is a particular worry for parents of young children, with mental health and school work more of concern to parents with one or more older children.
Parenting expert and Triple P founder Professor Matt Sanders says the best way for parents to encourage children to be healthy, avoid screen dependence and manage their emotions was to be a good role model.
“So much of our children’s behaviour is a mirror of our own, so I encourage parents to show by their actions how to make healthy choices, sensibly manage screen time and handle emotions appropriately,” he says.
When it came to the current hot topic of bullying, 40% or parents said their child had been bullied – 84% in person by another child, 27% by a sibling, and 14% online and via social media.
Professor Sanders says the survey showed a major shift over the past 12 months in the way parents are disciplining their children, with 52 per cent of parents now saying they never smack their children compared to 41 per cent in last year’s survey.
“The survey also shows more parents are using positive parenting strategies to discipline children such as explaining why they’re upset and why the behaviour is unacceptable, or by taking away a toy or device or sending them to a quiet spot to calm down and think about their behaviour,” he says.
“Research proves without a doubt that positive learning strategies like this are far more effective in improving a child’s behaviour, and maintaining that improvement in the long term, than smacking.”
Professor Sanders said children raised in a positive environment – guided by consistent rules and routines, reasonable expectations and appropriate consequences – have better communication and social skills, more positive relationships with others, do better at school and in the long run have better job prospects and health outcomes. Parents who do Triple P are also less stressed and depressed.
You can find out more about free Triple P in Queensland or join the 160,000+ parents who have already received free positive parenting support by joining a seminar or group, finding a provider, or doing Triple P Online.