Triple P is one of the world’s most effective parenting programmes and is available FREE throughout Laois, Offaly, Longford & Westmeath.Triple P helps parents handle the big and small challenges of family life. Every parent is different, and knows what suits their family best.Sometimes parents feel like they are the only one facing challenges as a parent? All of our programmes are relaxed and an opportunity to meet other parents facing similar problems. For some parents it is about preventing problems from happening in the first place.
So what parenting help is available?
Well there are many different levels of Triple P- There are seminars, workshops & groups tailored to suit your family whether you a parent of a child aged 2-10yrs (junior) or a parent of a teenager 11-15yrs (teen).
Seminars are information sessions with a group of parents. Each seminar lasts about an hour and a half. Each parent is given a tip sheet to take home with all the tips covered in the session.
Next we have our group programmes, available to both age groups and are run over 7 weeks, each session is 2hrs. We meet for 4 weeks as a group, we have a 2 week break for telephone support sessions and we have one final group session were we celebrate the work that parents have put in over the weeks.
The 5 Principles of Positive Parenting (Triple P style)
Triple P’s positive parenting approach is about creating a strong relationship with your child or teenager, encouraging positive behaviour and managing stressful situations.These five basic principles are the building blocks that will help you set up a happier, calmer family life. To learn how to use the strategies that support these principles, sign up for a Triple P course, workshop or session.
1. Create a safe, interesting environment
Young children love to explore their environment – it’s how they investigate and test new things. The same goes for teenagers. But how do you keep your child or teenager safe, yet still allow the freedom to develop and become more independent?
Think about your children at home and at play: Are they safe? If your child is a toddler, are sharp knives and chemicals out of his reach? If your daughter rides a bike to school, does she know basic road safety or have reflectors on the bike? If you have a teenager, do you know who they’re with and what they’re doing?
No matter what the age of your child, a safety audit should always be top of a parent’s to-do list. And creating a safe environment not only protects your child from harm, it has some great benefits for you, too. That’s because once you have done all you can to remove or prevent potential dangers, you’ll have peace of mind. You won’t spend half the day running after a child yelling out: ‘don’t touch!’ or ‘watch out!’. And you won’t always be wondering what trouble your teenager might be getting into. You might even feel a little relaxed!
The second part of this principle is make your safe environment interesting, too. It’s about providing younger children with enough stimulation for them to learn and thrive. That means making sure there plenty of activities to keep them occupied. But we don’t necessarily mean expensive toys or games. Something as simple as a big box of art and craft materials can keep little – and bigger – kids amused for hours.
For your teenager, it’s important to be realistic about the risks they’ll face as they head out into the world. Help them work out how to deal with temptation. And encourage them to become involved in activities that are age-appropriate and satisfying.
The bonus for you is that busy kids are less likely to misbehave, and busy teenagers are less likely to rebel or become isolated from their peer group.
2. Have a positive learning environment
You are your child’s first teacher. Daunting as it may seem, every interaction with your child is a chance for you to help them learn something. And that doesn’t stop as your child reaches adolescence.
For example, when your young child comes to you to ask a question or needs some attention, that says they’re ready to learn. So, don’t just brush them off because you’re busy peeling potatoes or watching TV -- give them your positive, calm attention for just a minute or so. Usually that’s enough to satisfy a young child.
What this minute of attention does, though, is give a child a sense of security: Mum or dad is there for them when they need them, and the child knows they’re loved.
Also, grab any opportunity to ask your child questions about what they’re doing, help them learn to solve problems on their own, and encourage their interests. Do this and you’re well on the way to setting your child up for success now and later in life.
If you have a teenager, you may think they don’t want to learn from you anymore. In fact, they do. Listen when your teenager is talking about their own interests. Ask questions about their ideas, but don’t lecture them. They’re trying to find their way in the world. How you respond shows them how ideas can be discussed calmly and rationally.
Also, try to encourage your child to solve their own problems, without always needing your help. Build their confidence and their independence!
3. Use Assertive (Positive) Discipline
The word ‘discipline’ has an image problem. Too many people these days think it means ‘punishment’. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, as far as Triple P is concerned.
Good discipline – which Triple P calls ‘assertive discipline’ – is something that children and teenagers like and will respond well to. That’s because children and teenagers do best when they live in a home in which they are loved and nurtured, and where they know and understand simple, clear rules, routines and boundaries.
As a parent of a younger child, you should set out a few rules and boundaries and make sure your child remembers them. You should also make sure your child understands what the consequences will be if the rules are broken.
Of course, the consequences should be fair and age-appropriate (for example, removing a toy for a short time).
It’s a similar routine for teenagers, except that you should involve them in setting the rules and responsibilities, as well as the privileges they get in return for your trust. And if they break a rule and you have to follow through with a consequence – be prepared for them to be quite emotional. That’s common. So stay calm.. Heated arguments don’t work.
And don’t forget about the secret ingredient for good behaviour – praise. When you praise the behaviour you like, you’re bound to see more of it!
4. Have Realistic Expectations
Many parents say they want to be the best parent they can be. But that shouldn’t mean you are trying to be a perfect parent. Because perfect parents don’t exist. Anywhere!
That’s why having realistic expectations is such an important part of Triple P. Once you acknowledge that you are human (and as humans we all make mistakes), you allow yourself to loosen up, and you’ll feel more comfortable about the ups and downs of raising kids.
Then, just as it’s OK for you not to be perfect, it’s equally OK for your child not to be perfect, too. So, be realistic in what you expect from your child. Don’t expect too much – or too little – from them.
Find out what’s common for your child’s age group. If you’re asking your child to tidy their room on their own but other kids in the pre-school aren’t capable of that yet, you may need to cut your child some slack.
Or, you may have to stop yourself from doing everything for them as they get older. It may be easier and quicker for you to clean up the mess but your child or teenager needs to take on responsibility and learn new skills.
5. Take Care of Yourself as a Parent
Being a good parent means being as calm and consistent with your child as you can. But it’s difficult to be like that if you’re exhausted or stressed or feel unsupported. And parenting can definitely make parents feel that way!
It’s vital, then, that you take time out for yourself, to do some of the things that you enjoy doing. Maybe you could read a magazine, catch-up with a friend for coffee, have a nap, or watch your favourite TV show (instead of cartoons!).
Taking time out to focus on your own needs is not a luxury. It’s an important re-set. Afterwards, you can return to the cut-and-thrust of family life feeling a little refreshed and ready to face the kids again.
But if you ever feel like you need extra support, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Perhaps a friend, relative or neighbour can take your kids for an hour or two, share the school pick-up or even just offer a sympathetic ear when things get a little overwhelming.
Good parenting isn’t about being available every minute of every day. It’s about balance!