In my quest to learn and get hold of resources- as many as my heart and brain can accommodate- I came across the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). My friend who is a mental health consultant in the U.S.A. told me about it. She shared with me its aims, which are to help children express or communicate, manage their emotions, encourage independence and help them feel good about the right choices they make. It is an evidence-based parenting intervention (ongoing research over 30 years already), which is founded by consultant psychologist Matt Sanders. It is ranked the number one parenting program by United Nations and widely used around the world.
With all the strategies out there, ultimately it is up to us to identify values we want in our families. Let me share with you some notes from this guide.
Factors of Positive Parenting
It is ensuring a safe, secure and engaging learning environment. We need to put dangerous things and valuables out of reach, so we don’t say ‘No!’ all the time. Play gates or pens are encouraged to keep children out of unsafe areas while allowing them to explore. This is the physical limit that lets children know what they can or cannot touch freely and safely.
Next is the availability of parents. We need to be available when our kids want to show something, or if they need help or want someone to listen. When we are positive and encouraging, children feel they can connect and communicate freely. And here is the perfect time when we can encourage further the good behavior.
Then, my friend shared the issue of assertive, respectful discipline. Triple P is well known and intended initially for children who have defiant disorder or who have shown misbehavior consistently. The key to being assertive means being decisive instantly, do quick thinking when your child misbehaves, and setting realistic expectations.
Making realistic expectations mean your knowledge of common milestones in each development stage. This helps us expect and set rules or limits appropriate for our child’s age. More importantly, it will help us make wiser decisions when we think of consequences, rewards as part of the whole discipline process. You won’t put a 1-year-old on a time-out chair just because he keeps throwing his toys or playing with his food. No child is going to be good all the time, and no parent can expect his or her child to be.
Just as there is no good girl or boy ALL the time, there is also not a perfect parent in this world. We just learn through trial and error.
Lastly, Triple P highlights self- care. When our needs are met- intimacy, sense of appreciation, sleep- then we can be our best in our relationships. Of course, when our needs are not met, especially when parenting gets harder by the day, it is hard to be AVAILABLE to our children; we cannot enforce our rules consistently and firmly. And I’m sure you can imagine we’d be parenting our little one depending on how our day went, how our mood is Sounds familiar? We can’t explain it enough.
Triple P emphasizes that behavior has many causes. All the experts out there, the child care professionals who have long been in this field know that children’s behavior is purpose-driven- whether they know what it is that’s triggering it or not (and most of the time they don’t). (Future blog: Looking through Misbehavior) Children inherit their temperament from the parents. Triple P says we cannot control genetics, but we can highly influence it every day.