Google ‘parenting advice’ and you wind up with more than 46 million results. That’s a lot of fact, fiction and opinion to wade through. So, how about we cut to the chase instead?
Here’s some advice from the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program. It’s advice we know works (because we’ve researched it and tested it all over the world). Get these foundational pieces in places and you’re on your way to making things calmer, happier and easier at home.
Bored kids and teenagers are more likely to find trouble. So, a secret is to keep big and little kids as busy as possible.
For littlies, a home that is safe is essential. When you put knives out of reach, lock away medicine or give your child a helmet for bike riding, you won’t always be looking out for potential dangers or yelling, “Don’t touch that!” Also, provide lots of interesting things, like crafts, dress-up and blocks, to keep boredom at bay.
If you have a teenager, try to motivate them to pursue organised and supervised activities away from home, take on responsibility and do it safely. Around the home, they could cook, do jobs, or edit your smartphone videos. Just make sure they know how to competently use appliances and are shown how to safely use power tools, and that you keep an eye on computer use and have safety restrictions in place.
Quality is better than quantity.
Children and teenagers need quality time with their parents. But Triple P’s version of quality time may not be quite what you think. You don’t have to go on expensive outings. It's about being there for them when they come to you for help or to talk – even if it's only for a minute or so at a time.
For teenagers, it’s also about giving them responsibility, and showing you value their opinions, ideas and contributions: You reassure them that you know they’re growing up.