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As we try to move on from what can only be described as an all-round rough year, it’s not uncommon for us parents to feel out of our depth when it comes to looking after our children’s mental health.

After finding that child behaviour problems and emotional distress are up 23 per cent and 70 per cent respectively compared with the pre-COVID period, Triple P – the Positive Parenting Program – is urging Queensland parents to make ‘emotional wellbeing’ a focus for the whole family in 2021.

“We know that the pandemic has taken an emotional toll on Queensland’s children and young people,” says Triple P international country director Carol Markie-Dadds. “2020 was a year unlike any other, so it’s important for parents to support children to cope emotionally as they enter their new school classroom.”

No matter how the stress of 2020 has affected your family, Carol says it’s important to take time to re-establish stability and routines, and focus on quality family time.

To help us do exactly that, Triple P has shared its top 10 tips for maintaining emotional wellbeing.

  1. Help your child make good choices so they are prepared for a new school environment and can respond to peer pressure
  2. Take care of yourself as best you can
  3. Make sure your child knows you are ready to talk
  4. Show you are listening
  5. Be truthful in answering children’s questions
  6. Set and maintain routines
  7. Take notice of behaviour you like, and use praise and positive attention to encourage it
  8. Help children learn to tolerate uncertainty
  9. Reach out and stay connected
  10. Focus on quality family time

“Whether you have a child starting school, going off to high school, or anywhere in between, helping children manage their emotions and build resilience will set them up for a successful school year,” Carol says. “We urge parents to seek help rather than going it alone. Free and highly effective help is available now.”

Triple P parenting support is free for families in Queensland through a State Government initiative. Queensland parents who complete a Triple P program learn practical skills for building their child’s resilience and emotional wellbeing.

To register for free Triple P Online or Triple P seminars and sessions, visit www.triplep-parenting.net.

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