When a little boy swung a toy plastic lawnmower at his mother’s face more than four decades ago, her look of hurt and embarrassment said it all. Matt Sanders, consultant psychologist, knew he had to do something more than just help individual families.
“The child was definitely on track for serious behaviour problems, and you could see the major impact on the family,” says Professor Sanders. “It struck me how many parents were raising their kids in an information vacuum.”
Rather than concentrating on just the tip of the iceberg, Professor Sanders and colleagues from the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia, set out to develop a programme to help large numbers of parents.
They knew the programme would have to be:
Thanks to decades of rigorous and ongoing scientific research, the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® is now regarded as one of the world’s most effective parenting programmes. In fact, the United Nations ranks Triple P as the number one parenting programme in the world, based on the amount of research and evidence behind the programme.
Triple P is used in countries all over the world, including the US, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium, Japan, Iran, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Curacao, Romania, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden. It’s been translated (from English) into another 21 languages and is estimated to have helped more than four million children and their families.
Specialist Triple P programmes also continue to be developed, tested and implemented. These include Stepping Stones Triple P (for parents of children with a disability), Lifestyle Triple P (for parents of children who are overweight), Family Transitions Triple P (for parents going through divorce or separation), and the various levels of Triple P delivered with an Indigenous focus (for Indigenous families).
Triple P has also won numerous international awards, and founder Professor Matt Sanders has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, the Council of Europe and to governments around the world.