As living costs rise, Triple P – Positive Parenting Program experts are today reminding Kiwi whānau that certain aspects of life may be outside our control, but we still have the power to give our kids an important buffer against problems in later life.
Triple P Lead in New Zealand, Jackie Riach, said that studies show that positive parenting lessens the impact of
financial disadvantage on kids and teenagers’ development, school achievement, and success in life.
“Part of being a positive parent is being emotionally available for our children and fully ‘present’ when we’re with them. This includes things like showing affection, giving encouragement, focusing on what they’re doing well, setting limits, staying calm, and modelling behaviours we’d like children to learn,“ Ms Riach said.
“That’s not to say it all happens automatically – having practical, realistic strategies really helps,” she said.
Triple P has put together some tips for positive parenting when money is tight.
Tip tips for parenting under financial stress
- If you need to make changes to your family spending, let your children know. Children cope better when they feel safe and know what to expect; give them just enough information to understand. Calmly explain that things like electricity and petrol are costing more and what this means for your family. Encourage them to make suggestions like turning off lights or walking rather than taking the car on short trips. Help them talk through their feelings and any disappointments and be as honest as you can in responding to their questions, without overwhelming them. Reassure your child that you will take care of them.
- As a parent, you need to recharge your own batteries. When we’re worried or stressed, it can be hard to stay calm and take care of others. Find a little time to do something healthy and nurturing for yourself – simple things like connecting with a friend, going for a walk, reading, or watching a favourite show. Be aware of your own emotions and if needed, call a support line, or reach out for help.
- Avoid disagreements about parenting (or other complex issues) in front of your children. Instead, set up a time when the children aren’t around to talk things through. This may be with your partner, or if you’re a sole parent, another important person in your child’s life. Calmly share your thoughts and ideas with each other to work out a solution. Working together and having a shared plan helps to make everything feel more manageable.
Thanks to funding from the New Zealand Ministry of Health and support from Whāraurau, Kiwi whānau can access parenting guidance that they can use on the go or at home to support their children’s wellbeing and overall healthy development.
Kiwi whānau can access Triple P’s online courses 24/7, via smart phone, computer, or tablet, by signing up and
getting started within minutes at www.triplep-parenting.net.nz
Media contact: Cate Kennedy, Public Relations Manager – 0477 286 557 or firstname.lastname@example.org