January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month

January has been officially designated as Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County.

There are numerous New Year’s resolutions many of us consider—spend less money, get more exercise, stop procrastinating, be more patient, eat healthier foods. Another is to be a better parent and create a happier, less-stressful home.

Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not, the start of the new year is a great time to think about your family and the job of parenting. That’s why January has been officially designated as Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County.

With the holidays behind us, how are you feeling about parenting challenges? Do you wish for a more harmonious family life? Are there specific areas of parenting you have questions about or would like to improve? Are you the parent or caregiver you want to be?

Given that parenting is the most important job any of us will ever have, you would think the job would come with at least an instruction manual. In the workplace we are often presented with guidebooks, classes, professional development and more. In the world of parenting, however, it’s mostly on-the-job training.

While parental instinct, trial-and-error and advice from friends and family light the way most of the time, sometimes there is a need for more support. In Santa Cruz County, there are several parenting programs available to help. One such resource is the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, offered by many local organizations and individuals thanks to a partnership between First 5 Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz County’s Health Services Agency and Human Services Department. The countywide program is low- or no-cost and available in English and Spanish to every parent, grandparent or caregiver.

Based on 30 years of research and development, Triple P is a positive parenting approach that benefits all kids, from infants to teens. Triple P provides families with tools to build warm, nurturing relationships with their children, develop good communication, encourage positive behaviors and handle challenging behaviors.

Triple P’s parenting strategies are simple and practical—such as spending quality time together, providing positive attention, giving calm and clear instructions–yet they are scientifically-proven to build confidence and skills in both child and parent, which can lead to a happier and healthier family life.

The academic thinking, scientific research and results of Triple P and other positive parenting programs are critically important. However, for busy parents it’s just as important to understand exactly how positive parenting can impact daily life at home.

It’s all about applying positive parenting to everyday situations and challenges–tantrums, shopping, homework, bullying, mealtime, bedtime and more–and creating opportunities to help children learn, while motivating them to do their best.

First 5 Santa Cruz County and its partners published the Triple P Pocket Guide for Parents, which includes tips for handling common parenting situations. Families also have a range of options for accessing Triple P support–from tips and tools, to classes and workshops to private consultations. The idea is to make small changes that make a big difference—all of which contribute to a happier and less stressful home life. 

Whether you’re working to implement your New Year’s resolutions or simply working to manage a busy start to 2013, Positive Parenting Awareness Month presents a great opportunity to make one small change that can make a big difference in the health and well-being of your family.

For more information about Triple P, visit triplep.first5scc.org, www.facebook.com/triplepscc or www.youtube.com/triplepsantacruzco. To get a copy of the Triple P Pocket Guide for Parents or find a Triple P class or practitioner, contact Stephanie Bluford at 831-465-2217 or sbluford@first5scc.org

The Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County. Triple P is scientifically proven and is the world’s leading positive parenting program. Triple P offers classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges.


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