A new parenting program in Wake County aims to connect families with tips and tools to help them rear healthy, confident children.
A network of 28 agencies and organizations that serve families will participate in Triple P – Positive Parenting Program – an international model used in more than 20 countries.
Families could learn about the program in many of the places they visit each day – local preschools, the Boys & Girls Club or Marbles Kids Museum. In each place, staff members are trained to help parents evaluate whether the approach could be right for them and refer them to resources or work directly with them.
Parents can decide to attend individual parent sessions, small parent groups or larger seminar settings, for free or at a low cost. The scale of the resources varies, from a tip sheet on avoiding tantrums to a session to help parents in a crisis.
“It really is giving parents a lot of power and choice in how they move forward,” said Ashley Lindsay, the Triple P coordinator for Wake County.
The resources are based on “positive parenting” ideas such as to create a safe, interesting environment, have realistic expectations and to encourage parents to also care for themselves.
The three-year program, now in its second year, is supported by a $2 million grant from the John Rex Endowment. The program aims to help 27,000 local families with young children from birth to 5 years old.
Project Enlightenment, an early childhood education and intervention program of the Wake County Public School System, coordinated the recrutiment and training of providers, now at 170 people.
Audrey Bunch, director of Project Enlightenment, said it’s rare to have so many organizations work together. The extensive network is important to Triple P because it means parents are hearing the same messages no matter where they go, from people who they already trust, she said.
The model is based on that idea that by making information widely available, parents are more likely to accept or seek out help.
“Our children come to us and we don’t always have a neat and tidy direction booklet to go with them,” she said.
Researchers at N.C. State University will track how the program is used and analyze how it is working in Wake.
The Triple P model is used in 33 counties or regions in North Carolina.