Lifestyle

Parenting in a pandemic - a free program

By John Lewis

A free parenting program aimed at helping protect children's long-term wellbeing during COVID-19 restrictions has been launched by the Victorian Government.

The program, designed by the international Triple P positive parenting program network is available online, and aims to provide expert advice and strategies for parents and carers.

Clinical psychologist and youth mental health researcher at the University of Queensland Dr Vanessa Cobham said the disruption and stress caused by COVID-19 restrictions was putting pressure on all parents and their children.

“Parenting in a pandemic is unchartered territory,” Dr Cobham said.

“It's natural to feel worried, upset or angry - and our children are experiencing a range of emotions too,” she said.

Dr Cobham said the Triple P program included a module on navigating the stresses of the pandemic.

“Children need our help to tolerate the upheaval and stress, manage their fears and build resilience to deal with ongoing uncertainty.

“Without support, we can expect to see a spike in stress, anxiety and depression, which will stay with families long after the health crisis is over,” Dr Cobham said.

Parents and carers of children aged from 0-16 years can access Triple P Online at www.triplep.online/victoria

TOP 10 TIPS FOR PARENTING DURING COVID-19

  1. Reassure your child that your family is top priority.
  2. Take care of yourself the best you can.
  3. Make sure your children know you are ready to talk.
  4. Be truthful in answering a child’s questions.
  5. Maintain everyday routines.
  6. Have a family plan.
  7. Have plenty of interesting things to do at home.
  8. Take notice of behaviour you like.
  9. Help children to tolerate uncertainty.
  10. Reach out and connect with loved ones.