Parenting programme effective in helping parents cope with difficult children

SINGAPORE - A parenting programme started here two years ago has helped parents handle their children better and lowered parenting stress.

This Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) was created in Australia and piloted here in 2014.

In an evaluation study on 535 parents, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) found that the programme reduced behavioural problems in children by up to 33 per cent, and parents felt up to 18 per cent better equipped to deal with their children.

So far 5,500 parents have taken part in the pilot.

Triple P works by teaching parents techniques to promote children's psychological, social and emotional competence. It splits the parents into five levels of intervention based on what intensity of support they need.

MSF has rolled out levels two and three here, which deal with kids with mild behavioural problems and those with mild to moderate problems respectively.

The programme was offered in 20 schools to parents with school-going children in primary three, primary four, secondary one or secondary two in 2014.

Last year, it was offered in 50 schools, and this year, the programme has been scaled up to 118 schools.

MSF intends to offer the programme in 175 schools by 2018.