Parenting program provides free services to Ashe families

Christina Day

January 24, 2014

There may not be a definitive manual on parenting, but there is support for people raising children who would like to have a better parenting experience.

Positive Parenting Program, Triple P, a worldwide program offering parental support, based on research and evidence, is available to interested Ashe families at no cost.

“Triple P promotes a style of parenting that is proactive, and works to develop a positive relationship between children and parents,” Lynn Robinson, a certified Triple P practitioner with Ashe Services for Aging said. “In order for discipline and good behavior to happen, both parents and children need to change their behavior.”

Appalachian Regional Health Department received federal funding to bring the program to Ashe, one of only eight counties in the state that offers the service. The Health Department contracted with the Ashe Partnership for Children (ACPC) to implement and run Triple P.

Tonya Roark, Finance Director for ACPC said that what separates Triple P from traditional parenting programs is that it works with parents to identify what is causing an issue, and then supports the parents in working through a solution.

“Parents are asked to analyze situations and take notes for several days before they even react to the child’s behavior,” Roark said. “Just so they can pinpoint what may be triggering that behavior.”

Robinson said the methodology behind Triple P is based in science, through observation, which helps parents to understand why their children act the way that they do.

Parents who enroll in the program work with a practitioner, someone who has been trained by Triple P and acts as support system and coach.

To date, Triple P has trained 20 practitioners in Ashe County, with representatives at the health department, Ashe County Department of Social Services and various childcare centers qualified to work with parents on the program.

Ashe County Middle School has a Triple P practitioner, and there are plans to train staff at the other schools in the spring.

“Every parent in the world needs support of some kind,” Robinson said. “This is a program that is flexible and allows parents to decide how much help they want and gives them the power to make the changes that they want to make.”

Robinson said that Triple P can work with parents seeking help for a range of issues, from grocery store temper tantrums to separation anxiety and beyond.

The program begin in Ashe in April 2013 and as of Jan. 1 more than 50 parents in Ashe have joined.

“More parents than not indicated that they felt supported after meeting with one of our practitioners, and child behavior improved overall,” Robinson said.

Parents have a wide range of options of involvement, from meeting with a practioner to participating in group meetings, to simply accessing information and tips online.

“It doesn’t just focus on the parent-child relationship, it also focuses on the parents themselves, making sure that they are in agreement and helping them work through those issues which may be effecting their children’s actions,” Roark said.

Parents of children 12 and under can contact Triple P at the Ashe County Partnership for Children by calling (336) 982-4588 to get more information on how the program can work for their own families.

“My kids are older,” Robinson said, “but I wish I had access to a program like this when they were younger. It really can make life easier.”

To reach Christina Day, call 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cdayinwj