Parenting using the Triple P method

The Triple P method can provide parents with good support in raising children. The three P’s stand for Positive, Pedagogical Program. The method was developed by psychologist Matthew Sanders and originally comes from Australia. It is a pedagogical program that aims to help parents with the upbringing and development of the child. It is based on 5 basic principles in which positive thinking and providing a clear structure play an important role.

  • Basic principles of the Triple P method
  • Raising children according to five basic principles
  • Five levels of support and advice in parenting
  • Separate programs for parents
  • Research results from Triple P


Basic principles of the Triple P method

The Triple P method is accessible and mainly aims to prevent emotional and behavioral problems in children. And that is what every parent wants. Parents sometimes feel insecure and would like to learn skills. Patient, consistent and available are concepts that play a role in this methodology. If the parents have better skills, it is easier for them to act consistently. Help can be provided in various areas, such as preventing a child from being bullied. People sometimes see the first signs but do not know how to offer help to the child. There may also be problems falling asleep. Behavioral changes during puberty with the onset of drug use. These are things that many parents could use some help with. The objective is therefore:

  • Master a positive parenting style and build positive contact with the child
  • Learn to deal better with the child’s difficult behavior and promote good behavior
  • Children learn new things
  • Ensure that children listen better
  • Using measures that really work and where people think positively rather than negatively
  • Better communications in daily interactions with each other and thus enjoy parenting.


Raising children according to five basic principles

The five basic principles used in this method of raising children are:

  • Children play in a safe environment
  • Learning through positive support
  • Applying appealing discipline
  • Have realistic expectations
  • As a parent, take good care of yourself.


Children play in a safe environment

If the environment is safe, we offer the child plenty of space to discover the world around them. Parents can offer the child interesting activities so that it can develop optimally. A child will not quickly become bored and will not ask for attention in a negative way. Parents therefore do not have to forbid as much.

Learning through positive support

Everyone would like to receive a compliment regularly. It is the same with children. Compliments and encouragement positively stimulate the child’s behavior. The child will develop better. It teaches you to use the talents available.

Applying appealing discipline

Clarity and predictability offer peace to the child. If there are fixed rules, then people know exactly what to adhere to. If the child breaks the rules, it is necessary to respond quickly and, above all, clearly.

Have realistic expectations of the child

We cannot expect a child to always do everything right. Every child is unique and has its own pace of development. We must respect this and not expect more from the child than what it is ready for at a given time. We all make mistakes and so do children.

As a parent, take good care of yourself

Enough rest and relaxation are vital for parents. Parenting can require a lot of energy and it is therefore important that parents also take enough time for themselves. Practicing a sport or hobby is necessary for parents to be able to fully commit themselves again.

Five levels of support and advice in parenting

The Triple P program has five levels of support:

  • Prevention and guidance model
  • Information and lectures
  • Advice
  • Support and course
  • Family support


Prevention and guidance model for parents

The aim is to inform parents about the existence of Triple P. Tips and information about education and child development. The GGD and child health clinic can play a role in this.

Information and lectures

Parents can go here with specific questions. Individual advice is also possible. This can be done verbally in a conversation, but telephone assistance is also possible. If you have many questions about the same subject, a lecture can be provided. Information is provided by, among others, JGZ employees, but also employees of a playgroup. The GP can also play a role in this.


Parents who would like advice because they identify emerging parenting problems can receive specific advice. This can be a short individual consultation or group meeting. The meetings will include, among other things : provided by school social work or pedagogue.

Support and course

This support is mainly intended for parents with children who exhibit serious behavioral problems. They ask for training in parenting skills. A specialized family caregiver who works in the daily home situation can provide help with this.

Family support

This is intended for families who have multiple behavioral problems. There is often depression or problems in the relationship. Level 5 will only be used if the previous levels did not achieve sufficient results. Is carried out by indicated youth care. It often consists of several individual sessions. It is an intensively focused family program.

Separate programs for parents

In addition, there are separate programs for:

  • Parents of teenagers
  • Parents of children with developmental disabilities
  • Parents who struggle to handle their own anger
  • As parents
  • Parents of overweight children
  • Parents separating or newly formed families.

Despite the different target groups, all interventions are based on the same pedagogical vision and theoretical basis. This makes it possible for levels to connect. No more and no fewer costs are incurred than is strictly necessary.

Research results from Triple P

The Triple P program was developed in Australia but is now used in many different countries. Including in Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, the United States and Canada. The structured and targeted approach is also starting to bear fruit in the Netherlands. The methodology was introduced in the Netherlands by the Trimbosch Institute and the Netherlands Youth Institute. There was close collaboration with Radboud University in Nijmegen and with Triple P international in Australia. There are currently several municipalities in the Netherlands that provide assistance according to the Triple P method. The fact that the assistance is based on the same pedagogical vision and has the same theoretical basis means that the method is used in the same way everywhere.

The first results, which consisted of a study into the effects and an evaluation of the process, have shown that the method provides guidance to professionals and leads to better mutual cooperation. Especially in levels 3, 4 and 5, children showed clear improvements in their behavior. The behavior of the parents towards the children has also improved. Parental satisfaction has increased.

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