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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Parents worry about raising a new GEN-WI

    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    Parents worry about raising a new GEN-WI

    Mums and dads are more worried than they’ve ever been about raising a generation of children who often spend more than twice as much time in the digital universe as they devote to real world activities.

    Queensland Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said dealing with the challenges of screen time was one of many areas to be addressed through a new State Government parenting support program which officially began today.

    For the next two years, parents across the state will have free access to group and individual parenting support through The University of Queensland’s acclaimed Triple P – Positive Parenting Program.

    “We know parenting is hard work and we are committed to making sure all Queensland mums, dads, grandparents and caregivers know they are not alone in raising the next generation of Queenslanders,” Ms Fentiman said.

    Triple P founder and Director of UQ’s Parenting and Family Support Centre Professor Matt Sanders today delivered one of the first free parenting seminars available under the Government’s $6.6 million initiative to help families.

    Professor Sanders said technology continued to impact the day-to-day lives of families with new research released last month from Curtin University revealing 55% of Australian children aged 0-5 years spent up to 30 minutes a day on mobile phones during the week. The study also found more than 40 per cent whiled away the same amount of time on tablets[i].

    Other recent research from University of Western Australia revealed more than three-quarters of Australian teenagers exceeded the recommended two-hour daily dose of screen time[ii].

    “Managing screen time and working out how to set sensible boundaries will become an even hotter topic next week when school holidays start and daily routines are put on hold,” Professor Sanders said.

    “Parents tell us that they try everything from yelling to banning devices, issuing ultimatums and other discipline but it remains a constant source of conflict in many households.”

    The Government’s Triple P initiative aims to reach 140,000 Queensland mums and dads over the next two years.

    “We recognise that raising a family can be challenging and it’s important to give parents access to evidence-based help no matter what stage their child is at,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “Of course, not every parent may need help, but we want them to know support is available and it’s okay to ask for help.

    “At the seminars, parents will get tips on managing kids’ behaviour and balancing work and family priorities so they can be in the best possible position to raise happy, confident kids. Triple P also helps to lay the foundations for both adults and children to manage conflict peacefully and ensuring children learn about respectful relationships and how to treat others, in the first place they start learning - their home."

    “Triple P is a Brisbane success story with Professor Sanders creating the program 30 years ago – it has now helped millions of families across 25 countries.

    “It’s not about telling parents how to parent - it’s about offering a range of strategies based on the best research available to help parents build happy, resilient families.”

    The Queensland Government is the first in the nation to offer Triple P’sfull, multi-level parenting program to all mums and dads for free.

    “The State Government’s decision to give parents free access to evidence-based parenting support quite literally has the potential to be life-changing at an individual and community level,” Professor Sanders said.-

    Parents who missed this morning’s 10am seminar can attend another free presentation by Professor Sanders on the Power of Positive Parenting from 7pm-8:30pm at the Bronco’s League Club, 98 Fulcher Road, Red Hill.

    Another three seminars will be held this week in the Logan area. Details are:

    Thursday, September 17

    • Woodridge North State School, Arthur Street, Woodridge, 10-11.30am
    • Harris Fields State School, Smith Road, Woodridge, 7-8.30pm

    Friday, September 18

    • Tudor Park PCYC/Recreational Centre, Clarks Road, Loganholme 1-2.30pm.

    From today, parents across Queensland can register for a seminar in their local area or sign up for a free Triple P online course at www.triplep-parenting.net .

    AUSTRALIAN SCREEN TIME STATISTICS:

    • Australian boys and girls spend an average of five hours per fortnight in organised sport compared with at least 10 hours on screen-based activities[iii].
    • One quarter of children aged five and younger watch television for more than an hour a day during the week. On weekends, this increases to nearly half of 0-5-year-olds watching TV for more than an houri.
    • Forty-five per cent of eight-year-olds and up to 80 per cent of 16-year-olds exceed the recommended  two hours per day of screen timeii.

    MEDIA CONTACT:   Alex Purnell 0437 336 232

    [i]http://www.researchgate.net/publication/281202759_Mobile_touch_screen_device_use_among_young_Australian_children__first_results_from_a_national_survey

    [ii]http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/15/5

    [iii]http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/4156.0.55.001~June+2010~Main+Features~Square+Eyes+and+Couch+Potatoes,Children's+Participation+in+Screen-based+Activities?OpenDocument