Self care isn't selfish: Triple P's Family Week message
The Sector > Provider > General News > Self care isn’t selfish – it’s the key to resilient families: National Families Week message

Self care isn’t selfish – it’s the key to resilient families: National Families Week message

by Freya Lucas

May 17, 2023

During National Families Week (15-21 May), Triple P – Positive Parenting Program has one simple message: self care isn’t selfish, it’s the key to creating environments that support children’s wellbeing and resilience. 


“For many parents and carers, fitting self-care into their life is an ongoing challenge,” said Triple P International Country Director Carol Markie-Dadds, drawing on a 2022 survey of Australian parents that found 60 per cent of parents don’t routinely do anything to relax and recharge, two in five feel that tiredness impacts their ability to be the kind of parent they want to be, and nearly half of all parents think that there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done.


Her tips for centering and selfcare are also applicable to educators working in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) context, where finding time to regroup and carry out practices which rebuild wellbeing can be difficult.


“Putting your own needs first can be difficult, but taking even a moment to invest in your wellbeing can make a huge difference,” she said.


When caring adults feel calmer and more centred, they can respond more positively to all those challenging moments. Children learn a lot by what they see from the adults around them, so it has a positive ripple effect on everyone, Ms Markie-Dadds said.


Strategies for self care


Triple P suggests the following strategies for parents, educators and other caring adults. 


Tap into your physical self. You don’t have to eat perfectly or exercise daily to keep your body healthy. You can make small changes that feel good for you and fit into your schedule, like a gentle morning stretch, having an uninterrupted shower or a quiet cuppa.


Nurture your emotional and mental needs. In today’s stressful world, it’s more critical than ever. Doing small things like going for a walk, talking to a friend, learning something new, and sleeping and eating well can all help your mental health outlook. In addition, it’s important to try to be kind to yourself, especially when you make mistakes. This is a vital aspect of self-care that is often overlooked, particularly by parents and carers who can be overly critical of their parenting skills.


Embrace your social side. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to look after yourself socially, but spending small chunks of time with people who boost your confidence and help you feel good is a great way to ‘fill your cup’. It could be a coffee with a friend, visiting a neighbour or attending an event.


According to Triple P, even the smallest act can add up to form a new, helpful pattern which can have a lasting, positive impact on the entire family.


“National Families Week is an excellent reminder that parents and carers can juggle a lot. When it comes to feeling confident and parenting in a more calm and consistent way, self-care isn’t selfish it’s essential,” said Ms Markie-Dadds.


Delivery of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program to parents and carers of children in Australia is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the Parenting Education and Support Program. 


Parents and carers can access free, easy-to-use, online parenting support 24/7 at

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