Safe farms, strong families! Tips to help farm families thrive

This Farm Safety Awareness Week (18-24 July) Triple P - Positive Parenting Program experts are supporting farming families to not only address the physical and mental risks on the farm but to take active steps to support mental health and wellbeing to create a positive, strong farm family where everyone benefits.

Carol Markie-Dadds, Triple P International Country Director, said this year’s theme ‘Recipe for Averting Disaster’ is an opportunity to adopt early intervention strategies that are proven to help build happy, resilient, confident children and young people.

“The blurring of work and home, long, physically demanding hours, weather events, labour shortages, financial strain, social isolation, and succession planning, are all risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing mental health concerns and negatively impact family life. Many of our farming families are exposed regularly to these risks,” she said.

“Life on the land can leave parents stressed, anxious, unhappy or tired and questioning their parenting,” she said, “however the good news is there are some practical things you can do to get farm family life back under control and start enjoying your time together.”

Top 5 Triple P Tips for Farming Families

  1. Look after yourself: It’s important to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing. This means finding time to do things you enjoy and seeking support – practical and emotional - when you need it. Ask for help early, before problems escalate.  Call on friends and family you trust – there’s no need to face challenges alone.
  2. Balance work time and family time: Have a clear signal to let your children know when you’re working versus not working, and when you’re off the clock, make time to be with your family. Remove distractions so you can be emotionally present with your family.
  3. Tune in and guide your children: Show you care. Take an interest in your children’s activities. Talk with them about what’s expected and help them learn to do things for themselves. Children thrive when they have parents who are warm and loving, yet able to guide them and set fair limits.
  4. Spend quality time together: Find small ways, that fit in with the farm schedule, to be together often and build strong relationships with your children. This may be while doing a particular chore that becomes a special time for you and one or more of your children, or it may be separate to farm life, like reading a bedtime story.
  5. Keep your family safe from harm: Every working farm is different, but they all have hazards. Prioritise the safety of your family. For example, have safe and non-safe zones that your children know about, set rules for using equipment safely such as wearing helmets and seatbelts, and give your children age-appropriate farm work that can be carried out under adult supervision. Visit farmsafe.org.au for more tips on keeping safe on farms.

“Early intervention and prevention are key to making sure the entire family feels safe and supported this Farm Safety Week and beyond!” Ms Markie-Dadds said.  

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, online parenting support 24/7 at www.triplep-parenting.net.au

PHOTO: Carol Markie-Dadds, Triple P International Country Director


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