ACEs Aware Series

Investing in our Children / Invirtiendo en Nuestros Niños

Triple P

Positive Parenting During a Pandemic

Parenting is hard during “typical” times, and even harder during tough times like the current coronavirus pandemic. Working remotely, worrying about losing a job or business, supporting and supervising children’s distance learning, maintaining physical distance from friends and loved ones, worrying about the health of your family…the stress adds up and can become overwhelming. In times like this, Triple P’s 5 Principles of Positive Parenting are a reassuring reminder that we don’t have to have it all figured out. We’re learning and adapting and doing the best we can under these difficult circumstances. Watch as Dr. Heather Thomsen, a mother of three boys and a Triple P practitioner, describes the five principles and how they are brought to life in her family as they shelter in place.



Positive Parenting: It Works!

Watch our video, produced by Triple P International, to see how the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is helping thousands of Santa Cruz County's families raise happy, healthy children.




What is the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program?

Parenting is very rewarding and enjoyable, and it can also be challenging and exhausting. There is no one right way to be a parent – it is up to you to decide what values, skills and behaviors you want to teach your child.


The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is a world-renowned program available to families in Santa Cruz County who have children ages birth to 16, including children with special needs. Backed by more than 30 years of international research, Triple P provides families with a tool kit of proven strategies for strengthening relationships with their children, promoting children’s development, and preventing or managing common parenting challenges – tantrums, sibling rivalry, homework, bullying, bedtime, communicating with teens, and more. 


Parents and caregivers can get as little or as much parenting support as they'd like from trained Triple P practitioners in a number of organizations throughout the county.  Triple P services are available in English and Spanish for Santa Cruz County families with children birth-12 (Core Triple P), families with teens (Teen Triple P), and families with children with special needs (Stepping Stones Triple P).Options include:

  • Triple P Seminars - A series of three classes that provide an introduction to Triple P positive parenting strategies. 
  • Triple P Workshops - One-time classes on specific parenting topics such as Preventing Tantrums, Encouraging Your Child's Self-Esteem, Helping With Homework, Encouraging Teens to Cooperate, Teaching Communication Skills to Children With Special Needs, and more.
  • Brief Individual Sessions - Quick tips and coaching from a trained Triple P practitioner in 1-4 brief one-on-one sessions.
  • In-Depth Individual Sessions - In-depth parent education and coaching from a trained Triple P practitioner in 10+ one-on-one sessions.
  • Triple P Groups  - 8- or 9-week classes that teach all of the Triple P positive parenting strategies and provide opportunities for coaching and practice.  
  • Specialized Parenting Support - Additional help for other family issues that affect parenting (coping skills, co-parenting, communication between parenting partners, anger management, making healthy lifestyle changes as a family)



 View the schedule of upcoming Triple P classes 



Find a Triple P Practitioner



A series of locally-produced Triple P Parenting Pocket Guides also provide positive parenting tips for families with children from birth – 12 years old, families with teens, and families with children who have special needs.


To request Triple P Parenting Pocket Guides or get help finding a Triple P class or practitioner, contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at (831) 465-2217 or  

What Triple P Teaches

The Triple P program is built on five principles of positive parenting:

  1. Ensuring a safe, interesting environment
  2. Creating a positive learning environment
  3. Using assertive discipline
  4. Having realistic expectations
  5. Taking care of yourself as a parent


Triple P offers parenting information and tips in four main areas:

  1. Developing positive relationships
  2. Encouraging desirable behavior
  3. Teaching children new behaviors and skills
  4. Managing misbehavior


Whether you want a quick tip on how to handle a specific issue, some ideas on how to promote your child's development, or help with more complex family issues, a trained practitioner can tailor Triple P to suit your needs.


Triple P - Positive Parenting Program: Strengthening Families in Santa Cruz County, 5-Year Report (2010 - 2015)

This report highlights the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program's effectiveness in strengthening communication and relationships among families in Santa Cruz County by teaching practical, scientifically-proven parenting strategies.

Download the Executive Summary | Download the full report


Triple P Santa Cruz County in the News

Santa Cruz Sentinel - "January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month"

Santa Cruz Sentinel - "Positive Parenting Program report released; founder says Santa Cruz County is a leading example"

Register-Pajaronian - "Praise for parenting program - Triple P celebrates 5 years"

My Scotts Valley - "Five-year report shows Triple P's effectiveness in bettering lives of local children"

Univision Noticias - VIDEO: "Programa 'Triple P' para padres en condado de Santa Cruz"


Additional Features:   


This program is made possible through a partnership between
First 5 Santa Cruz County,
Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (MHSA-Prop. 63) &
Santa Cruz County Human Services Department.