Shopping with young children can often feel stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. During a recent Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) workshop, parents and caregivers explored ways to make outings easier.

A group of more than 40 parents, caregivers and children attended the free event in December at the Howard Recreation Center. The families ate dinner, and then the adults participated in the workshop while the children enjoyed fun holiday-themed activities in another room of the center.

“Our goal was to provide a stress-free event where families could have a positive time together in a safe environment,” said Mariah Kowalkowski, Children’s Trust of South Carolina Triple P community capacity coach in Georgetown. “Triple P doesn’t tell parents how to parent; it provides caregivers with resources to create and nurture positive relationships and attitudes.”

Triple P is an acclaimed evidence-based program, which has been used internationally for more than 35 years. It offers skills to manage parenting challenges while centering on healthy family relationships and child development.

Through a grant from Children’s Trust, Triple P is being offered in Georgetown County by Tidelands Health, the local coordinating agency of the program, and being put into practice by a group of community-based service delivery organizations. The Triple P initiative is supported by the Duke Endowment.

Takia Daniels, a Triple P practitioner and community health worker at Tidelands Health, led the workshop.

She guided the group through common scenarios of children acting out while shopping—from tantrums to hiding in clothing racks—and how to effectively respond to the behavior in order to finish the trip.

“It’s important to let your child know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, what they can expect and what is expected of them,” Daniels said.

Some of the strategies for hassle-free shopping include talking with the child about the trip before arriving at the store; giving the child a warning when they begin to misbehave; and if the behavior continues, placing the child in quiet time while shopping. This strategy involves guiding the child to stand or sit in the aisle for about 30 seconds. If the child remains upset, the caregiver can take them outside for time-out, and then try again when the child is calm.

Daniels said this strategy is used after the child is told what to stop doing—and what to do instead—but doesn’t follow the instructions. It is also important for the caregiver to praise the child when they do what is asked of them.

The workshop was also valuable because it helped caregivers connect and normalize the stress of outings with children, as well as the practice of accepting support, Daniels said.

Since Triple P launched in Georgetown two years ago, more than 1,000 families and 4,582 children have been served. Parents have commented in surveys from past events that the program has helped teach their children to process intense emotions and be more confident and independent.

Triple P’s five steps to positive parenting are:

  • Create a safe, interesting environment
  • Have a positive learning environment
  • Use assertive discipline
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Take care of yourself

Triple P has proven effective across cultures, socioeconomic groups and in many kinds of family structures and offers a wide array of parenting supports that range from broad to specialized.

For more information about Triple P in Georgetown, visit or call 843-520-8242.