You may have asked yourself whether you should take parenting classes. Whether you’re an expecting parent or already one, you probably know how hard parenting is. In many ways, it’s a bit of a natural marvel that so many people head into it completely unprepared and then learn by doing. Parenting is complex and difficult, and it will test you in many different ways. There are days when you might feel you’re doing it all wrong, and lots of times when you wonder what your child is actually thinking. Parenting classes can actually be a lot of help so you can be a better parent. So why should you think about it?
It boosts confidence
A parenting class can teach you different approaches to parenting and help strengthen your own techniques. Especially if you’re a new parent, you can feel pretty out of your depth. So you feel a sense of support (and camaraderie with other parents) once you attend the classes. At more difficult ages like the troubled teens, parenting classes can give you a better idea of how to deal with issues which are always going to crop up. You’ll feel much better equipped to tackle parenting in general and this will make you a much more confident, determined parent.
It keeps you in the know
Parenting isn’t really a by the book discipline. You don’t approach it by knowing a whole bunch of theories and facts, generally. But it helps to know what developments are being made with regard to child behaviour, and how you can apply that in your parenting. It gives you a whole different set of tools to work with. Especially if your child is gifted, or maybe delayed, or is on the autism spectrum or something like that, you can have a better idea of how to tackle it. Similarly, if your child has some medical or psychological issues, you’re also in a better position to manage it. Also, you might want to know about terms like ‘attachment parenting’ and ‘helicopter parenting’, and be aware that you’re doing the best you can for your child.
You meet other parents
Parenting classes are obviously only taken by parents and prospective parents. You can talk to people who are facing the exact same issues as you, and discuss ways to deal with it. You can also get a lot of ideas from this exchange, but mainly, you’ll have a support system and know that you’re not alone in dealing with the great big world of parenting. Also, as you become friends it’s quite likely that your kids might become friends as well, as often happens with close families. When you become a parent it can be harder for single friends or friends without children to relate. So at these classes you have a chance to build relationships that will last.
Children keep growing
You might feel like you’ve just got the hang of things, dealing with your misbehaving toddler. But that’s not going to last long, because your child is going to keep growing and learning, and their moods and temperaments are going to keep changing till they reach a certain stable age. You may be able to handle your child when they act out, but maybe not when they become suddenly withdrawn and refuse to speak to you. So as children go through phases of development different issues come up, and you need to be able to deal with all of these problems. Parenting classes can really help you achieve that balanced approach so that it becomes easier.
Work with your partner
When you’re parenting, you are a team. You can’t, for example, discipline your child, and then have your partner come and say it’s no big deal, and that you should all go out for a treat. You have to agree on things when you parent and you have to know how to work together. Parenting classes will help teach you to achieve a better rhythm when it comes to such things.
Ultimately, you need to be able to build a good relationship with your child. You want your child to love you, to feel supported and secure at home, and to someday really be able to appreciate what you’ve done for them. Parenting classes exist to enhance natural skills and to help you when you feel lost.