Programs for parents are offered in order to prepare and guide parents through their sometimes difficult parenting journey. Parenting programs range across all aspects of parenting; from pre-pregnancy and pre and post natal, infancy and childhood right through to teenage young adult.
These programs aim to equip parents with information and practical strategies, as well as provide access to a network and positive community of other parents and parenting experts to help guide and mentor you.
What are programs for parents?
The programs for parents are designed around the concept of how you cope with the physical and psychological development of children. They can inform you of different parenting styles and how to effectively communicate with your kids. Parents will learn about child psychology and ways to deal with changes in emotions and feelings.
Parents learn many new things that allow them to control negative behavior, and encourage positive behavior at both school and home. Overall, it allows parents to learn tips and lessons on how to raise healthy, happy, and strong kids.
Parenting classes can provide you with great resources and strategies, passed down from experienced parents and experts. These help you to develop better skills and evolve as a parent. There are a variety of topics parents discuss in parenting classes, which depend on the topic or level of the program, which might include things like;
- How to provide positive guidance to your children
- Basic parenting care skills (such as how to change a nappy, bathe your child or sterilize a bottle)
- Tips to engage and ask questions while raising kids.
- How to maintain a safe environment for children
- How to manage work-life balance, as well as help manage school-life balance for your child.
- Basics of puberty and dealing with when your kids start dating
- Lessons of managing crisis and emergencies such as prioritization and first aid.
You will get the opportunity to find parents in similar situations, who will therefore share similar dilemmas to you – this is a great opportunity to befriend them, so you can all work together to raise great children.
Why undertake parenting programs?
You might be wondering why you might ever want to enroll in such classes.
It is uncommon for people to just dive into something new and ‘wing it’ without any form of preparation in advance and just ‘see what happens’. We will usually seek out ways to learn, prepare, take advice, and find strategies to give our best performance. This is especially true in aviation! So if we don’t usually take the risk without proper preparation, then why do we feel hesitant to enroll in programs for parents?
A common misconception is that fathers and mothers know what to do naturally. Whilst natural instinct and intuition is strong, it is a myth that everything will just ‘fall into place’ once a child is born.
We only have to love our child and nothing bad will happen. However, the decisions we make for our children are not always intuitive. That is why attending programs for parents will allow parents to learn how to give their kids the best start to their lives.
Here we have some key benefits you can get by attending programs for parents.
Improve the competency and empowerment of parents
It will improve the competency, self-esteem, and self-efficacy of parents. Parental satisfaction rate will increase which will lead to many positive changes in the attitude of parents.
Develop good behavioral ethics in children
Children will show improvement in prosocial behavior.
It happens because parents understand child psychology and plan accordingly.
Parent-child interaction increases
These programs will help improve communication between kids and parents. Besides that, it will lead to overall better understanding.
Better mental health
Parents will experience an improvement in mental health because stress, anger, depression, guilt, and other negative emotions will decrease.
Punishment and risk of child abuse decrease
The programs will change the mindset of parents regarding the expectations of children. Thus, they will learn about alternatives to punishments. It discourages the use of corporal punishments.
Types of parenting classes
Depending on your situation you can select from the following types of parenting classes;
- Aspiring parents (pre-pregnancy)
- Soon to be parents (pregnancy)
- Baby care and beginners.
- Infant development parenting classes
- Child development classes
- Parenting Teenagers classes
- Specific requirement or ordered intervention programs for parents.
Best practices of programs for parents
Some of the best practices and strategies applied in parenting programs are;
- Active engagement of parents.
- Teach cultural adoptions.
- Frequent sessions over several months.
- Skilled educators are available.
- Promote family routine.
- Reach out to parents.
Understanding child psychology
As a parent, one of the first things we are told to focus on while parenting is praises, disciplines, and ethics. However, what we often ignore is child psychology. Thus, we often select the parenting strategy that meets our needs but not the individual demands of our child. This is where potential issues can begin.
We need to focus on how well our parenting style matches with the psychology and personality of our child. As it will have a huge impact on how well-adjusted the kids will become in the future. Besides that, by selecting a parenting strategy that meets the personality of your child you can reduce the chances of anxiety or depression in your child.
Conversely, if parents select a parenting method that does not match the personality of their kid it will can increase chances of developing mental health problems. Naturally, parents should give their best to understand their child’s psychology, and adjust their parenting style accordingly.
However, it is not always easy to figure out. Thus, taking parenting classes can help you understand the special needs of your children of different ages. Moreover, being a part of a class at a parent center can help you select the best parenting style.
Where can I find a parent center?
Finding a parent center where you can get parenting classes is very easy. You can search for such centers at the following locations.
Many hospitals and organizations are providing free parenting classes. Moreover, it is special organized for people who can benefit from guidance and instructions. Besides that, you can get the information from your family doctor, obstetrician, or pediatrician about the location of classes.
Social service agencies
Such agencies are the best source to enroll in programs for parents. Here you can get information about the parent center and classes you are looking for. Moreover, agencies organize classes for the local community at a public building.
Community newspaper listing
Search in the listing of a community newspaper for nonprofit services that are available for the general public. As well as, you can attend these classes alone or with your partner, group courses are also available.
Tips to find good programs for parents
There are many parenting classes available due to which selection of the best one is imperative. Here are a few options you need to look out for.
- Take demo classes to know if the environment is interactive and comfortable. Focus on a class where engagement is a priority because it will make learning easier.
- Assure that you ask for the credential of your trainer or instructor. Moreover, know that they have adequate parenting qualifications and enough experience – such as being a parent themselves!
- Read the program curriculum to find the specific class where might find the solution to specific parental issues you are dealing with. Moreover, only proceed when you know you and your family will benefit from the program
Parent centers and classes are not only for inexperienced or young parents. These are ways for everyone to become better at parenting. Ways to research becoming a better parent include reading blogs and books, but they can’t match the practical knowledge, support and guidance you can get at parenting classes.
Therefore it is a great idea to spend a few evenings with some other parents and experts at a parenting class. Besides the experience and knowledge you will gain when it comes to parenting, it is a great way to be social and interact with like minded people, make new friends and expand your mentorship circle.