Parenting Classes: Pros and Cons

Parenting is a complex job and it is not uncommon for modern parents to need a little help along the way. Parenting is a huge responsibility, especially in the times we live in. And there are many different kinds of parenting classes, designed for different stages of parenting. So whether first time parents need a little help with the basics of baby care or even more seasoned parents need some advice on potty training or bullying at school, it is important for parents to seek help and advice.

What Are Parenting Classes?

Parenting classes can cover a wide range of topics, and give parents valuable advice on raising children. Topics might range from basic baby care issues such as bathing, changing and breastfeeding your baby to emergency care and first aid. Other parenting classes that focus on parents of older children may give information about what to expect in terms of development and behavior at each age. Parents can also learn a great deal about discipline and handling behavioral problems, how to raise healthy and happy children and how to balance respect and responsibility within the family unit.

But most importantly, parenting classes provide a unique opportunity for parents to interact with other parents and share ideas and concerns. Meeting other parents who might be facing similar challenges to you, is a great way to discuss ideas and approaches to parenting and make informed decisions about the approaches you want to take. Parenting classes allow parents a space to reflect about how their own parents raised them, as well as reflect on how they are bringing up their own children. And of course, let’s not forget that parenting can be stressful at the best of times, so parenting classes often offer parents skills for managing stress, anger and a route to a happy family.

How Parenting Has Changed

In the past people often lived their lives with extended family members nearby. So when a newborn baby arrived, it was not uncommon to have many people around to seek childcare and parenting advice from. This is not necessarily true nowadays, due to people frequently moving away from family units and the places where they grew up. This also means that today’s parents have a less tight support network around them to rely on. On the other hand, we may live close by to our own parents or other relatives, but find that the parenting style that we wish to apply or even that our children require is a lot different to that of another generation. So many parents decide to go it alone, rather than ask for conflicting advice, which can be a brave but challenging experience.

On the other hand, today’s children seem to be born with a different chip than previous generations. Children today face a world and a way of living that previous generations did not have to deal with and grow up a lot quicker than before. Our lifestyles are faster and more complicated than ever before, often with both parents working or contributing to the home. In addition, we teach our children since they are tiny to be independent and to have rights over their feelings, bodies and wishes. In general, we teach our children to grow respecting others and to be respected, to live with dignity and to be individuals with thoughts and opinions since a young age. For the same reason today’s children are a lot less submissive than previous generations, questioning more the world that they live in and the rules that we ask them to live by.

And however much we might wish this for our children this can pose a problem for many modern parents. We are often lacking the tools or practical skills we need to guide our children along this path, having not experienced this kind of child rearing ourselves. So although we may raise our children with good intentions, some values or discipline can get lost along the way.

Why Take Parenting Classes

First time parents can either be overwhelmed by the enormous task they face, or take everything in their stride. However it is not uncommon for modern parents to doubt their parenting skills every now and then. We may sometimes do things the way we saw them done growing up, or at times we might disagree with our own parents approach and want to do things differently.

Most parents love and cherish their children and want the best for them. But everyone faces challenges as a parent somewhere down the line. And with limited support networks and the pressures of modern life, it is not uncommon to need a little advice and guidance sometimes. Many parents can feel pressure to perform; yet don’t know how to reach their full parenting potential. Others may feel as though they and their children are constantly compared to others, with the pressure to reach parenting standards that are unclear or sometimes even, unattainable. No parenting topic or problem is unworthy of attention and parents sometimes need a little extra help.

Some skills may come naturally to many parents, such as general baby care and many might find it relatively easy to use their own criteria to get through the day to day of parenting. However some parenting skills such as reflective listening or positive discipline do need to be learned and can be great tools for understanding and dealing with our children. Among all the hustle bustle of every day, it may be difficult to implement good communication, consistency and empathy in our parenting approach, no matter how much we love our children. And parenting classes offer options on how to deal with family matters in a respectful but authoritative manner.

Finding a Parenting Class

At the end of the day the parenting experience can be a very varied one, so finding the right class for you, as a parent is very important. Whether you are looking for a Lamaze or water birthing class, to a course that covers a broad spectrum of parenting issues, you want to make sure that it fits to your values and parenting style. And commitment to a parenting class is also important. You must consider that taking parenting classes does take time from a busy schedule and that it is important both parents commit to the course. After all parenting should be done as a team; it is not the job of one party but of both.

Comments 5
  1. Hi Elizabeth, I found your article helpful as a group of my kids are doing persuasive essays in class for summer school. I would like your permission to print the article for my class. I only have 12 students and only one group is working on this topic. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. It gave me help at class. Thank you. This topic is hard to find articles… +I am not American or other countries who uses English, so forgive me at grammer mistakes!

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