Parenting is a full-time job, and with most full-time jobs, you get some kind of training. However, there are no required training classes for being a parent. From time to time, parents may choose to attend classes or programs that help them learn parenting skills. There are many places that offer classes that assist parents, some of them often for little or no cost.
If you are interested in taking a parenting class, here are some people or places to look to for information on what may be available.
- Your Ob/Gyn. If you are pregnant with your first child, you may be apprehensive about your parenting skills. Your Ob/Gyn will be able to recommend parenting classes for new parents. These classes can teach everything from diapering skills to methods of relaxation for yourself when the baby won't stop crying.
Your Pediatrician. Once your child is a little older, you may need a class on positive discipline methods or proper toddler nutrition. A pediatrician should be able to point you in the direction of these types of programs.
Adult Community Education Programs. Many communities offer adult education courses in the evening hours, often held at local high schools. In addition to classes on art and computer skills, sometimes they offer parenting classes. They also usually offer first aid and CPR classes which all parents should consider taking.
Community Health Centers. These centers are usually very family-focused and offer seminars, classes and programs for parents. The classes range from new parenting skills to understanding teenagers.
Wellness Centers. Wellness centers focus on preventative health measures and keeping the entire mind and body well. These centers often offer classes for parents on child nutrition and exercise.
Parent Support Groups. Parent support groups are a great place to learn all types of things about being a parent. They often also have information about classes and programs that are being held elsewhere. One nationwide support group for young mothers is MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). The group offers regular meetings where moms can get together and learn from each other and from special speakers who speak on parenting topics.
Places of Worship. Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship frequently offer classes and programs for parents of children of all ages.
Online. There are many, many classes and programs you can take online that help you learn parenting skills. The advantage of these classes is that they can be done when it is convenient for you. There is no need to find a babysitter or make sure dinner is done by a certain time so you can get to class.
Some online sites to check out are Life Matters, Positive Parenting, and Putting Kids First.