Being a parent is one of the most challenging roles any person can play. Luckily, there are parenting classes to guide you. Since parenting holds a persistent role in even the busiest of societies, parenting classes have risen in popularity recently.
I have gone to several parenting classes near me, yet I’m still finding new ones as my kid grows.
Now, there are just too many options out there. You can even get lost easily if you don’t know what and how to choose. So, I went ahead and wrote down how I was able to choose the best parenting classes near me.
Factors to Consider in Choosing The Best Parenting Classes Near Me
Here are some factors you may consider when thinking about signing up for a parenting program near you.
Parenting classes can range from as short as thirty minutes to as long as two hours. If you’ve got a tight schedule, opt for shorter classes.
Once you attend a session, focus your attention and energy on the class. If you’re bringing up work during your sessions, then you may miss out on important tips and details. You’re enrolling in the class for your child, so you should give it your full attention.
Check if the location of your parenting class has enough parking. If you’re planning on commuting, make sure your class is accessible through several forms of public transportation.
However, if you can’t find a parenting class near your home or workplace, you can also check if other institutions have parenting services and resources offered, such as:
- community centers
- counseling clinics
- religious institutions
- social service organizations
Think about your itinerary, too. You can choose a parenting class far from your house but close to your grocery store. When I was choosing among the best parenting classes near me, I went for the class near the city center. This way, I was able to attend them before or after running errands.
3. Teacher Qualifications
While being a parent can help teachers be more relatable, it isn’t enough criteria to be a parenting coach. Credible parenting teachers should have undergone parenting coach education.
It would also be a plus if your parenting coach is active in parenting and family coaching associations. Your parenting coach can surely stay up-to-date with the latest trends in this field, being a part of such groups.
Some classes also require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to families and relationships. When I was deciding which class to attend, I tried to find teachers with a background in any of these fields:
- child development
- early childhood education
- family science
4. Class Size
If you have a smaller group, then your parenting coach will be able to focus more on each couple present. They can give more guidance and advice as well. Most parents I know also opted for the small-sized classes.
Additionally, the smaller the class size, the more chances of having genuine interactions with other parents in the classroom. These newfound friends can then serve as a support system to you as well.
The cost is also important when choosing a parenting class. These exist to guide you, so classes shouldn’t be too much of a burden on your finances.
Remember, this should only be an added expense. You still have to allot most of your budget for your children’s immediate needs.
6. Class Approach
One of the most cited elements resulting in effective parenting classes is viewing parents as partners. For a class to be effective, parenting coaches need to see parents as more than just naive students. Parents should be just as active and participative in the class.
Besides, parenting isn’t like studying a theoretical course where you can excel by checking all the right boxes. It takes years of practice and application. Luckily for me, the ones I attended were interactive. They gave me the confidence to take on parenting tasks easily.
So, consider classes with demos, trial exercises, and other interactive activities to prepare yourself to deal with the challenges of parenthood.
7. Topics Covered
Did you know parenting classes aren’t only for those expecting babies? Parenting duties don’t end once your child grows older. Taking care of children can become more challenging as time goes by because of the different developmental stages of children.
So, you should think about which type of parenting class you need to register for. Here are some services offered that you can look out for:
- soon-to-be-parents classes
- baby classes
- infant developmental classes
- toddler and early developmental stage classes
- special needs classes
- single-parent classes
Types of Parenting Classes
Parents are essential for a child’s healthy development. So, it’s only fitting that parents are at their best as they guide their kids through each developmental stage. Parenting classes are usually divided according to age range or developmental stage.
Classes Differing By Developmental Stage
1. Soon-To-Be-Parents Classes
The soon-to-be-parents classes are of course, for those who are expecting. It teaches couples or individuals everything there is to learn from pregnancy up to post-delivery.
These classes also involve education about childbirth and other specific medical procedures. When I attended this type of lesson, we talked about labor, delivery options, pain medications, and other medical procedures to expect. We also learned expectations and coping strategies to make labor a bearable process for moms and dads alike.
2. Infant Classes
Now let’s fast track as we go to infant developmental classes. These classes do more than simply teach parents how to change diapers or hold a baby. They usually cover bathing, feeding, sleeping, and soothing practices. Ages 0 to 2 are also among the most crucial developmental stages for your kids.
3. Toddler and Early Developmental Stage Classes
If you’re preparing to get through the overwhelming threes and fours, then go to developmental classes. These classes guide parents through potty training and tantrum management. Developmental classes also help parents and caregivers physically and mentally endure these crucial years of development.
4. Classes for Parents of Teens and Preteens
If you’re having a hard time connecting with your teenagers, then you should get parent education such issues. You can also read up online for more information on how to improve your relationship with your teenager. Check out our article on the matter here!
Classes Differing By Type of Parents
Aside from varying according to age range, I’ve also noticed how the programs differ per type of parent.
One type of parenting class is designed specifically for single parents. These classes help the adults improve their parenting skills and support and empower them.
Aside from single parenting classes, there are also classes for a specific parent. So, if you want a moms-only or dads-only type of class, you can surely register for one.
There are also parenting classes for those going through a divorce. Co-parenting can be a difficult thing to do, especially if there’s bad blood between ex-spouses. To ensure children get high-quality care from divorced parents, courts usually require parents to attend co-parenting classes.
Parenting Classes Near Me: The Good and the Bad
Now, before you choose the best parenting class near you, make sure you’re aware of all the benefits and harms of parenting classes.
Here are the pros and cons I found:
The Good Things About Parenting Classes
1. Parenting classes promote healthy parenting styles.
Nowadays, more parents have become active in replacing the disciplinary measures they have experienced. In parenting classes, you can learn about family routines, positive language, and healthy disciplinary measures. You also get tips on active parenting and collect good parenting resources.
2. You renew your confidence in parenting.
The parenting classes near me taught me a lot of things. So, instead of second-guessing my actions, I was able to do parenting tasks as if they were already part of my routine.
A study has shown how parenting confidence can lead to more positive parenting outcomes. Confident parents were also shown to follow healthy parenting practices.
3. You gain an additional support system.
You can gain support from your family, friends, and online communities like Preggy to Mommy. However, they may not be on the same page and phase as you are. Luckily, in parenting classes, you’ll meet fellow parents who are also facing roughly the same life experiences.
These relationships can become your new support system as you go through the wild ride of parenting. This support system is also essential, especially for single parents or parents of children with special needs.
The Bad Things About Parenting Classes
1. Parenting is not one-size-fits-all.
Experts can analyze situations and give you sound advice. But in the end, parents may differ in execution and children may differ in reaction. So, what works for some parents may not work for you. Therefore, you need to manage your expectations.
2. Only you know what’s best for your child.
Most parents and caregivers, especially moms, have parental instincts that keep their children safe. Sometimes, even experts can be wrong about a situation, especially since every parenting situation is different. If your parenting class’s teachings do not agree with your gut instincts, you may find yourself stuck.
In my experience, even the best parenting classes near me could not prepare me for the most urgent decision-making moments.
3. Nothing beats experience as a teacher.
For some, parenting classes may take away the joys of learning how to be a parent. So, take your classes’ lessons as a rough guide, not as the rule. Parenting classes near me taught me many things, but I was always the one who called the shots.
4. Parenting classes can be costly.
These classes can surely be helpful, but they don’t always bring the best value for your time and money. Some classes even teach other topics you can learn from reading books, watching online videos, or listening to podcasts. Luckily, there are lots of online websites, like Preggy to Mommy, which you can also browse during your free time.
Parenting is and will never be easy. But it’s a role that’s worth fulfilling. So, if you need help, allow yourself to seek help from experts.
It wasn’t an easy feat choosing the best parenting classes near me. It may also be challenging for you. But hopefully, with my rough guide, you can finally find a suitable option for yourself. Just make sure your chosen parenting class fits your needs, budget, schedule, and location. With the right parenting classes and a positive and loving mindset, you can nurture your children the best way possible.
If you have any more questions or have any topics to suggest to me and the Preggy to Mommy community, leave us a message. We’d love to hear about new parenting tips and hacks, too. So, feel free to contact us!
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