Last Updated on June 16, 2020
Parenting classes help parents from all walks of life feel more confident in their parenting ability and equip them with the tools, skills, and strategies for success.
Not only are they a great place to learn and grow, but they also help parents connect with others going through similar trials and tribulations.
There are many different types of online parenting classes available, this includes parenting skills classes, designed to help parents learn how to raise children from infancy to teens, as well as those classes made to help with common issues.
This includes divorce and co-parenting classes, as well as high-conflict and anger resolution classes.
What is a Parenting Class?
At times, parenting is a tough job. It encompasses a wide range of different skills from caring for a newborn baby, to potty training and discipline. When you start to think about it, the list seems almost endless.
Naturally, all proactive parents want to feel like they are doing a good job of raising their children, so many opt to attend a parenting class. These classes provide parents with the opportunity to raise concerns, learn about new strategies as well as how to effectively incorporate them into their daily parenting.
In some cases, parenting classes can be mandated by the court, for example, in cases of divorce, where co-parenting classes may be deemed appropriate by the Judge. In addition, many parents opt to attend parenting classes designed to address a particular concern or developmental milestone, such as potty training, or dealing with tantrums.
Types of Online Parenting Classes
The type of parenting class taken is often dependant on the age of your child, the specific issues that need to be addressed and in some cases may be court ordered.
Many parents-to-be have natural anxieties about a whole range of big unknowns. This commonly includes questions about childbirth, such as labor and delivery. For these reasons, during the 9 months up to the arrival of their baby, many moms and dads decide to attend birthing classes.
Birthing classes, such as the Mama Natural Birth Course often address all the major questions including pain management strategies, birthing positions, potential complications, such as cesarean section.
The classes often help to answer a wide range of other questions moms and dads might have, including the stages of labor, timing contractions and how to know you are in labor.
Key Topics Covered in childbirth/birthing classes:
- Contractions are discussed in some detail
- How to determine you are in labor when the time comes
- What you can expect during delivery
- Postpartum period and first few months
- Pain management options
Once parents arrive home from the hospital, the real parenting begins. From diaper changing to sleep training, there is a lot to learn during the many months and years of infancy. As a result, many parents choose to attend parenting classes to help them accelerate their learning.
Parenting skills classes also often help parents gain access to genuinely helpful tools and strategies that will benefit themselves and their children in the long term.
This includes learning about developmental milestones, how to deal with common bedtime issues such as night terrors and socialization tactics.
Key Topics Covered in Classes for New Parents:
- Sleep Training
- Developmental Stages & Milestones
- Breastfeeding and Weaning
- Potty Training
Parenting Skills & Child Development Classes
Beyond infancy, children go through many different developmental milestones, stages of learning and often face many stumbling blocks along the way. From toddler to teen years, children of all ages can greatly benefit from a positive and mindful approach to parenting.
Parenting skills classes, such as the Postive Parenting Solutions course equip parents with evidence-based parenting strategies that can help them develop strong character traits in their children and foster a positive home environment.
Learning about positive approaches to discipline, as well as health and wellbeing can also help achieve very positive results.
Key Topics Covered in Parenting Skills & Child Development Classes:
- Self-Esteem and Socialization
- Discipline Strategies
- Family Feuds
- Money Management and Children
Parenting Classes for Specific Groups
There is a range of other parenting classes that have been made to address and help parents with specific needs. In some cases, these classes are court ordered, but in others, they may be voluntarily or recommended by healthcare professionals such as pediatricians.
Online Co-Parenting Classes
Divorce can be a difficult time for the entire family, but particularly difficult when there are children involved. A marriage or relationship that has broken down often results in issues relating to child custody, visitation, child support, and paternity.
These common issues and the changing dynamic of the family structure and routine can also be difficult for children to cope with. Often it can lead to short and long term emotional issues and have a big impact on educational attainment and future career success.
As a result, a co-parenting class can help address many of these common concerns and help children successfully transition during your divorce or separation. It’s also a great way to ensure your children’s well-being is prioritized through this difficult period.
There’s also communication software too, specially designed for co-parenting and families going through a divorce. One popular example is called Our Family Wizard – this is essentially a scheduling tool that parents can use to share information and maintain excellent communication, even when the relationship is frayed.
Parenting Style Classes
Parenting styles refer to the types of strategies you employ to raise your children. It was originally proposed by the psychologist Diane Baumrind in the 1960s and has been in popular use ever since. The Baumring categorization of parenting styles includes the following:
- Authoritarian or Disciplinarian
- Permissive or Indulgent
- Uninvolved Parenting Style
- Authoritative Parenting
Being aware of your parenting style is widely recommended as a means of understanding the impact of your current parenting strategies and seen as a positive way to make changes.
Positive parenting programs are especially popular as the effectiveness of the techniques are so widely reported. This a parenting style that focuses on teaching discipline strategies that build your child’s self-esteem, while at the same time correcting their misbehavior.
Positive parenting moves away from punitive measures such as spanking and instead embraces the underlying reasons for misbehavior. Parenting techniques adopted by this method include embracing natural consequences, as well as providing clear expectations and warnings.
Court Ordered Parenting Classes
As previously mentioned sometimes the court orders parenting classes to be completed. This can be for various different reasons, including divorce, separation, neglect, and abuse.
Often the court requires a certificate of completion in order to prove that the course has been completed successfully. Therefore, before signing up, always ensure the parenting class is recognized by the court and that a certificate will be provided upon completion.
Adoption & Fostering Classes
Often courts mandate parenting classes for families that are adopting or fostering children into their families. Such courses help the parents and caregivers address common concerns and how to deal with potential stumbling blocks along the way.
This includes helping children deal with loss, grief, and survival behavior, as well as more practical lessons such as diaper changing, discipline, diet, and nutrition.
Benefits of Parenting Classes
- Fix Parenting Problems – There is no such thing as a perfect parent and from time to time we all need a little help. A parenting class enables us to better recognize where we may be going wrong and change things by adopting more effective techniques and strategies.
- Share your experiences – Parenting classes allow you to share your struggles with other parents, caregivers, or grandparents. This is a great way to get support from other like-minded individuals.
- Effective Discipline – Are you struggling with your child’s bad behavior? This is a common issue experienced by parents with children of all ages. Parenting classes provide you with the right tools and discipline techniques to improve your child’s behavior for the better.
- Help in Times of Need – Divorce, and separation can be tough on children, with emotions such as guilt, anger, and resentment often coming to ahead. Co-parenting courses can help you ensure the focus on your child is maintained through this very challenging period of time.
Where Should You Attend a Parenting Class?
Parenting classes and programs can be attended in a wide range of different settings. They are commonly run at preschools, hospitals, social service facilities and a number of classes are now also run online too.
Often parenting classes are court ordered, in which case you will need to verify that the program or course is recognized by your state’s justice department prior to signing up. Healthcare professionals, ob-gyn and pediatricians also often recommend local parenting classes too.
Ideally, when considering a parenting class or course to attend, you will want to do some research into the type of strategies they employ. And it’s recommended that the courses methodology should be based on solid evidence and studies.
The cost of parenting classes can vary tremendously, so take your time before you commit to anything. Many parents prefer online parenting classes since they offer flexibility and the ability to complete the class from the comfort of your own home.
Online programs are also ideal for co-parenting situations. That way both parents can complete it without ever having to meet or attend together, which is probably quite welcome in conflict-prone relationships.