In the past, it was unthinkable for most parents to take parenting classes. Back then, it was the firm belief that parenting cannot be taught within the four walls of a classroom. Loving and nurturing a child is an instinct that all humans possess, so parenting is something that is already deeply ingrained.
However, life and family values were simpler back then. In our current tumultuous age, the family unit is under assault from an environment that is rife with violence and questionable morality. Even children are changing because of what they see on TV and on the Internet. Also, problems which did not exist in the past – bullying on an unprecedented violent scale, drug abuse, and domestic abuse – are now an almost daily occurrence. Because of these and other factors, parents want to be well-equipped when it comes to caring for their children. What better way to get the knowledge on how to be a good parent than through parenting classes.
Previously, parenting classes were merely prenatal classes to prepare the mother – as well as her husband – for the time when she is about to give birth. Now, parenting classes are not just limited to first-time parents. There are parenting classes that cover basic skills, such as breastfeeding, feeding, infant/child nutrition, parenting styles, caring for children with special needs, and help in raising teens. There are also specialized classes for special case families, such as parents with anger management issues, problems with bullying (both physical and cyberbullying), alcoholism and substance abuse, domestic violence, rape, and dealing with children with gender issues.
Whatever type of parenting class you choose, there are many benefits that you can derive from them. One of these benefits is being taught about the various parenting styles. Sometimes, parents can be too strict or too lax when it comes to taking raising their kids. While experts say that it is best to strike a balance between the two, this is easier said than done. Parenting classes will teach you how to take the positive points from each of these styles and adapt them to the particular personality quirks of each child.
Another benefit of parenting classes is that it will address issues pertaining to the health and well being of the child. These would include good nutrition, exercise, introducing a healthy lifestyle to the child at a young age, immunization, and other health issues.
As was mentioned earlier, there are parenting classes that will address special needs. A spouse and a child who have been victims of abuse can find support in such classes. On the other hand, the abusive parent can be taught the necessary techniques to control his/her anger. Parenting classes are invaluable to couples who are planning to adopt a child. It is equally important to a man or woman who will soon become stepparents.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of parenting classes is that it helps to instill confidence within the parent. After attending such classes, they feel that they are more capable of dealing with the many challenges that come with parenthood. Parenting classes are also a great way to meet other parents, so that you will get the benefit of their years of experience and expertise in raising their kids.