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Benefits of Parenting Classes

Renuka Savant
There was a time when a parent would scoff at the mere suggestion of taking a parenting class. Sure, parenting is an instinct, an integral part of human nature, but haven't most of the parents faced a situation that raised questions about their rearing technique? Parenting classes are here to assist you, let us learn how.
Parenting was a process that one took up naturally, without any trace of self-doubt; those good old days are virtually passé. As humans, we are blessed with a lifelong sense of nurturing, and it is this trait that sets us apart from the other species that constitute the animal kingdom.
The progress in time brought about a definitive change in our lifestyle, which also called for a change in our outlook towards parenting.
Previously, parenting was always thought of as instinct that you were born with, and you simply had to hone it along the course of life. The adage that 'parents know best' was something we always took for granted.
Preparing for parenthood was a completely alien concept, because we totally let nature decide the course of our behavior as parents-to-be. Not that it was wrong in any way, but the advent of prenatal classes changed all that.
Originally aimed at young or single mothers, prenatal classes spearheaded the change in the mindsets of many traditionalists who frowned upon the concept of training a mother to be a mother. For young parents, however, prenatal classes were a godsend. Parental classes today are no longer limited to new parents.
You have classes that help you deal with a wide spectrum of parental issues like anger management, looking after children with special needs, dealing with bullying or abuse; there are sessions that deal specifically with raising teenagers, and frankly, there isn't a parent who would refuse help when it comes to interacting with teenagers.

What do Parenting Classes Teach?

»The benefits of parenting classes are many, but the best thing about taking one is the amount of confidence it instills in you. You are better equipped to deal with different challenges that parenthood throws at you.
»There is a fine line between being authoritative and autocratic. As parents, it often appears blurred. This is one of the main reasons that cause differences. Professional advice in such cases often proves helpful.
»Besides emotional issues, you will meet counselors who will address your doubts regarding nutrition, exercise and creating a healthy environment for your children.
»Parental classes are a boon for families that include children who are victims of abuse. They have proven to be very useful with recuperation.
»Couples planning to adopt a child benefit greatly from parenting classes, since they provide practical advice about parenting, without getting too preachy. It is valuable for new parents, more so with the disappearance of the extended family structures.
»As a parent, it is a wonderful experience to be meeting other parents on a platform that works as an outlet for issues that commonly plague them all.

Why Take Parenting Classes?

To begin with, you may be skeptical about parenting class benefits, but just remember that parenting classes do not cast a shadow of doubt on your parenting skills. They simply do the job of honing them. But if you happen to be someone stuck in the age-old school of parenthood, you are sure to raise the following points.
The answers include facts that you are already aware of, but tend to believe in them only when you hear them from someone else.

"Am I a Bad Parent?"

Certainly not. On the contrary, good parents are those who accept their mistakes, and reach out for help when they find themselves falling short. They are also in touch with reality, having dispelled all illusions of being the 'perfect parent'.

"How Will Attending a Class Make It Better?"

These classes are conducted by thorough professionals, who know what they're doing. With child rearing, you can never be sure of the rights and wrongs, although there is no doubt about the parenting skills that come naturally to you. If nothing else, professional advice will introduce you to a different perspective, won't it? As a parent, you always want what's best for your children.

"My Parents Never Took Any Class; I Think I Turned Out Just Fine."

And thank heavens you did. You would perhaps, remember your parents as being too authoritative for your well-being. Your parenting skills have mostly been imbibed from those of your parents, and they are sure to be good. But with the change in the generation, it calls for a change in the line of thought as well.

"It's Just a Fad."

We all know it's not, and the ones who do are shutting themselves to the obvious. Parenting classes are there to help, and what's so bad about getting help? Prenatal classes were also a passing fancy once upon a time, but look at the scores of parents who have gained from it.
Keeping the benefits of taking a parenting class apart, as a human, you understand that parenting is not a cakewalk. You can also easily admit that any kind of help is always good. The presence of such interactive platforms is the sign of a healthy society. After all, we do know that life never gives us a second chance.
Parental classes not only guide you on how to raise happy children, they also teach you to accept your limitations as a parent and celebrate your triumphs. If you have the means to change your life for better, wouldn't you rather grab it than rue about having missed your chance?