As parents, we all want what is best for our children. We want them to grow physically, mentally, and socially healthy. We want to protect them as much as we can from behavioral problems. We also want to avoid being the “exhausted and burnt-out parent” to be more effective parents. But sometimes, we feel clueless, confused, lost, and overwhelmed. We feel the need for guidance and support when it comes to parenting. This is probably the reason why you are reading this post.
Let us learn more about parenting programs. Here are five things you need to know.
- 1. What are parenting programs
- 2. What are the benefits of parenting programs
- 3. What are examples of parenting programs
- 4. How to avail of parenting programs
- 5. Are parenting programs worth it?
1. What are parenting programs
You may have heard of different parenting programs from the government, as well as private institutions. These programs, workshops, and classes are meant to educate and support parents on their parenting journey in the many different aspects of their children’s growth.
What are the goals of parenting programs?
Among others, parenting programs aim to:
- support and assist parents in developing practices, behavior, and skills that are needed to promote the total wellbeing of children;
- improve parent-children relationships;
- help lessen behavior problems in children;
- strengthen parenting skills that will help raise healthy and happy children; and
- provide various resources and community support to parents.
What are the areas covered in parenting programs?
Parenting is an extensive issue. Program topics may range from age-based concerns to other areas such as education, discipline, and more. The following are examples of parenting program topics:
- Child development (developmental milestones according to age);
- Discipline techniques;
- Dealing with challenging behavior;
- Positive interaction with children, including play;
- Values formation; and
- Access to community support resources
2. What are the benefits of parenting programs
Parenting programs can teach us important lessons to raise our children. It can provide us with valuable resources that will enhance our parenting skills and capabilities. More than that, Wilder Research outlines the following benefits of parental education programs:
- Improved parental competence, self-esteem, and sense of satisfaction;
- Enhanced positive parenting practices, including positive language, family routines, and discipline;
- Social connections and emotional support to and among parents;
- Improved mental health and well-being of parents;
- Development of positive child behavior (kindness, empathy, etc.) and decreased negative behavior (aggression, anger, guilt, etc.); and
- Lesser risk of child maltreatment, as well as corporal and physical punishment.
3. What are examples of parenting programs
There are so many government-initiated parenting programs and private parenting classes that can assist us with raising our children. Here are some of them:
Government parent education programs
Depending on your country, there are available parent education programs you can register to. In the US, for instance, the Child Welfare Services offers parent education program such as the following:
- ACT-RSK (Assertive Community Treatment-Raising Safe Kids) that aims to provide children with an environment that protects them from violence and maltreatment;
- The Circle of Security, which is focused on parent-child interaction that hopes to enhance attachment security between parents and children;
- The Incredible Years, a research-based program that aims to reduce behavior problems and improve social competence of children at home and school;
- Just In Time Parenting that provides families with research-based factsheets, newsletters, and resources;
- Parents as Teachers, which is an international early childhood parent program aimed at enhancing child development and school achievement; and
- Triple P- Positive Parenting Program that focuses on preventing severe problems in children, including behavioral, emotional, and developmental, by developing parental knowledge, skills, and confidence.
Parenting programs in schools
Parenting programs in your children’s schools may be in the form of parent education through workshops and activities on dealing with growing children. They could also be in the form of parental involvement and parental engagement in children’s education. Parental involvement and engagement have been observed to improve students’ behavior, motivation, and grades. Activities may include participation in parent-teacher activities, classroom activities, and school-initiated community activities.
Private parenting classes
Many parenting schools and private institutions offer parenting classes that vary widely. There are classes for expectant parents, new parents, parents of teenagers, and parents of children with special cases. There are also classes and workshops for specific areas like child development and behavior, stress management for parents, co-parenting as divorced parents, and parenting style preferences.
Online parenting courses
Online parenting courses are gaining popularity nowadays. These classes can be very convenient for parents who want to save time and be comfortable in their own homes. The courses are usually a combination of downloadable files, audio clips, videos, and interactive live video conferences to cover selected topics on parenting.
4. How to avail of parenting programs
To avail of parenting programs, you can try the following:
- If you are interested in registering with government parenting programs, you may inquire with the Child Services department in your area.
- Inquire with your child’s school or teacher for programs that you see fit.
- Search on the Internet or local directory for classes that you can attend personally or online. Just be sure to learn about other parents’ feedback to ensure you are getting the best of the programs.
- Ask recommendations from other parents who may have attended parenting programs and classes.
5. Are parenting programs worth it?
Now that you have learned more about parenting programs, their benefits, their types, and how you can go about them, we hope you can decide if taking parenting programs are worth your time and effort. For some parents, raising their children can be overwhelming, and they do not know how and where to begin. Then, parenting programs can significantly help them. Other parents also join parenting classes to improve their parenting knowledge and skills or their relationship with their children. Some parents, however, who feel and see they are doing just fine with raising their children and are getting enough support, may not really need to go through parenting programs.
You may also want to read Parenting Classes: Do I Need Them?