What do Parenting Classes Teach? 

What do parenting classes teach?

As you begin thinking about all the things related to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, you may want to consider adding a local parenting class to the list. While diapers, wipes, and birth plans tend to take precedence during this busy time, parenting classes can be tremendously helpful as you prepare for a new infant, helping you build confidence and skills that will set you and your new baby up for long-term success together.

A common mistake we make as new parents is prioritizing the nursery, the baby’s clothes, or even the housekeeping, when what our children really need from us is intimate connection, help to manage their emotions, safe boundaries, and psychological safety. New infants need very little physically; they don’t need their own room, matching outfits, sensory toys, heated wipes, or any of the other gadgets that tempt new parents who are already overwhelmed. They need you, and the best gift you can give them at the start of life is the best version of you there is – one who is educated and who understands what children need from their parents and how parents can provide for those needs.

Parenting classes are arguably the most important investment you can make as you plan for your family. You’ll learn how your child thinks and what they need from you, how to best respond in difficult situations, and how to prepare your child up for a happy and fulfilling life.

Learning About Your Child

One of the goals of a parenting class is to help you better understand your child. Why is your infant crying when he’s not wet or hungry? Why does your toddler throw a tantrum when she doesn’t get her way? How can early childhood experiences help your toddler develop self-discipline and confidence?

At Willow Womens Center, we offer three different, free parenting classes to help you better understand your unique child:

  • Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun®, aimed for parents of children ages birth to 6 years
  • Parenting with Love and Logic®, aimed for parents who have children of all ages
  • Love and Logic: Adults Supporting Youth with Challenging Pasts®, designed for parents and adults who support children of any age who have faced adversity in their youth

The Love and Logic courses offered at Willow Womens Center help you understand how your child learns, builds trust, and responds, so you can develop healthy relationships with your children that foster their self-control, decision-making, and responsibility. Parenting classes at Willow Womens Center are perhaps the only thing on your checklist that you can mark off without paying anything at all (and that will last well beyond your baby’s first year).

Learning About Yourself

Contrary to popular belief, parenting is a skill that can be learned, not a natural-born talent that some people have and others lack. Our own experiences throughout life will naturally impact the way we raise our children unless we’re taught otherwise – and we can be taught to do something different than how we personally experienced it.

Some common parenting mistakes that are often a reflection of our own unhealed pain from past experiences include:

  • becoming overly dependent on the love and approval of our children
  • setting high, impossible-to-reach standards for our children (and/or reacting harshly when they fail to meet those standards)
  • becoming overprotective, preventing our children from socializing with other children or engaging in positive experiences
  • overreacting to unhealed emotional triggers (and then blaming our children for our own reactions)
  • withholding love and affection from our children because we struggle to trust and develop authentic relationships

Additionally, unhealed trauma from their own childhood could lead a new parent to react to their children’s misbehavior in ways that are unhealthy.

Parenting classes can help us learn more about ourselves and how our own experiences might influence our thoughts and behaviors around parenting. Perhaps more importantly, parenting classes can help us overcome damaging belief systems and thought cycles that prevent our children from developing the skills and confidence they need to form genuine connections, make good decisions, and cope with adversity throughout their lives.

When it comes to parenting, knowledge is power. The free parenting classes at Willow Womens Center equip expecting and new parents with the knowledge they need to form positive relationships with their children and prepare them for success.

Choosing the Right Parenting Class

Any parenting class will help you empower your children to take responsibility for their actions, own their emotions, cope with challenges, and make good decisions, so enrolling in the right class doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Choosing the right class, though, is easy.

If you’re parenting only children who are six and under, you’ll want to enroll in the early childhood class here.

If you’re parenting children of all ages (even if some are under six and some are over), you’ll benefit from the class for parents of children of all ages.

Children who have experienced trauma need a different approach, and the more we understand about their needs and their behavior, the better we can support them. If you’re parenting or supporting a child who has experienced trauma, you’ll want the class for parents of youth with challenging pasts here. Not sure? Some examples of childhood trauma include abuse, violence, sudden loss of somebody they loved, living through a national disaster or war, neglect, deployment of a parent, or a serious illness or accident.

You can learn more about all the parenting classes offered at Willow Womens Center here.

Whether you are ready to sign up, have more questions, or think you may be pregnant and are looking for support, Willow Womens Center can help. You can learn more by making an appointment today; our compassionate team understands the stress that comes with an unexpected pregnancy. We are here to provide care and information without judgment.