Parenting classes are courses taken by parents to assist them in the care of their children. Some courses may be required by court systems due to abuse or neglect, while other parents feel like they need assistance in a particular area. It may not be that they are bad parents -- they just need to learn alternative methods of caregiving. These courses are for the benefit of the child and can only make parents more involved, disciplined and focused on what is best for their families.
Parents will learn how to communicate effectively with their children. Whether it be a baby that constantly cries, a 4 year old who continually whines or a teenager with whom they constantly engage in yelling matches, parenting classes will have techniques to assist them in their situation. Classes will teach non-aggressive means of responding as well as stress management techniques to help parents stay calm, cool and in control. Communication between parents is also important, as they must present a united front to provide consistent and effective care.
Some parents are too strict, others very lenient and even others border on the use of violence and child abuse. Learning the best techniques for disciplining children will provide the parents' homes with calm, peace and quiet. Instructors will assist parents in laying out household rules and non-violent consequences if they are not followed. They will guide the parents to other local resources, such as Alchoholics Anonymous, to help them cope with their own issues and responsibilities, which may be adding to the family dynamics.
Parents must also set boundaries with their children. This may refer to the manner in which a toddler constantly states his mind through use of the word "no," a teen wears revealing clothing to school or a junior high level student thinks he is mature enough to have a sexual relationship. Parents must lay out rules and consequences to keep their child from making mistakes, engaging in dangerous activities and exhibiting promiscuity.
Many parents feel alone with their issues and problems. Attending parenting classes allows them to vent with like-minded individuals and learn from those who were in similar situations. They may learn that they are not the only parents who have problems with their children, and with this knowledge may come a great sense of relief and a sense of camaraderie. Comparing parenting styles and lifestyle commonalities are instrumental in the process of healing and change.