Many people think that since men and women have been parents for thousands and thousands of years, there’s no point to parenting classes. After all, our ancestors figured it out, so we can too, right?
Maybe that’s the case for some women. For them, being a mother comes naturally, and parenting classes aren’t very useful. But for the other women, who aren’t so sure how to navigate their new lifestyle, a couple classes can come in handy.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Being a first-time mom is a big challenge, but you can make a smoother, less stressful transition into motherhood with the help of parenting classes.
Here are the top 11 reasons why you should enroll in a parenting class, and how you can find one near you.
1. Take Advantage of Recent Research Findings
Studies in education and psychology offer new and helpful information about children, their development and how they process the world. It might seem silly to resort to scientific data when it comes to being a parent, but why not?
The studies do a lot of the homework for you, and can prevent you from making common parenting mistakes. Parenting workshops can help you stay up to date on the latest research.
2. Being a Pro with Basic Parenting Skills
Maybe you had many younger siblings growing up, or maybe you were the neighborhood’s favorite babysitter. In that case, you probably don’t need to learn how to change a diaper, or feed babies. But if you don’t have much experience with infants, babies and toddlers, it can be overwhelming to deal with a dependent human being.
Parenting classes will show you how to provide basic, but excellent care to your little one.
3. Learn How to Breastfeed
Mothers are often encouraged to breastfeed their babies for a myriad of reasons: it’s a great way to lose the baby weight. It’s the best nutrition for your infant. It helps you bond and connect with your baby. But what many people fail to tell you is that breastfeeding is hard if you’ve never done it before.
And without proper training, first-time moms can become frustrated, confused and even sick. Prevent all of this and become empowered by learning from breastfeeding experts.
4. Be Prepared for Emergencies
You never want to imagine the worst, but it’s important to be prepared for any emergencies that can occur. Choking and breathing problems are scary for every parent. As a first-time mom, CPR classes can help you face frightening situations with the necessary calmness and composure you’ll need.
5. Build A Supportive Network
If your friends are still single, it might be hard to relate to them. Similarly, it’s probably tricky for them to support you in your new role as a mother. To help you feel less alone and more confident, use parenting classes as an opportunity to meet with other first-time moms, just like you.
You’ll all be able to relate to the same struggles and feel better about your mutual ups and downs.
6. Feel Super Confident
Before you take on a big responsibility, you do your research. Otherwise, the chances of you making mistakes or getting injured are pretty high. For example, if you want to complete a triathlon, you train and practice for many months before the big day. If you’re designing an impressive structure, you take time to hone your skills and become an expert before you start building.
You can bring this same conscientious approach to parenting, and you’ll feel much more confident in this big responsibility. Of course, you’ll always have something to learn, and you will still make mistakes, but it’s much better than going in blind!
7. Discover the Parenting Style You Like
Connection parenting, attachment parenting, and authoritative parenting. These are only a handful of parenting styles that have been identified and developed by psychologists and experts over the recent decades.
Which one is right for you? Which one aligns with your beliefs and values? Parenting classes can help you understand how you were raised, and how you’d like to raise your children.
8. Agree with Your Partner
Parenting classes help you and your partner come to mutual agreements on how you’d like to raise your children. They allow you to ask important questions and explore ideas that you might not explore otherwise. This sort of communication is key, as it prevents arguments and conflict later on.
9. Anger Management Courses
It might seem pessimistic to discuss anger management when it comes to being a first-time mom, but anger is a natural part of parenting. Why? Because you won’t always understand your little one, and they won’t always understand or agree with you.
Learning to cope with your emotions safely and responsibly is a wonderful way to ensure that your child grows up in a stable and non-abusive environment. Plus, it helps to keep your own stress levels down, which is always a good thing.
10. Learn How to Discipline
How you discipline your child is a very personal decision. It’s a choice that has to align with your values and beliefs. Taking some time to learn fair and positive discipline methods can help you and your child develop a healthy relationship. It will also empower your child to move forward in life with confidence instead of fear.
11. Vaccination Awareness
You might feel comfortable with standard vaccine schedules, or you might want to modify it when it comes time to vaccinate your child. You might also want to avoid vaccines all together. It’s important to inform yourself of the laws in your area, as well as the rules set in place at different schools and child care centers.
Where To Find Parenting Classes Near You
Not sure where to find parenting classes? Here’s a simple guide to make it easier for you:
- Ask local hospitals, birthing centers and libraries
- Check the Active Parenting directory to find local classes
- For breastfeeding classes, consider La Leche League groups
- Ask doulas, midwives and mothers you admire where good classes are
- If online classes are more convenient, consider some of these options
If you’re a first-time mom, say goodbye to fear and insecurity by enrolling in an informative and empowering class. It will make your transition into the parenting lifestyle smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your baby.