Parenting Classes – Who needs them?

Parenting classes?

When someone asks me what I do for a living, I can sometimes see them bristle a little at my reply.

It’s not surprising really – until a few years ago the word ‘parent’ only existed as a noun. Parent was a person, a mother or father, not something you did. The use of parent as a verb – a doing word – has only appeared in the last 20 years or so (like google). Before that the closest was child-rearing, which sounds more like something that farmers do with chickens and cows.

‘Parenting classes? That’s just for people whose kids are really out of control, is it?’

Very occasionally. But more often, it’s  parents who simply want to get on a bit better with their children, to have more fun and less shouting in their family.

Parenting classes? But surely it’s just common sense?’

Ah yes, common sense. Less than 200 years ago, it was considered common sense that sending a 6-year old child up a chimney was by the far the best way to clean it. But, thankfully, times have changed and so has what we consider acceptable in how we treat our children.

It’s a cliché that babies don’t come with a manual – and if you look up ‘parenting’ on Amazon you’ll find that there are actually plenty of manuals to choose from. But by far the most influential parenting manual is the one that’s imprinted in our heads – what we learned, for good or bad, as we were growing up. I don’t believe any good parenting course can be effective without spending some time looking at what we experienced when we were young and the impact that has had on how we behave towards our own children.

And it’s not just how we were parented – working with couples the commonest cause of friction is people who have experienced completely different styles of parenting, both of which seem to them like ‘common sense’ or the only possible way to do things. Is it any wonder they find it hard to agree on how to raise their children?

So who needs parenting classes? In initial consultations with clients I frequently hear some variation on the phrase, ‘I’ve started to sound just like my mother (or father), and I always swore I’d never do that when I had children of my own.’

Parents often contact me because they want to consider different ways of doing things. The smart ones already know that parenting classes are about changing the way they react to their children’s behaviour (rather than trying to change their children). Simply doing that changes our relationships with everyone around us, not just our children. People enrol on a parenting course or have just a session or two of parenting coaching because it encourages them to look at different ways of approaches to what is the most important job they will ever do.

If that sounds interesting, then get in touch.


8 thoughts on “Parenting Classes – Who needs them?

  1. I am interested in finding out about local parenting classes near Camberley.
    I Am struggling to cope with my 15 year old daughter and am concerned about our relationship.
    I would be interested to hear ideas on how I should be reacting to her attitude.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,
    Jilly Collin

  2. Hello
    I would like advice and direction please on guiding a 12yr old son through puberty and yr8 high school. Ive always had too easy stance on boundaries and its biting me back. He is very naive and doesnt mix well. Hes a bit of a perfectionist so if its not his perfect hes not interested. Sounds awful but i feel im not meeting his needs, kind regards sally

  3. Hi,I live in the Suffolk/Cambridge area and have a 6,nearly 7 year old boy!
    We are awaiting federal for potentially add/ADHD in mind after monitoring his behaviour. I’d like to know if there are any courses I cane attend that would help me understand his behaviour. Please help me!I’m a single mother and have bought him up completely on my own.we have a good routine and he is a bright/loving little lad!as time has gone on I’ve noticed a pattern in his behaviour!he doesn’t concentrate for any length of time,flits from one the,ing to another and can have 2 conversations going at any one time!I just want to understand his at times challenging behaviour and parent him effectively in a positive manor!
    I’d be greatful of any feed back
    Many thanks stella

  4. Hi could you please give me some information where I could get help to understand my child better. I can’t afford those prices as only work part time and I think the reason I am not coping do well with my child is due to a change in circumstances around money. I want to get on better with him and not have such a destroying relationship with him he is nearly 5 and I know it’s the way I am that has changed him. I also gave a 2 year daughter who is learning bad behaviour from him I need it to stop for all of us and I believe it’s me that needs to change so we can get through this.Thank you

  5. I would be interested in talking to someone who could help to teach me different ways of communicating with my children. I feel that we have reached a point where there is too much shouting and not enough talking but am unable to get out of the cycle.

  6. Hi we desperately need your input please. Do you do sessions in bournemouth please? And if so how many, how often and what do you charge? My husband struggles with our family life of 2 children aged 3 and 4 and my teenage son aged 14. There is a lot of shouting and everyone is very unhappy. I’ve been contemplating divorce for some time as life at home is unbearable. Please can you help us? My husband and I have had 2 rounds of relationship counselling but to no avail. He lacks patience and tolerance and is strict and very regimental. Please let me know, thanks.

  7. I would love to have more info on the courses my children are away from me at moment and I want to prove I am a good parent to get them back

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *