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Should parents be involved in parenting classes?

Powerhouse Community Development Corporation
Powerhouse Community Development Corporation

To improve the development and product of younger and oncoming generations, parents should participate in parenting classes.

Parent training improves the mental well-being of both the guardian and the child. Exhibiting parenting behaviors such as less warmth, or more inter-parental conflict, etc., are associated with children’s and adolescents’ risk of mental health problems. These classes have shown promise in preventing internalizing disorders and behavior problems, while also increasing other child competencies according to Parental Engagement in Preventive Parenting Programs for Child Mental Health (written by Samantha Finan). Finding and participating in classes that pertain to the child(ren) ‘s age group allows parents the understanding of how to bond with their child, and how certain actions affect them as they age. Acknowledging the effects leads to open communication, building safe spaces for children, and minimized stress for both parties

Parenting courses are known to reduce the amount of maltreatment or abuse of children. Engagement in classes and improvement in parenting would produce not only a decline in abuse and neglect, but also a boost in child development for a broad range of children as manifested in higher school achievement, less delinquency, fewer teen pregnancies, reduced child mental illness, and a host of other positive outcomes according to Can Parent Training Reduce Abuse, Enhance Development, and Save Money? (written by Richard Barth & Ron Haskins). Parents tend to forget that children are just children. They cannot grasp certain concepts, questions, instructions, or emotions as well as adults can. Understanding and acknowledging that children are still developing allows parents to choose the appropriate, but most effective disciplinary action that does not involve getting physical, verbal berating, or sexual acts/abuse. Parents should also take the initiative to explain to their children why what they did was wrong to prevent future mishaps. If there is only punishment, harsh or not, kids, especially young children, won’t learn why their actions were wrong, but instead, develop fear. 

One main concern about parenting classes is the cost. Depending on the age group(s) and the curriculum, the programs can get pretty expensive, and not everyone can squeeze it into their budget. An alternative to having to pay could involve exploring free courses or researching parenting books. Another main concern is the redundancy or inadequacy of the information provided. Lessons and advice might seem repetitive or may not be mentioned at all, but probing around in different classes leaves variety and enables parents to pick and choose what to incorporate in their child(ren)’s upbringing. 

The prosperity and growth of generations lie in the hands of parents and their ability to properly care for their children. Parents should partake in parenting classes to benefit not only their child(ren) but themselves as well.

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