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Learn vital childcare skills at parenting class

Being a parent is not a science, and not all the skills required to be a great Mum or Dad can be taught. A parenting class though can offer some vital guidance through the tricky business of raising a child. It can help parents develop confidence, and save them from making unnecessary mistakes.

Positive parenting

Attendance at a parenting class introduces new and expectant parents to the overall concept of positive parenting. This accentuates the value of warmth, consistency, communication and understanding in dealing with children. Evidence suggests that these skills can prevent or minimise behavioural problems.

Advice offered at classes ranges widely, but includes appropriate guidance for dealing with children from birth right through to adolescence.

Classes will inform parents what to expect from children at each stage of development. They offer advice on how to deal with common behavioural problems, the most effective forms of discipline, and tips on coping with teenagers.

Practical considerations tackled at parenting classes can include choosing the right school for your child, monitoring their educational progress, and knowing where to go if you need specialist advice.

Classes encourage discussion and analysis of effective parenting techniques. You are given the opportunity to explore your own attitudes to parenting, and your experiences of how you were raised by your own parents. Parents share coping techniques on how to deal with tantrums, eating irregularities and unusual sleeping patterns.

Part of the appeal of a parenting class is the informal aspect of meeting other parents. Just chatting and comparing notes on children's feeding habits, behavioural problems or development can be useful in dispelling anxieties.

Share your own ideas

A parenting class isn't about lecturing parents on how they should be bringing up their children. Many classes operate as a forum for parents to share their impressions. They are an invaluable source of reliable information too, and can point you in the right direction if you need to find out more about, for example, education, medical concerns or diet.

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