When it comes to parenting, we can sometimes feel at a loss as how to raise, discipline, feed and establish routines for our children, let alone cope with seemingly insurmountable obstacles like baby colic, tantrums and fighting. The good news is that no parent and no child is perfect; we know it can sometimes seem like everyone is coping fabulously well while our own house is crumbling, but it is normal to panic and feel like the burden is too much to bear. If it all seems like it’s getting out of hand, you may find the help you need in these helpful classes:
* Positive Parenting: Provides ‘Time Out…’ courses to parents as well as practical advice in leaflet form on a number of specialist topics including how to parent teens, increase children’s self-confidence and how to be an involved father. Courses are run by licensed facilitators and are offered in a variety of venues like schools, churches, community centres, etc. They cover subjects like caring for children in their early years, how to handle bad behaviour, how to communicate effectively with children and how to handle your child’s conflicts with siblings or other children. To attend a course, click on the ‘Find a course’ button on their website and give them a call or send an inquiry email. Courses are free and are receiving excellent feedback from parents.
* Family Lives: A registered charity with three decades of experience in fomenting positive relationships between parents and children. They offer a number of online courses, including the CANparent course (for parents of children aged five or under), which comprises two half-hour telephone coaching sessions with a trained advisor, as well as modules on promoting well-being, the power of positive communication, understanding behaviour, setting limits, etc. There are also additional modules for fathers, stepfathers and stepfamilies.
Their Triple P Parenting Class, meanwhile, is catered to parents whose children may be causing concern in school and elsewhere (by acting out aggressively or behaving in a withdrawn fashion). The free course comprises an eight-module interactive Internet programme with video, exercises and homework tasks and has also received positive reviews. For further information, join their live chat from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 4:30pm.
* NCT: Offers a wide range of courses including antenatal, postnatal and CANparent classes in Camden, High Peak (Derbyshire) and Middlesbrough. CANparent classes (for children five and under) are small and run in a friendly manner and the subjects are determined by the needs of the group. Parents can have a confidential talk with the facilitator to discuss subjects they don’t feel comfortable about sharing with the group. Themes covered include communicative parenting, getting on with your kids, the importance of play, analysing one’s parenting style, building a supportive home and setting boundaries.
* Sure Start: If your child is under four and you don’t live in Camden, High Peak or Middlesbrough, contact your nearest Sure Start centre and inquire about the different parenting courses available. These courses cover important areas like positive reinforcement, limit setting, relationship building and applying consistent yet gentle consequences for problem behaviour.
* Parenting Matters: This private organisation offers courses (both online and group), to employers and parents of kids from foundation stage to teenage, as well as ante- and post-natal counselling and coaching. The parenting courses are held in small groups and are usually taught by two coaches. Courses last for nine weeks (two hours weekly) and cover areas such as setting boundaries for bed time, homework, responsibility, etc. Courses are usually held in the areas of Central London, West London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Surrey.