There are millions of parents all over the world doing a great job of raising their children. So it seems strange that some of them even think about going on a parenting course.
Why would you do that?
I remember when I had my first child. There were no babies or young children in my own family at the time. And I remember as she started growing up and becoming a toddler that the huge amount of love I felt for her just wasn’t enough. At work I had always been calm and controlled, but my toddler seemed to push buttons I didn’t know I had! I didn’t know how to discipline effectively and I wanted strategies that worked. It was then that I realised that I wanted a whole range of different ideas or tools to use to make sure I was the best mum I could be.
I started reading books and talking to other parents. I learned so many new things- some of which were helpful for me, and some which worked for other families, but I knew would never work for mine.
Fast forward ten years and three more children, and I had learned loads of techniques and tips that made family life a pleasure. MOST of the time! It was then I decided to run parenting classes. Not because I had all the answers, but because I had a toolbox of ideas that parents could use with their own families.
One of the biggest pleasures I had was when parents would tell me that the techniques they had learned had bought them closer to their child than they had been for years. That’s a big bonus- putting the fun back into family life.
I have to admire the parents who came on my course. In an atmosphere of trust they shared the difficulties they were experiencing with their children. They also shared what had worked for them when they were going through the same difficulties that other parents were now facing. Armed with new strategies to try the parents went off ready to report back on their trials and successes the following week.
And this is what parenting classes are all about. Learning a whole range of tips and ideas to use with your children and being in a supportive group where everyone has their own issues to solve. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. The best we can do is to be a ‘good enough’ parent willing to invest a bit of time and money on the thing that matters most to us – our family.