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Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Kinds of Parenting Classes?

Besides childbirth classes, what kinds of classes are available for soon-to-be new parents? And what are the best ones to take?

There are tons of parenting classes out there, but be sure to shop around to get the right fit for you. The best way to start searching? Reach out to your doc and ask for a good recommendation. Any good OB is bound to have a few contacts in this department. Friends with kids are another great source of recommendations. Then, ask yourself what exactly you’re looking to learn, how you pick up information best, and last (but definitely not least) what you’re willing to spend.

Most schools offer some form of parenting courses, so check out local community college and see if they have anything good in the upcoming semester. Don’t think that this means you’ll be heading back to school and writing papers — some colleges offer one-session seminars on parenting that are either free or require only a minimal fee.

If you don’t want to go out and take a class (or simply don’t have the time), there are plenty of opportunities online to take courses in positive parenting. Google around to find one that’s right for you, but just be aware that these kinds of courses might cost you a few hundred bucks.

If that doesn’t work, check out your local hospital, library, or community center to see if the town sponsors any free classes or seminars. Finally, if a parenting class just isn’t your thing,but you still want to work on honing your skills, visit your local book store and check out the childcare/parenting section to find a good book with great tips.