Ultimate Guide to Parenting Classes

Be sure to choose a class that that is geared toward the age your children are. See more parenting pictures.
©iStockphoto.com/Chris Schmidt

Whether you're having your first child or dealing with an unruly teenager, it's OK if you don't always know exactly what to do. After all, kids don't come with instruction manuals. Sometimes, being a parent can feel like a never-ending process of trial and error. So how can you learn how to be a better parent? When you were a kid, you took math classes to learn how to add and subtract, so why not take parenting classes to learn how to be a parent?

When it comes to choosing the right parenting class for you, there are two basic options. You can take active parenting classes or online parenting classes. The goal of both is to give you the tools you'll need to raise respectful, responsible children by being a positive yet authoritative figure in their lives. Some classes teach specific styles of parenting while others help you discover your own. Both options come with advantages and disadvantages. Active parenting classes for example, require you to stick to a set schedule, whereas online classes can often be completed at your own pace when you have the time. However, the active classes allow for face-to-face interaction with an instructor and other parents, whereas the online version might feel less personal.

The class you choose should also be geared toward the age of your children [source: CICC]. Parenting a preschooler is a lot different than parenting a teenager, and you'll need a different approach to each. When it comes down to it, finding the right parenting class may be another process of trial and error, but in the end it could prove to be an invaluable investment in your family's future. Whatever you choose will require a commitment from both you and your kids.

Keep reading to find out more about active parenting classes and whether they seem like the right option for you.