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First Time Parents Should Be Required to Take Parenting Classes

First Time Parents Should Be Required to Take Parenting Classes

Parenthood is a significant and often lifelong commitment that plays a fundamental role in the family. Parents are responsible for providing physical, emotional, and physiological needs of a child. They also nurture their children’s growth and development by offering guidance. Parenting classes are educational programs designed to provide guidance and support to individuals, typically parents or expectant parents, regarding various aspects of raising children and managing family interactions. Parenting classes for first-time parents should be a requirement as they offer parenting knowledge and skills, a better understanding of child development, and strengthens the family.

As a first time parent, one may lack the knowledge and skills necessary to provide proper care and guidance to their children. Parenthood can have a lot of challenges; therefore, it is important to have parenting classes that equip the parents with the necessary skills to navigate the parenthood journey. Parents who attend parenting classes are likely to act and respond more positively, skillfully, and effectively in executing their child-rearing roles and responsibilities (Bornstein et al., 1687). Parenting classes teach parents how to feed, bathe, and dress their newborns and how to recognize and address common infant ailments. They also provide guidance on breastfeeding, formula feeding, and introducing solid foods, along with information on age-appropriate nutrition. Parenting classes can educate parents on childproofing their home, using car seats correctly, and preventing accidents and injuries, thus protecting children from harm. Parents gain insights into the various stages of childhood, allowing them to adapt their parenting approach as their child grows.

Early childhood development is very crucial in the growth of a child. Educating parents on how to engage their children during the early stages of development can lead to better cognitive and emotional outcomes. The classes help parents understand typical developmental stages and activities that encourage physical and social development. Parenting classes promote the importance of bonding through physical contact, soothing techniques, and emotional responsiveness. Educating the parents on effective communication methods helps in the parent-child relationship because it creates an environment where trust, emotional growth, and problem-solving skills can flourish. It allows parents to guide and support their children in their development and helps children feel secure and valued in their interactions with their parents. Parenting programs strengthen parents’ ability to manage child behavior, support social-emotional development, and reduce child abuse and neglect (Black et al., 10).

Proper conflict resolution techniques should be taught to first-time parents to strengthen the family. Parenthood is a life-changing journey that may cause conflict among family members. Addressing the emotional challenges and changes in the relationship between partners as they transition to parenthood. Parenting classes offer strategies for setting boundaries, teaching discipline, and using positive reinforcement rather than punitive measures. They also promote shared responsibility that not only eases the burden on one parent but also contributes to a more balanced and harmonious family dynamic. This, in turn, creates an environment where children can thrive, benefiting from the support, love, and attention of both parents as they navigate the complexities of childhood. They are important in assisting parents in organizing their daily routines, balancing work and family life, and setting priorities (Katz-Wise et al., 27).

Following this, parenting is a personal journey and may differ for each parent. It is mostly culture-influenced; therefore, parents should have the flexibility to choose the approach that aligns with their values and beliefs. While individual freedom is important, parental classes ensure that all first-time parents receive essential information and guidance for parenting. Due to the added responsibility as a parent, it may be difficult for parents to attend the class, especially low-income earners, because of time and cost. Policymakers must therefore, take into account the accessibility and affordability of parental classes, with the aim of preventing any unfair or excessive financial strain on the parents. An individual should have the freedom to choose how to raise their child. If the content and quality of these classes lack standardization and proof of their benefits, imposing them may not achieve the desired results. Although not all parents may initially embrace mandatory classes, research indicates that providing education and support to new parents positively affects a child’s future educational achievement (Shah et al.,12). These classes cover infant care, safety, and child development, which is beneficial to new parents.

In conclusion, first-time parents should be required to take parenting classes as these programs have the capacity to tackle a multitude of challenges that inexperienced caregivers encounter. These classes can provide parents with the knowledge and skills they need to raise healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children. While the benefits of parenting classes are substantial and encompass improved child well-being, strengthened family dynamics, and a reduced risk of child neglect and abuse, there are legitimate concerns about individual autonomy, the effectiveness of classes, and issues related to access and equity. Programs that are grounded in solid evidence, easily accessible, culturally inclusive, and adaptable to the unique requirements of diverse communities are more likely to be embraced and provide effective assistance to first-time parents.

Work Cited

Black, Maureen M., et al. “Early childhood development coming of age: science through the life course.” The Lancet 389.10064 (2017): 77-90.

Bornstein, Marc H., et al. “Parenting knowledge: experiential and sociodemographic factors in European American mothers of young children.” Developmental psychology 46.6 (2010): 1677.

Katz-Wise, Sabra L., Heather A. Priess, and Janet S. Hyde. “Gender-role attitudes and behavior across the transition to parenthood.” Developmental psychology 46.1 (2010): 18.

Shah, Reshma, et al. “Primary care–based interventions to promote positive parenting behaviors: A meta-analysis.” Pediatrics 137.5 (2016).


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First Time Parents

First Time Parents

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