Parenting classes being required

Cassie - posted on 12/11/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Do you think that all soon-to-be parents should be required to take parenting classes? The state often only steps into the realm of parenting when children are faced with abuse whether that be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect. Would early intervention at its earliest, while the child is still in the womb, give kids the biggest leg up of all: parents who have an idea of how to best raise their children in a healthy, loving home?

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[deleted account]

Required? No. Easily available, reccomended, and offered for free? Yes.

Considering that I had been a mom of twins for 6.25 years before going on welfare and had just had a baby.... It would've been extremely annoying and inconvenient to be forced to take a parenting class at that point in my life. Sure... if that's what it took I'd do it, but you'd better believe I would be griping about it constantly. ;)

C. - posted on 12/12/2010

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First of all, you cannot force a mother-to-be to take parenting classes for several reasons. Money, no car, no internet and no car are just a few reasons.

Secondly, the government should only interfere with someone's parenting abilities if someone is getting hurt. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of a 'free country' if someone is telling you that you HAVE to take these classes in order to have a baby.

Also, I don't think early intervention would prevent anything. Even if the mothers did go to those classes and pass tests, who's to say they'd actually put it into practice??

Amanda - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think it's a good idea, but as for it actually happening I don't see. You're now required in the state of Iowa where I live to take The Child in the Middle class in order to successfully get divorced, and sometimes it's required during visitation trials as well. But like I said, my ex boyfriend took it while trying to get visitation of my 2 oldest children, and didn't take anything from the class. He still talks bad about me in front of them, asks them questions about me and my fiance. Talks bad about my fiance. I mean you name it he does it. So even though they take the class there is no telling who is really going to follow through with what they teach you.

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Kayle - posted on 12/12/2010

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We don't have parenting classes for mom available but have a daddy boot camp for dads. I guess us moms are supposed to just know it all.

Barb - posted on 12/12/2010

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That is a good point Amanda, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. However, it will drink if it's thirsty and it can't drink if there isn't water available.

So making it available i think is the key. Accessibility also.

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2010

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Yeah I never got any info about parenting classes or anything just birth info! It was annoying because I had no idea what to do once the baby came home.

Nikki - posted on 12/12/2010

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I am surprised you didn't get any info Emma, your in QLD right? I got heaps, there were offers to go to positive parenting classes at the local health centre, classes for dad's, classes for taking care of babies and when I left hospital they put information books and brochures in my red book which had recommendations for food, info about your baby being sick, who to call for support etc.

Back to the OP, I don't think they should be mandatory, they just need to be made available and encouraged. Where I lived they were very readily available but I now see that not everyone got the info one this, which is a bad thing. Every parent should have the option to attend parenting classes.

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2010

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i think we should at least receive brochures about baby feeding and stuff and what all the recommendations are instead of the nothingness i got during my pregnancy. it's all about the birth and any education about birth is useless because you're in so much pain during labour anyway!

Barb - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think classes are a wonderfully brilliant idea. Making them required isn't. As soon as you put the label "required" on there it puts up resistance. I think people tend to learn better when they want to learn.

So for adults, i don't think you can make it required. However, for highschoolers, they are already accustomed to learning in classes they are required to take.

I tried for a couple of years to get my friend, who runs the most successful day care in town, and the local highschool to have a semester where students help out at her daycare for a class credit. Nothing would preach safe sex like 30 screaming toddlers. But there were liabilities and funding and all sorts of red tape neither side could get through to make it happen.

On the other side, however, when my son's father and i divorced we were required to go through a divorced parenting class. I found it very helpful and i was glad for some insight.

Rosie - posted on 12/12/2010

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i think they should be required, AND free. if you don't take the class, you don't take the baby home from the hospital.
i think it would help cut costs in soooo many aspects of government programs. sure a few people will not listen or take the advice, btu i bet a hell of a lot more would benefit from it. i know i benefitted from classes i took.

Kate CP - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think parenting classes should be required for a lot of people...especially after seeing some of the advice on COM. It makes my head spin.

[deleted account]

Sure, I don't see how having it required would be a bad thing. Where I live, there's nothing like this. If it were required, it would be more readily available instead of at least an hour away like it is for me. You could go to your local health department or DHS for classes. I see nothing wrong with this and wish it would be required. I would certainly go. Any help I can get would be great!

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2010

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I agree with tackling the issue in highschool. In my highschool, all girls were required to take a class that had you take care of a pretend baby for a week. BUT, I DO NOT think it should be required of just girls, it takes two to make a baby and that only further spread the notion that men (or boys) have no place in child rearing and have no responsibilities to the baby. The class we took was really awesome though, it covered sex ed, it covered basic child development, basic child care etc etc etc. I would reccomend it for all teenagers.

Jessica - posted on 12/12/2010

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I don't know that I think it should be *required*. I'm not even really sure how they would enforce that. But I definitely think there are some moms out there that would definitely benefit from them, and maybe there needs to be a way to make them more easily accessible and free to those people? Having them in high school is a good idea (mine had one and I took it, just because I like kids and babies lol). And someone else touched on this but they need to go over more than the baby care basics- changing a diaper, feeding, etc. They need to teach child development. There are soooooo many posts I read on CoM and other places where I'm just dumbfounded that the person is a parent, because its clear they have NO clue what things are developmentally normal for their child's age and what things aren't. And sometimes it might be willful ignorance, but maybe a lot of the time they just don't know any better because they haven't been taught.

Alahnna - posted on 12/12/2010

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I do believe all new parents should have to take at least a basic parenting class, but like others have said, it would be extremely hard to put into practice due to so many different circumstances

Amber-Dawn - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think it should be a mandatory high school class. They teach you a lot of things you wouldn't otherwise know. I know my parenting class actually focused on sexual education. Which was awesome, because the health class did like two things and moved on. I found that ridiculous.

Tracey - posted on 12/12/2010

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My daughter's school requires all girls to take care of a pretend baby for a week, they have to feed, wash, dress it and take it everywhere in correct equipment (provided) including car seats for going on the school bus.

Classes will not prevent sexual or violent abuse and if you are unable to recognise that a child needs to be loved, clean, warm and fed without going to classes then you probably shouldn't be having a baby anyway. Some of my pupils' parents have been to these classes and most of the subject matter was about how to claim benefits.

Stifler's - posted on 12/11/2010

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it's a fantastic idea. we need up to date information instead of crap advice from mother in laws!!

JuLeah - posted on 12/11/2010

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I think parenting classes ought to be taught in high school. Many high schools have day cares on campus where the high school students can choose to work as they take classes in child development.
I think it ought to be required for all. Parenting and child development, and why we don't put soda in the baby's bottle.
The trick is getting a class all can agree on. Many parents really think hitting their kids is a good idea and many parents see nothing wrong with letting the baby take a sip of beer now and again.

Meghan - posted on 12/11/2010

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meh I don't think it is a BAD idea. It takes a village to raise a child and advice and guidance is always helpful (esp. being a young mom doing it for the first time). But with that being said I didn't take ANY sort of class and I think I am doing a great job. For the most part things are common sense.

Sharon - posted on 12/11/2010

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yes. I think it'll start with teen moms who legal troubles or brushes with the law.

frankly, virtually anyone on welfare should be required. Not becuase they're likely to be shitty parents but hey? You have to jump through hoops galore anyway right? Why not toss a beneficial parenting class into it?

Its already sorta there. Young moms are "encouraged" to take advantage of birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, and even parenting classes.

I know that teen dads are encouraged to take baby classes. They teach basic diapering, how to burp a baby, carry a baby etc and here and there are nuggets of parenting information "don't shake the baby", walk away if you're angry, etc. the sad thing is, these lessons are SOOOO short compared the experiences of their lives to that point that a lot of them fall back onto what they know versus what they were taught.

I think more beneficial would be host families. "Ideal" families who help set the proper example. Who don't "do it all" for the newbie parents but sit back and watch and then offer helpful hints.

i.e. young mum wants to breastfeed but isn't opposed to the idea of bottle feeding... would be hosted by a mom who did those paths.

Cassie - posted on 12/11/2010

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I definitely agree Julianne. While it may give positive results, I think a lot of the people that might need the most parenting help would be the most set in their ways and unwilling to change.

I think it could be really beneficial but almost impossible to coordinate. I didn't take any parenting classes before my girls were born and was clueless on a lot of things to expect. Personally, I did a lot of my own reading and research but there are a lot of people who don't.

[deleted account]

I think its a good idea in theory. Whos to say that anyone who takes these classes will do any different if they didn't take it. Some people are stubborn and will do what they feel like doing regardless.

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