When choosing parenting courses, it is important to consider the reason why you are taking the course, the content of the course, and the reputation of the course provider and its instructors. You may also wish to consider some logistical issues, such as the location of the course, scheduling, and the cost of taking the class. If you are taking parenting courses because you have been ordered to do so by the courts or a child-welfare professional, it is crucial that you get a list of approved courses and ensure with your court clerk or caseworker that you are actually enrolling for the correct course.
There are several reasons why you may wish to take parenting courses. In some cases, you simply wish to improve your parenting or address specific issues that your children are having by attending a class offered by an expert. In other cases, you may be instructed by a social services caseworker to take parenting courses to address issues within your family or because you are applying to be a foster or adoptive parent. In some places, family courts require that divorcing couples with children complete special parenting courses that will help prepare them to address the needs of their children during and after the breakup of their marriage.
If you are completing a parenting course because you ordered to do so either by a court or some other government authority, ask the agency or court for a list of approved courses and providers. When you contact these providers, be sure to explain that you need to take a parenting course to fulfill a particular requirement and ask them to direct you to the correct course. If you work, make sure that you are able to actually complete the course in its entirety. In some areas you may be able to take a parenting course online.
If you are taking a course on your own, you may have a great deal more freedom in selecting classes that meet your needs. If you are already enrolled in a college or university, you may even want to take some child development courses. If this isn't possible, ask your friends and relatives if they can recommend some good parenting courses. Park districts, churches, and schools sometimes sponsor parenting courses taught by experts in parenting issues. These courses can be a great way to learn more about your child and to network with other parents. In some areas, cable and public television channels may also run free televised parenting courses.