PARENTING PROGRAMS: programs and courses for parents and caregivers

Being a parent does not come with a training manual. Parenting programs and courses are a great way to gather parenting tips and advice from professionals on many different topics and issues you may be needed some extra support with.

From time to time, parents may choose to attend classes or programs that help them learn parenting skills. There are many places that offer classes that assist parents, some of them often for little or no cost.

If you are interested in taking a parenting class, here are some people or places to look to for information on what may be available:

1. Your gym can help if you are pregnant and wanting a few classes on exercises suitable while pregnant.

2. Your Ob can recommend parenting classes for new parents. These classes can teach things from diapering skills to different ways to use relaxation techniques and stress management for yourself when your baby won’t stop crying.

3. Red Cross offers child safe first aid that will give you the confidence in how to deal with a variety of first aid procedures you will want to know.

4.Your Pediatrician/GP may be able to suggest programs that will help with positive parenting skills and health eating for toddlers and children.

5.Community Education Programs are adult education courses offered in the evening. In addition to classes on art, computer and language skills, they often will hold classes on parenting classes.

6.Places of Worship often offer classes and programs for parents or can give suggestions on where to look.

7. Online will give you many lists of classes that can help you learn parenting tips and skills or you can even do them from the comfort of your home.

Parenting programs and classes are made to help parents deal with challenges they come across when dealing with their child or teen. These programs will teach parents how they will best be able to handle the situation.

KIDS ACTIVITIES

It’s exciting when kids activities have evolved from a child’s thought or interpretation. When you witness a child observe something within his or her environment, takes it and makes it into a learning experience it shows just how creative children can be when given an opportunity.

Sometimes children do this to learn more about what they are seeing and figuring things out through play, while sometimes it’s something that they recall enjoying and express a desire to experience it again.

Have you ever watched a child, in wonder, as he or she reinvent their world or act out other people’s activities? Think of how you supported this and how it made that child feel that you were interested.

There are ways we as adults can take his or her ideas and give ways for there to be further exploration. We can create videos from still pictures to recreate and show children, we can observe them and give them different opportunities to explore, discover and recreate their interests.

Like with everything, it’s important to remember that no two children are alike. They will experience and take in the same information and find their own unique way to express what they see. I am going to share some exciting moments where children have come up with some extremely creative learning opportunities, ways that I have encouraged their ideas and supported their learning. I hope that these articles will make you smile, laugh and understand how much potential young children have when their ideas are supported.

If you have any special moments of kids activities I encourage you to share with the readers at active parenting tips. Together we can learn and share and inspire each other to continue giving children every opportunity available to encourage their learning.

PARENTING GROUPS

Some people find strength and confidence by joining parenting groups. There are many different types of parenting groups and parent education courses that can meet the needs of your family. If you are finding that you are needing extra support this may be a great resource for you.

WHAT ARE PARENT GROUPS:

Parent groups are when a group of parents or a child’s main care provider, such as grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, adopted or foster parent reaches out for help in a group setting. They are individuals who have concerns or in need of guidance on parenting issues.

FINDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT GROUP:

Like with choosing a childcare program, you will need to look at what your individual needs are. Are you looking for a support group that will help with children with special needs, single parent families, troubled children or teens or just on managing the stress of parenting.

Look at what the group philosophy is, read up on the facilitator, and make sure that this will be a match to you and your beliefs. You will not be able to get the most out of a support group if it clashes with your beliefs.

WHAT SORT OF HELP YOU MAY RECEIVE:

Each organization and support group may use different ways to lead the session.

Parents may be provided with information on different support their community has to offer.

Some support groups may have the resources to have specialists visit and give talks on different topics.

A support group can provide a safe place for parents to open up and talk about their fears and concerns they are experiencing.

DIFFERENT WAYS TO FIND A LOCAL SUPPORT GROUP:

With the internet at our finger tips, ways to find information out has become easier. You can also contact your local YMCA and inquire with them on different programs with your community. Sometimes your local rec center will also be able to point you into the right direction.

These groups can be a great resource and a way to meet other parents within your community.

POSITIVE PARENTING

Being a parent is a wonderful thing; however, it’s not always easy. Positive parenting is a responsibility and for each family, how they tackle it may look different. Parenting groups, programs, skills and sharing tips can help.

I hope that the information in this topic can show you how you can use techniques you may already know to guide, nurture and encourage your child and build your confidence as a parent.

We will look at managing the stress of balancing the family life, different ways of getting extended support like parenting groups, and programs that may be available to you. We are also going to look at some positive skills and tips that will also enhance and impact your family.

Parents will find ways to may reduce the pressure in the home and different ways that can help with their child’s behaviour through different easy to do techniques. In fact, parents may find that it makes the difference between their child’s behaviour getting out of control, and helping them manage everyday life in better ways.

Knowing the different techniques of dealing with children is one thing; however applying them is a another. We are going to look at ways to help create, apply and maintain a happy and supportive home environment.

Have you read different books regarding children’s behaviour and helpful techniques but still need to fine tune ways to implement it? I hope readers will add what works for them because each family and child are unique.

There is no simple recipe; it takes time for children to learn how to behave, and for parents to work out the best way of getting the best out of their child. Implementing a parenting plan is a great way to start.

BODY IMAGE: how children view themelves, why and what are we going to do to help.

Body image and the way we view ourselves starts at childhood. By the time our children reach their teens, they are becoming influenced by the media through models, singers, actors/actresses and peers.

Models, singers and actresses are presented as what is supposed to be considered attractive and this reinforces the message that only a thin body is an attractive one. It is important for parents to be able to promote a healthy self image in their teen as part of helping their child have an overall positive way they view themselves..

Think back to a time when someone you looked up to maybe made a comment about how you looked, what you wore or your size. How did it affect you?

For many children, it will affect them in a negative way that they may carry with them for years.

We are going to look at what can lead children and teens to suffer from depression, to develop eating disorders, and how it causes low self worth.

We are then going to look at developing and creating a parent plan, looking at eating healthy, healthy fitness for teens and how we can help our children and teen recognize that they are beautiful as they are.

As a society, we are becoming more aware of how the way we view our body can be closely linked to self-esteem, especially for preteens and teens. That’s because as kids develop into teens, they care more about how others see them.

We need to start influencing our young children to look at themselves as a beautiful individual and this needs to start today.

CHRISTMAS

Christmas was always an important holiday for my family growing up. Not only because we celebrate the birth of Jesus in my family , but because it was only of the few times my whole extended family would gather together.

We would spend the morning opening presents, my dad, mom and two brothers, then off to Grandpa and Grandma Kelly’s to see Dad’s family followed by the night with my mom’s family.

My 26 cousins, 7 uncles and 7 aunts would rather loudly invade my Grandparents home. There would be a sharing, hugs, double cheeked kisses, laughter, good food, stories and Grandpa’s famous tracker gas. I can recall the mini tree in the sitting room, the large family photos taken one year, and all the cousins down in the basement, noise echoing off the walls and the snow.

The holidays means something different to everyone, yet each memory or tradition is just as important. In this next set of articles I am going to share a few of the different activities my family enjoyed over the season and some fun activities you can enjoy doing with your children and family.

I hope that it will inspire you to create lasting memories for you and your children, as this is a great way to bond and strength your relationships. And as we all know from my past articles, this is key for children developing an overall healthy state of well being.

So lets share over a glass of cheer and talk about some favorite craft ideas you can do with children, some delicious family recipes, homemade gifts your children can make, vacation retreats, carols and more.

At the end of each article there will be a spot for you to add your thoughts, and share your most memorable moment or activity. I hope that each of you will take a few minutes and share with us.

May all of you enjoy and experience the magic of Christmas.

SELF WORTH

Promoting and building a child’s self worth is like building the foundation for a lifetime of mental health and social happiness. It is the foundation of a child or teen’s well being and the key to their success as an adult.

Think back at your childhood, to things that may have been said or done that effect how you feel about yourself. How it effects how you act today. Did these negative things that were said or done that made you feel less important, that you did not matter?
Think about a time when you were feeling really good about yourself.

It is our responsibility to make very sure we are building a positive foundation of how our children will feel about themselves, that we are doing nothing to weaken this fragile foundation.
We are going to look at what a healthy self image is before venturing into what a healthy image can do for a child. We are going to look and the causes and effects of what a negative self imagine can do to a child and the ramifications that can have.

We are going to look at some easy and quick techniques that everyone can do daily to foster and build a child or teen’s image and some long term ways to promote and continue strengthen their well being.

As we journey through this topic and go into maybe some uncomfortable territory, reflect back on your own childhood to help guide you through. A child’s belief about how they are and how they view their self is a fragile thing, it is a special gift we are given to mold, strengthen and build.

BULLYING

Bullying will affect all children somehow throughout they life. Whether they are the victim, a person watching from the sidelines, or the one participating. The impact can be life altering and, sadly, can lead to someone taking their own life.

In these next set of articles we are going to look at what to watch for, the effects, teaching children appropriate behaviours and tips on reducing this scary trend.

As parents and educators, we need to be more alert and aware of the signs of this happening around us. In this article we are going to look at what to watch for in children. You are your child’s number one advocate and need to realize that they may not come to us for fear of retribution or embarrassment.

Understanding and being aware that these actions can have negative effects on both the victim and the bully that last for a long time, sometimes a life time is important. We are going to look at and how it affects the bully and where it can lead them down life’s journey. Also, we are going to look at how if effects the victim, how we can nurture their self esteem and help them cope and overcome.

By teaching prevention with young children, they are given valuable tools. We are going to look at how we can start teaching children the skills they need to resist and to prevent this behaviour.

Studies have shown that these tendencies can be spotted in children as young as three years old. This is why is it so important to begin teaching preschoolers compassion and empathy. We are going to look at tips on ways to promote pro-social behaviours and attitudes in children that will assist in the reduction and the likelihood of these destructive behaviours.

No child should feel that the only to deal with being treated this way is to let it happen or by ending their life. Teaching children at a young age about respecting others, compassion and empathy, and how they can stand up for themselves and for others, we can build up their self esteem and self worth . When children are taught these skills prior to school age, they are given the foundation that they can build on.

TEENS

Teens:
You made it through the first few months, getting to know your newborn child and how to respond to their different needs. Then came the tenacious twos; continuing on through the different stages of childhood.
Now you and your child are arriving at the next stage. This is when you know how well your parenting foundation was laid.

Even the most well behaved child can become moody, but with the right foundation you will have a bit more ease at dealing with your child as they start to enter a new change.

We are going to talk about tips on parenting, pregnancy, health.

Parenting

Acknowledging the fact your child is growing into an independent person, takes a little time to adjust, lots of patience, courage, restraint, self-discipline, consistency, clear expectations and love.

We are going to touch different areas that are important to raising your child to be a healthy, well adjusted, well balanced adult. This will touch on such topics as development, sleep, dating, self esteem and education. My hope is that you will be able to pick up a few tips and confidently implement them into your life.

Pregnancy

This may be one of the most difficult experiences a young person might ever face. It takes alot of courage to come to a parent with this news.
Here, we are going to look at supporting your child, effects of pregnancy, prevention, a healthy pregnancy and how you as a parent may feel with your child expecting a baby.

Health

Are you dealing with a child going through, low self esteem, dealing with peer pressure, eating disorders, emotions and ever changing mood swings, healthy food and nutrition and their physical fitness and appearance? You are not alone. We are going to look at the different ways these topics effect your child, you and your family and how you can help everyone through these times.

Troubled teenagers

Parenting a troubled child can seem like an impossible task. It is emotionally and physically draining at times and can put the family unit out of balance. However, parents can help their struggling child become successful. Here parents will find help for their troubled child dealing with behaviors like substance abuse, violence, and get some tips on what to look for. Parenting can sometime seem like a thankless job. However, when you get a positive breakthrough and start to see your child thrive and become the person that will be successful in society, it seems worth it.

FAMILY TIME

What does family time mean to you:

In today’s world we are all going at such a fast pace, with working at our important careers, children in child care, children’s activities after school and on weekends that we often forget to take the time to stop, regroup and spend time as a family.

We will discuss the different activities you can do together, how it will impact your family and how to actually make the time for your family.

There are so many different things you can do together without having to spend alot of money. All it will take is your time and commitment. These activities you can do with each other such as reading, playing, game night, meals together and the many indoor and outdoor physical activities you can enjoy as a family while staying healthy.

Then we will also discuss the ongoing benefits you will experience by spending time together, how it is so important to the emotional well being of your child and the core values you will be instilling in your child, affecting their tomorrow.

Most likely the hardest part for many will be in how to fit this time into your busy schedule. There is no easy way to do this, so be prepared to make sacrifices. Just focus on the the memories you’ll be making with your children and the sacrifices will pale in comparison. This will let them know that you care and love them above all else.

I hope that you input some of these fun ideas into your busy schedule and get your family spending time together.

Chances are you’ll discover that quality family time will become your favorite part of the day, something you look forward to and enjoy immensely.

So I challenge you to turn off electronic devices and really enjoy and focus on your child and family, the benefits will be great.
And drop me a line and let me know what you found really worked for your family. I would love to hear from you.

Single Parents

Single Parents

While raising children in a split home or solely on your own may not be an easy task, single parents can and do successfully raise and parent their children. Many important factors will effect your children. Such as, how to co-parent in a positive and healthy way, manage parental stress, child support, and making a support network to help you and your child through the different struggles that may arise.Throughout my years of experience in child care, I have worked with countless children and families that came from different backgrounds. I have seen some very well adjusted children and some that have struggled along the way. I hope that this topic will help give you some added strength, support and guidance on the journey of single parenting.

The effects of single parenting on the children

One of the biggest parenting tips I can share, is that our number one concern and focus should be on the child(ren). Think of all the emotions you are going through and then place that into the mind and body of a small child, who doesn’t understand, has yet to master coping skills, and has had no say in any significant life decisions. Your child will need help and support too, but the exciting news is that they can adapt and thrive in a single parent home. We will look at some of the ways you and those involved in your child’s life work together to ensure that your child becomes adjusted and starts to thrive, reaching and maintaining a happy, healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Co-Parenting in a positive and healthy way

It may seem hard to co-parent when there is a history and past hurts, however, there needs to be clear communication and a respectful relationship between both parties for the well being of your child. Remember children hear and see everything, even if they are out of the room. They will pick up any and all feelings you have towards each other and this could be very harmful. It will be imperative to be on the same page regarding behavior, discipline, and routines to give the child a sense of security.It will not be easy, in fact it may be tough going, especially at first. However by keeping your child’s well being in the forefront, you can learn to effectively co-parent while maintaining your sanity and self-respect.

Manage the parental stress

This is a major component to being a successful single parent. You will need to find construction and healthy ways to manage your stress, be it emotional or financial.

Child support

You will want to investigate child support early on in your separation. This may mean lawyers and lawyer fees, but for some families it’s imperative for the financial stability of the family. There are many services available to you that will help walk through these steps. It is a turbulent time, but remember you are not alone in this journey, others have gone before you and will help you through.

Support network

In many areas of our lives we come to a place where we need to accept and be able to ask for help. This is not a sign of weakness but one of strength. Surround yourself with positive people who have gone through this journey and have been successful. Accept help from other families who may be able to watch your child, giving you a break when needed. Parent groups and support groups are also available and can be a great healing for many. You know your needs and what it will take to get through these tough times. You just need to believe in yourself and in your inner strength.

Just the beginning

This topic is full of emotions and anxiety. My hope is that some of these feelings will be eliminated by giving you tools and the confidence to trust in your abilities to provide and guide your child to being the best they can be.