Parenting workshops can help parents of infants and toddlers get started on the right foot so they have an adequate foundation to build their parenting skills on. Components of the workshops will vary, depending on how much time is involved and whether the workshops include hands-on learning where parents and kids try out the principles together.
You will benefit from understanding the developmental phases of children. This information helps you use the proper techniques for feeding and caring for your baby and toddler. You also learn how to stimulate your child’s brain, such as reading to her, using sign language to help her communicate and playing music to soothe her when she is upset. You also benefit from knowing developmental milestones and when you should observe them so you can ask for assistance if your child doesn’t reach milestones on time.
You need to know which behaviors are age-appropriate, which will fade as your child grows and which behaviors need your disciplinary intervention such as when your child is aggressive or when your child is dishonest. You want to know which disciplinary strategies are most effective such as using behavior charts, logical consequences, and clear and simple rules. When you have multiple effective disciplinary strategies, you have a better opportunity of knowing how to raise your child.
A workshop for parents should include information about strategies concerning healthy living, including how to feed and care for your child. Topics might include childhood illnesses, vaccinations, what illnesses you can treat at home, general hygiene, and when and how to potty-train your child. Other topics could include how to choose a health-care provider, including the difference between a pediatrician and a family practitioner, and when you need an emergency room instead of visiting your regular doctor.
If you plan to have another child, information about helping your child adjust to a new sibling would be a helpful topic for a workshop. The workshop might help you learn how to ease sibling rivalry by including your child in the preparations during pregnancy and helping him develop a bond with the baby after it arrives by assisting you with the care of the baby. You can learn strategies that help your little one understand that you love both children and that you have enough time to give to him and the new baby.
- Parent Project: Tools for Godly Parenting; Dr. William and Martha Sears
- Oakton Community College: Workshops
- Center for Family Services: Parent Resource Center
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