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Easy Ways to Get Parenting Help

Updated on December 30, 2010

Parenting is perhaps the toughest job you can take on. Many parents struggle with parenting effectively, and even those who have a lot of parenting skills need help from time to time. Parenting education is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your child and help your child through specific issues he or she may be facing. 

Parent Education Programs

Parent education programs come in different sizes and formats. Some organizations offer courses in parenting that address specific issues such as substance abuse prevention and treatment, dealing with antisocial behavior, and setting appropriate boundaries. There are many books and online resources that deal with these particular topics as well. Individual therapists or counselors can also provide one on one parent education to address more severe issues. Regardless of what type of parent education program you choose, your program should set clear goals for what you want to accomplish, should give you long-term skills, and should build upon your parenting strengths. Parent education programs are particularly critical in stages of transition such as the first year of a child’s life, divorce, formation of a step family, and puberty.

Parenting Classes

Parenting classes offer a structured curriculum for improving your parenting skills and are sometimes required by law for divorcing couples with children. Online parenting classes are available to give you flexibility in time and place to complete the course (often 4 hours). Parenting classes in a traditional format are also available in most places. Parenting classes tailored to divorcing couples cover topics such as how to raise your child with your ex-spouse, loss and grief, child custody issues, long-distance parenting, communicating effectively, and domestic violence.

Other Help for Parents

Aside from seeking formal parenting education or classes, other resources are a great supplement to your parenting skills. Getting a parenting magazine subscription will give you monthly advice delivered straight to your door from parents who have “been there” and have advice to share. A parenting magazine or newsletter will offer you valuable parenting tips and advice. Local support groups are another great resource for parenting help. If your child is facing a particular issue—such as loss of a friend or family member or substance abuse—find a support group for parents of children with similar problems. Support groups are also important for new parents who may feel overwhelmed at first with parenting responsibilities. Parents of multiples (twins, triplets, etc) can find great support from parents in the same situation.

Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen, Flickr


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