What Will I Learn From An Online Parenting Course?

There are plenty of online parenting courses at the ready for any stage or worry that comes with raising little ones.

As a mum, I like to be prepared. We prepare for every big milestone in our lives interviews, driving test, exams etc. Should parenting be any different?
Should we be educating ourselves throughout this journey of parenthood? Some will argue parenting is instinctual while others will agree there is always something to learn, to better.
With so much information at our fingertips and “Dr.Google” the first place most of us turn to when we need advice, there are plenty of online parenting courses at the ready for any stage or worry that comes with raising little ones.

Whatever your views may be on online parenting courses, here is everything you need to know.

What is a parenting course?
A parenting course is an opportunity to meet with other parents and address a whole range of issues and subjects related to parenting. Most courses will help parents enhance their relationship with their child and then look at how parents deal with troublesome behaviour. The benefit of doing the course with other parents is that it helps people realise that they are not alone -all parents have difficulties sometimes.
The other parents on the course can provide friendship, support and encouragement, which can last long after the course has finished. They can also raise problems they have in their family. Other parents listening will be prepared if they experience similar problems in the future. There is often laughter, sharing and a strong sense of camaraderie. Essential in my experience of raising kids.

What is an online parenting course?
An online parenting course is more suited for parents that cannot find the time to meet in person. If they work or their children are a little older and have specific areas they wish to learn more about, online is a great way to do it at a time that is convenient. An online course can also offer the support of other parents in a similar situation. The can often have an accompanying Facebook group where parents can chat online and feel that camaraderie there rather than in person.
Some online parenting courses also come with a support team. This is a group of people who answer any questions you may have about the course material or the program in general. If your course has a customer service team who can answer questions, this is a helpful resource because it means you can ask questions of aspects you may not understand at home.

What subjects do online parenting courses cover?
Online parenting courses cover a whole range of topics and issues. You can find a course to suit pretty much anything you need, nowadays. But, here are some of the most common courses available.

1. Relationship building skills - Descriptive praise, play, talking and listening skills, one-on-one time, unconditional love and acceptance, giving positive attention and empathy.
2. Social skills - Helping children to make and keep friends and fostering sibling harmony.

3. Ways to keep children safe and healthy so that they can function well - Healthy eating, dealing with fussy eaters, exercise, family meals, safety and internet safety.

4. Ways to help children learn - Ways to encourage life-long learning, partnering with schools, reading, managing homework and encouraging persistence, having fun family outings, things to do with children, special time, celebrations.

5. Ways to help children become independent - Helping to allow freedom as children mature, helping at home, problem-solving skills and confidence building.

6. Ways to instil values and morals - Role modelling, noticing and praising and discussing moral dilemmas.
7. Managing anger and frustration - Ways to regulate emotions, reflective listening and managing tantrums.

8. Good parental skills - Strategies to stay calm, parenting as a team, personal time out, maintaining good adult relationships, using support networks, understanding child development, managing family arguments and dealing with stress.

9. Ways to help children understand boundaries - Setting rules, having clear limits, saying ‘no’ assertively, establishing clear routines and promoting positive behaviour.

10. Ways to deal with misbehaviour - Positive discipline, staying firm, being consistent, natural consequences, repeating poor behaviour correctly, distraction, ignoring, time out and learning from mistakes.
How much does an online parenting course cost?
There are many different types of parenting courses and also what they have to offer. It is important to find one that will suit your needs and expectations. But as a general guide here, are some types below. 
  • For a low-cost course – one with compartmentalized solutions, limited access, and no personalized support – you can expect to spend between €50 - €100.
  • For a moderately priced course – one with limited access and some form of personalized support – you can expect to spend between €150 - €300. 
  • For a higher-priced course – one with lifetime access to materials, highly personalized support options, and instruction from an expert – you can expect to spend between €250 - €400.

There are many online parenting classes out there, so be sure to do your research and find one that best fits your family’s needs for support and access.

A great site to find a course in your area is www.parentplus.ie; it allows you to pop in your area and your needs and it will show you what is available.

Barnardos is also a great resource for finding a course. Again, you can pop your location in and your needs and it will find appropriate courses for you.

Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.

Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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