Why Would Mandatory Parenting Classes in Schools Be a Good Idea?

Parenting classes may provide the opportunity to work one-on-one with children.
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Mandatory parenting classes as part of the school curriculum can provide a tremendous benefit to students. Sadly, not all students are exposed to important aspects of good parenting. Many students find themselves parents before they are mature and emotionally equipped to deal with the challenges of parenthood. Parenting classes can expose students to the impact of a nurturing environment, the physiological and emotional developmental process, the importance of education and effective behavior management practices.

1 Importance of Nuturing

Mandatory parenting classes help expose students to the tremendous impact that a loving and caring environment can have on a child's development. Students who have never had the opportunity to care for an infant or small children may consider changing diapers, feeding and clothing to be the greatest responsibilities of a parent. In a parenting class, though, students learn that providing a nurturing environment is essential in raising a well-adjusted child.

2 Importance of Education

All parents have a four- to five-year head start on teachers in helping their children develop a desire to learn and a positive outlook toward school. Mandatory parenting classes can help students understand that early learning affects potential success in school. Students learn that education starts very early in life and that failure to stimulate a child's intellectual development in the early years might put them behind their classmates. Students learn that simple strategies such as reading to young children, drawing with them and answering questions can have a tremendous educational impact.

3 Social and Emotional Development

Some mandatory parenting classes educate future parents on children's social and emotional development. Since socialization and emotional development begin very early, it is essential that parents seize the opportunity. In mandatory parenting classes, students are provided information and strategies for helping young children cultivate social and emotional skills.

4 Effective Behavior Management

Mandatory parenting classes provide exposure to a variety of effective behavior management strategies, understanding child behavior and ways of managing child behavior. Students learn behavior modification techniques and the impact of rewarding good behavior. They learn that when punishment is necessary, it should be age-appropriate and fit the infraction. It is important that students see value in nonaggressive strategies and learn how to help children to self-monitor their behavior. Parenting classes help students see that effective behavior management is more about behavior modification than punishment.

Katherine Bradley began writing in 2006. Her education and leadership articles have been published on Education.com, Montessori Leadership Online and the Georgia Educational Researcher. Bradley completed a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Mercer University in 2009.