Parenting Class Topics

General Program Info • Parenting Class Topics • Schedule & Registration
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Our parenting class topics listed by category:


Child Development

How to Get the Best Out of Your Kids – 5 Keys to Unlock your Child’s Potential
How many times have you read a book on parenting and felt that some of the information was useful, but some just didn’t quite fit your child? Although there are many helpful parenting tools available, it can be difficult to get information that is targeted specifically for your child. That is what is so special about our workshop, One Size Doesn’t Fit All- Understanding Your Unique Child.

In this workshop, we will help you sort out traits unique to your child that will enable you to better understand and cope with his behaviors. The more clearly you comprehend your child, the more effective you will be in constructing parenting solutions.

We start by considering the question: when is it better to be an “Observer” of your child  and when is it better to step in as a “Participant”? Then we will take you through an explanation of the different factors that make your child unique, including maturity levels, tasks & abilities for different ages, temperament and situational factors.  Did you know that all children experience stages of equilibrium and disequilibrium, when they alternate between periods of relative calmness and greater difficulty? This invaluable information will empower you to recognize the best ways to raise your child based on his individual makeup.

You are invited to bring your own personal situation to the group and come away with customized tools that fit your needs. It is also a great opportunity to connect with other parents and gain support from them as well as from our team of parenting educators.


Parenting the Temperamentally Challenging Child
Anyone with a temperamentally challenging child may face many struggles.  How can you preserve the self-esteem of all members of the family while providing the necessary structure that the temperamentally difficult child needs?  Learn the traits that identify the challenging child and specific approaches that will keep your head above water through some pretty rough seas.


All Kids are One of a Kind – Understanding Temperament
Learn about the ten temperament traits that all children have and how each trait effects your children’s behavior and personality.  Whether your children are temperamentally challenging or not, this workshop will help you to understand why they act and feel as they do.  As your tolerance and patience increase, you will respond in better ways to behavior that in the past drove you crazy.  Ultimately, you will learn how you can help your child manage his own temperament-driven behavior.


Raising Strong, Confident Daughters
Raising happy, healthy daughters can seem more challenging than ever in today’s world.  We want to encourage them to develop to their fullest – but we may not feel prepared to help them navigate some of the confusing or even harmful messages they are hearing from society, the media and their peers.  In this workshop, you will explore the challenges that face this generation of girls and learn specific skills and techniques you can use to support them as they grow.


Riding the Waves of the Teen Years
The emotional and social changes of adolescence can be amazing and difficult to understand for both parent and teen.  Much confusion and tension can be lessened when parents are clearer about why their teen acts as he/she does.  Learn about your child’s development, and how you can meet both your child’s and your needs during this stressful life stage while still maintaining a healthy relationship with your teenager.  Also considered in this workshop are the issues of the media, substance abuse and sexuality and how you can address these with your teen.

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Toddler Workshops:

“HELP! My Toddler is Ruling the Roost” – 21 Tips for a More Peaceful Home
It seems to happen overnight: your sweet, cuddly baby becomes an active toddler and a tyrant.  How can you set limits while preserving your child’s self-esteem?  Learn approaches to handling your toddler’s need to be independent and your need to keep a semblance of order in your home.

Specifically in this workshop, you will:

  • gain an understanding of how your toddler thinks and why he acts like he does
  • learn techniques to help you manage this challenging stage


Toilet Learning
Many parents dread it…all children go through it…Toilet Learning. It can be a time of great stress and frustration for both parent and child. How do I know when is a good time to start? What do I do if my child fights it? Why does it seem like other children have learned to use the bathroom and mine hasn’t? At the Center for Parenting Education, we can help you through this milestone with our workshop, “Toilet Learning.”

Did you know that, according to Dr T. Berry Brazelton, in the 1960’s most children learned to use the toilet by 27 months of age but now only 4% have accomplished this task by 2 years of age? We will explore the reasons for this change as well as how to spot readiness in your own child.

We can guide you through some ways to start toilet learning by talking about it and demonstrating it to your child. Also covered are situational and maturity factors that can tell you if this is a good time to start. By learning some information about your child’s temperament, we can help you determine how it will go when you do start the process and things that might help you consider ways to handle “bathroom” situations based on your own child’s needs.

Most importantly, in this workshop you will get the opportunity to share your personal concerns and issues and get support from our Certified Parenting Educators as well as from other parents. Join us for this informative workshop and let us help you take the worry out of Toilet Learning!


When Your Toddler Erupts – Tackling Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums seem to be a rite of passage for toddlers, but they confront parents with many challenges and frustrations.  Parents are often unprepared for the strong feelings that are generated (both in the child and the parent) and lack skills to manage the tantrums in a way that preserves the child’s self-esteem and their relationship with their child.  In this workshop, parents learn why children have tantrums and the skills necessary to handle them.

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Discipline Topics:

Discipline: Difficult, Draining and Doable
Some days we feel so frustrated with ourselves and with our children because our parenting techniques don’t seem to be working the way we had hoped. Our children are repeating the same behaviors no matter how many times we tell them not to. If you feel that it is time for a fresh perspective on discipline, then our workshop Discipline:Difficult, Draining and Doable may be just what you need.

At the Center for Parenting Education, it is our goal to help parents find the best methods to handle tough discipline situations that not only correct the behavior, but also foster a positive sense of self in our children. Not an easy feat to accomplish when confronted with persistent negative behavior, but we have skills that can help you get there.

In this workshop, we will discuss types of constructive discipline. We will also cover information to help you apply what you are learning to your specific child when formulating a parenting plan. You and other caregivers can discuss different styles of parenting and their effectiveness as well as alternatives to punishment.

Sometimes we need to know that we are not alone in this challenging process so sharing your experiences with other parents can help you reconnect with your own goals. Join us and add new tools to your parenting tool belt!


The Truth About Consequences
Consequences are a fact of life for all of us, but how do you teach that to your child? The notion of consequences can be a complicated concept for a child to grasp, but using them effectively can help you to clearly teach your children how you want them to behave and what your values and expectations are.

In this workshop, the Parenting Educators will review many of the discipline options available. They will also examine the different types of consequences and when to use each. Sometimes parents are stymied because they don’t know what consequence to impose; we will address this common dilemma by helping you to find the hidden areas of power that all parents possess. Teaching your children how to make amends is another key aspect of consequences. Finally, we will construct a plan for using consequences when all else fails.

One of the many tips that you will learn from “Truths about Consequences” is that

“Unless you have the energy and conviction to follow through with the consequence, you shouldn’t even set a rule. It is better to address the issue when you are able and willing to hold your children accountable than to teach your children that your rules, and therefore you, can be ignored because you aren’t going to follow through.”

You’ll be sure to leave this program with practical parenting skills and you’ll also have the opportunity to talk about your personal issues and gain support from our Parenting Educators and from the shared experiences with other parents.


How Consequences Can Work for You and Your Preschooler
Since preschoolers are starting to understand that their behavior has consequences, you can begin to use this tool as a way to teach them how you expect them to behave.  In this workshop, you will learn to use your child’s increased cognitive abilities to gain their cooperation and to influence their behavior in ways that are appropriate to their age and maturity level.


Using Rules for Discipline that Works
Yes! It is possible to maintain a positive connection with your children and build their self-esteem even as you discipline them. In this workshop, you will learn the benefits of having rules within your household and how they can encourage responsibility in your children. Rules are an important way of creating structure, imparting values and setting standards for behavior. You will also learn what you can do if rules are broken so that you can handle the inevitable discipline challenges that arise.


Promoting Responsibility: A Key to Success
Parents want to raise children who are able to take care of themselves, who are accountable for their actions, and who are willing to stand behind their words.  How do we help our children to become responsible adults?  This workshop will help you to understand the many factors that impact your children’s level of responsibility and willingness to fulfill their commitments.  Discover the techniques that will help brace your children against the tide of entitlement and foster an attitude of accountability.


“M — O — M – He’s Looking at Me!” – Coping with Sibling Rivalry
If there are two or more children in a family there are bound to be times of intense bickering, arguing, and fighting.  Parents can get caught in the crossfire and not know how to help build a loving relationship between siblings whose sole goal in life seems to be to torture each other.  Learn when to leave kids alone to work it out themselves and when and how to intervene.


Turning Conflict Into Cooperation – The Skill of Problem Exploration
Explore how you can use problem exploration as a way to help your children see themselves as part of the solutions to challenges in the home rather than as part of the problem.  This empowering tool can be used in conflicts between you and your children and you can also teach your children to use it when resolving conflicts with siblings and peers.


When to Say No; When to Say Yes – Setting Limits Without Curbing Creativity

It seems to happen overnight: your sweet, cuddly baby becomes an active preschooler.  How can you set limits while preserving your child’s self-esteem?  How can you remain calm and confident even when you must stop children from unacceptable behaviors?  Learn approaches to balance your child’s need to be independent with your need to keep a semblance of order in your home by developing skills in rule making, handling protests and using alternatives to punishment.

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Anger Management

“You’re So Mean – I Hate You!” – Taming the Anger Monster in Children

“You’re So Mean – I Hate You!” Most parents don’t expect to hear their child say this to them. It can make them question their parenting and evoke painful emotions. After all, aren’t we all trying so hard to do the best we can for our children?  How frustrating and disheartening!

Anger is an inevitable part of life and yet can be a frightening emotion. It is actually not the anger itself but how the anger is expressed that determines whether it is healthy or not. Children are not born with the knowledge of how to handle the frustrations, disappointments and limitations they face, and this often results in their being angry.

In this workshop, you will learn to spot the triggers of your children’s anger and the different ways they show it, as well as what the results of that anger can be.  Finally, you will learn ways to cope with your children’s anger and how to help them find acceptable means to express it.

Some tips you will learn include: teaching your children to separate their feelings from their behavior by allowing their feelings while still setting limits on their behavior, and empowering your children by encouraging them to use words to express their anger verbally and safely.  Here is a sample of what you might say:

  • “You may be angry but you may not hit, bite or hurt anyone.
  • “We don’t call names in our family.  Tell him what you are upset about.”

Remember that your child learning to live in reasonable harmony with others takes many years.  We can provide you with the tools that will take you through these years of growth.

Coming to a workshop is very different from reading a parenting book or magazine article.  Please join us for some quiet time without interruptions when you can meet other parents who have similar experiences and who are in the same parenting stage of life.  You can ask questions, share stories, and hear how other people handle situations.  You will come away feeling less alone and more connected to a network of other concerned and caring parents.


Turning Down the Heat in Your Home:  How to Keep From Boiling Over With Anger
Anger is a frightening and yet inevitable emotion experienced by both parent and child.  Learn how to handle anger in healthy ways that preserve your child’s and your self-esteem and that maintain and build a positive relationship between you as you are confronted with the challenges of parenting.

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Parenting Skills

The Core of Confidence: The Pillars of Self-Esteem
There is no greater gift we can give to our children than high self-esteem, which is the cornerstone of their success personally, academically, behaviorally and socially.  But fostering it in your children takes more than simply telling them how great they are.  In this course you will learn the skills to nurture a deep sense of self-worth and capability in your children.


Hear and Be Heard: 7 Skills for Healthy Communication
The number one trait of a healthy family is the ability to communicate in healthy ways, but sometimes it seems that a parent and a child speak different languages. Learn specific skills to help you facilitate healthy, clear and direct communication that will help you to build a strong relationship with your child.  These are lifelong skills that are effective with anyone, regardless of age!


Teasing & Bullying Survival Tips
One of the most distressing situations a parent can face is to know his child is being teased or bullied by another youngster.  A child who is persecuted, bullied and teased is more likely than other kids to be lonely, depressed, anxious and angry.  Bullies can run into problems with violence and more, if not given help.  What can parents do to protect their children?  How can they teach their children to protect themselves and to avoid these situations?  When is it appropriate to intervene directly and when is it better to offer support and guidance from behind the scenes?  This workshop addresses these issues and many more while offering tips to help children gain the self-confidence they need to handle bullying situations.


Teasing During the Preschool Years
Even though preschoolers are too young to be involved in serious bullying situations, it is not too early to teach your children skills that will help them avoid becoming a victim or a bully when they are older.   At this workshop, you will learn how to teach your preschoolers to stand up for themselves assertively and to develop social skills and empathy that will buffer them from the stress of teasing and bullying later on in life.


Fundamental Skills of Effective Parenting: “I Want to be a Better Parent  – But I Don’t Know How!”

This 10 week, in-depth course looks at parenting from many different perspectives.  A few of the topics that will be covered are effective discipline, self-esteem, communication skills, family dynamics, child development and team parenting.  If you are interested in enhancing your parenting skills, this outstanding course may be just what you and your family needs.


Instilling an Attitude of Gratitude in Your Children
It can seem at times that children today are more materialistic and have come to expect that more and more be done for them rather than them feeling grateful for what they have and accepting responsibility for their own lives.  In this workshop, explore the issue of over-indulgence: what it is, where it comes from and what you can do to shift your children from materialism a sense of entitlement to gratitude and personal responsibility.


Someone’s Got To Do It, Why Not You? Having a Healthy Dialogue With Your Children About Sex
Having age appropriate talks about sexuality can be easy.  Find out how.  It’s never too early to answer questions and decrease the embarrassment and discomfort these discussions may bring.  For parents with children of all ages.

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School Related

Helping Your Child Succeed in School

There can be many questions that parents have about what they can do to help their children to do as well as they can in school.  This workshop will address the issues of how to determine your child’s “learning style,” how to best interact with the school personnel, how to cope with the stresses and pressures that your children feel, how to develop healthy attitudes and habits about school in general and homework in particular, as well as many other factors which affect your children’s performance in school.


But I Don’t Want to Go to School – Issues in School Refusal
Did you know that 25% of all children will refuse to go to school at some point during their childhoods and that this is the third most common cause of children’s absences?  What can parents do to encourage a positive attitude about school and prevent school refusal from becoming a routine, troublesome behavior.  In this program, learn some of the symptoms, causes and consequences of school refusal and what you can do to help your child feel motivated to attend school.

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For Parents

Parents Matter – 1 hour presentation

Experts agree that parents are the most important influence in their children’s lives.  In this workshop, you will learn what children need from their parents in order to thrive.  You will also discover how you can encourage a strong sense of self-esteem so that your children believe in themselves and become caring and responsible people.


The Myth of the Perfect Parent – 1 hour presentation
Have you ever heard of the Myth of the Perfect Parent?  Or seen a friend or neighbor who seems to have it all together? Do you ever feel like you don’t quite measure up?  We have answers for you!

For many of us, parenting  comes with a set of expectations that either you have for yourself or that you get from your family or community.  In this workshop, we will explore the image of what we think a parent should be and how that image relates to the reality of parenting.

Is it really possible to do it all? Where do we get this idea that we can attain such perfection? We will cover the implications of the myth, why it such a dilemma for so many parents and how the guilt when we feel we haven’t reached a certain standard can impact us. It is important to feel good about our job as parents but it is hard to be positive when guilt takes over.

Our discussion will lead us to what being a perfect parent really means. Maybe it’s the definition that needs to be changed to suit the reality and that is something we can help you figure out. One of the most valuable things you will get from this workshop is support and shared experiences from other parents who feel as you do. You will be able to discuss your own personal situation, if you choose, and gain insight from others. Join us and leave with a greater sense of self and an increased appreciation for the important job you do!


It’s Okay to Sit Down – Getting Your Needs Met as a Parent – 1 hour presentation
Sometimes parents can feel that they are always satisfying the needs of everyone else in the family, and that there is no energy, time or other resources remaining to do something for themselves.  When parents feel drained and resentful, they are not able to continue to nurture other people.  This workshop will help parents to identify their own needs, change some of their attitudes about getting their own needs met, and to find some practical ways to replenish their supply of energy.


Partners in Parenting – Working Together as a Team
Working together with the people who are involved in the care and raising of your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children.  Explore the issues involved in creating this “team spirit” and learn the skills you can use to provide this security for your children.


Debunking the Myth of the Perfect Parent – Taking Time for You
2.0 or 1.5 hour presentation
Parents try to do the best job possible raising their children, but this quest for “perfection” can leave them feeling drained and exhausted. In this workshop, parents will identify their own needs, change some of their attitudes about getting their own needs met, and find some practical ways to replenish their supply of energy. Parents will leave with the understanding that overdoing for their children and depriving themselves does not make a “perfect” parent.

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