It turns out that children are not tiny adults, their minds work very differently than our own, and their needs are met in very different ways than our needs are met.  Children might as well be from another planet when it comes to their emotions, perceptions and needs.  You lived on that planet yourself as a child, but I bet you can’t really remember the experience clearly.  You may find yourself asking yourself, “Why won’t this 2 year old listen to reason?”  There are good answers to this question and a thousand more.  Love is not the same thing as understanding, and I think you’ll discover that one is not more important than the other when it comes to the job of raising children.

I’m a huge fan of Parenting Classes for any parents, especially for those about to start or add to their families.  It’s natural to assume that we are intuitively equipped with everything required to understand the needs and behaviors of our children as they grow and develop.  But having had the experience of attending an excellent Parenting Class prior to co-parenting seven children ages 1.5 to 16 over a decade, I can tell you that there’s a lot more to know than what we come equipped with.

The information gained in Parenting Classes empowers you to better understand and meet the needs of your children in a healthy way, both for the benefit of your child and yourself.  Having these insights makes parenting so much easier, because when you understand your child, you feel confident and in control.  Your own emotions are not so easily triggered because the frustration of not understanding is removed.  There’s a lot of comfort to be had from a solid knowledge foundation and insight into the minds of your children as they grow and change.  And children benefit from being understood, and knowing that they are.

Here are listed some Richmond-based Parenting Classes.  I don’t have first hand experience with these listed because the class I took was in the Boston area, so you’ll have to see what feels like a good fit.  For me, my Parenting Class was maybe the best and most importantly useful class I’ve taken in my long academic career.  But then the subject was a favorite of mine.  ( :

https://www.vcuhealth.org/our-services/pregnancy-and-birth/preparing-for-childbirth/parenting-classes-and-tours

www.completelykidsrichmond.com/classes-lessons/parenting

https://www.bekindcoaching.com/

http://cometoorderva.com/services/love-logic-parenting/

*special feature:  A video put out by VCU on infant massage:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGeESgLpYiU#action=share

*additional thought:  Several of my fertility clients have also fostered children.  Fostering children is a great way to put what you’ve learned in parenting class to practice.  And the “practice” of fostering will help you when your own child joins your lives.  The added benefit is in having the experience of parenting a child at the age they come to you, thus preparing you for when your own child becomes that age.  And of course you’ll be earning karma points for loving a child in need.  ( : www.richmondgov.com/SocialServices/FosterCare.aspx