Grandparent Classes 101: How to Master the Art of Grandparenting
While it is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, raising a grandchild can also be one of the most challenging. This is especially the case if it has been decades since you have last provided care for a young child. Fortunately, today’s world offers a variety of grandparenting classes to help smooth the transition and prepare expectant grandparents for all that comes with the role.
According to a 2019 study of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 1 in every 10 grandparents live in the same home as their grandchildren and provide some form of childcare. Furthermore, 5% of grandparents in the sample are the primary caregivers who give immediate and full-time care to their grandkids. These figures show how invaluable the role of a grandparent can be and why it is essential to have the right tools and knowledge to be the best one possible.
What Are Grandparent Classes?
Also known as expectant grandparent classes or new baby classes for grandparents, these are educational courses or programs designed not just to prepare grandparents for the role’s responsibilities but to help them be updated on the latest trends in childcare, health, and safety. They can be found in in-person and virtual formats and are typically offered by hospitals, community centers, and different organizations.
How Long Do They Usually Take?
Most in-person and online grandparent classes last for around one to three hours. Many hospitals and organizations also offer courses with multiple sessions that can be taken over a few weeks or months to cover various aspects of childcare and grandparenting.
How Do These Classes Work?
During the actual classes or sessions, expectant grandparents can learn about newborn care, effective discipline methods, nutrition for kids, and how to deal with everyday challenges from trained educators and childcare experts. Most courses also come with booklets or handouts that grandparents can use as reference material long after class.
In addition, many organizations nowadays offer online grandparent classes that allow participants to complete modules at their own pace and from the comfort of their homes. These classes typically come with quizzes, interactive exercises, and discussion boards. In addition, participants can exchange tips and advice with their fellow expectant grandparents.
What To Expect in A Grandparent Class?
These courses understand that every grandparent’s experience is unique and cater to the unique needs of the participants. This can range from expectant grandparents who want to learn about the basics of taking care of a newborn to those who are more experienced and want to gain new insights into the challenges of raising kids in the 21st century. The following are some of the most common topics covered in grandparent classes:
1) Birth and Newborn Care
This section can be likened to postpartum doula classes that teach about the physical and emotional changes a woman experiences after giving birth and the basics of newborn care. This prepares grandparents for the arrival of their new grandchild and helps them feel confident in caring for a newborn while being mindful of the mother’s needs.
2) Child Development
A child’s development in the early years is crucial to their overall growth and success in life. Therefore, this section of the class typically covers age-appropriate milestones, language development, and how to provide a balanced and enriching environment for the child.
3) Co-Parenting with the Child’s Parent
Navigating the waters of co-parenting can be tricky, especially when there are conflicting ideologies or when the child’s parents are no longer together. Therefore, this section of the class usually offers grandparents advice and tips on effectively communicating with the child’s other parent, setting boundaries, and promoting a positive relationship between the child and both of their parents.
4) Food and Nutrition
One of the most important aspects of raising a healthy child is making sure they have a well-balanced diet. This section of the class typically covers portion sizes, healthy eating habits, and how to deal with picky eaters.
5) Behavioral Issues
Kids will be kids, which means they will sometimes have tantrums, act out, or refuse to go to bed. This section of the class typically covers common behavioral issues and offers grandparents advice on dealing with them. This also mentally prepares grandparents for the occasional challenging moments they may experience while helping to raise their grandchild.
This section of the class typically focuses on teaching grandparents about different safety hazards to be aware of when caring for their grandchildren, from swimming pools, car seats, and electrical outlets to “Clever Never Goes“—the modern-day equivalent of Stranger Danger that teaches kids how to stay safe in unsafe situations. This section also covers how to create a safe home environment for the child and how to deal with emergency situations.
7) Using Today’s Technology for Grandparenting
With technology becoming an increasingly integral part of our lives, it is no surprise that many grandparent classes now include a section on using technology to help with grandparenting. This can consist of using social media to stay in touch with family, downloading helpful parenting apps, and setting boundaries with screen time.
Why Should You Enroll in Baby Care Classes for Grandparents?
For expectant grandmas and grandpas, taking baby care classes for grandparents can be a beneficial way to prepare for the arrival of their new grandchild. It can provide them with a solid foundation of knowledge on the basics of childcare or serve as a refresher course on topics they may not be as familiar with anymore. But even if you are already a seasoned pro at raising kids, you will find that most new baby classes for grandparents offer a wealth of information and advice that can help make the experience of raising a grandchild even more enjoyable.
And in case that does not convince you enough, here are a few more reasons why you should consider enrolling in a baby care class for grandparents:
8) Every Child Deserves a Strong and Supportive Grandparent Network
A University of Oxford study with over 1,500 participants reveals that children who have experienced “a high level of grandparental involvement” encountered lesser problems when it comes to their behavior and emotional health. This proves how your presence in your grandchild’s life can make a significant impact on their development and wellbeing.
9) A Healthy Home Needs a Strong Foundation
When it comes to raising a healthy and well-adjusted child, a healthy home environment is critical; by taking baby care classes for grandparents, you are ensuring that you are fully equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to provide your grandchild with a healthy home foundation.
10) Yesterday’s Parenting Methods May Not Work Today
With the world constantly changing, the way we parent our children needs some adjusting. What worked for our parents or even us when we raised our own kids may not work today? That is why it is essential to stay up to date on the latest parenting trends and methods, and what better way to do that than by enrolling in grandparenting classes?
11) Your Influence is Critical
Studies found that 9 in 10 grandchildren already in their adult years feel that their grandparents had a significant influence on their personal value system and beliefs. Thus, the role of a grandparent is far more critical than many people realize, and it is up to us grandparents to make sure we live up to that.
12) Being A Grandparent Is a Privilege
It is no secret that being a grandparent is one of the best things in life. With all the beautiful moments and memories to be made, it is a role that should be cherished and enjoyed. Hence, it is best to be prepared for it so you can make the most of it.
Types of Grandparent Classes
Taking grandparenting classes may seem time-consuming or inconvenient for others. But the truth is, there are many distinct kinds of courses available to fit your specific needs as a grandparent. Here are a few of the most common types of expectant grandparent classes:
1) In-person New Baby Classes for Grandparents
These are the most common classes and are usually offered through community centers, hospitals, or even church organizations. They provide expectant grandparents a chance to learn about newborns from experienced professionals, ask questions, and network with other grandparents-to-be through in-person seminars.
2) Virtual (Live-Stream) Grandparent Classes
Of course, not everyone has the time or resources to attend in-person classes. So that’s where online grandparent courses come in. These classes are tailored for potential nanas and papas who want to master the art of grandparenting from their own homes. These usually include synchronous webinars where participants can ask questions and interact with the instructor and modules that can be accessed at any time.
3) Virtual (Pre-recorded) Baby Care Classes for Grandparents
Like online grandparent classes, pre-recorded baby care classes for grandparents offer the convenience of learning at your own pace. However, these are solely asynchronous online classes that include recorded lectures and modules you can access at any time.
4) Postpartum Doula Classes or Seminars
Postpartum doulas are professionals who offer support to new mothers both during and after childbirth. They provide informational resources, emotional support, and practical assistance with breastfeeding and infant care. And if you are an expectant grandparent, learning from a postpartum doula is a wonderful way to prepare not just for taking care of your grandchild but also for being a support system to the child’s mother.
How To Find the Perfect Grandparenting Classes for You?
With all the diverse types of grandparenting classes available, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Here are some tips that can help you with your search and narrow down your choices:
1) Ask Your Local Community Center, Hospital, or Church
If you are clueless about where to start, ask your local community center, hospital, or church if they offer any expectant grandparent classes. There is a good chance that one of these places will have information about both in-person and online classes, as well as postpartum doula courses.
2) Do Your Research
You can also conduct your own research on the baby care classes for grandparents available in your area through Google and social media. Suppose you are more inclined towards taking online grandparenting classes. In that case, you will find a variety of courses to choose from offered by different organizations such as Motherhood Center.
3) Determine The Schedule That Works Best for You
Once you have identified your choices, the next step is to look at the schedule and determine which one works best for you. For example, if you are someone who values convenience, online grandparenting classes might be the best choice for you. However, suppose you want to have a more direct learning experience or ask questions in person. In that case, in-person new baby classes for grandparents might be a better fit.
4) Consider Your Learning Style
Apart from your routine and schedule, you should also think about your learning style. For example, do you prefer watching recorded lectures by yourself or participating in synchronous webinars? Do you want to access the modules at any time, or do you need a set timeframe for your classes?
These are just some factors that you should consider when looking for the best grandparent classes for you. But, of course, the most important thing is finding a path that will help make your grandparenting experience a fulfilling and enjoyable one.
And That’s a Wrap!
Congratulations! You are now a step closer to becoming an expectant grandparent that is ready to take on their new role. Just remember, the most important thing is to relax and enjoy this time in your life. It goes by way too quickly, and before you know it, your grandchild will be all grown up.
Please contact Motherhood Center consider the best Grandparent Classes in Houston to help you get answers to your questions about Grandparent Classes in Houston
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