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What Is The Difference Between A Parenting and Co-Parenting Course?

Parenting classes are designed to help both new and seasoned parents learn the skills necessary to be the best caregivers they can be. Parenting is the most rewarding job anyone could ever have, but as many of us know, it can also be the most frustrating. Parenting is a tremendous responsibility and the first time around, or even the 5th, issues might arise that you just don’t feel equipped to handle. Turning to a friend, relative or neighbor for advice can be comforting, but you might end up with a number of conflicting opinions. If you are ready to get some sound, research-based advice, parenting classes is the way to go. They are available in-person for people who like to be in public, group settings or online for people who are more interested in convenience, flexibility and privacy. There are generally three types of classes to choose from including Parenting, Co-Parenting and High Conflict Co-Parenting.

What is the difference between a Parenting Class and Co-parenting class?

In a nutshell, a parenting class is usually directed by a specialist and focuses on teaching parents how to:

  • Understand and implement different parenting styles
  • Manage stress
  • Learn what to expect at different ages and stages
  • Successful boundary setting techniques
  • Appropriate rewards and discipline
  • Anger and Conflict resolution skills
  • Empathy training
  • How to build self-esteem
  • Useful ways to communicate
  • Common parenting mistakes to avoid

Co-parenting classes cover these important topics but are also designed to teach individuals how to successfully parent together after divorce or separation. A co-parenting program helps parents to understand that they must put aside their anger and differences for the best interest of the kids. Numerous studies show that children of divorce can go on to have healthy, successful relationships of their own but it’s important to establish a safe, well-balanced two household environment early on. Co-parenting classes are often court ordered to help mom and dad reduce the stress on the kids from their own conflicts, encourage empathy of the kids needs, and take personal responsibility to keep bonds strong.

Co-parenting classes include:

  • Understanding the legal process of divorce
  • Teamwork plans
  • Skills in dispute resolution
  • Importance of keeping children out of your arguments
  • Step family concerns
  • Step family life cycles
  • Facts about children and divorce
  • Divorce counseling education

High Conflict co-parenting classes cover the same topics but are longer and go more into depth on each topic.

With today’s technology online courses allow busy parents to educate themselves at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home. Caregivers simply register for the length of class they would like and then it becomes immediately available on any web-based computer like a Smartphone, Ipad or Laptop. Classes can be taken while the kids are napping or late at night when they’ve gone to sleep. There’s no need to worry about finding and paying for a babysitter or driving miles away.

Just like a live class, when you have completed the allotted number of hours, clients take a multiple-choice final exam. Once you pass, a Certificate of Completion is sent to you to verify that you successfully fulfilled the court requirements. You will find this method of learning a stress-free, engaging and educational way to learn new parenting skills.

Co-Parenting Programs Help Guide and Support Parents Through Divorce

Research shows that about 50% of marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce. This is not something that any of us like to think about when we are getting ready to walk down the isle or begin a family. Even if it does cross your mind, it’s not going to stop you from continuing with the happiness you are currently experiencing with your partner. So you get married and start a family, and then you really begin to see what your spouse is made of. Life’s every day challenges begin picking up and you realize that you just don’t see eye-to-eye and can’t spend another moment under the same roof. Well, you aren’t alone as approximately 23% of children in America today come from divorced families. The good news is that over the past few decades, research has shown that the majority of children of divorce can and do go on to have stable relationships and normal lives.

There a different phases to the divorce process. Initially parents may be completely devastated and feel a huge sense of loss and failure that they weren’t able to make the marriage work. If one spouse was unfaithful there might also be an element of distrust. Parents should be clear that during this time they should not vent to the kids about their feelings for the other spouse. The children often times are scared, confused and believe that it’s their fault that their parents are divorcing. This is a time that it’s extremely important to put your own feelings aside and focus on the well-being of your children.

One of the most important factors in helping your children through this difficult time is to keep the lines of communication open. Set aside quality time to listen closely to their feelings and fears. Explain to them that the divorce has nothing to do with how they behaved but is strictly about your relationship with the other parent. Show them that you are a strong role model by keeping them out of arguments with your ex, and not using them as “middlemen” to exchange information. If you feel the need to talk about the situation, do it with your friends and family and out of earshot of the kids! Most of all keep things uncomplicated and straightforward and reassure them that you both will continue to love them and be there for them.

The next step will be to watch closely for signs of distress and depression. These might include:

  • Bed wetting (for younger children)
  • Acting out in defiance (tantrums)
  • Increased anxiety
  • Decrease in self-esteem
  • A change in peer group
  • Withdrawing socially
  • A drop in grades
  • Drug use

If you begin to notice any major changes in behavior, don’t wait for it to work itself out. Explain to your child that talking to a trained adult about how they feel will help them to relieve their stress and feel better in the end. Look into getting help from the school psychologist, groups or even one on one attention with a family therapist.

Parents going through divorce also often need additional trained support and co-parenting guidance. If your schedule is too busy to fit in group classes or individual therapy appointments, an increasingly popular option is to take a parenting class online. Online courses give the client the flexibility to take the course whenever they have free time. Look for a high quality program that is designed by a licensed and practicing psychotherapist. Online parenting classes help parents learn the skills they need to better understand the different stages of childhood development, the best parenting techniques for rewards and consequences, and how to effectively listen and talk to your kids. Co-parenting classes also include strategies and tips for improving your relationship with your spouse. Participants will also walk away with ways to set-up two loving, stable and healthy households in which the kids will continue to feel safe and thrive.

Co-Parenting Classes Teach You How To Keep Your Kids From Getting Caught In the Middle!

Going through a divorce can be extremely challenging for everyone involved. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed with additional responsibilities and all the change that is taking place. Now the court has mandated that you take a parenting class to help resolve the high conflict situation that has escalated between you and your ex, and you can’t imagine adding one more thing to your already maxed out schedule. Well, here’s some good news. You can take this co-parenting class from the privacy and quiet of your own home while the kids are at school, napping or even late at night after everyone has gone to bed. It doesn’t have to be another burden, but instead an interesting and educational tool that will help you to replace stressed out and angry behavior towards your ex-spouse for the best interest of your children! Even though you might have years of parenting experience, this particular process is something new to your family. Online parenting classes will teach you advanced skills to support your kids during this time and implement appropriate ways to keep them from getting caught in the middle.

Our online course fits into your schedule, not the other way around. Our classes are designed to meet the court requirements for mandatory parenting education programs in an affordable, timely and engaging format. Instead of having to find a babysitter and spend a month or two driving weekly to a nightly class, you simply enroll online and the class becomes immediately available to you on any Internet connected computer device. Yes, you can use a PC, laptop, IPad or even your Smartphone. The program is available for you to take 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you can login and out whenever you have free time. The computer holds your last spot so you don’t have to waste time searching around for where you left off. And, you decide your curriculum timeline. You can spend an hour a week on the course, or power through it in one weekend if you so choose.

The goal of taking our co-parenting courses is to give you the techniques and skills you need to improve your relationship with your ex-spouse and your kids. You can expect to learn how to communicate your feelings to your ex both politely and assertively so your point gets across in a non-threatening manner. Changing your previously aggressive behavior can be life changing! You will also learn about the most current research on appropriate boundaries, rewards and discipline for parenting today. The challenges of co-parenting will be addressed as well as how to avoid the standard parenting mistakes that can come with your new lifestyle. Our clients really appreciate the time spent on anger management techniques, a skill that helps in every part of life.

The most important aspect of divorcing with kids involved is to make sure that they understand that it’s not their fault and they are still loved. Children thrive on consistency. Taking the time to learn how to set-up two separate but cohesive households will pay off in the end. This means putting aside your personal differences to work as a team to raise your kids with similar parenting styles.

So instead of looking at this mandate as another hardship, look at it as an opportunity to learn how to take this difficult life change and turn it into a positive experience. You will complete the course with a renewed confidence in your parenting abilities. When your children feel this energy, they too will gain a sense of assurance, improved morale and stability that will set them on healthy, happy path.

Learn To Parent As A Team With An Online Co-Parenting Course

After going through a difficult, tense and acrimonious divorce you might feel like you can’t spend one more breath talking with your ex. However, the fact is that this person is not going away and it’s important that you do your best to put aside your old relationship and focus now on the new one that you are about to embark on. This new chapter encompasses a relationship strictly about the kids, not the two of you. This means taking the higher road for the best interest of the children and doing your best to improve communication with your ex by utilizing stress management techniques, listening to his or her ideas to show that their opinions matter and being flexible.

Co-parenting or parenting as a team is not just about dividing your time with the kids equally. Instead it’s a way of raising your children cooperatively so that both parents remain involved even though you aren’t all under one roof. Research on children of divorced parent’s shows that this type of framework helps them to feel more secure, have better self-esteem and the confidence that their welfare comes first. Children thrive on consistency and caregivers that co-parent successfully set similar rules, disciplinary action and rewards in both homes so that kids know exactly what to expect from their behavior.

Parents who are able to overcome their negative feelings towards their ex-spouse for the best interest of the children also give the kids good role models to follow. The act of negotiating fairly and working together to resolve issues teaches kids life skills in problem solving and peaceful conflict resolution. It gives them an unselfish, stable and healthy example to follow.

The good news for the approximately 1.5 million children whose parents separate each year is that while they may feel initially devastated, most kids regroup and recover fairly quickly. Statistics show that kids that experience high levels of conflict between their parents have a harder time, but in the long run, only about 15% of adult children of divorce experience more problems than those growing up in stable families. Armed with this research, most court systems in the U.S. today agree that learning how to properly co-parent is in the best interest of the children involved. Although a parent might have years of experience raising many children, after a contentious divorce, this mode of operation may not come naturally. Often times both caregivers are mandated to take a class on the subject as part of the divorce stipulations to learn or re-learn the best ways to effectively communicate with their children and each other.

Initially, the idea of adding one more thing to an already busy schedule might sound irritating and stressful. However, an easy and highly educational solution is to take your co-parenting class online. This is becoming a more and more popular way to learn the basic steps for co-parenting success. Parents simply enroll online and the class becomes available for them to take from any Internet connected computer device, and at any time of the day or night. This gives caregivers the freedom and flexibility to learn about parenting styles, anger and conflict resolution, empathy training, what mistakes to avoid and how to set-up a co-parenting plan, completely at their own pace and on their own schedule. There’s no reason to leave the house and when the class is completed, the participant receives a Certificate of Completion in the mail to prove to the legal system that the requirement was fulfilled.

If parents can find ways to get past their anger at their ex-spouses and look for things to value in their future relationship, then a strong co-parenting team can develop. It may not be the easiest task, but in the long run it will reap many great rewards in your relationship with your children.

Parents Can Fulfill Divorce Requirements With Online Parenting Classes

Our world has become incredibly busy. Parents are trying to juggle work, raising families, getting kids to and from after school activities and trying to have some sort of a routine. Then, if you throw a pending or recent divorce into the mix, the hectic lifestyle can create even more of an imbalance. We all struggle to find enough time to spend with our kids. We know how important it is and worry about trying to fit it all in. In fact, research shows that children whose parents spend less time with them, have a higher tendency to have behavioral problems, lower grades, and are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.

So how do we find time in our busy schedules to spend more time with our children when we barely have enough time for ourselves? The first tip is to do your best not to overschedule the kids in activities. It’s our instinct as parents to want what’s best for our children and when we see that all the other kids are booked in multiple sports activities, academic preparedness classes and play dates, it’s natural to want to keep up. However, letting your more rational head prevail will keep you and the family sane!  Creating too busy of a schedule can actually hurt them by creating stress and anxiety. Instead pick one or two things a week to focus on. For example, a ballet class and an art class and leave the rest of the time open so they can just unwind, play creatively by themselves or so you can actually have one-on-one time with them.

Second, plan a schedule ahead of time. Children thrive with structure so put up a monthly calendar where everyone can see. Writing everything down will give you a reality check about whether you’ve planned too much and give you enough time to cancel things. It will also give them an idea of what to expect and a voice as to whether they really want to do all those things.

Lastly, listen to your kids! It’s more important to spend time doing things with them that they actually want to do, then to force things they aren’t interested in. Yes, sometimes we want to get them out of their comfort zone, but doing things like bike riding or building a sand castle instead of going to a big birthday party for someone they barely know will ultimately benefit your relationship and deepen your ties.

Spending more time with your kids becomes even more important during times of turmoil like during a separation or divorce. Most judges will order divorcing parents to take co-parenting classes as part of the legalities of the settlement. This can sometimes cause more stress because of the difficulty of taking time away from the kids and finding childcare. A resource that more and more divorcing parents across the country have been utilizing is online parenting classes. Ask your judge if it’s okay to take this co-parenting requirement from home so it doesn’t create a hardship. We have found that in most instances, the legal system has been agreeable to this format of learning.

Online co-parenting classes are available to take from any Internet based computer device and offer the same information, if not more, than an in-person class. While you may have been parenting for years and feel like there’s nothing else to know, co-parenting classes are meant to teach new skills for setting up two stable, separate households. Look for one that is designed to be court approved, is created by a Family Therapist and expert in the field and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The flexibility of fulfilling this legal requirement online will allow you to stay home with the kids while you are learning, save money and lower your stress level along the way!