Just as you begin to prepare for baby's arrival by finding a pediatrician (see last week's post), it's also important to start thinking about and preparing for choices, challenges, and changes that come with parenting a new child -- whether it's your first or fifth. New parents in particular will experience unchartered territory, and just like taking a trip to a new location, it helps to have a map and sometimes, an interpreter.
Lamaze has created a new online course designed specifically to address critical parenting issues, like communicating effectively, dividing responsibilities, maintaining your relationship, and uncovering key strengths that will make you a better parent. In "Parenting Together: Getting Off to a Strong Start," you will take a self-guided tour through examples of real struggles parents face, along with tried and true solutions. The format of the class is self-paced and convenient -- it remembers where you've been so that you can take it as it fits into your schedule and come back where you left off.
The course also addresses conflict (aka arguing, nitpicking, yelling, finger pointing) and conflict resolution, which is perhaps one of the most important and common issues for parents of all stages. You'll see several video clips of real parents working through issues that can apply to most any couples. Ideally, you would take the course in your third trimester and again as a refresher during the first months of parenting. If your goal is to parent with your partner more effectively and peacefully, check out this course! And while you're at it, check out the other online class offerings from Lamaze, including six simple steps to a healthy birth, labor pain management techniques, breastfeeding basics, and VBAC.
The class is also interactive -- there are several worksheets with open-ended questions designed for couples to explore solutions for: