Early in our marriage, I won tickets to a Gary Chapman marriage seminar. Brian and I had a great time and really reconnected with each other that weekend. One of the things I remember Mr. Chapman saying – well, other than the fact that his wife never shut cabinet doors and I couldn’t imagine anyone not shutting a cabinet door they’d just opened until Megan came along, but that’s a whole ‘nother story – was that married couples should try to go to a marriage seminar every year because it was a great way to keep your marriage healthy.
Fast forward a few years. When Brianna was still in public school – in first grade – I went to pick her up one day. I noticed a sign on the bulletin board for a parenting seminar. I figured if a marriage seminar was good for your marriage, a parenting seminar must be good for your parenting, right?
What I didn’t know was that we were, apparently, the only parents to sign up for this event without being court-ordered to do so.
Talk about awkward – especially when the children’s librarian whom you’d seen at the library every week for the past several years for story time was one of the people helping. I did feel the need to explain that we were there of our own free will. It was a really good seminar, though, and I’m glad we signed up.
So, why would you want to attend a parenting seminar?
1. Parenting seminars can provide you with new ideas.
It doesn’t matter if your kids are toddlers or teens, there is always something to learn about this parenting thing. Even if you only pick up one new idea – whether it’s a disciplining technique or an idea for connecting with your child – if it’s effective, it was worth the time to attend the seminar.
And, the fact is, each new stage of childhood brings its own unique sets of challenges for parents. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the toddler stage, here comes some new preschool phase. Just a couple of weeks ago, our church offered some breakout sessions. I went to one about kids and the internet and social media. Y’all I’m a social media manager. I thought I had this thing down. Um, yeah. I walked away with a page of notes. There’s always something new to learn.
2. Parenting seminars can encourage you.
No matter how good you may feel about your overall parenting skills, there are days when we all feel like a failure – when we think maybe we should start saving for our kids’ therapy bills. A good parenting seminar often helps me see the areas where I’m getting it right while providing encouraging ideas for how I can work on being a better mom.
3. Parenting seminars can offer great suggestions on ways to reconnect with your kids.
Just as you can walk away from a marriage seminar feeling closer to your spouse and armed with ideas for ways to regularly connect with each other, parenting seminars can spark ideas for ways to feel closer to your kids. Again, that ages and stages thing often comes into play. The ways your preschool daughter enjoyed spending time with you are likely not the same now that she’s a teen.
4. Attending a parenting seminar can help you mentor someone else.
When we went to that parenting seminar when Brianna was younger, I spoke to our small group leader about the fact that perhaps we were out of place – that I hadn’t realized that the other families were there because they had to be. She encouraged us to continue because many of the other families attending hadn’t really ever had strong family relationships modeled for them.
Now, that situation probably isn’t going to be the same at most parenting seminars, but the fact is that there are parents who are coming along behind you – with kids at stages you’ve already been through – who could benefit from your wisdom and experience…even on those days when you don’t feel wise or experienced.
Where can you find a parenting seminar?
I know that, in our area, parenting seminars aren’t as readily available as marriage seminars. That’s why I’m happy to partner, once again, with Amy McReady, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and a Today Show contributor, to offer a FREE LIVE training webinar on Tuesday, February 25, from 9 to 10 p.m. Eastern time.
From toddler temper-tantrums to teenage talking back, parents wonder what it takes to get kids to cooperate. If you’re tired of nagging, reminding and yelling to get kids to listen – this session is for you. Discover proven tools for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas including the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences. You can find out more and sign up for the webinar at Positive Parenting Solutions webinar hosted by Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. I’ll hope to see you there!