Co-parenting classes or programs aren't just for divorced couples anymore. Now, anyone with a serious desire to improve their parenting and coping skills can find help in one of the many well-respected programs that reach out to American parents and guardians. Although it seems like parenting cooperatively would occur naturally, it turns out that many wonderful parents frequently have co-parenting issues. In these cases, a bit of outside assistance can make a world of difference in raising well-balanced, happy, and healthy children.
Co-Parenting Classes Are Often a Requirement
Believe it or not, many states require parents going through a divorce to attend a mandatory parenting course. In some states, classes are made mandatory depending on a judge's discretion or on the country in which a divorcing couple resides. States that require divorced parents to attend some sort of co-parenting tutorial are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Beginning Your Co-Parenting Program Search
If you are interested in finding co-parenting support, you may be wondering where to begin. While getting started can be a bit of a hurdle, rest assured that there are several resources to assist you in your quest, both online and locally. Choose an option that works best for your family.
Seeking Local Options
The best place to start your search for parenting programs is in your town. Start on the internet and use keywords to find a program suited to your needs and your geographic location. While searching for co-parenting classes, focus on keywords like:
- Local (or type in your city or state name)
- Parenting/marital classes
- Parenting/marital courses
- Parenting/marital programs
- Parenting/marital workshops or resources
- Divorce course/class
- Co-parenting course/class
Other Local Options
If you are not making any headway in your initial internet search, grab your car keys and head out seeking local help. These are some great places found in most communities that tend to offer parenting and co-parenting literature and courses:
- Local community centers or YMCA centers
- Religious institutions
- Office of Family Court Services
- Local attorney offices
Online Co-Parenting Programs
In the event you can't find any local co-parenting programs that interest you, it is still possible to locate effective resources with good co-parenting advice. Due to the proliferation of child-rearing advancements in recent years, a number of organizations that cater to all types of parents have begun offering online access to programs across the nation.
Parents for Life
Parents for Life is a Christian-based program for married couples in which a nine-week curriculum teaches Christian co-parenting fundamentals to both parties. Upon enrollment, parents will learn factors such as how one's own childhood affects later parenting, different learning styles, discipline techniques, and cooperative parenting roles. Instruction takes place either in the home by a local coach or on the internet. It is relatively cheap, costing only $60 for the entire interactive, online course.
At Life Matters, parents can find an online program that will address many, if not all, of their parenting concerns. Programs run from one to eight weeks and include courses like Parenting Young Children, Parenting Teenagers, Co-Parenting Divorce Class, and Respectful and Effective Parenting. The instruction style is positive and relaxed, and students are encouraged to interact in order to ensure that they get the most out of every aspect of the available courses. The course starts at $39 and is accepted nationally if a court has ordered classes for former partners.
At Active Parenting, the courses are tailored to fit the ages of your children, your religious needs, and address divorce. Some courses satisfy court-mandated requirements, while others do not. The cost is steeper than other online programs, hovering in the hundreds range, but in registering, parents receive the class, a 200+ page parenting manual, access to a community discussion board, and over 170 minutes of helpful video instruction.
Conscious Co-Parenting Institute
Conscious Co-Parenting Institute focuses on uniting split families in the name of parenting the children well. The trained instructors offer five internet courses for broken families and are willing to work with both parents in a safe, online environment. Completion of these courses will also satisfy most court-ordered co-parenting education requirements.
Online Parenting Programs
The classes offered through Online Parenting Programs are held online at a low cost. The courses are tailored to families' unique needs. They are designed to supplement court-ordered programs and don't satisfy the requirement as some others might.
Free Online Programs
With divorce and technological advances both on the rise, many online programs are now offered free of charge.
Up to Parents
The Up to Parents site is full of tools and co-parenting tips for recently divorced or never wed parents who are seeking help in better co-parenting skills. The site includes courses, videos, and completion certificates when the work is finished.
Jewish Family Center
The Jewish Family Center website offers free parenting courses focused on managing behavior in children, raising confident kids, creating positive environments, rules and routine, and other important areas of parenting. It isn't centered on divorce or co-parenting, but if you and your ex have an amicable relationship, you could take the course together and be a strong family unit even when living apart.
Florida State University
Florida State University's Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce offers free online training centered around 3 key modules: Introduction to divorce and co-parenting, skills and strategies with co-parenting, and safety and self-care.
On the Road to Success
Education and family improvement are never negative things. No matter what issues surround your family, co-parenting programs can put every member on a path to full recovery from any trauma, as well as a path to future success. Regardless of which co-parenting class you take, the outcome is bound to be positive for all members of the family. While children benefit immensely from consistent parenting, the adults in the picture will also feel more satisfied with their parenting skills, not to mention their relationship with their co-parent.