Almost every person becomes a parent, and the quality of education and family interaction depends on the parenting. With the appearance of a child in the family, the couple consciously or unconsciously acquires a new role ”“ parents; the role of parents is accepted once and for ever. However, the problem is that the biological ability to be a parent does not always coincide with the psychological readiness for parenthood. At the same time, the quality of parenting, conscious performance of the parental roles define the state of society, the family institution, and the individual psychological health of succeeding generations. That is why the development of effective parenting through the development of personal maturity of parents is an important goal of the modern society. Further in this paper, we will prove that it is essential for contemporary parents to take parenting classes before becoming parents.
The importance and effect of parenting classes on further family relations and successful parenting practices
Parenting is a socio-psychological phenomenon representing an emotionally and evaluatively colored body of knowledge, ideas and beliefs about oneself as a parent, realized in all aspects of the behavioral component of parenting (Dinkmeyer et al. 35). Thus, we can assume that in a developed form conscious parenting includes (Dinkmeyer et al. 37-40; Pawel, Reid et al. 211-12):
- family values;
- parental attitudes and expectations;
- parental relationship;
- parental feelings;
- parental positions;
- parental responsibilities;
- style of family education.
Truly conscious parents want to see their child healthy, smart and happy. All this, as is known, is laid in the very beginning of life: from the moment the egg is fertilized, and in fact much earlier, as parents mainly pass on to their children what they have themselves. That is why the birth and education of the child requires an understanding of parental responsibility and certain skills without which this responsibility cannot be real.
However, currently researchers (Pawel, Gentleman, McGroder and Hyra) pay attention that such phenomena as families with few children, increasing number of one-child families, weakening of the educational role of fathers, significant reduction in the stability of the family, and others become commonplace in the field of family and child-parent relationship. It is also necessary to mark that these days there has appeared a significant gap between the physiological and social maturation of parents. Over the past half century as a result of acceleration puberty occurs on average two years earlier (about 13 years for girls, and about 15 years for boys). At the same time the process of socialization became more complex, i.e the transmission of the diverse cultural, educational, industrial and scientific and technical experience to the youth. Social maturity, the economic independence of young people in terms of urbanization and rapid technological progress occurs much later, sometimes reaching 20-25 years. Therefore, the value of marriage, family, and children in the general cultural values of the person is formed quite late (McGroder and Hyra).
Here it should be noted that, as is known, the preparation for family life carried out in high school is the last step in the formation of young men and women as husbands and wives immediately preceding their corresponding behavior. The direct assimilation of parental experience seriously determining children’s adulthood in communication with adult family members and unavoidable preschool age role playing are left far behind; the expansion of this experience in the intra- and after-school communication has quietly passed, and the time has come to transmit to the youth everything necessary for finding happiness in their married life. Thus, as Orchard (99) reasonably marks, educational establishments today do not fully exercise their function of educating effective parents.
The true meaning and importance of family values is revealed to a person when one gains enough life experience, begins to think about the meaning of one’s own being. However, today, the majority of potential young parents have shifted stages of formation of life values: in the foreground today basically are the issues of choice of life direction, vocation, profession, gaining social independence, etc. (Gentleman). Also, often when the first emotions of the prospects of approaching early parenthood subside, the parents find that they know absolutely nothing about how to be parents, even if they understand their responsibilities, they lack basic skills (Pawel).