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Why Professional Development Should be Required for Parenting

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Kimball Family Christmas Photo

You’d think that after 4 years of college and a full year internship program in education, that I’d be uniquely and perfectly suited to be a parent. That as a trained teacher of children and a teacher of an online cooking course for kids that I’d kind of know it all and have much less of a learning curve than most.

I hoped so, too, but if you’re a parent – you know that the most common “curve” is the curveball, and they just keep coming!

Do you ever read the horror stories of children left in a (cool) car for 5 minutes, playing at a neighborhood park or walking somewhere safe by themselves and then being taken away from their parents – and just shudder? No one is a perfect parent, and it’s crazy that one error in judgment can turn into an arrest and legal battle in our current culture.

One thing I’m often struck by in those stories, however, is the parents’ reactions to the mandatory parenting classes they often must take as part of their sentencing.

It “turned out to be a blessing,” said Kim Brooks, after she chose not to fight the charges lest she risk losing – the case and her kids. She enjoyed her community service hours and saw the bright side in the good disciplinary advice she received from the social worker.

We’re all in her shoes.

We’ve all made errors in judgment before in our parenting – whether it had to do with vehicles or ice cream, inconsistent punishments or snapping at a child in frustration.

And I’m willing to bet we’d all benefit from a little professional development in our most important job of all – the care of our children.
Parenting Tips for the Bone Tired Parent

We were fortunate to have a parenting class at church last summer that I convinced my husband to attend with me, and it was a great experience.

If you have one for free, locally, my goodness, go for it! But not all of us have the opportunity to do something in person, so it’s amazing that there are chances online to get some “professional development” in our most important job – parenting.

The one we went to was Love & Logic, which I’ve dabbled in off and on since Education school in college and my early parenting years. I love the system – the practicality of it, the slight sarcasm, the logic. It’s totally my style (but I don’t know if it would be a perfect fit for everyone). There are lots of good parenting systems, none of which can be the “best” or “only.” And not everyone needs to use a “system” either!

But one thing that I’m 100% convinced of and was reminded of when we attended the classes at church? That we need refreshers.

Even with my college degree in Education, I still hit points in my parenting where I forget everything I learned (or at least how to apply it). A year ago we felt like horrible parents who yelled all the time. The class was both reassuring and reorienting.

We were given the gift of camaraderieYes, it’s hard. Yes, parenting is a complicated affair. Yes, everyone struggles.

The gift of affirmationHey, we already do that, way to go, us!

The gift of a reminderOh, yeah, we used to know that but fell out of the habit.

On some suggestions, we could only think, Ooooo, that would never work at our house.

But we also found some new gems that could only be described as brilliant ideas.

I’m guessing that’s probably how most parents are at a parenting class.


You gain some skills, you tune out a little. But overall, worth your time for sure.

Family on First Communion Day

So worth it, in fact, that I do feel like all parents should be required to have some parenting classes, if even this college-trained teacher gets off course every so often.

I am not going to advocate for the government to step in and mandate and legislate one more thing about our lives though. Ick. I just want to encourage parents to take it upon themselves to think about their vocation as parents as a real job, and thus to seek out professional development on their own.

How about a free opportunity to learn some new parenting gems? I’m excited to invite you to join me next week to:

  • learn why kids act out
  • get the reversal strategy so you can stop nagging, reminding and yelling to get kids to listen
  • add proven tools to your parenting toolbox for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas
  • understand simple discipline strategies to encourage your kids to listen and do the right thing
  • learn why bribes, time-outs, and counting to 3 aren’t working for you
  • nail down the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences

It’s an hour-long investment in your profession as a parent: a training webinar that will fit your schedule:

Register Now button

I can’t wait for this refresher – again. I’ve attended this very webinar at least twice now, maybe three times, but I won’t be wasting a precious second. It’s been a full year since those Love and Logic classes, and guess what? My good intentions have turned back into yelling, and I’m ready for a reboot.

Thank you, Amy, for giving me an opportunity!

Since there are so many parenting philosophies and “systems” out there, how will you know if Amy’s approach is a good fit for you?

Get kids to listen without nagging, reminding, or yelling

Just come listen – you’ll know by the end of the one-hour workshop if it resonates with you and feels like a comfy old slipper or if you just aren’t the right personality for it. Most KS readers have truly appreciated the strategies, so unless you’re a hard-core spanker or already have well-oiled systems, you have a good chance of connecting with Amy, who is a mom just like me.

If you’re looking to reclaim your calm voice and restore some peace to your home, this webinar will be worth your time tenfold. FIND A WEBINAR TIME THAT WORKS FOR YOU.


Amy McCready from Positive Parenting Solutions

Parenting expert and “recovering yeller” Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of the best selling book, The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic – A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World. Amy is a regular parenting contributor on The TODAY Show and has  appeared on Rachael Ray, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Steve Harvey and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys.


The winner of the Squooshi giveaway is:

  • Talia B.

Winner has been emailed with redemption instructions. Didn’t win? You can still get 10% off your entire purchase at Squooshi with coupon code KS10%OFF. Enjoy!

Need three more parenting strategies to help you raise successful children? Check out this interview!!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Positive Parenting and will receive commission if you end up becoming a member of their full membership site, but the webinar is completely free and totally actionable!

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

7 thoughts on “Why Professional Development Should be Required for Parenting”

  1. re: “So worth it, in fact, that I do feel like all parents should be required to have some parenting classes, if even this college-trained teacher gets off course every so often.

    I am not going to advocate for the government to step in and mandate and legislate one more thing about our lives though. Ick. I just want to encourage parents to take it upon themselves to think about their vocation as parents as a real job, and thus to seek out professional development on their own.”

    Really? first, you think it should be required and then you don’t? I am not a “college trained teacher” yet I home educated my children k-12 and both went on to college with good success and onto very good careers. The key is raising children in the love and admonition of the Lord, NOT a mandated parenting class. This is the issue we have in this society. No one is perfect, and do not expect there to be an Utopia on Earth through the hands or thinking of man. I apologize if this comes off as anger…not meant to be anger…just a hot button issue where we DO NOT NEED THE GOVERNMENT telling us how to raise our families. The problem I see is not a lack of parenting skills but a lack of seeking the Lord and His Word for our guidance and the Holy Spirit to enable us.

    Be blessed

  2. I’m sorry, but allowing your 9 and 10 year old kids walk to the park unsupervised is not a *shudder* moment! Back when I was a kid, all kids ran the neighborhood and walked where they wished. Statistics show kids are safer today than they have been since 1994 and even before this.

    I totally disagree with you that parenting should be done by ‘professionals’. Just what makes anyone a pro at parenting? Especially your own child?

    Some people may not have been raised right. but the majority have been raised well. We live in a fallen world (full of sin) and this world is not perfect, but God gave children to parents and not to the state to raise.

    Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and older neighbors, these are the ‘experts’ that people have relied on since the beginning of time. These are the ‘experts’ many parents seek out when they have problems.

    And no, no parent should be required to have some parenting classes! That is the thinking of socialists and communists. I raised 8 children without the government and thankfully without the scare tactics of today’s helicopter moms. I gave my kids the same freedoms I had as a child, meaning they were allowed to walk around town without having the cops called! They’ve all grown up to be fine people and are now raising their own children, many of these also now grown up.

    When I felt I needed help with my kids, I first went to my husband, then to my parents or his. This was not often. I grew up with decent parents, active grandparents, uncles and aunts.

    My dad grew up in a time (30’s) when kids ran from sunup to sundown and so did we. So did my kids and now my grandkids. I am not talking about kids running wild, I am talking about kids out and about the community walking downtown to catch a movie, or walking to the library, or to a friend’s house. Most of these are 1 mile or more away, and there is NOTHING wrong with this!

    One of the saddest things I’ve noticed in recent times is the lack of children outside playing in the summer. It is often eerily quiet on most streets.

    If you want an expert opinion on how to raise your children, open up your bible, have conversations with your spouse, ask grandma and grandpa, and leave the government out of it!

    1. Hi Lori,
      I’m not sure you caught the tone of my post – I’m totally sarcastic that 9-10yos walking to the park is wrong. What’s crazy is that people out there are calling CPS on situations just like that. That makes me shudder! 🙁

      I let my kids have a pretty long apron string myself. 🙂

      And absolutely no, I don’t want gov’t involvement in parenting nor do I think professionals should raise my child. I’m saying that all parents typically benefit from a parenting class, because it IS our job, not because we need professionals. Unfortunately not everyone has good examples of parents to learn from in their families. 🙂 Katie

  3. I definitely do not think that anything should be mandatory, and especially not by the government! I’m glad you agreed with that, but your blog title is misleading.
    I do agree that as parents we should always be striving to better ourselves, and classes could be a good way for some, books for others, and the example and sharing of family friends for others.
    Btw, I’ve taken the Love and Logic and thought a lot of it ridiculous, the rest obvious, but that could be because the instructor was not very good, and because I’ve had good examples to follow in my life, as well as a strong Biblical foundation.

  4. It used to be that families stuck together, and children learned about relationships and parenting from watching others. And as we girls got older, we learned more, from babysitting and doing chores. I’ve never liked the way things are headed with families – everybody working and trying to amass the most “things”, while letting their kids raise themselves – or someone else raising them in a day care center. Childrens’ lives are too regulated and planned out. Kids need to be kids. Without anyone telling them what to do.

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