If you’re a parent, you know the journey of parenthood is both amazing and rewarding. But chances are you also know how challenging it can be. Along with the joy, parenting also brings countless questions, uncertainties and trials. But New Orleans parents have a tremendous resource available to them in the Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital. The Parenting Center offers a variety of workshops, classes and programs for children of all ages, their parents and even grandparents.
What parent hasn’t rocked a crying baby wondering what else they can do to comfort their little one? Allow me to introduce to you to a free class based on Dr. Harvey Karp’s program, “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” where the educators at TPC teach parents the “5 Ss” that activate a baby’s natural calming reflex. Parents learn the techniques of shushing, swaddling, swaying, side-holding and sucking that help calm a fussy infant. These newborn classes take place Uptown, Metairie and on the Westbank. TPC also offers a class in conjunction with Touro for grandparents named “Grandparenting 101.” As the name suggests, it offers grandparents a review of changes in infant care covering concepts like tummy-time and back-sleeping. New grandparents and parents can feel reassured that they’re all on the same page and caring for baby with the same techniques.
Growing With You
As your newborn grows, so do your options at TPC. Classes such as “Snuggles and Struggles” are geared for parents of babies under six months. “Busy Babies” is specifically designed to give parents appropriate information related to the developmental, nutritional and activity needs of six to 10 month olds. “Let’s Play, Baby” addresses these issues for the 10 to 15 month old set. And of course, there’s TPC favorite, the drop-in play time for children from birth to age 3. Available every weekday, parents or grandparents can bring their baby to interact with other babies in the playroom and outdoor play yard. Many lasting friendships between children and parents were launched from the TPC playroom. TPC also offers parent/child music classes, art and “messy play” classes as well as discussion groups for parents addressing issue such as positive discipline and different parenting styles.
As your children approach the pre-teen stage, The Parenting Center offers a father/son and a mother/daughter class to introduce children to the changes associated with their growing bodies. In partnership with the Junior League, they also offer the “Safe Sitter” babysitting course to children 11 to 13 years old in the summer months.
To fully appreciate the multitude of resources available to caregivers, visit TPC’s website, CHNOLA.org/ParentingCenter. This site provides a detailed schedule of classes and events with dates, times and locations. It is important to note that most classes and workshops, even though free to members, do require pre-registration. The site also describes the different levels of membership, including the benefits and the price of each. If you take advantage of all TPC has to offer, it’ll make the journey down the road of parenthood a little smoother!
The Parenting Center has two locations:
Uptown at 938 Calhoun St., and Metairie at the Goldring-Woldenburg Jewish Community Campus at 3747 W. Esplanade Ave.
TPC offers a variety of workshops, classes and programs for children of all ages, their parents and grandparents, from the “5 Ss” to “Safe Sitter” and beyond.
TPC’s website CHNOLA.org/ParentingCenter:
• details the schedule of classes and workshops
• describes levels of membership
• offers pre-registration sign-up
• much, much more!