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On Parenting
Posted at 11:03 AM ET, 12/19/2011

Parenting classes for soon-to-be grandparents

Registered nurse and grandmother Linda Paroskie teaches expectant grandparents Judy Rodgers and Peter Chapin how to properly bathe a child during a grandparenting class at Inova Alexandria Hospital. (Katherine Frey - THE WASHINGTON POST)
From elsewhere in The Post: Parenting rules often change. Should babies sleep on their backs or stomachs? Let them cry it out or console them? Having not cared for a baby in decades, future grandparent may not know the answers anymore. To brush up on their child-rearing skills, many have started to enroll in prenatal classes.

“The prospective grandparents in this class have enrolled in order to freshen up their child-rearing skills and to become helpful, productive members of the baby industrial complex. It is also, by necessity, a parenting class, focusing on the delicate matter of how to nurture one’s adult progeny at a momentous time in their lives...Here, the grandparents will learn advanced crib purchasing, including the evils of the drop-side crib. Here, they will learn remedial bathing — how the latest literature suggests saving the hair for last, to prevent chills,” writes Monica Hesse.

These classes are offered throughout the country. Linda Paroskie, a registered nurse and educator, teaches classes for grandparents at three Inova hospitals including one in Alexandria.

From Hesse’s story: “The young people of today can be challenging,” Paroskie says brightly, pointing out that grandparenting classes can be excellent for dissolving friction. “They’re all very educated, and they’ve read it all online. The best way to be a good grandparent is to be supportive of your children’s decisions as parents.”

Would you encourage your parents to take prenatal classes? Grandparents, how did you prepare for the arrival of your grandchildren?

By On Parenting  |  11:03 AM ET, 12/19/2011

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