The government is offering free parenting classes to families with children under five in a bid to encourage external help with childcare.
The pilot scheme will begin in April and will start off as a two-year trial. The government hope that it will encourage families to seek assistance during the first few years of their child’s life and that it'll be as popular as antenatal classes, which offer the same kind of advice for parents-to-be.
Parenting charities, including The National Childbirth Trust, Save the Children and the Fatherhood Institute, will host sessions at the schemes, which will initially take place in London (Camden), Derbyshire (High Peak) and Middlesbrough.
The scheme will be free, with vouchers distributed to parents who will be asked to redeem them at any of the providers in the area.
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather, who is backing the new scheme, told the Press Association: "Being a parent is one of the most important jobs you can do. Parents are the most important influence on a child's healthy development and future lives.
“We know from the demand for self-help books and from speaking to mums and dads that they would welcome light-touch key advice and support from time to time.
"Most parents go to antenatal classes before their child is born. We want parents to be able to seek help and advice in the earliest years of their child's life and for this to be a normal part of family life."
However, some parents feel there is a stigma attached to asking for help or attending parenting classes, which is why this scheme has employed the help of leading expert organisations with a good background of reaching out to parents of all backgrounds.
“They will attract and engage parents through a mixture of face-to-face and online classes, and in a variety of community settings including schools and children's centres," explained Teather.
"The settings for classes need to be attractive and convenient to parents and offered in a variety of locations."
A separate study claims middle class children are being held back by childcare and suffer from problems with their development, health and behavior as a result.
The study by researchers from the Queen’s University in Canada, found that childcare leads to a substantial drop-off in parents’ involvement in their child’s upbringing. This leads to a “significant decline” in the child’s learning skills, suffering more ill health and have a more aggressive nature than children who went to nursery.
How To Be A Positive Parent
Tips on how to instill good behaviour in your child from an early age by using the 'positive discipline' approach, as advocated by the <a href="http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/positive-parenting/encouraging-better-behaviour/encouraging-better-behaviour_wda72886.html#positive_parenting_and_positive_discipline" target="_hplink"><strong>National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Children</strong></a> (<strong>NSPCC</strong>).
Show The Love
You can never spoil your child by showing them too much love. Boost their self-esteem by making them feel cherished, safe and special.
Have Clear Rules
Have clear simple rules and limits. Your child needs to know what the boundaries are, what is and is not acceptable. Keep it simple to avoid confusion and concentrate on behaviour that really matters.
Praise Good Behaviour
Praise good behaviour that you want to encourage and chances are, your child will repeat this as they know there's a reward at the end of it.
Ignore Bad Behaviour
If you ignore behaviour you don't like, it is less likely to be repeated by your child. Make it clear that you're open to communication when they are behaving, but not when they are being naughty or disruptive.
Avoid Direct Criticism
Rather than telling your child off for being bad, identify what they have done wrong and criticise the behaviour instead. Direct criticism can cause your child to go into their shell and become shy and withdrawn.
Show The Signs
Be as demonstrative as possible. Sweep her off her feet and praise her to when she's been a good girl. She'll remember how happy it makes her feel and make her want to be good again.
If it looks as though your child's behaviour is starting to deteriorate, step in before things go wrong. Redirect them to another activity to avoid conflict. Acknowledge your child's feelings by saying, 'I know you are cross" but make it clear that it doesn't go beyond that point.
Let Go of Control
Children need to learn about dealing with choices and decision-making. Don't impose your decisions on them all the time, let them have their say on little things and gradually increase this as they get older.
Never Be Threatening
Never use threats or physical behaviour, as this will only make the situation worse. Negotiate solutions when there is a disagreement and remember to communicate to help dissolve the problem. This way, your child will end up understanding what went wrong and why you are upset with them.
Set A Good Example
It's vital for parents to be positive role models for their child and practice what they preach. Actions speak louder than words. Let your child see that rules apply to everyone in the family, not just him or her.