Who says kids should have all the fun learning and growing? Parenting is a learned skill, too. But it’s not always fun — and it’s never easy.
Parenting instincts and confidence benefit greatly from exposure to research-based strategies and time-tested wisdom from expert educators. Here are Valley programs that offer classes to help you find the sweet spot where “effective parenting” meets “enjoyable experience” for all.
Arizona Facts of Life Active Parenting
3310 W. Flower St., Phoenix
602-254-2704 • azfactsoflife.org
Workshops educate parents on a variety of issues related to teens and youth ages 11 to 17. Topics include Understanding Your Teen, Active Communication, Reducing Power Struggles, Parenting with Style, Preventing Teen Drug Use and Control vs. Influence. Funded by the Arizona Department of Health Services Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Classes are free and court-approved.
Benevilla Family Resource Center
16752 N. Greasewood St., Surprise
623-207-6016 • benevilla.org
Provides free parenting classes, support groups, literacy events, purposeful play groups, referrals to community agencies and a lending library for families with children from birth to age 5. The center is funded by a grant from First Things First.
Deer Valley Family Resource Center
Copper Creek Elementary, 7071 W. Hillcrest Blvd., Glendale
New River Elementary School, 48827 N. Black Canyon Fwy., New River
623-445-4727 • dvusd.org/dvfrc
Provides support to strengthen families living in the north Phoenix region. Offers education, prevention and awareness by coordinating existing programs and services to meet the needs of families with children ages birth through 5. Empowers parents and caregivers to become educators themselves and join in the joy of their child’s learning during the early developmental years. Funded by a grant from First Things First.
Fun Van by First Things First
480-474-8559 • ajpl.org/funvan
A free, mobile parenting-education program operating in Pinal County in association with Apache Junction Public Library and First Things First. Children from birth to age 5 and their parents or caregivers attend 11 weekly classes on early literacy and parenting skills. Each class includes crafts, play time, story time, parent session, a book to keep and more.
Gilbert Parent University
Workshops and events are held in schools around the district and include topics on social-emotional development, mental health and wellness, suicide awareness and prevention, positive discipline and guidance, cybersafety and responsible technology use, special education, drug/alcohol and tobacco/vaping awareness and prevention, preparation for kindergarten and transitions to junior high/high school, and more. Any adult is welcome to register; Gilbert residency is not required. Childcare is not provided, and children are not permitted to attend unless specified.
Mesa Parent University
Locations at various Mesa public schools
480-472-7278 • mpsaz.org/parentu
Free classes for parents in child guidance and behavior, health, academics and growth and development. Classes are presented by national consultants and prominent Valley educators. All parents/caregivers are welcome. Childcare is not provided and children not are allowed in classes unless course descriptions indicate otherwise.
Scottsdale: 13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 162 • 480-999-1585
Gilbert: 3244 E. Guadalupe Road, Suite 106 • 480-534-8192
Both Modern Milk locations offer Happy Mom School for new moms, The Dad Class, classes on infant sleep and more. The six- or eight-week Happy Mom School sessions offer maternal/child experts and guest speakers from physicians to infant brain-development experts. Moms are grouped by their babies’ ages to help them develop friendships and support networks. The class for new dads is taught by a registered nurse and father of four. $59-$299.
North Central Parenting Group
Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley
A non-profit, non-denominational organization that provides bi-weekly morning classes led by local child development experts to parents from infants through grade 6. (A pre-infant class for expectant moms also is available.) Outside of the classroom, “moms’ night out” events, philanthropic and community activities, family events and playgroups expand friendships among moms and socialization opportunities for children. Classes run September-May at St. Barnabas on the Desert, 6715 N. Mockingbird Lane in Paradise Valley. Annual registration fee is $300; childcare (by licensed childcare providers) is $35, with discounts for additional siblings.
Raising Arizona Kids magazine provides resource directories as a community service and a starting place for your research. We do not independently evaluate nor do we imply endorsement by including particular organizations. If you know of additional resources we should list, please contact us.