Free Parenting Classes at Pretend City

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Being a parent has been the hardest thing I have ever done. There are many times throughout each and every day where I question myself on how I handled a situation. Many times I really don’t know what to do. If I am being honest, being a mother has brought out a lot of insecurity in me for this very reason.

So, when I heard about a free parenting class offered at Pretend City this month called “Toddler Talk” an interactive parent-toddler class where we could ask questions and vent some frustrations, I said SIGN ME UP! I can use all the help I can get!

Toddler Talk is for 1 – 3 year olds and is presented by Dr. Ann Corwin (a.k.a. The Parenting Doctor) and is for three consecutive Tuesdays from 10:30am – 12:00pm. The first class was last week and I already learned SO MUCH. Even though this particular Toddler Talk class is already full, the next class will be on Jan. 4th, 11th & 18th. {You can reserve a spot in that class by calling 949.428.3900 x212 or by emailing}

The class is presented by the Good to Go from Head to Toe! initiative and Pretend City will be hosting ongoing free classes for parents so be sure to check the website frequently for their upcoming classes and events.

I was a little nervous to take Morgan, I have to admit. First off because we are in that terrible nap transition from two naps to one, and pushing her to stay awake until 12pm is challenging. Second, I was worried about how my primitive little hurricane of a 14-month-old would do with the other kids for an hour and a half. You know that age: no reasoning possible, and they know what they want!

But the best part was, when Dr. Ann started, I immediately felt like this was a NO STRESS environment. She told us to get there when we can, don’t worry about being late, and we were not to worry about how our kids behaved. In fact, if kids weren’t behaving, then it would be used as an example, REAL LIFE, on what to do! Isn’t that amazing?

Here is my daughter (left) in one of such situations, a tug of war over this toy…

Dr. Ann gently removed the toy from both their little hands ensuring no one fell back and said “bye bye toy!” Then she put it on the counter and redirected them to other activities. Worked like a charm.

Here is the room where we met {Dr. Ann is in the pink.} There were lots of toys for the kids to play with!

So there was so much I learned, too much to cover in one post, but if I had to share one of my most important take home points, it had to be this A-HA moment.

What I learned (in a different way that I have ever thought of before) is that it is important to CONNECT with your child throughout the day through:

1. Eye contact

2. Touch

3. Talking / Communication

And, the times you want to really concentrate on doing at least one (if not more) of these three above are the times when they are playing NICELY or sort of “stopped” and acting how you want them to.

So if a child is playing nicely with toys, it could be as simple as when they look up, giving them eye contact and a warm smile or wink. Or, just walking by and gently giving them a rub on the back, or taking your fingers and caressing their cheek.

I learned kids desperately CRAVE this sort of connection with their parents, and they will do what they have to in order to get it.

Dr. Ann gave this example.

How many of us are guilty of this? I know I am. Absolutely. When a child is doing something wrong, how many times have you gotten down to their level, put your hands on their face or arms or hands, looked them RIGHT in the eye, and said “Stop that RIGHT NOW!” Or something to that effect?

So, in this case, what did the child receive from you? 1. Eye contact 2. Touch 3. Talking / Communication

They will take connection any way they can get it, both positive AND negative. A-HA!

Over the past week I have made a conscious effort to connect with my girls when they are just sort of peaceful and going about their business….I will give them a kiss, stroke their cheek, hug them, make dedicated eye contact when talking to them, etc. and it not only makes them feel good, but it makes ME feel good too.

It makes me feel closer to them. I LOVED the fact that I learned this. For free!

The Good to Go from Head to Toe! program is simply spectacular and we are so lucky it is right here in Orange County. Again, CLICK HERE for the calendar of events and classes. Museum admission is not included, nor required, so you can go to the class totally for free.

Reservations are preferred for the classes, you can call 949.428.3900 x212 or email

While this particular class is already underway, Dr. Ann will be doing this class again after the new year, and is doing another one called Pocket Full of Feelings in November geared towards 4 – 6 year olds. Again, SIGN ME UP!

Click HERE for more information on the Good To Go calendar.



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  1. 1
    Pam says:

    Wow, sounds like a great class! And your A Ha moment is one for me too! I would love to the 4-6 year old girl class. Thanks for the info!

  2. 2
    Chenin says:

    This sounds great Jen! Do you think bringing a toddler and an infant (in an Ergo or something) would be ok? I want to go, but I’ll have a new little one….

    • 3
      Jen says:

      Absolutely!!! Several moms had babies with them! TOTALLY recommend it. Can’t wait to go today and learn some more. Morgan has been challenging lately!

      • 4
        Delly says:

        This forum neeedd shaking up and you’ve just done that. Great post!

  3. 5
    Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting this! Your class is full, but I signed up for the one in January! So excited! 🙂

  4. 6
    ppahnbjizg says:

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