It's too easy for time-strapped moms to neglect time for themselves and lose touch with friends. These area groups offer fun with fellow moms who get the ups and downs of parenthood. They also offer options for moms to up the ante with those parenting skills and find help when mommy woes become overwhelming.
Miami Children's Museum
980 MacArthur Causeway
Miami, FL 33132
Price: $180 winter and spring members/$200 for winter and spring non-members
Hours: daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Miami Children's Museum offers yoga Mommy and Me classes for parents and their children who are between 18 and 36 months. The yoga exercises are basic, so you won't need any prior yoga experience. Miami Children's Museum also offers other classes mothers may enjoy with their children, including art, music and story time. These classes allow you to bond with your child in artistic and creative new ways while meeting like-minded moms. Prices are divided into 11-week spring and winter sessions offered during both the morning and afternoon.
6855 S.W. 152nd St.
Miami, FL 33157
Price: $125 for 10 sessions
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Additional lesson times may be arranged.
Aquakids is a great program for parents who want to bond with their kids over lifelong skills. Aquakids knows how important it is to have this skill in south Florida, which is why it is licensed and insured, and all of its coaches have first aid and CPR certifications. Parent/tot classes are available for infants 12 to 18 months old and toddlers 18 months to 3 years old. Aquakids offers these lessons in 30-minute intervals that span 10 weeks. It is best to register as soon as possible if you are interested in attending during the April to July months as they fill up quickly.
Families First Network
University of Miami
1911 Ponce De Leon
Miami, FL 33134
Hours: weekly daytime or evening groups offered
University of Miami offers free, evidenced-based parenting classes. Two separate courses are based on the age and developmental needs of your child. The Baby and Me parenting group is for children up to 1 year old. This course lasts for roughly 10 weeks and focuses on early developmental issues such as sleep, nutrition and the bond between parents and children. The other group is for parents with children who are 1 to 5 years old. This program lasts 12 weeks, during which time parents learn how to manage difficult childhood behavior and help their children learn new and important skills. Services are provided in English and Spanish.
632 S. Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
Price: $85 per month/three month minimum
Hours: Tues – 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.; Thurs – 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. (Moms with 3 to 4 year olds)
Tues – 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Moms with 5 to 6 year olds)
Furia Flamenca is the only professional flamenco prep school in Miami. It offers an incredibly unique, fun and entertaining way to meet other mothers and to encourage kids to stay active through dance. Furia Flamenca offers baby flamenca for children 3 to 6 years old. Classes for children are held once a week, divided up according to the age of your child. Once a month, mommies are asked to join in on the class, dance with their children and meet other mothers who love dance.
Parent to Parent of Miami
7990 S.W. 117th Ave., Ste. 200
Miami, FL 33183
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Parent to Parent is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization that provides a multitude of free services for parents who have children with disabilities. These disabilities include emotional, physical, learning, developmental and intellectual. Parents meet other parents who have kids with similar issues, and they receive important education about their child's specific challenges and any legal information they need to know surrounding their children's rights in the educational system. Parents will also learn important strategies they may use at home to make sure their home environment meets the needs of their children. Additionally, parents will learn about community resources to help their children grow into healthy adults. Services are provided in English, Spanish and Creole.
Victoria Burns graduated with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami, where she currently teaches. She also writes educational articles and blogs on various psychological and women's issues. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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