RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
With hundreds of “expert sources” offering free advice on child psychology and children’s health, it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here are some of the more reliable resources for parents seeking facts and hacks.
The AAP is a membership organization founded in 1930 to promote “optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.” It has sixty-six North American chapters of healthcare professionals, and has published over 800 books for physicians and laypeople. The website prominently features a selection of health-news and health-tips posts.
The “Nation’s Voice for Children” focuses primarily on stopping child abuse and neglect, but also offers resources for “ordinary” families. Check the website and books for advice on disciplining, teaching healthy assertiveness, dealing with bullying, and spotting signs of trouble in your child’s relationship with a caretaker or other adult. It also has resources for parents considering fostering or adoption.
Despite the controversies generated by FotF’s conservative stand on social issues, the Parenting section of their website is worth checking out, especially for ideas on building family ties and teaching responsibility. Parents of difficult children will also find tips on firm-but-kind discipline.
Pregnant mothers (and their husbands/partners) and parents of disabled children can get advice and insights from MoD, the premier advocate organization for the prevention of birth defects.
Use the search engine of this vast article library to find topics and subtopics (from ADHD to discipline to violence in schools) related to children’s mental–emotional well-being. Example article: “How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children,” which presents tips for preventing codependency and helping children grow into self-confident adults. You can also find quizzes to evaluate everything from your natural parenting style to your child’s back-to-school readiness (there’s a whole menu page of quizzes related to specific mental illnesses).
A Department of Health and Human Services website dedicated to dealing with the bullying problem and what parents (and other adults) as well as children can do to stop it. Includes a Resources page and a page dedicated to the cyberbullying trend.
This government website features a podcast series on “advice for enhancing services to protect children and families.” Other resources found here: a directory of state resources on all aspects of child welfare; a directory of parent advocacy groups that emphasize healthy family life; and an electronic resource library of child-welfare research.
The “Y” is America’s classic go-to organization for summer sports programs, but many people don’t fully appreciate what it offers in educational opportunities, health and safety information, and emphasis on positive values. Area chapters have their own websites with news and calendars of events.