Identifying that weird rash on your daughter’s foot. Brainstorming the best reward for your son, who just won the county-wide spelling bee. Where to go (or which sitter to hire) when you want a parent’s night out.
As a parent, you’ve probably had at least one question that you turned to the internet to answer. But let’s be honest – the internet is full of information. Maybe too full! There are currently about a billion and a half websites on the internet today, which means a billion and a half opinions.
These 10 websites should every parent know about
Next time you’re looking for the answer to a pressing parenting question, check out one of these websites. There’s something here for every style of parenting!
Mothering.com is the website for a magazine by the same name. The website itself does contain some great articles, but I think you’ll be impressed by the activity on the forum even more than the site itself. There are tens of thousands of forum members, and, in my experience, most have been very responsive, friendly and welcoming.
Obviously, the site is for dads, too. But there is one “catch” to the website. Mothering Magazine is a natural parenting magazine, and the members of the forum are very firm believers in gentle parenting. That said, it’s inclusive of all religious backgrounds, ethnicities and – yes – even dietary choices. You won’t get in trouble here for not being a gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan parent.
There’s a longstanding joke on the web: looking up symptoms on WebMD results in learning four possible ways you’re dying. If you’re not impressed with the “medical” feel to WebMD, check out Children’s MD.
Children’s MD is a comprehensive collection of articles and medical information parents can use. Whether you’re looking for the immunization schedule for a 4 year old or information on the zika virus, you can find it on Children’s MD. The catch? This is a relatively “new” website – a few years – and the database is still growing.
If your kids are younger, take a look at Free Kids Crafts. The activities on this site are perfect for kids between preschool age and around 4th grade or so, and are guaranteed to keep the little ones busy on a snow day.
You’ll find crafts like flower fairy clothespin dolls, tie dye projects and more, and most use materials you’ve already got at home. I’ve found that the “olders” like to help the “littles” create their masterpieces. (Or so they say. I think it’s just because my 11 year old boy wishes he could create a dog bean mosaic of his own.)
Admittedly, this one’s not just for the kids. I’ve used this site, too. Khan Academy is a free site that offers practice and lessons in math, coding, science, histories, test prep and more.
Sound boring? It’s not. Go check it out and you, too, can use the interactive programs to create your own video game. You’ll love it. Khan Academy is perfect for around grades 5 and up.
Need a babysitter? Nanny? Just want someone to pick up the kids after school? Care.com has the perfect match for you.
Don’t risk the loonies on Craigslist and similar sites – Care.com offers parents the choice to limit searches to caregivers who have passed a criminal background check.
And it’s not just nannies and sitters. You’ll also find home care services, pet care services and more on Care.com.
Every parent needs a little bit of comic relief now and then. Scary Mommy provides that, whether you’re a mommy or a daddy. Scary Mommy is a sometimes informative, sometimes poignant, always in-your-face version of parenting we all wish we had the guts to publish on the internet.
Jill Smokler, creator of the site, can also be found on Twitter. And, unlike some other “internet celebrities,” Smokler is interactive and responsive. Give the website a try, and see if you can’t recognize a bit of your family dynamics in the articles.
Here’s one for the dads! Single Dad Laughing is one of the oldest parenting blogs out there. Dan Pearce is one of those bloggers who’s famous for blogging. Now the published author of many books on the subject, Pearce shares his insights into raising his son, Noah, on this online community.
Like Scary Mommy, Single Dad Laughing provides a welcome break from the day to day. Need someone to share your frustrations? Check out this website. Pearce has probably blogged about it.
It’s unfortunate that so many of these websites chose to include the word “mom” in the URL. In fact, they’re suitable and useful for dads, caretakers, grandparents and even teachers, too. CafeMom is one of those sites. In fact, the site was founded by two men.
Like Mothering.com, CafeMom is an online community of people who love the children in their lives. But unlike Mothering.com, it doesn’t have the same “crunchy” feel to it. You’re free to discuss pretty much anything you like, from pregnancy to dental hygiene in kids, and will be embraced by a community of people who (usually) have an answer to your question.
In addition to the forum, CafeMom offers a great collection of parenting articles. If you’re ever stumped about balancing work and family, or even an appropriate age to take your children to Disney, CafeMom has your topic covered.
Here’s another site guaranteed to keep your kids busy on a rainy day. The owner of this site launched in 2011, as she found that there weren’t many activities for boys posted online. As her boys have grown, the activities on the site have as well, but you’ll find that almost a decade of activities has been archived.
And let’s be real. The activities aren’t just for boys. Girls can make sombreros, too, and every kid loves a good afternoon snack. Check this site out whether you’ve got sons or daughters.
Every parent wants to keep their kid healthy. For that reason, I recommend you check out Kidshealth.org. This site has oodles of information about kids’ diet, exercise and lifestyle choices .The articles are easy to navigate – much more so than a hospital or a government website – and are reader-friendly and relevant.
From recipes to exercise, and from behavior to developmental milestones, Kidshealth.org offers a great resource for parents who are looking to answer questions about kids’ health.