Parenting in the digital age is challenging. It is difficult enough to keep track of my own life, not to mention the changing trends, devices and websites that drive the desires of the younger generation.
Sometimes, I need quick suggestions on how to handle a situation, an idea for a party, or a few paragraphs about the most recent app that my fifth grader is talking about. I want bite-sized nuggets of concise information as opposed to lengthy, in-depth pieces. Life’s hectic schedule does not provide an opportunity for the average parent to comb through the noise of a thousand parenting blogs to find the best ones.
This month, I’m sharing the blogs I have found to be most relevant to the daily challenge that is modern parenting.
Your Modern Family
The first thing that jumps out about this blog is the author’s experience. Becky Manfield is a mother of four who taught second grade before becoming a certified child development therapist.
The content you’ll find on this site is outstanding and up to date. The author typically posts new content every other day.
The articles she posts cover a wide variety of topics, including seasonal cooking ideas, organizing for the home and for traveling, and even marriage advice. Manfield also is very active on the site, as well. She replies to comments from her readers at the bottom of every post.
There is a money-making aspect of Your Modern Family. You’ll find downloadable kid’s activities, sight word posters, and homemaking guides that can be purchased under the Shop tab. The author makes readers aware that the shop exists, but she does not often encourage people to buy something.
Established in 2017, the site’s tagline is “The Mabelhood is every parent. It’s about the daily struggle. The big emotions. The amazing rewards.” The Mabelhood is an offshoot of the brand Mabel’s Labels, which specializes in customizable labels for clothing, medicine bottles, sports gear and more.
Although the blog is connected to the brand, the content is not heavy in pushing its labeling product. This blog is made up of contributions from various staff members, as well as guest bloggers. Using a multitude of authors is a fantastic way to provide readers with some unique perspectives on a variety of topics. Still, it can make the site’s content feel a bit disorganized. For example, the columns range from an in-depth discussion on adoption to organizing your kid’s closet in the most effective way possible. The good news is that new content is posted every few days there is always something new to read, even if it may not be exactly what you are looking for. All in all, this site provides useful, well thought out information for parents.
The majority of parenting blogs are created and maintained by moms. Just from the name alone, you can tell this next site is different. Fatherly is a whole website dedicated to teaching men how to be the best dad they can be.
Many of the topics covered are similar to the sort of information you’ll find on the other blogs (discipline, screentime, gift ideas, etc). The difference here is that each topic is written from a man’s point of view. For example, a recent piece on hypnobirthing on Fatherly is titled “Is Hypnobirthing BS?!” instead of something like “The Truth About Hypnobirthing.”
One of my favorite features is the GoodFather column. Patrick Coleman answers questions that have been submitted to the website from dads across the country. Think “Dear Abby,” if Abby had a full, well-manicured beard and wide breadth of knowledge on raising children in the 21st century.
Fatherly also includes a free email newsletter that arrives in my inbox every day around 4:30 p.m. The email contains those bite-sized nuggets of information with links back to the site to take a more in-depth read. Every parent should check out what Fatherly has to offer.
Parenting for a Digital Future
Parenting for a Digital Future takes a much more global, researched-based look at parenting than the other websites we’ve visited. The blog is based in the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. While the site doesn’t fit the mold of bite-sized information, the content is too good to overlook.
The editors and contributors are all doctors or doctoral students. The result of all that brainpower is highly informative articles backed by research and sited directly in the text itself. One article I read examined children’s viewing habits in the age of on-demand media. Another looked at the role of media in socially disadvantaged families.
While the topics may seem a bit cumbersome, Parenting for a Digital Future is an excellent resource for parents who want a more in-depth look at an issue about which they have only scratched the surface.
These websites offer quick ideas or advice that you can read when you get a precious few moments to yourself, like when you are waiting to pick up your children from school, soccer practice, scouts, etc. The websites I shared are intended to serve as sparks, not full-blown fires. Parents who want to dig deeper into a particular topic can do so, but those short, quick tips are a perfect way to stay informed without knowing all the precise details.
Editor’s note: Looking for more great parenting blogs? Check out the Northeast Ohio Parent blogger lineup at northeastohioparent.com/bloggers
Mike Daugherty is a husband, father of three young children, author, speaker, Google Innovator, and possible Starbucks addict. He is a certified educational technology leader who has served in a variety of roles through his 18-year career in public education. Currently, Mike is the director of technology for the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School district in Northeast Ohio. His blog, More Than A Tech, offers advice and ideas for parenting in a digital world.