Have you ever sought out an answer to a parenting question on Dr. Google?
If you have, you know that there’s A LOT of parenting advice out there.
Some of it is great and comes from people with the education and/or experience to actually talk about the topic with some authority.
Some of it is not so great and comes from random stories that happened to work (or not cause harm) one time with one kid and now it is being shared as if it is an absolute fact.
This information scares me.
It scares me when I read a post that encourages discipline practices that don’t fit with the research trends in discipline. Usually the post says something like, “My mom did it for me and I survived” or “I did it and he turned out ok” as a way to justify that these discipline practices should be followed.
It scares me when I read an outdated discipline practice that was used 30+ years ago without respect for how much the world has changed and how much more we know in that 30+ year time span. We wouldn’t use the same computers as we used back then so why would using the same discipline techniques be acceptable?
Aside from personal anecdotes, these posts have very little (if anything) to share about what short and long-term impact these discipline practices can have on the child who is receiving them.
And that’s scary too!
Who can you trust?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a manual that said exactly who you should listen to online and who you should ignore? That would be wonderful, but it isn’t exactly that easy.
I wish that I could tell you exactly who to listen to, but the truth is that there is no one tried and true parenting technique that’s going to work for everyone, at least not one that’s neatly packaged with all of the answers to all of those frustrating behaviors!
The best parenting advice for you is the kind that meshes with your morals and expectations for your kids. It offers information that coordinates with the personality that your child has, versus asking you to do everything in your power to change your child’s personality to match who you want him to be.
(Well, to be fair, that’s my thought on what the best parenting advice is, but as is the theme of this post, you get to decide if that’s right or wrong!)
With that said, there are some parenting sites that I trust to consistently offer quality, research-backed information that should help you with your discipline struggles.
They won’t all be right for you, and that’s ok. But hopefully you’re able to find one that really speaks to you and who you desire to be as a parent.
If you do, I encourage you to follow that person, subscribe to their email list and actually do some of the things that they suggest that you do.
Try it out for a week or two to see if you notice any differences in your child’s behaviors, your attitude about parenting, the quality of the relationship you have with your kids or any other benefit that you’re hoping to get out of this process.
Looking for an accountability partner? Send me an email or a Facebook message and let me know what your goal is. I’ll check in with you to make sure that you’re steadily working towards your parenting goals!
Without further ado, here is the list of parenting bloggers who I trust because they know the research and they have a proven track record of providing quality discipline tips for parents:
Cate Scolnik over at How To Train Your Children understands that you’ve yelled, bribed and done other things that you’re not proud of. She offers some practical advice that you can use to transition towards positive parenting techniques and use less of those techniques that you feel guilty about.
The team at the Positive Parenting Connection hopes to help “make your parenting journey a more peaceful and joy filled experience” as you try to “raise capable, confident and cooperative children.”
Sumitha Bhandarkar believes that “Great parents are made, not born.” She and the guest writers that she invites to write for A Fine Parent provide information to help you raise “happy, well-adjusted kids without nagging, screaming, stress and drama.”
If reading isn’t your thing and you’re looking for another way to gather your parenting advice, Casey O’Roarty’s Joyful Courage podcast is a great option. Casey keeps it real and welcomes you into her podcast while she talks with parents and professionals alike about important discipline topics.
If you are sick of yelling and arguing with your kids, Sarah’s site may be the perfect fit for you. Sarah’s goal is to help parents to parent with love and reason and to get parents and kids to get on the same page, so that you can stop the battle of wills in your household.
So I might be a little bit partial to this site since Amanda is a children’s mental health counselor and play therapist just like me! At Dirt and Boogers, you’ll find support and guidance for moms who want to stop yelling and practical, informed discipline advice from a mental health professional turned stay-at-home mom.
Dr. Michele Borba speaks and writes about character and social-emotional development. She is the author of several books, including her newest book Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, scheduled to be released in June of 2016.