5 websites to help you meet your 2014 parenting goals

     (Courtesy of Jen Bradley)

    (Courtesy of Jen Bradley)

    Do you ever vow at the beginning of the year to parent differently? But then around day two or three, tend to fall into the same patterns you’re hoping to change? Maybe some online support would help you realize you goals.

    Here’s a list of five websites that might be helpful. If one of these touches upon a goal you’ve set, try joining their Facebook page, signing up for email notifications, or joining a discussion board if they have one. Online parenting support can help you see that there are many other parents out there struggling with the same things you are and working towards the same changes in the way they parent.

    1. Stop Yelling

    Thankfully, this is a popular one this year. The very public movement started by the blogger/mama at Orange Rhino has really taken on a life of its own. The Orange Rhino website offers resources, tips, and stories about one Mom’s journey to stop yelling for a year. And the Parenting Without Punishment Facebook page is another great online community to help with peaceful parenting.

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    2. Unplug

    Getting parents to unplug can be even more challenging than prying a teen from their beloved cellphone. Trying to switch to more face time (the real face time, not the Apple version) and less screen time is really difficult. Most of us have developed bad habits that we need help breaking. The “Hands Free Mama” revolution is gaining ground and can inspire and remind parents to unplug.

    3. Let go

    This is not a new movement, but it’s great one if you’re feeling kind of helicopter-y. Letting go can be freeing, not only for your child, but for you. Lenore Skinazy breaks letting go into bite-sized steps so that we can gradually wind down the rotors on our helicopters and work towards raising self-reliant children.

    4. Have more fun

    While we all hopefully enjoy our children, sometimes it’s nice to have resources to spruce things up. Even with a background in education, I find myself falling into the same routine during times when we all want a little something interesting to do. If you have little ones, it doesn’t get much better than Play at Home Mom (not just for at home, or moms, for that matter). They share amazingly simple, but rich activities to do use with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. If your children are school age, Alicia at A Magical Childhood often sends out wonderful lists of “Ten Ways to Make Today Magical.” They’re often quick, fun, and simple to do. (A recent favorite of ours was drawing Disney Cars faces on snow-covered vehicles.)

    5. Man up

    Being a mom myself, many of my parenting resources tend to focus on motherhood. But reading about the recent controversy over at Daddy Doin’ Work highlighted how grossly incomplete parenting talk is when fathers are excluded. DDW has a wonderful blog and fathering community that offers support and inspiration for men wanting to be thoughtful about their parenting.

    Do you have a parenting resolution for 2014 or online parenting resources to share?

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