Be it with a partner or single, raising children presents unique challenges—from juggling career and quality time to planning for the future, as well as the many issues that may arise as children grow, develop, and mature. These include LGBTQ, stepfamily, education, and welfare issues.
Some parents may feel secure and steady in their parenting styles and ability to raise well-rounded children, while others may be lacking the support, guidance, and resources they need to provide their kids with a nurturing and knowledge-rich upbringing. Websites such as the ones listed below are designed with these needs in mind; everyone can use a little help, especially when it comes to parenting.
We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best websites for parenting in 2013—GoodTherapy.org excluded. As with our previous top 10 lists, our selections are based on quality and depth of content, presentation, and functionality.
- Parenting: This comprehensive site features resource pages for fertility, pregnancy, and early-years childhood, along with recipes, family time ideas, potential baby names, health guides, videos, blogs, newsletters, and information geared specifically toward being a mom or dad. Articles offer insight on raising children and keeping them healthy, as well as ideas for “cool birthday cakes” and “totally weird baby products.”
- SingleMom.com: Tips, guidance, and advice on education, housing, finances, parenting, and dating are all provided on this site, which caters to single mothers. For help with bills, basic needs, and housing assistance, there is a page dedicated to assistance programs. Additional pages are devoted to living on a budget, health and well-being, jobs and careers, dating and relationships, legal information, financial aid for education, and the single-mom lifestyle, among others.
- LGBTQ Parenting Network: Based in Toronto, the LGBTQ Parenting Network has a mission to support and advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ community. It offers resources, information, events, and LGBTQ planning courses. In addition to working with individuals, the organization works with local, provincial, and federal organizations to further its cause.
- New Parent: This site provides articles and information for the new parent on topics such as breastfeeding, baby checklists, whining toddlers, big kids, and how to approach having sex with your partner after giving birth. Recipes, gear, and a breastfeeding guide for new parents are also available.
- Child Mind Institute: With a mission to improve mental health care for children everywhere, this organization is dedicated to finding and sharing information about effective treatments for childhood psychiatric issues and learning difficulties. It offers a variety of resources, including informational materials, “ask an expert” advice from professionals, “real stories” shared by other parents, free parenting workshops, early educator lectures, and school psychologist roundtables. Visitors will also find help with treatment options and access to the latest in science and research for childhood mental health issues.
- The Friendship Circle: This site features blog articles, ebooks, tips and advice, toys and apps, and educational resources for parents of children with special needs. Recent topics include staying sane over winter break, creating a budget-friendly sensory corner, games that build speech, language, and listening skills, and more. Information is also provided on legal and planning issues pertaining to insurance coverage for therapy and special education and disability laws.
- National Stepfamily Resource Center: As the name suggests, this site focuses its resources and information on stepparenting. Links to support groups and professional help, the latest in law and advocacy issues, educational articles, and an online toolkit can all be accessed via the National Stepfamily Resource Center.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway: Protecting children and strengthening families are the primary aims of this site, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Child Welfare Information Gateway offers information on state-specific adoption and foster care, as well as resources on preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect, family support, mental health issues, and legal concerns.
- National Fatherhood Initiative: The goal of this site is to strengthen the role and influence of fathers in the lives of their children. It emphasizes the strong connection between “father absence” and poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, abuse, suicide, and many other issues. To combat the trend of absentee or noninvolved father figures, and to encourage positive involvement, the National Fatherhood Initiative shares tips and strategies for successful parenting with fathers via a newsletter as well as podcasts, news, tools, videos, and a “Father Blog.”
- Raising Children Network: This Australia-based parenting site shares resources, tools, and information for raising newborns, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, preteens, early teens, and special-needs children. The site features discussion forums, articles, videos, and links to podcasts and downloadable games and apps for children. There is also a section devoted to grown-ups that covers topics such as pregnancy and birth, family management, self-care, work and child care, services and support, and parenting after separation.
You can submit your own recommendations for our Top 10 awards here.
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