As I mentioned before, one of my greatest joys in life is being a parent. Even though there are days when they can push the wrong buttons, I honestly don’t remember life without my two daughters.
One thing I have learned to appreciate is the limitless parenting tips and other information that is available to me via the Internet; something I probably could not live without. Because of this, I would like to share some websites I feel every parent, whether new or veteran, should be aware of.
WWW.RECALLS.GOV – It’s amazing the number of toys, car seats, etc., that are simply not safe. Like most parents, I used to find out via the news or some store’s web site. However, this site lists recalls issued through most of the government agencies the second they are issued. You don’t have to rely on your local newspaper to print them.
WWW.PARENTS.COM – OK, this one might be a bit too obvious. But the site, which is associated with the magazine, does offer quite a bit of information on kids; whether they are newborns, toddlers or older children. The site also offers activity ideas, recipes and even a chat room for moms.
WWW.WEBMD.COM – This one also might be somewhat obvious. However, I know, at least the first time I became a parent, I would often find myself wondering if I should be taking my daughter to the doctor or if I was just being paranoid. The site doesn’t really replace the personal touch of a family doctor or nurse. But, it is a good, one-stop, reference guide if you have questions about vaccines, allergies or just a general child development question.
WWW.PBSKIDS.ORG – Nothing is more important to me than my kids’ education (except for maybe their health) and I give PBSKIDS.ORG a lot of credit for my oldest daughter being one of the top students in her class. I can’t always find the newest episode of Sesame Street on TV but I can sit my kids in front of the computer and have them play games that are both fun and educational. My oldest daughter still plays on the site occasionally and my youngest is starting to discover it.
WWW.NETFLIX.COM – OK, to be fair, this isn’t really a web site; it’s a movie rental service. And, of all the sites I mentioned, it is one that isn’t free; you have to pay for it. But, as I mentioned before, there are times when my kids can push the wrong buttons and the best thing I can do for them as a parent is to put a bit of distance between me and them. Netflix makes this easy. For a low monthly fee, I not only have the option to get them a DVD to watch (I usually get one for my wife and me and one for the kids); I have access to thousands of kids movies and shows. I agree that too much TV isn’t good for kids. But, if I need an hour of peace and quiet, this is a good ally to have.