Surf's up for parental advice
October 24, 1996
Web posted at: 9:45 p.m. EDT
By CNN Interactive Staff Writer Liza Kaufman Hogan
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a
global village to get all the information you'll need to do
Once parents looking for sound child-rearing advice had few
resources beyond other parents and Dr. Spock. But the
Internet has changed all that.
Now, there are hundreds of parenting sites on the Web -- for
two-parent families, single parents, working mothers, full-
time fathers, student parents, gay and lesbian parents,
first-time moms, even soccer moms. Some of the sites read
like slick magazines full of recipes, advice columns and
ideas for entertaining children, while others are informal
on-line communities sharing tips on child rearing over the
electronic back fence.
What follows is a small sampling of what's out there for
mothers and fathers at their wits' end over their temper-
tantrum-prone two-year-old or those merely wishing to share
the joy of parenting.
Advice for the 'parents-to-be'
First things first. Before you begin parenting, you'll need a
child. If you're planning on having your own, you'll need
lots of advice. Stork Site is a well designed, easy-to-
navigate site for mothers and fathers to-be offering guidance
and support through the pregnancy. The site is a project of
Pillow Talk, a San Francisco-based childbirth education
Join the Stork Club and ask a registered nurse questions
about your pregnancy and receive a 'Baby Gram' each time you
log on which tracks your pregnancy and tells you what to
expect at each step. Fathers can receive a "Baby Gram" too
so they'll know what their partners are experiencing. One of
the highlights of the site is a collection of bulletin boards
where mothers who are at the same stage in their pregnancies
can commiserate over morning sickness, share their fears or
glean support and advice from other parents.
We cannot, however, vouch for the quality of all the advice.
One mother-to-be recommended a combination of potato chips
and lemonade as a cure for nausea. Stork Site
also features a medical reference area and links to similar
Well-written, concise articles
This daily on-line magazine for parents by Starwave
multimedia company is one of the best parenting sites on the
Web. Updated regularly, it includes a section of current news
for parents, updates on recalls of children's products and
lots of well-written, concise articles for the parent who
doesn't have much time to surf.
Readers can order the Family Planet Dispatch or an e-mail
version of the Family Planet Parents Daily. The site also
includes several advice columns on serious topics, a section
for e-mail greeting cards, and useful articles like "365 TV-
free activities you can do with your child."
Lively chat area
This site is stocked with interesting information for
parents. Updated daily, Parent Soup includes advice for
working parents, reviews of produces for children written by
readers, ideas for entertaining kids and special holiday
sections. The chat area is lively with as many as 10 sessions
per day on topics as wide-ranging as living with a nanny to
raising children's self-esteem.
Parent Soup is designed for parents but not all topics are
devoted to parenting. Some features like "Chill Out" and the
"Girls Night Out" Chat session are intended to give mothers
and fathers some quality time away from the kids.
Parent Soup recently announced it will be merging with
Parentsplace.com, another good general reference site for
In the trenches with dad
You won't find flashing graphics and slick advertising here.
Made for full-time fathers and fathers who work at home, At-
Home Dads is an on-line newsletter with articles written by
men who are on the front lines of full-time parenting.
Articles are divided into three topics "tips for kids" which
relates solutions for handling common fathering difficulties,
"Spotlight on Dads" which chronicles the adventures of men
who go grocery shopping in the middle of the day, and
"Business" a catch-all for articles related to children and
'Preserving mom's sanity '
Billed as the newsletter 'for moms by moms,' The Mommy
Times, is 'dedicated to preserving the sanity of moms
everywhere.' The site is geared to mothers of infants and
pre-schoolers. While you won't find wide ranging content
here, you will find lots of good, sound advice for raising
your children and support for that formidable task along the
Readers who join the Mommy Times Club can access to the
monthly on-line newsletter and "mommy-to-mommy" bulletin
boards. Advice columns on everything from hiring a nanny to
weaning a child from the bottle are written by doctors,
therapists and child development experts. "Special Delivery"
is a place for mothers to share harrowing and sometimes
humorous tales of child birth. Another section, "Those Krazy
Kids," features funny quotes from children.
CD-Mom - an interactive entertainment and education site for families
Family.com - an on-line magazine for parents
Parents at Home (formerly Moms at Home) - a newsletter for
stay-at home mothers and fathers
Parentsplace.com - a general reference site for parents.
Soon to merge with Parent Soup
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