Good News for Parents on the Web

URBANA—Although a lot of parenting advice is shared among friends and family who have children, sometimes parents need unbiased information or impartial advice on a parenting topic. A new Web site developed by the University of Illinois Extension Family Life team was created to make it easy for parents to find what they need.

“Parenting News” can be found at

“The site features news releases, columns, media alerts, and commentary on issues that concern parents,” says Aaron Ebata, researcher and Extension specialist in family studies at the University of Illinois. “There are also links to other U of I Extension Web sites that contain information for parents, including the Parent-to-Parent (P2P) and Urban Programs Resource Network Web site.”

Ebata says that the site is organized so parents can click on the age range that they’d like information about: birth to 5, 6 to 12 years, and teen-agers. There is also an additional area especially for grandparents raising grandchildren.

A subscription feature allows clients to customize the site for their own use, and to receive notification via email when new issues of parenting and grandparenting newsletters are available. The newsletters are in PDF format, which allows them to be printed and shared with others.

“Parenting the 1st-3rd Years” is referred to as a “just in time” series because parents receive a monthly newsletter (bimonthly after the first year) issue that corresponds to the age of their child. So parents get information they need right when they need it most. “Evaluations have shown that this has been a successful way of promoting positive parenting,” says Ebata.

“Nibbles” is a series of one-page guides to practical issues and concerns for parents of preschoolers.

“Connecting with Kids” comes out three times a year and is focused on themes relevant to school-aged children. It includes summaries of what is known from research, parenting strategies and suggestions, and other sources of information.

“Parenting Again” is a newsletter published bimonthly to help grandparents raising their grandchildren. It includes practical suggestions for coping with the legal, social, and emotional challenges of parenting “the second time around,” as well as information on children’s development and parenting strategies.

Ebata says that he hopes to have a newsletter designed for the special challenges that parents of teen-agers face on the Web site as well.

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