We've Got Your Back: Digital Parenting Tools for Stronger Real-World Connections
We love to share the joys of parenting with one another, don’t we? We post adorable pics of our little leaguers in their too-big baseball hats and toothless grins. We celebrate stories of our children’s firsts, from steps to chapter books to drivers ed classes.
From the outside, our lives may seem full of goofy smiles, drippy ice cream cones, and group hugs.
But we all know that parenthood can be a terribly lonely place too.
We rarely share the difficult days, days when our delightful children morph into an unsolvable puzzle. We don’t speak up when we start to wonder if that “phase” we’ve been excusing is a something our pediatrician should weigh in on. We feel too vulnerable to wonder aloud how other parents are tackling this or that parenting challenge.
These confounding moments of parenthood can be so isolating. This is when we need backup to help us guide our children through the upheaval of their growing up years.
We need to know we are not alone.
Don’t worry, Doing Good Together has your back.
We’ve gathered a dynamic list of our favorite digital reinforcements, chosen for their masterful ability to help you solve your latest parenting dilemma.
Rely on these sites to make the rough patches of parenthood a little smoother, and free up some time to build your real-world network of support.
While our digital lives are never a replacement for actual friendships and human connection, they can be a rich source of support when we urgently need it. Like when my tween desperately wanted to watch that scary movie “everyone was watching.” I quickly turned to my good friends at CSM - you know, Common Sense Media. I think I owe those folks a glass of wine and a nice dinner (or at least a donation to their nonprofit services) after all they've done for me in recent weeks.
Check out the digital tools below. Then keep reading for a few tips to strengthen your real-world parenting network.
Websites that Offer Digital Parenting Backup
Common Sense Media - to restore “media sanity”
Meet your resident expert in all things digital. Download their family media agreement and hold your kids (and yourselves) accountable. Check out family movies before you watch them, to be sure your six-year-old’s fear of spiders won’t spiral into a sleepless night of flashbacks.
The Family Dinner Project - to revive family meals
Based on the delightful book by Laurie David, The Family Dinner Project, this site is like a personal trainer for creating peaceful, memorable family dinner connections in the middle of your busy life. They even offer a four-week challenge to help you adopt family dinner habits that will make a huge difference for your family. Trust me, I’m still using their advice years after reading the book!
Positive Parenting from Parents.com - to troubleshoot the latest phase
Easily searchable, this vast collection of articles will help you find the right solution to your latest parenting question.
Find an inspiring video for nearly every parenting conundrum with this excellent collection.
You already love DGT’s empathy-inspiring book lists. You may also love Brightly’s brilliant tools to connect kids with books they’ll love.
The DGT Newsletter & Blog - to raise compassionate kids
Is this shameless self-promotion? No, of course not. We wouldn't do what we do here at DGT if we didn’t think this was essential support for busy parents who want to raise compassionate kids. Our monthly newsletter (and the archived collection) and our monthly blog articles answer essential parenting questions like What’s the right way to deal with allowance? and How do I talk to my child about climate issues without scaring them or turning them into cynics? Click here to subscribe to either resource.
Tips to Grow Your Real-World Tribe
Gather your own actual community and create opportunities to allow yourself and others to connect in this
Try this: Set up a regular, casual meet up.
Gather the specific community you’d like to make stronger and set up a regular coffee, potluck, or playground gathering. Whatever you choose to do, make gathering part of your regular routine. Here are some ideas to add a little purpose to your get togethers.
Start a parent-child book club based on DGT’s book recommendations.
Be intentional about your invitations, reaching out to new neighbors and other folks who may be experiencing loneliness as well.
Be willing to ask for help.
Try this: Let others know when you need a hand.
This vulnerability can be hard, but it does two things. It let’s other parents know they can reach out to you when they need back up. And it normalizes the humble act of living in community. We do not have to solve every problem on our own.
Parenting doesn’t have to be so hard or feel so insurmountable. Jane Goodall famously said, “One thing I learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.” By connecting ourselves with the right support, both digital and actual, we can rest more easily in the joyful moments and struggle less through the difficult ones.
Browse our collection of tools to parent with purpose.
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.