By Rachel Dorman, M.S. & Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT
Today’s blog looks at how online resources can impact the parenting of young children. Technology and the internet are common ways parents are finding educational resources. Internet searchers rendering results for blogs, electronic newsletters, etc. are helpful ways that expecting parents or parents with young children get information on hot topics such as childrearing strategies and child development. Na and Chia (2008)  conducted research to examine the impact of online resources available to informal learners, such as parents.Researchers examined how parents’ informal learning about parenting skills and child development through online resources would impact their parenting confidence and skills. Participants included 821 Singaporean parents that had children between the ages of 0 – 6 years. The surveyed participants were divided into two groups, one group containing 411 participants received the online resources called KidzGrow (an online platform for parents to better understand child development and empower parents in their knowledge about child development) while the other group, containing 410 participants, received printed material on child development.
Parents who had access to KidzGrow were more likely to do to educational age-appropriate development activities with their children. Parents who had access to KidzGrow were also significantly more likely to report having adequate knowledge on their childrens’ speech, communication skills, social skills, and intellectual development. Parents who had access to KidzGrow, as compared to those who did not, were significantly more likely to report that they were doing well at achieving their goals of being a successful parent. These parents were also significantly more likely to report an increase in their level of confidence as a parent. The study findings suggest that online parenting resources can impact a parent’s feeling of confidence and knowledge about their child’s speech, social, and intellectual skills. The researchers suggest future studies try to study not only different online programs but also programs targeting different regions of the world, such as North America or Europe.
Do you like this topic? Find out more during out next Webinar!
Presenters of this 2 hour webinar will highlight how parents today are less likely to attend traditional parenting programs, provide research showing that parents are increasingly seeking information online, through social media and mobile devices and promote the use of two FREE, effective and innovative resources that can meet the needs of parents with young children, Just In Time Parenting & Text4Baby.
Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Time: 11a-1pm Eastern
We hope to see you there!
This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT. Both are members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and on YouTube.