The Internet – A Parent’s Guide

Mrs Mario

What happens to girl geeks when they have kids? They turn into Geek Moms who train their kids to like Star Trek, PCs, games and who need the internet like blood and air to survive the ordeal known as “parenting”.

What’s interesting is how few people realise exactly how useful the internet can be when it comes to answering common queries about how to do things with your kids. The perception that information gleaned from the internet is likely to be dodgy and unreliable still persists today.

This is obviously understandable. There are so many random spam sites and blogs, and other such scaries, on the interweb that are clearly not written by experts or professionals. You don’t want to take advice on how to cope with a colicky baby from some stranger that may, or may not, even have children of their own.

On the other hand, the number of parenting sites that exist purely to make your life easier are on the increase, and these sites have a wealth of reliable information, expert advice and growing online communities. They can become something of a lifeline to the stuck at home parent covered in vomit with hair like Pete Townsend after a big night out.

You get to talk to other human beings about all the things that have suddenly become extremely fascinating to you, but equally boring to those friends that have not yet procreated. And you can talk about things other than your kids with people who are desperate to do the same.

Basically, the internet can revolutionise your parenting skills and save your old personality, at the same time. It’s amazing.

Let’s start at the beginning. You’ve just had a small creature put into your arms and have been sent forth to take care of it. There is no instruction manual and sometimes you are so tired you put the nappy on the wrong end. In short, your life is upside down.

You also can’t just pick up the phone and call someone at 2am when baby refuses to sleep and husband has curled into foetal ball and locked himself under the stairs. Enter the internet. Keep a netbook (is small and quick and fits neatly under the bed) close by, know your websites and get online.

Joining a community of mums is a must. Many sites will offer you the chance to join a group of women whose due dates all coincide with your own. This means that if you have a problem that isn’t covered by their wealth of articles, there will be a mum online (or a forum listing) that has had your issues and has solutions. So, from this perspective you can instantly access helpful hints, sort out the problem and get some much needed sleep, all without waking soon-to-be ex-friends or falling asleep on the sofa.

As your kids get older, the internet is where it’s at for finding out about growth milestones, developmental goals and, probably most importantly, activities. If you’ve ever had a bored kid wail at you then you’ll know how invaluable free activities and games are. 

 The internet is your saviour. This is where you can find downloadable drawings, online games designed for kids of all ages, educational games and plenty more.

Finding these sites isn’t that hard. Just use your mum contacts to discover where they hang out, google for local listings and take time to read through the posts of the top five and then relax and read.  You can also uncover local events, activities, lessons, classes, entertainment centres and toddler groups.

All of these will get you out the house, some much needed “me” time and tire your kids out so night routine won’t be a killer.

I am not entirely sure my child would have survived without the internet.

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