21 Essential Parenting Resources | CT Partners

The longer you parent, the more you realize just how much more there is to learn. All of us—from the just-home-from-the-hospital newbie dad to the halfway-to-an-empty-nest varsity mom—could use some advice and affirmation along the way. Whether you’re looking for a treasure trove to explore or some quick encouragement for your daily commute, these resources are for you.

Print

• Since its founding nearly 100 years ago, Parents magazine has been the go-to resource for millions of moms, dads, and even grandparents. The much-loved print magazine also has an extraordinarily comprehensive website housing everything from helpful resources on fertility and pregnancy to baby names and tantrum tricks for toddlers. Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

What to Expect is one of the world’s best-known pregnancy and parenting brands. Heidi Murkoff has written eight books in her best-selling What to Expect series and has teamed up with award-winning journalists, editors, and physicians to produce an expansive website for parents and parents-to-be. The What to Expect Medical Review Board, pregnancy experts, and parenting health gurus review the content, which provides helpful information for every phase of parenting. One feature is the weekly pregnancy calendar: expectant moms can click the tab for each week (1–42) of their pregnancy to learn more about their developing baby, their own changing bodies, and what they can expect in the coming days. Busy parents will benefit from the What to Expect podcast, available on iHeartRadio, Apple, and Stitcher. Follow What to Expect on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Digital

PBS offers a vast array of online resources for parents. In addition to the latest episodes of shows like NOVA and Nature, PBS’s website contains curated free standards-aligned videos and interactive learning tools. You can even find lesson plans for education levels from pre-K to high school on a variety of topics including emotions and self-awareness, social skills, character, literacy, math, science, and the arts. Be sure to sign up for the PBS Parents weekly newsletter for tips to help kids learn at home. Activities include birthday party ideas, coloring pages, crafts, experiments, recipes, and games, and most are available in both English and Spanish. Follow PBS Kids on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

• The most popular name in family entertainment, Disney, provides a helpful online resource for parents. Not surprisingly, this site is all about family fun and offers a host of crafts, recipes, and party ideas. Parents can have creative ideas and helpful tips delivered directly to their inboxes by signing up for the Disney Family Newsletter. Follow Disney Family on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

• Focus on the Family has been a staple for generations of Christian parents. The well-known Christian media empire has a special section for parents that includes a wealth of resources. In addition to a library of articles on virtually every topic, the site contains fun activities for families, a bookstore, and a guide to the network’s podcasts.



Christian Parenting provides a variety of resources to help facilitate what they call “perfectly imperfect parenting.” The blog provides a Christian perspective on topics like culture, diversity, blended families, and education. Take your learning on the go with the Christian Parenting network of podcasts. Parents can shop for helpful resources at the online store or sign up for a daily email with practical and spiritual advice. Follow Christian Parenting on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

• The Search Institute Educational Research Center bridges research and practice to help young people be and become their best selves. The Search Institute’s Keep Connected Institute offers free quizzes, discussion starters, and activities to help children and teens grow up responsibly and empower families to explore and strengthen their relationships. This online resource complements in-person Keep Connected family workshops that are available to schools, churches, and other organizations.

The Search Institute also offers a carefully structured Raising Highly Capable Kids program, a 13-week small-group interactive curriculum for parents that provides all the training and resources that you need to launch a successful parent engagement program. Follow the Search Institute on Twitter or Facebook.

• Sergei Urban launched The Dad Lab as an avenue to share his creative, educational ideas with other parents. His engaging crafts usually feature items he found around the house. A book full of his best creations has already been published in seven languages. “I am not a teacher or a scientist,” Urban explains. “I am just a dad to Max (6) and Alex (8) sharing my fatherhood journey.” Follow Urban on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

• Mandisa Watt, a CPA turned stay-at-home-mom to three kids (including twins), shares hands-on activities and crafts at Happy Toddler Playtime. Watt helps fellow moms raise children who love learning and are ready for school. Follow her on Instagram or pick up her book, Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids.

• Jazmine McCoy is The Mom Psychologist—a mother to two toddlers who knows how stressful parenting can be. As a licensed clinical psychologist, McCoy uses the internet to provide helpful tips for parents on the go. You can learn more about McCoy by following her on Facebook and YouTube. McCoy also offers community and coaching to moms through The Mom Sisterhood network.

• Rachel Coley is a mother, pediatric occupational therapist, and self-described child-development nerd. She launched CanDo Kiddo just eight weeks after her first child was born due to the overwhelming response to her compelling social media posts. Coley provides a collection of strengths-and-play-based activities for babies, toddlers, and parents, as well as online courses and email consulting. Follow her on Instagram for fun activities for your baby or toddler, child development tips, and a real behind-the-scenes look at motherhood.



• Kayla Craig created Liturgies for Parents, co-hosts The Upside-Down Podcast, writes at PBS Kids for Parents, and is set to release her first book from Tyndale in 2021. Though she is the wife of a pastor and a mom to four kids, Craig admits that she does not always have the right words to pray. Faced with this frustration, she has written a collection of nuanced and nurturing liturgies and “Scripture-rooted breath prayers” as a ministry to parents who experience the same. Follow her on Instagram or visit her website to learn more.

Podcasts

• Author Hillary Frank created the award-winning podcastThe Longest Shortest Time, which shares “stories about the surprises and absurdities of raising other humans—and being raised by them.”

Frank started the podcast after becoming a mom in 2010 and went on to host the show for its first seven seasons. It was recognized in 2015 and 2019 by The Atlantic as one of the 50 best podcasts and earned similar honors from Time in 2017. Unfortunately, there have been no new episodes since December 2019; though with 228 episodes archived, there is plenty of listening available.

Available from Stitcher with 4.5 stars and 4k reviews on Apple Podcasts.

Unruffled with Janet Lansbury addresses parenting issues with a respectful parenting philosophy. Lansbury’s journey to becoming an authority on parenting began with her own frustrations as a new parent; child-rearing simply did not come as naturally as she had always assumed that it would. She is the author of No Bad Kids and Elevating Child Care. Millions of parents visit Lansbury’s website each year. Since launching the Unruffled podcast in 2015, she has recorded more than 200 episodes.

Available from JLML Press with 4.5 stars and 2.4k ratings on Apple Podcasts.

• Jeff and Alyssa Bethke have two toddlers and a homey, down-to-earth show called The Real Life Podcast. The Bethkes discuss faith and culture and take listeners’ questions. Launched in 2018, The Real Life Podcast now has 100 episodes that cover topics ranging from praying Scripture over your children to setting healthy tech boundaries.

Available on most platforms, with 5 stars and 1.7k reviews on Apple Podcasts.

• Angie Tolpin is the author of Redeeming Childbirth and founder of Courageous Mom. She and her husband, Isaac, have been married for 20 years and are parents to eight children. Together, they launched the Courageous Parenting podcast in 2018. This weekly show helps Christian parents “equip confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.”

Visit their website to sign up for their Parenting Mentor Program, which includes live webinars, prerecorded video content, and access to a private online community. Homeschooling parents will benefit from their six-part Homeschooling Blueprint, based on more than 16 years of experience.



Available on most platforms, with 5 stars and 1.5k ratings on Apple Podcasts.

The Mom Hour with Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers is a series of weekly conversations offering practical tips and real-life encouragement for moms who want to enjoy motherhood more and cut back on comparison, worry, and stress.

Between them, Francis and Powers have eight kids and decades of writing experience. The Mom Hour launched in 2017 and has since released nearly 300 episodes.

Francis and Powers do not claim to be parenting experts. Instead, they share honestly from their own experiences. Their conversations on motherhood are varied and searchable by topic on the website. Just this year they have discussed talking about racism as a family, habits of happy home managers, and getting a break when there are no breaks.

Available on most platforms, with 5 stars and 1k ratings on Apple Podcasts.

Apps

Moshi: Sleep & Mindfulness transforms bedtime from pandemonium to peace with this award-winning app. Moshi offers more than 75 hours of original audio stories, meditations, music, and sleep sounds not available anywhere else. New weekly content helps kids fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. On the app store, Moshi has received 4.7 stars with more than 37,000 ratings.

Talking Parents is a communication service for co-parenting and families with shared custody. Through its free website and paid mobile app, Talking Parents improves accountability and communication between co-parents. The Talking Parents app helps co-parents communicate effectively and avoid disputes by keeping a secure record of all calls, messages, appointments, and shared files. The premium plan allows for recorded phone calls complete with text transcripts. On the app store, Talking Parents has received 4.4 stars with more than 12,000 ratings.

Peanut is a social networking app for current and soon-to-be mothers. Through the app, moms can connect with other mothers in their communities, participate in group conversations, join specific interest groups, or ask questions and share advice on certain topics. On the app store, Peanut has received 4.2 stars with more than 3,400 ratings.

Jonathan Haskell has served as a pastor, missionary, and nonprofit executive. He lives and serves alongside his wife, Lori, in Knoxville, Tennessee.



Amelia J. Bell

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