5 Ways To Use The Internet To Be A Better Mother

by Katie Mather
Studio Firma

Parenting has changed a lot in recent decades. And that means Millennial moms are facing a very different set of challenges than their mothers and grandmothers faced.

The landscape of parenting has come with a whole new set of lessons, suggestions and techniques for helping your child and yourself navigate life as they grow up.

One of the most important changes is the advent of technology, particularly the internet.

Any Millennial mom is going to need to know how to face that, as well as a host of changing expectations and ideas.

So, here are five ways you can use your knowledge of the internet to your benefit as a parent:

1. The internet is an excellent resource.

In this day and age, the internet is a massive resource for parents.

Not only has it simplified virtually every need you could ever have, but also it's become the second most common tool for seeking advice for Millennial parents, behind asking their own parents.

On the internet, you can find resources to navigate issues like a suspicious symptom of illness, working through homework issues or even your child coming out to you.

Parenting forums have risen and allow Millennial moms to vent, seek advice and talk through issues with other moms, allowing them to have more help and advice than their parents had access to.

2. The internet can also be wildly unhelpful.

Unfortunately, not all advice on the internet is great.

Parents have been led astray by online advice, and if you don't vet your sources carefully, you may find yourself accidentally following bad advice by unqualified “experts” who have no business giving it.

To avoid the trap of taking the bad advice, make sure you know how to identify legitimate resources.

Hold skepticism for anything you read, look for a scientific consensus before believing an opinion and evaluate the credentials of anyone giving advice.

Look for child psychologists for parenting advice, pediatricians for medical advice and don't confuse the two (your pediatrician, who was taught medicine and not psychology is no more qualified than the average person to give you parenting advice).

Make sure your advice is coming from experts, not any layperson.

Make sure your advice is coming from experts, not any layperson.

3. Don't overshare stuff about your kids online.

One of the biggest risks a Millennial mom runs is oversharing.

The internet lends toward documenting your life, and when a child comes into that life, it becomes tempting to share as much about your child as you are comfortable sharing about yourself (sometimes more).

But that's not fair to your kid. They will have to grow up with the repercussions of their entire childhood documented online, where nothing ever goes away.

Posting photos of your kid's birthday party is one thing, but photos of your child in potentially embarrassing, revealing or compromising situations should be kept private.

Let them decide as they get older how much they're OK with posting online.

And before they're old enough to decide that, it's your job to make sure they stay safe. And that means controlling what you share online.

4. Dad has to do his share of the parenting.

Millennials are eschewing traditional gender roles for the better, allowing dads to start forming healthier and more stable relationships with their kids.

So really, there's no good reason a dad can't feel empowered to step up and help with raising the kids.

I've been to multiple baby showers that not only included dad, but also were thrown by dad.

Your child's relationship with their father — and your relationship, as well — will only grow stronger from dad handling his fair share of the doctor's appointments, chore enforcement and meal planning.

Don't be afraid to ask for it. Don't feel embarrassed about sharing the load and don't think he has no options.

Paternity leave is on the rise in the United States and can be a crucial, valuable tool for new parents.

Mom shouldn't be the only parent allowed to take time off to bond with a new baby.

5. Explore parenting methods thoroughly.

It's tempting to fall back on whatever parenting method your parents relied on growing up, but child psychology and parenting sciences have advanced significantly since their day, and a lot of traditional parenting advice has been proven to be absolutely useless.

Popular advice isn't always good advice.

For example, multiple long-term studies have now found definitively that spanking has absolutely no benefits whatsoever and leads to long-term behavioral problems.

Popular advice isn't always good advice. So don't assume your parents' method for raising you is the gold-standard.

In the information-laden world of the modern era, Millennial moms have a lot of new challenges to face, mostly revolving around rapidly changing understandings of psychology and parenting.

Putting in the time and energy to learn how to grapple with a changing world is critical to raising a kid today.