The Importance of Parenting Education and the App to the Rescue

Becoming a parent can be an exciting and stressful experience! As a new (or soon-to-be) parent, you’re excited for the growth and development of your child, but may want some advice on how to help.

Where should you turn to?

There are tons of advice books, blogs, and podcasts out there, with sometimes misleading information, so finding information sources that are trustworthy can be difficult.

If you just want to listen to another parent talk about their experience, to help relate to another parent and feel like you’re not alone, whether or not the information they provide is scientifically correct may not be a concern. However, if you’re looking for something friendly and interactive, but is ALSO based in scientific research, your options become a lot more limited. It can also be unclear whether a source that claims to be backed by evidence is actually backed by evidence or not.

Never fear!

The ParentLab has created an app called HelloJoey, which perfectly fits the needs of the active parent who wants to learn more about their child’s development. The app, which has an incredibly cute and easy-to-use display, features different “kits”, which focus on one topic. Each kit is composed of a few podcasts, simple activities to try with your kid, and additional reading materials for the parent eager to learn more. In addition, each kit showcases the amount of papers read, the hours spent, the experts interviewed, and the collection of people (with their prospective degrees) who worked on the kit, so you never have to worry if what you’re reading is accurate and trustworthy!

The podcasts feature both the science behind certain behaviors and steps in development and advice for parents in regards to the kit topic, which is incredibly helpful. Parents can pick and choose between kit topics, depending on what they want to learn about or what their kid is going through. Example kit topics include “Anxiety 101”, “Picky Eating, Healthy Eating”, and “Homework: From Hassle to Happy”. The format of the podcasts and activities are incredibly user-friendly and geared towards the parent on-the-go. Parents can learn developmental information while driving, going on a walk, or waiting to pick up their kid from school!

Why is this type of education so important?

It’s one thing for someone to just tell you what you should do with your child in a given scenario. It’s a whole other thing to have scientists explain the behaviors and suggest ways to address them. Understanding the reasoning behind why your child may be acting a certain way or how to help them with a certain aspect of development is incredibly powerful! Being equipped with the knowledge to help your child also provides you with the power to think for yourself in different scenarios. If the activity advice from HelloJoey doesn’t quite work with your child, you still have learned the information necessary to come up with your own solutions!

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Isabel Joyce

Undergraduate Student at Carnegie Mellon University, studying Materials Science & Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.