The Internet can be a useful source of parenting information. In fact, in my family we often say, “Ask Aunty Google” (or Dr. Google for medical self-diagnosis). It is important, however, to ensure that the information is from a credible source. Aunties (and some doctors!) have a habit of giving advice that may have worked for them but may not work for you, advice that has not been scientifically tested for helpfulness or harmfulness. You can confidently use articles that are reprinted from academic journals, government websites or are by well-known professionals and authors in the field. Here are some more tips:
- Search for articles that cite research and provide references. Such articles are more likely to be evidence-based (rather than anecdotal or opinion-based) and because they provide references, you can double check the information from the cited sources.
- To check the credibility of an author, Google his/her name or search Amazon.com for titles by this author. If the author has written several books on the topic or is a Professor at a reputable University you can have more confidence that the work is evidence-based.
- Be on the lookout for articles with spelling or grammatical errors; these may not be from such credible sources.
- If you are unsure about the veracity of an article please ask a qualified and experienced child development professional.
What follows is a list of reliable parenting websites and of credible popular experts who are prolific publishers of parenting guidance.