Monday, May 7th, 2012
Parents who once sought parenting advice from trusted family, friends or health professionals are now seeking assistance from people they have just met online to overcome common parenting programs such as sleep issues, temper tantrums and fussy eating.

According to psychologist, parenting author and director of Parent Wellbeing Jodie Benveniste, family and friends were once a highly favoured source of information but many parents report feeling judged by their nearest and dearest, and are critical of out-of-date knowledge and practices.

‘Advice from family and friends can sometimes be out-of-date or be based on experiences they remembered from over 30 years ago when they were raising kids’, says Benveniste. ‘Advice such as putting babies to sleep on their back, when to introduce solids, the value of breastmilk versus formula have all changed over the generations. Discipline strategies have also changed. Smacking is no longer acceptable, and even the old adage ‘eat everything on your plate’ may no longer apply.’

'Many parents report that one of the most difficult aspects is managing all of the unwanted advice’, says Benveniste. ‘It's much easier to dismiss advice that doesn't suit your family when you don't know them personally. But when a family member makes comments about your toddler’s behaviour or says you’re ‘creating a rod for your own back’ it can be difficult to ignore', she says.

‘Family and friends can be quick to offer advice that’s based on their own values, and what’s important to them’, says Benveniste. ‘But that doesn’t always take into account the values, beliefs and desires of the parents. In my experience, parents feel more emotionally supported when they can connect with people who are going through similar experiences.’

Parent Wellbeing has recognised this powerful forum for information sharing by developing an online parenting program that takes parents through a process to create their own parenting approach, and connect with other parents in an online forum.

‘We created The Parent Manifesto 12 week online program after discovering how many parents lack confidence in their parenting approach’, says Benveniste. ‘They are being inundated by advice and information that may not suit their family. The program helps them to work out what’s important and helps them to connect to parents who might be going through the exact same experience as them.’

‘We found that the online community was highly beneficial for parents’, says Benveniste. ‘They could be honest, share their real stories, and connect with other like-minded parents whom they may not find in their local community or amongst their family and friends. It helps parents feel understood and not alone.’

Contact Profile

Parent Wellbeing

Jodie Benveniste, director and founder of Parent Wellbeing, is a psychologist and parenting author with vast media experience. She has been featured on TV, in newspapers and radio, nationally, and in all the top parenting magazines. Jodie is Affiliate Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide, Editorial Advisor for Family Fun magazine, and mum to two young children. More information about her online parenting program is here:
Jodie Benveniste
P: 08 8278 4342
M: 0412 088 804


Parenting, Australian parents, mothers, Parent Wellbeing



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