Have you heard of the Growing Child newsletter? If not, you are in for a treat.
Growing Child is a monthly newsletter, sent via email (or post), that matches the age of your child. When you sign up, you simply enter your child's birthday and voila! You will receive the appropriate newsletter each month.
Growing Child newsletters cover developmental stages and quirks, tips and strategies for coping, as well as age-appropriate learning games and toy recommendations.
What I like best, however, is the fact that their advice is real. This is not a newsletter that will advocate the purchasing of expensive toys, or demand that that you redesign your entire house. This is not a newsletter that assumes you have boundless patience, or endless amounts of time.
This is simply a newsletter that started in 1971, and will, very patiently, explain to us newbie mums why manners are still important (hint: it's all about "caring and consideration"), and what you can and cannot expect from your 2-year-5-month-old in terms of manners. This is a newsletter that teaches parents specific language and behaviors to make us more effective parents (Say, "Hitting hurts Peter" rather than "Don't Hit"). This is a newsletter that encourages parents to focus on what's important: helping your child develop courage and independence, empathy, imagination.
In addition, this group of PhDs and educators publish another newsletter that focuses on general parenting practices and philosophy (not age-specific). This rather thought-provoking newsletter is called "Grandma Says". For a sample, see the latest issue here. At the time of writing this post, the current issue makes a pretty strong case for why kiddos under 3 can't share...and an even stronger case for why we shouldn't expect them to.
So if you are looking for a resource to inspire, to help you be an involved, intentional parent....or if you, like me, are just sick of feeling guilty/panicky because your kid isn't living up to the Baby Center weekly emails ("By now, your child is probably singing the ABC's!!!")...check out Growing Child. Best $20 I've ever spent.