How on earth did our parents parent us without the Internet?
I depend so much on sites like Babycenter.com and WebMD.com for answers to the questions I have NOW, like "Is it normal for him to...," and, "What should I do if..." I keep our family's calendar (which is pretty much our son's social calendar) on our computer, and I have that calendar synced to Google Calendar so that I can schedule playdates when we are away from home. I have immediate access to all sales ads so that I can instantly compare diaper prices when necessary, and if I don't have a coupon handy I can usually find one somewhere in Cyberspace. I shop for toddler clothes and children's books with just a few clicks of the mouse, and if I'm wary of purchasing that new tricycle without knowing anyone else who has one, I just check into the product reviews that others have provided. Can you imagine what life was like in the olden days before Amazon.com? (I was alive then, but it all seems like a big blur...)
Last night I took Internet parenting to a new low (or high, depending on your perspective). We have been having BATTLES in this household over dental hygiene. Our son doesn't mind the toothbrush, he just doesn't want to use it in the way it was intended. I have had too many dental issues to allow our son to follow that same path, and I watched a graphic 20/20 episode that involved baby root canals (you've got to be kidding me) so I was feeling pretty desperate to convince him to take care of his teeth. I considered showing him those same videos of screaming children that I had seen, but that could easily back-fire in a few years, so...
Thank you Youtube.com! Do you believe that there are parents out there who seriously take videos of their kids brushing their teeth and then post them to Youtube? I don't know that I would have ever thought of that, but no complaints here! I found a "playlist" of toothbrushing sessions (as well as clips from Sesame Street and a strange but effective clip from a French cartoon). Our son sat with me watching the monitor, and I handed him his toothbrush. Suddenly we were no longer concerned with the chore of cleaning those teeth, it was a toothbrushing party with toddlers from around the world! There was one unfortuneate incident that involved spitting at the screen (thanks, strange French characters), but otherwise this was the easiest and most effective teeth cleaning session that we have had since those little pearly whites started pushing through his gums.
Hey, I will take help anywhere I can get it! Do you have any secret weapons you use to parent more effectively?