Parenting by Google

I remember clearly the day I discovered Google is a valuable parenting tool.

It felt like a little miracle.

Sleep deprived, cranky and desperate, I sat down at our computer a few weeks after my first daughter was born and typed these words into the search engine: “baby won’t nap more than 35 minutes.”

Soon, I was on a forum with lots of other exhausted mothers struggling with the exact same issue. Their babies had the same internal alarm clock as my daughter. I picked up a few tips, but more importantly, I didn’t feel so alone in my struggle.

My generation didn’t grow up in large families where the older kids took care of their little baby sisters and brothers. We gave birth without ever really having cared for a baby before. Most of us took the babysitter’s course when we were 13 and learned infant CPR but that was 20 years ago. We need help. We need Google. It can help with all sorts of parenting dilemmas.

Here’s a quick scan of what my husband and I have googled over the past few months:

  • Kid won’t eat broccoli
  • Kid won’t eat any green vegetables
  • Kid won’t eat any fruit but strawberries
  • Will kids die without vegetables?
  • Diseases caused by lack of vegetables
  • Scurvy
  • Stud earring stuck in earlobe
  • How to remove stuck earring
  • Pain thresholds of children (see stuck earring above)
  • Pictures of ticks
  • How to remove a tick from an ear
  • Symptoms of Lyme disease
  • Mother panicked about tick on daughter’s ear
  • Kids who dawdle
  • Daughter refuses to get dressed for school
  • Daughter says no to everything
  • Is it bad to bribe your children with money for good behaviour?
  • Sisters fighting
  • Tips to stop sisters from fighting
  • Kids screaming all the time
  • Five-year-old won’t stop talking like a baby
  • How to distract kids during the Super Bowl
  • Kids obsessed with Angry Birds

Google has provided me with plenty of good advice. I was able to look at a picture of a tick and determine that, yes, that’s what was in my daughter’s ear. A Google search also advised me to take her to a doctor to remove the tick. Solid advice.

Then there’s the not-so-solid advice, such as the tips given to one woman who wrote “Help! My toddler screams like he is being murdered.”  That mother was advised to put cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce in his mouth.

Good heavens! Perhaps those parents need to do another Google search: Positive ways to discipline your child.

L’il Girl Talk

“Grabbing by the neck technically isn’t choking,” says Jaime, age 8, defending her actions after a fight with her sister.


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