Overview: People have always had questions about parenting. In previous generations, however, parents had relatively limited options for getting advice – most frequently you asked your maternal relatives, your friends, your child’s pediatrician, and your child’s teacher. With the emergence of the Web 2.0 and social media era, came a myriad of places that parents can go on-line to get help with parenting, advice, and parenting tips. While this means that there is a great deal of useful information available, there also is a great deal of misinformation. As professionals working with children and adolescents, it is important for us to provide parents with the most accurate and evidence-based information as possible. To help us do that, we need to know what kind of information parents have access to and, more specifically, the extent to which that information effectively helps parents to reduce risk and promote resilience in their children’s lives.
(1) In this in-class assignment, you will be examining various websites that offer parenting advice, tips, and information through the lens of risk and resilience research.
(2) To begin the assignment, and to gain background information, you should read the follow article prior to class:
Hoffman, D. M. (2010). Risky investments: Parenting and the production of the ‘resilient child’. Health, Risk & Society, 12(4), 385-394. doi:10.1080/13698571003789716
(3) In-class you and your group will search for websites that offer parenting tips and advice. To get a range of parenting web-ites, I suggest googling “parenting advice”. Choose a range of websites; religious, medical, government, education, for profit, not for profit, sponsored by a company, and run by a community service. You should examine 9 (three for each person in the group).
(4) Examine the websites and note the following information:
(a) the names and URLs of the 9 web-sites
(b) the kinds of issues most commonly asked about or addressed
(c) risk factors that are discussed
(d) kinds of advice and tips being offered. What framework or approach does the advice take (e.g., medical disease that needs treatment, attachment, developmental assets, etc.)
(e) are the advice and tips offered by the site developmentally appropriate, evidence-based? Explain.
(f) are the advice and tips likely to produce resilient, competent children? Explain.
(g) what kinds of education, training, professional experience do the people running the websites have?
(h) do you see evidence for the issues raised by Hoffman (2010)? Explain.
(5) Looking at the trends across all 9 websites answer the following questions:
(a) are there some types of web-sites that offer better (i.e., developmentally appropriate, evidence-based, culturally competent) advice and types? Explain and provide examples
(b) do you feel the advice and tips being offered is likely to effectively help parents reduce risk and promote resilience for low-risk children? Explain.
(c) do you feel the advice and tips being offered is likely to effectively help parents reduce risk and promote resilience for moderate and high risk children? Explain.
(d) do you feel the advice and tips offered by these websites take into account children’s individuality, unique contexts, and the importance of letting children play an active role in their own development? Explain.
(e) What additional information, approaches, frameworks, etc. would like to see the websites include? Explain why.
(f) Which websites would you most likely suggest to parents if they wanted a good on-line resource for information related to risk and resilience issues? Explain why.
Submitting the Assignment:
(A) You may write up your answers in bullet point format, just make sure you clearly explain your answers and provide enough detail that your answer is comprehensive
(B) Submit one document for the three of you; be sure to put all your names on the document
(C) You may complete the assignment in class and upload it to Canvas before you leave, but you have until 11:59PM the day of the in-class assignment to submit it to Canvas.
(A) Examines 9 different websites and includes their URLs/Names = 2 points
(B) Answers, with enough detail/explanation to be informative, the questions listed under #4 = 8 points
(C) Answers, with enough detail/explanation to be informative and answers the questions by looking at the trends across all 9 websites, the questions listed under #5 = 8 points
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