Finding exceptional parenting educators can be challenging in the Information Age, even when every conceivable parenting topic can be instantly found via a search engine.
Parents can share their experiences with “Mommy or Daddy Bloggers” and get feedback from almost anyone willing to respond to questions. But in the end, parents often feel even more confused and overwhelmed.
Schools seek good parenting educators too. Reputable parenting experts can provide input and advice for teachers and administrators who want to increase parent involvement and work more collaboratively to build parent-school-community partnerships that benefit all children.
Seeking quick solutions about child-rearing is like trying to learn all the offensive and defensive plays in football without understanding the game. In this case, the game is positive youth development. It is a lengthy, complex, and challenging process. And it is the most important game you will play as a parent or teacher.
At Roots of Action, we focus on the overall game. Rather than quick answers, we provide a broader palette of thinking for parents and educators, one that is built on strength-based research in child and adolescent development. Our framework, The Compass Advantage, is designed to foster the development of a child’s mind, body, heart, and spirit through the nurturing of eight core attributes: curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy.
A Strengths-Based Approach to Parenting
When bigger-picture concepts are understood, everyday parenting decisions become more intuitive. Parents learn how to build on their children’s strengths rather than solely focusing on correcting deficits. Our aim is for each parent to become their own child development expert!
There are many parenting educators who share a similar approach to positive youth development as we do at Roots of Action. Through their blogs and social media accounts, they combine research with real-life stories and teach about how to foster behaviors that lead to these big-picture outcomes. Through their articles and research, they bring wise advice on a variety of educational and child development topics to their followers.
As a developmental psychologist, I am often asked, “Whom do you follow on social media? What blogs do you read, share, and recommend for parents?” In response to those questions, I have put together a list of some of my favorite parenting educators. Highly trained experts and well-respected in their fields, most offer free online articles for parents and educators as well as consulting and speaking services. Many have written numerous books.
I hope parents and teachers will peruse this list and follow the parenting educators that interest them the most. Together, we can collaborate to help parents become their own experts, strengthening children in ways that support their diverse family values, backgrounds, and special needs.
Who have I missed? Who brings the best insights on child development to your inbox or social media account? Please add the parenting educators you love, with links to their blogs, etc. in the comments section.
Top Picks for Parenting Educators
Listed in alphabetical order, I follow these parenting educators and are inspired by their work. Please note this is not an exhaustive list and does not include many excellent parenting experts that are not as highly educated or trained in their fields. (Photos for this article were selected from the first five educators on the list.)
Michele Borba, Ed.D.,is a former teacher, author, and media contributor. Her topics include parenting, bullying, and moral development. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Kevin Cokley, Ph.D., is a professor, psychologist, and speaker who specializes in racial and ethnic identity development and maintaining wellness for students of color. Website; Twitter
Shauna M. Cooper, Ph.D., is director of StAR Research Lab, using a strengths-based framework for influencing positive development among African American adolescents and youth. Website; Twitter
E.J.R. David, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist whose work focuses on the lived realities of marginalized families and communities. Website; Twitter; Facebook
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist whose work focuses on supporting families of neurodiverse children and adolescents. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Jennifer Hartstein, Psy.D., is a child and adolescent psychologist, media contributor, and author. Her topics include teen-related and psychological issues. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Maureen Healy, M.A., M.B.A., is a child behavioral expert, author, and speaker. Her topics include how to help highly sensitive children succeed and current parenting issues. Blog; Twitter
Katie Hurley, M.S.W., is a family psychotherapist, parenting expert, and author. Her topics include practical parenting strategies, social skills, anxiety, and learning issues. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., is a psychologist, author, and speaker. Her topics include parenting, child development, and children’s friendships. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Lynne Kenney, Psy.D., is a pediatric psychologist and author. Her topics include how to enhance executive function and social/academic skills with motor movement. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Jessica Potts Lahey, J.D., is a former middle school teacher and media contributor. Her topics include achievement, character development, and how children learn from failure. Blog; Twitter
Raychelle C. Lohmann, M.S., LPC, is an author and speaker. Her topics include anger management for teens, family relationships, and school counseling-related issues. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Julie Lythcott-Haims, B.A., J.D., is a New York Times best-selling author and former Stanford Dean who writes about parenting and growing up Black and biracial in America. Website; Twitter; Facebook
Laura Markham, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, parenting coach, and author. Her topics include family relationships, positive discipline, and attachment parenting. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Amy Miller McCready, B.A., is a positive discipline trainer, author, and speaker. Her topics include positive parenting and a variety of family issues. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Andrea Nair, M.A., is a psychotherapist and former high school teacher. Her topics include positive parenting methods and family dynamics. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Susan Newman, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and author. Her topics include parenting, family relationships, and the world of only-children. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Casey Wilson O’Roarty, M.Ed., is a positive discipline trainer, parent educator, and blogger. Her topics include parenting and positive discipline. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Jennifer Powell-Lunder, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist, author, and media contributor. She writes about the emotional, social, physical, cognitive, and psychological changes that occur between the ages of 8-12. Blog, Twitter; Facebook
Alyson Schafer, M.A., is a psychotherapist, author, and speaker. Her topics include firm and friendly parenting practices and stress reduction. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Robyn Silverman, Ph.D., is a child/teen development specialist, speaker, and author. Her topics include teen body image, bullying, and sexualization of girls. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Jim Taylor, Ph.D., is a psychologist, author and speaker. His topics include youth sports, positive parenting, and education. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, author, and researcher. His topics include youth resilience and how families cope with adversity. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
Signe Whitson, LSW, is a social worker, school counselor, and author. Her topics include bullying, crisis intervention, and emotional/behavioral health. Blog; Twitter; Facebook
(This list was first published Sept. 29, 2014. The article and the list was updated August 2, 2020)
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Published: August 2, 2020Tags: child development specialists, parent engagement, parent involvement, parenting, parenting educators, parenting experts, positive youth development