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How Bloggers Changed the Way I Parent

How do you decide what book you're going to read to your children? Or what type of sunscreen you’re going to use? Do you trust your own instincts and experiences, or do you use others to guide you? A mix of both?

I have a wide range of influences in my life thanks to Twitter, Facebook and blogs. This technology has allowed me to hand-select a community of moms I find interesting and inspiring. As a result, they shape the way I act with my kids. Here are a few of my top influences and how they shape the way I parent!

Gabrielle Blair from Design Mom, who is living outside Paris right now, influences the books I read to my kids. I adore reading her author interviews. Just the other day she interviewed Judith Byron Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones book series. I wasn’t surpised when I found myself buying a Skippyjon Jones book a day later! Had I never read the interview, I might have overlooked the book entirely. But Schachner’s answers were so thoughtful and relatable that she stuck with me. When I saw her book for sale, I snatched it up. I felt good about buying a book from an author that I had personal connection with, and my kids were excited to own a new book.

MORE: Do Kids and Blogging Mix?

Jordan Ferney has changed the way I throw a party for my kids. I’d never met anyone who loves to throw parties like Jordan. It only took a couple of years of knowing her before I tried my hand at a birthday party filled with personal touches and a solid theme: Parades! I made party hats, candy bags and a dessert table. I even spray-painted all the musical instruments white to keep within my red-and-white color scheme. I had a blast putting the party together! Despite this, my daughter has never had a party like it again! It exhausted me. I’ve since scaled down my parties a bit, but I know if I wanted to, I could search Jordan’s blog for tons of ideas. Next time, I’ll pick one idea, instead of 10! She makes it look so easy that sometimes I get carried away.

Betsy from Eco-Novice is my green influencer. Her recent post with tips about going to the farmers market reminded me I need to attend mine more often. She influences what kind of sunscreen I buy for my kids. But most of all she makes me realize it’s OK to go green gradually. She’s a few steps ahead of me in the process, and it’s comforting to watch someone make small changes that have a big impact on the earth. She’s honest about her failures (homemade yogurt!) and balances it out with her successes (early potty training!). She brings things to my attention I’ve never thought of and makes me less scared to try them. Bar Shampoo anyone?

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While I used to hang out with Jordan and Betsy when I lived in California, it’s nice to know that despite our distance, I can still learn and grow from them as I follow their blogs, twitters, facebook accounts. It’s also amazing that a person I’ve never met before, like Gabrielle from Design Mom, can have an influence on the books I read to my kids at night. Isn’t technology fabulous?

What bloggers have changed the way you parent?

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