We’ve written before that social media forum Reddit is no place for the really young or faint of heart, so it may come as a surprise to hear us say that it can be a great resource for parents. The truth of the matter is that Reddit is a great resource for just about anyone and everything. Yes, the site contains more than its share of cyberbullying, adult content and general bad behavior, but all that can be avoided if you know where to look, or where not to look.
The forum is divided up into user-defined categories, called subreddits, (reddit.com/r/XXX, over 850,000 strong and counting) and its 240 million plus monthly users post and comment on news, research, images, video and opinions. The reasons are many that Reddit just “works” if you’re looking for information:
- If you’re looking for something specific, you’re likely to find a subreddit that caters to that category
- Many power users post frequently in their area of expertise
- Each original post and comment is sorted by an upvote/downvote mechanism that results in the most relevant information floating to the surface
- The site updates constantly, in real time
If you’re looking for information or ideas and you take to Google, you are trusting that someone has written something relevant on that topic, and recently if it’s topical. As such, Google search results can be hit or miss. Finding a subreddit that that has up-to-date news, advice and information can be a boon for busy parents.
Here are a handful of the subreddits that we think parents should take advantage of:
r/Parenting – (90,000 subscribers) “…anything related to the controlled chaos we call parenting.”
r/AskParents – (1,400 subscribers) A subreddit devoted to answering parents’ questions, i.e. you ask and other parents answer.
r/DigitalParenting – (We started this last year and we’re just getting going) “Digital parenting information and discussion for parents. Computers, cell phones, the internet and social media.”
r/Daddit – (40,000 subscribers) A subreddit just for dads.
r/Mommit – (20,000 subscribers) “Mucking through the ickier parts of child raising. It may not always be pretty, fun and awesome, but we do it.”
r/KidsCrafts – (1,900 subscribers) “a wide range of projects for kids as well as ideas that will help challenge and guide children through whatever subject they investigate.”
r/ScienceParents – (2,600 subscribers) The goal of this subreddit is to “share learning resources geared towards kids as well as experiments you and your kids have done together. Take a hands on approach to teaching science to your kids while having fun.”
There are plenty more valuable subreddits out there if you poke around.
A final note: the search function on Reddit itself is pretty weak. If you don’t know the name of subreddit you’re looking for, you’re better off Googling “subreddit for XXX”. That works just fine.
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