Introduction to Adventures in Parenting

Parenting

Have you heard the latest advice about parenting?

Of course you have. From experts to other parents, people are always ready to give you parenting advice. Parenting tips, parents’ survival guides, dos, don’ts, shoulds, and shouldn’ts—new ones come out every day.

But with so much information available, how can anyone figure out what really works? How do you know whose advice to follow? Isn’t parenting just common sense anyway? How can the experts know what it’s like to be a parent in a real house?

What’s a parent to do?

Try RPM3—a no-frills approach to parenting from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

For over 30 years, the NICHD has conducted and supported research in parenting and child development. We’ve talked to experts, parents, and children. We’ve collected statistics, identified myths, a...More

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What is the RPM3 approach to parenting?

  • The first thing you need to know is that there are no perfect parents.
  • Parenting isn't all-or-nothing.
  • Successes and mistakes are part of being a parent.
  • Start to think about the type of parent you want to be.
  • RPM3 stands for:
    • Responding to your child in an appropriate manner.
    • Preventing risky behavior or problems before they arise.
    • Monitoring your child's contact with his or her surrounding world.
    • Mentoring your child to support and encourage desired behaviors.
    • Modeling your own behavior to provide a consistent, positive example for your child.
  • By including responding, preventing, monitoring, mentoring, and modeling in your day-to-day parenting activities, you can become a more effective, consistent, active, and attentive parent.
  • Learn how to apply the RPM3 approach if your child is:

For more information


News Articles

  • When Your Teen Wants a Tattoo

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that 29% of the population has at least one tattoo. So this is a question you're likely to face as a parent. You may not be in favor of it, but it's important to know what steps to take, especially if your child is insistent. More...

  • Tough Childhoods Can Leave a Lifetime of Harm, Experts Say

    Traumatic experiences in childhood can do lifelong harm to physical and mental health, education and work, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. More...

  • Many U.S. Parents Can't Find a Psychiatrist to Help Their Child

    The study found that almost three-quarters of American counties don't have a single child psychiatrist. More...

  • Check Those Halloween Treats So They're Safe to Eat

    Almost 41 million American children will don costumes and go trick-or-treating tonight, so all parents should remember that not every treat is safe for their kid. More...

  • How Young Is Too Young to Leave Kids Home Alone?

    Children should be at least 12 years old before they're left home alone for four hours or more, a majority of U.S. social workers surveyed say. More...

  • 45 More
    • How to Keep Halloween Fun and Safe

      There's no trick to keeping kids safe this Halloween -- it just takes some planning, the American Academy of Pediatrics says. More...

    • Trying to Conceive? Both Dad and Mom Should Give Up Drinking in Months Before

      If would-be moms and dads drink in the three months before pregnancy, and if mom drinks during the first trimester, they run the risk of having a baby with congenital heart disease. Men's drinking boosts the risk 44%, and women's, 16%. More...

    • Paper Books Beat Tablets for Parent-Child Interactions, Study Finds

      Parents seeking quality reading time with their toddlers would do well to choose an old-fashioned book over a newfangled e-reader, a new study argues. More...

    • A Good Night's Sleep Is Key to School Success

      Now that children are back in school, it's important to make sure they get enough shut-eye, sleep experts say. More...

    • Don't Let Kids Wander Alone in Parking Lots

      Many children walk through parking lots without adult supervision, putting them in great danger, a new study warns. More...

    • Most U.S. Parents Say Vaccination Should Be Requirement for School: Poll

      More than 8 in 10 U.S. adults say kids should be required to get vaccinated in order to attend school, but far fewer trust the safety of vaccines, a new poll finds. More...

    • Nurturing Childhood Boosts Odds of a Happy Adult Life: Study

      Kids who grow up confident that their parents, friends and community have their back are far less likely to struggle with depression or other serious mental health issues as adults, new research indicates. More...

    • Is a Charter School the Right Choice for Your Child?

      Charter schools have been around for more than 25 years, yet many people know little about them or whether they're a smart option for their children. Created as a way to increase student achievement, the concept has its share of both critics and supporters. More...

    • Backpacks Shouldn't Be a Back-to-School Burden on Health

      Books, tablets, lunch: Stuff can really start to weigh heavily in your kid's school backpack. More...

    • 5 Health Tips to Promote Back-to-School Success

      Healthy kids do better in school -- something parents need to think about as they prepare for a new academic year. More...

    • Older Parents May Have Better Behaved Kids

      The study found that kids with at least one older parent were less likely to be defiant rule-breakers or physically aggressive. More...

    • What Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?

      But as it turns out, it's not always the fighting, but rather the way you fight that can have a negative -- or a positive -- effect on your children. More...

    • Parents Who Belittle Their Children May Be Raising Bullies

      It's a vicious cycle: Teens who are belittled and demeaned by their parents are more likely to be bullied and to bully others, a new study suggests. More...

    • 'Failure to Launch': Poll Finds Many Older Teens Still Too Reliant on Parents

      Most parents think they are doing enough to prepare their teens for adulthood, but they're wincing a bit as the time comes for their young to leave the nest, the survey reports. More...

    • How to Help When Your Child Weighs Too Much

      Seventeen percent of American children and teens are obese and a nearly equal number are overweight, and those who are taunted about their weight tend to gain even more in response, according to a study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. More...

    • Parent Who Listens Can Help Kids Thrive Despite Trauma

      Heartfelt talks between parent and child are essential to help kids overcome tough times and do their best at school, a new study says. More...

    • Will Video Games Make Your Kid Obese? Maybe Not

      To the millions of parents who worry about the extra pounds their child might pile on while playing Xbox all day, rest easy. More...

    • Teen Sexting Can Be Warning Sign of Other Risky Behaviors

      Parents who find a sex-based text on their teenager's phone should be on the lookout for other problems in their child's life, a new evidence review suggests. More...

    • Tips for Keeping Your Child Healthy at Camp

      With thousands of kids heading to camp for the summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some tips for keeping them safe and happy. More...

    • Best Gift From Dad for Kids: More Time Together

      Father's Day is a once-a-year celebration of the bond between Dad and his kids, but cementing that bond takes a year-round commitment. More...

    • 'Dad Shaming' Is Real, Survey Shows

      It's not just Moms: Just ahead of Father's Day, a new survey finds that about half of American dads say they've been criticized about their parenting styles. More...

    • How to Put Limits on Your Family's Screen Time

      While kids get some benefit from using digital and social media, such as early learning and exposure to new ideas, too much of it can negatively affect their health, sleep and eating habits, and even their attention span. More...

    • Hundreds of Young Kids Drown in Pools Each Year -- Keep Yours Safe

      Summer at the nation's swimming pools and hot tubs means fun for kids, but danger, too. More...

    • AHA News: With Summer Vacation Here, How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?

      With summer vacation starting for millions of American children, many parents are asking: How much screen time is too much? More...

    • How Kids Benefit From Doing Chores

      These everyday tasks make households run, and engaging kids in age-appropriate chores from an early age teaches them invaluable life skills, instills in them a sense of responsibility and boosts self-esteem through accomplishment, according to the experts at the non-profit Understood.org. More...

    • Opioid Prescriptions to Teens, Young Adults Still Common

      Even amid an epidemic of abuse, opioid painkillers are still commonly prescribed to teenagers and young adults for conditions like tooth and back pain, a new study finds. More...

    • Does Taking Screens Away Help Sleep-Deprived Teens?

      Cutting teens' evening screen time can improve their sleep in just one week, a new study finds. More...

    • Health Tip: Children and Pets

      Teaching children how to care for an animal can be an invaluable experience. However, certain guidelines must be followed. More...

    • Does Your Sunscreen Work for You?

      Sunscreen is a real key to protecting your skin from the sun and preventing skin cancer, but are you using it correctly? More...

    • Who's Most Likely to Miss School Due to Eczema?

      Hispanic and black children are more likely to miss school than white children due to the chronic skin condition eczema, a new study finds. More...

    • 2 of 3 Parents Read Texts While Driving

      Despite countless public service messages warning against texting and driving, more than two-thirds of parents have read a text while behind the wheel and roughly half have written a text while driving, a new survey finds. More...

    • How to Tame Morning Chaos

      Are your mornings always chaotic? Between making breakfast, packing lunches, getting everyone dressed and hunting for homework assignments, it's easy to feel like you've put in a day's worth of work before 9 a.m. More...

    • 3 Parenting Essentials to Safeguard Kids' Well-Being

      Besides serving healthy food and encouraging daily exercise, three other lifestyle habits can have a huge impact on your child's mental and physical well-being and development. More...

    • Can Games and Apps Help Your Kids Learn?

      Leading health organizations are warning about the possibility of video game addiction. More...

    • Teaching Kids the Importance of an Apology

      At what age do kids really understand the meaning of an apology, and should you make a child repeat the words if they don't yet have real meaning? More...

    • How to Stay Close as a Couple Now That Baby Is Here

      There's no doubt that a first baby changes the dynamic between spouses. Here are steps you can take to stay close. More...

    • Single Moms Often Put Kids' Health Care First, Study Finds

      When times are tough, single moms tend to spend more on their children's health care than on their own, a new study finds. More...

    • Taking a Bite Out of Food Ads Targeted to Kids

      Kids can be as strongly influenced by TV commercials as by the shows themselves, and many studies have found that tempting food ads have a particularly harmful effect, contributing to childhood obesity. More...

    • Head Off the Blues When Your Teen Heads to College

      As excited as you are that your teen's going to college, it's normal to have mixed emotions, such as anxiety, sadness and possibly depression. It's even normal to feel envious that his or her life is just beginning while yours is on the wane. More...

    • Health Tip: Becoming a Step Parent

      If step-parenthood is in your future, there may be pending bumps in the road between you and your new spouse, your younger children and the children's other parent. More...

    • Health Tip: Talk to Your Kids Early About Alcohol Use

      You should speak with your children while they're younger about the dangers of alcohol use and abuse, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests. More...

    • The Reality of Watching Reality TV

      When it comes to analyzing the effects of watching reality TV, well, it's complicated. While some see these shows as a brief escape from daily life, they can have negative effects on some viewers, including impressionable teens. More...

    • Almost All U.S. Teens Falling Short on Sleep, Exercise

      Too little sleep. Not enough exercise. Far too much "screen time." More...

    • Movie Violence Doesn't Make Kids Violent, Study Finds

      Parents often worry that violent movies can trigger violence in their kids, but a new study suggests PG-13-rated movies won't turn your kids into criminals. More...

    • Gay Dads and Their Kids Still Face Social Shaming

      Two-thirds of gay fathers have felt the pain of social stigma, and they have encountered that stigma most often in religious settings, a new survey shows. More...

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