Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trusted advice

Yes, my friends--both IRL and online--are wonderful sources of advice. But sometimes a girl needs to do a little independent research. And I've found two wonderfully independent resources.

I initially thought Common Sense Media just a website that told you which movies had naughty words, but it is so, so much more. It's a guide to all kinds of media and a helpful tool for parents who know what their kids are and are not ready to consume (or want guidance by age). I've used it to help select library books on specific topics as well as early reading titles Z can manage without too much frustration. My favorite feature is a parents review section that tells me if the book is a good one--something I'm going to enjoy sharing with my daughter as opposed to some of the horrible stuff out there (My Little Pony, I'm looking at you). There's really a wealth of information, and it gets better as you register and plug in your kids' ages.

Another great resource--albeit one I haven't spent as much time with--is GoodGuide, a consumer guide to all kinds of goods, from sunscreen to packaged foods to kids' toys. Learn about the products' ingredients (and whether or not they are safe) as well as the corporation's environmental and social records. If you're trying to make conscious choices as a shopper, this site will help you see past any greenwashing.