From newborns to teens getting ready to leave home, parenting challenges are growing thanks to COVID-19, more in-home schooling and other social tensions.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has just completed an expansion of a website specially designed to help parents with questions on providing a healthy, happy home for themselves and their children.

DPHHS Early Childhood and Family Support administrator Jamie Palagi explains the expansion of the Parenting Montana website.

“The Department of Public Health and Human Services partnered with the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University to expand, which is an information website full of all kinds of things that would be helpful for parents who have children from infancy all the way into their teen years,” said Palagi.

She then provided some specific examples of topics that parents might have.

“If you have a two year old and maybe they're experiencing the terrible twos, and you wonder if your child is having tantrums and if that's a normal part of child development, you could go to parenting,” she said. “That website would provide information that would reassure the parent that tantrums are an expected part of development, and also give guidance on how to support her to your child and their needs during a tantrum.”

Palagi said the advice on the website covers the spectrum of early childhood through the teens.

“In addition, on the website, there are resources that a parent can connect to and or be referred to in case they are looking for a little bit more support,” she said. “But the website itself has so much information about all of the kinds of things that most kids experience throughout their childhood and teenage years.”

Palagi assured parents that the advice on the website will be accurate, helpful and free.

“In partnership, we worked with the staff at the Center for Health and Safety Culture and also some of our staff at Department of Public Health and Human Services, to identify the kinds of things that kids experience through development, and then went and researched materials and other sources that provided evidence based information,” she said. “The website it is rooted in science and facts, and it's really focused mostly on how to strengthen relationships and support relationships and the natural parent-child way.”

There is also a new foster parent section on the website, which can be accessed here.


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