Committee for Children Blog

Welcome to Parachute—Real Parenting for the Real World

Parachute App Logo, parenting challenges

We all know parenting young children can be a challenge, but we don’t always realize that it’s a challenge for everyone. In an era where we’re constantly bombarded by images of other people’s perfect and adorable YouTube stars as well as 24/7 information that tells you precisely how likely you are to screw up your kid for life, it can be very stressful trying to figure out how to handle even common parenting challenges. Sure, you can Google tips for getting picky eaters to eat or how to deal with tantrums, but how do you really learn the skills you need to keep the daily challenges from becoming long-term problems? And just how do you build the kind of relationships and habits that set kids up for success in school and in life?

These were the questions parents asked us in a year-long investigation into the question of “How can parents best support their children’s social and emotional development?” We heard that most people are interested in raising socially and emotionally competent children (sometimes this came out as “kind” or “polite”). And even more often parents asked for resources and advice to help them get through the common, but exhausting challenges of dealing with young children.

After many rounds of user-centered research and design, we’ve launched Parent Parachute, the app that helps you solve typical parenting challenges while strengthening bonds with your child. By watching fun animations and completing short activities, you’ll learn researched-based skills that you can use for specific problems you’ve identified and for preventing future problems. It’s like having a parent coach in your pocket.

Picky eaters? Won’t stay in bed at night? Tantrums that force you to abandon full shopping carts? We’ve heard it all, and we hear it all the time. For our beta, we selected four of the most common challenges: bedtime, tantrums, eating, and following directions. For each category, we’ve created seven mini-modules that include a short video explaining the skill, a practice activity, and an opportunity for reminders and reflections. An added feature allows you to share your progress with a co-parent or other caregiver.

We hope you find this resource useful and notice the changes in both yourself and your children. Please let us know what’s working and not working. We’ll be refining and adding to the app based on your feedback.