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Novice and veteran parents, alike, discover they could sometimes use a hand navigating the rewarding yet challenging journey of parenting. With new and evolving complexities among youth and families, parenting skills are challenged to remain sharpened.

While children are not accompanied with a handbook, Extension does offer parents the opportunity to potentially customize a personal parenting handbook of sorts through its vast online publication library. Featuring publications that grow with the expectant parent and extend throughout the teen years and beyond, Alabama Cooperative Extension System's (ACES) publication library has something on hand to strengthen parents as well as the entire family.

On One Hand…

Extension publications address traditional as well as non-traditional parenting issues and include specialty resources. Some featured publications include:

Ages and Stages: Publication series that guides parents through physical, mental, social and emotional child development stages and milestones from birth to five (0-5).

Principals of Parenting: General parenting publications addressing topics such as discipline, learning readiness and success as well as teen communication issues regarding trust, sex, social networking and cyber bullying.

Good Bee-Ginnings: Publication series offering upbeat parenting ideas, child development reminders and school readiness tips to parents and caregivers with children from 0-5.

ABC'S of Practical Parenting: Bookmarks, magnets and posters displaying practical parenting tips from A-Z for everyday use.

Baby's First Year Calendar: Colorfully illustrated calendar that provides tips to help new parents with raising a child through the first year of life. Customizable and available in Spanish, Baby's First Year Calendar includes 70 stickers to help record a child's success from birth to age one.

On the Other Hand…

Extension publications also specifically target healthy couple and family relationships and parent wellness. Publications to explore include:

The Alabama Healthy Marriage Handbook: Interactive handbook that provides information on the key elements that are beneficial in creating and maintaining healthy marriages. While the target population for this publication is newly marrying couples, the information is applicable to all couple relationships, regardless of marital status. (Available in Spanish)

Taking Care of the Parent- Replacing Stress with Peace: A publication in the Principles of Parenting series dedicated to helping parents deal with stress so they can be more peaceful and effective parents.

Raising Your Child Together-A Guide for Unmarried Parents: Publication designed to help co-parents and partners learn how to raise their child as a team by providing strategies to improve communication, manage anger and handle difficult issues such as child support and money management.

Building a Positive Relationship with Your Child: Principles of Parenting publication that explores the effects of words and actions and offers practical tips for building a positive parent-child relationship.

Building Family Strengths: A publication in the Principles of Parenting series that identifies six important family strengths and suggests activities and tips for building those strengths.

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

While parenting and family publications are still available at your county Extension office, the online publication library is accessible and available anytime for viewing and free download via your computer. Visit and the publication and services tab to view family and children publications located under the topic of family and health. Printed copies of the publications can also be ordered through ACES's online store.

As your family grows and becomes stronger, Extension extends a hand as a ready partner to help you on your journey.

For more information on this or related topics, contact Synithia Flowers, Regional Extension Agent in Family and Child Development for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at (205) 329-1148 or email at Also, visit and like the ACES' Family and Child Development Facebook page,, for more parenting and family information and resources.


Rene Beverly

2/13/2014 9:04 AM
I'm looking for  programs or organization with a member base such as single parents.  I'm working with the Custodial Support Foundation. that helps organizations assist custodial and non custodial parents with child support issues.  I schedule phone appointment to get details about the program. to share with the decision maker how your program may benefit from our program? Please provide a name and phone number.   Thanks in advance!