From not listening to throwing tantrums, the Bright Parenting app aims to help parents feel less alone when facing some of the most common challenges of raising kids.

By Maressa Brown
November 14, 2019

No matter how much support you might have, how many parenting Facebook groups you're in, or how many Reddit posts you read, parenthood can feel isolating and confusing. It's easy to find yourself wondering if you're the only one dealing with certain issues, be it your 8-year-old's anxiety or your 2-year-old's tantrums.

Worried Parents Consoling Daughter
Credit: skynesher/Getty Images

Thankfully, if you feel like you're floundering in uncharted territory and thoroughly confused about the best way to manage your child's behavior, there's an app for that. It's called Bright Parenting.

The Story Behind Bright Parenting

Upon becoming a parent himself, Bright Parenting's founder and CEO Steve Jacobs read up on child development and found the info out there tough to digest. "When it came to typical challenges like whining, tantrums, and not sharing, it was hard to know whether my partner and I were helping our kids overcome them or not," he says. "So, we loaded up on books, scrolled through websites and met with helpful therapists and doctors. We learned a ton of great strategies and had so many 'a-ha' moments, but all that info was also overwhelming. It was hard to remember what to say or do at the right time."

Jacobs was inspired to create an app that could "deliver parents bite-sized lessons on topics they cared about and send them daily tips on how to put those lessons into practice so that parents could enjoy parenting more." The app also shares valuable stats like "65% of other subscribers with a child of your age and sex are also dealing with not listening or tantrums" to help parents feel less alone.

"It’s reassuring to see that what you’re going through with your kid is 'developmentally appropriate,' i.e. normal behavior," Jacobs says.

Joanna A. Robin, Ph.D., a psychologist in White Plains, New York collaborated with Jacobs on the app and has found that most parents are looking for and can benefit from that reassurance.

"Parents come to me with a range of concerns, but the most common questions I hear: 'Is this behavior normal?' and 'What should I do?'" Robin says. "By using Bright, parents learn how to effectively encourage good behavior and to feel positive and in control of their day. When parents join Bright, it can be reassuring for them to see that other parents are dealing with the same challenges and concerns. You're not alone!"

What Parents Are Worrying About Most by Age

In the midst of pinpointing the content parents want and need, Bright Parenting collected data from its users on their most common concerns. Here's what they found.

Age 2

  • Tantrums: 58%
  • Hitting: 50%

Age 3

  • Listening: 66%
  • Tantrums: 57%

Age 4

  • Effect of yelling: 66%
  • Listening: 66%

Age 5

  • Effect of yelling: 63%
  • Listening: 65%

Age 6

  • Having more fun: 63%
  • Giving attention: 63%

Age 7

  • Helpfulness: 59%
  • Kindness: 59%

Age 8

  • Resilience: 54%
  • Anxiety: 50%

Knowledge Will Power Your Parenting

Seeing that you're not alone in having to deal with these issues is one rewarding aspect of the app. But seeing what you have to look forward to—and the fact that parenting gets easier and more fun—is another, Jacobs points out. "If tantrums is the most popular topic at age 2, the good news is that 'having more fun together' is top-rated for parents of 6-year-olds," he says. "It’s like parents of big kids are now faced with what I’d call a 'good problem.'"

And no matter what age, stage, or challenge you're facing, self-compassion is key. The bottom line from Robin: "Parenting is difficult! It’s a 24/7 hour job with new situations constantly being thrown at you. Be kind to yourself. Have compassion for yourself when you haven’t handled a situation well. The fact that you want help and want to change is a step in the right direction."