Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks – An Interview

Asha DornfestIt’s our pleasure to feature Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks, a highly popular blog for parents looking for smart parenting tips, in this exclusive interview. She touched on how she started ParentHacks.com, her biggest parenting challenge, and her advice to new parents.

If you haven’t already visited her website, do it, not now, but after reading this interview. Many tips found there are submitted by parents like you.

1) Where did you get the idea for the ever popular Parent Hacks? What’s your biggest hurdle you faced in creating this site and how did you promote it?

The idea had two sources of inspiration. First, my husband, Rael, was one of the series editors for the O’Reilly Hacks series of books, so the notion of quick, unconventional solutions to problems had been spinning around our house for quite some time. Second, it occurred to me that the best advice I’d ever gotten wasn’t found in books, but shared with other parents. Boom! Parent Hacks was born. It’s the site I wish I could have read when my first child was born.

Biggest hurdle: none, really, unless you count sleep deprivation. I’m also one of the lucky few whose site got picked up early on by a few prominent bloggers, and just took off from there. I’ve done very little promotion.

2) What are the top three hacks you like the most on Parent Hacks?

Impossible to choose! I can point you to readers’ choices for the top ten Parent Hacks of last year though: Top 10 Parent Hacks of 2006

3) You’re a mother of two kids. What’s your biggest parenting challenge so far and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge has been to learn to trust myself. My tendency is to run around searching for answers, because someone must feel less clueless than I. Turns out that being “right” as a parent is less important than doing your best with love and humility. I’ve learned to overcome it with time and practice.

4) If there’s only one thing, what would be the best gift you can give to your children?

Unconditional acceptance and love.

5) Every parent wants a happy, confident and successful kid. What’s the best way to achieve this?

My kids are 7 and 4, so I’m not really qualified to answer that question (is anyone, really?). Besides, the answer is different for every kid. But my plan and hope is to give my kids enough encouragement to let them know I believe in them, and enough challenge for them to learn to believe in themselves.

6) What’s your advice for new parents?

Forget perfection, remember to get babysitters so you can go on dates (even if that means an hour at Starbucks between nursing sessions), and know that it will all be okay.

See also:

Interviews with other personalities and authors