The seed for Parentipity was planted during an extraordinary period, the global COVID-19 pandemic, that fleetingly took our freedom and changed our lives. The initial idea was to create a community of parents sharing their tips and experiences with other parents. However, as our lives returned to a semblance of normality, a new hidden threat emerged, a mental health crisis of a scale never seen before. How could we expand our concept to support parents through their parenting challenges, allow them to share with like-minded people, and build a community to help them?
A 2021 study published in The Lancet medical journal analyzed the global prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories. It concluded that mental health dramatically declined that year, with an estimated 53 million additional cases of major depressive disorders and 76 million additional cases of anxiety disorders seen globally.
From Tragedy to Tech: How Losing My Wife is Inspiring a New Era in Parenting
I lost my wife unexpectedly in early 2020, becoming a solo parent to five young children. I spent the next few years navigating parenting through the pandemic with limited support, continually improvising, but at a cost to my mental health. I struggled to sleep, and anxiety crept in, at times physically paralyzing me. I had to think fast and find solutions often in challenging situations.
In May 2023, I had the privilege to join the Parentipity team. My story and ability to eloquently share my challenges resonated with Parentipity’s parent company, Nobody Studios, and I was asked to help devise a pivot for their existing product.
Lost in the Echo Chamber: The Push for Authentic Parenting Support in a Digital World
The vast realm of social media offers endless opportunities for parents to reach out, connect, and create communities. Whether you’re seeking parents in close geographical proximity or simply those who understand your unique challenges, the benefits are undeniable. I remember the days following my wife’s tragic passing when these virtual communities served as a lifeline for me. Yet, as the days turned to weeks and months, I realized that while the immediacy of social media comforted me, it wasn’t always aligned with my core parenting goals.
In fact, at times, it was more detrimental than an aid. You could pose a question in these parenting groups and be overwhelmed with positive, neutral, unhelpful, and occasionally abusive responses. The sheer volume and variety often left me wondering: Which of these pieces of advice can be trusted? Which aligns with my values and which might inadvertently harm my child’s development?
As more time passed, it became apparent that while social media allowed me to connect with a diverse group of parents, it also came with its downsides. The cacophony of conflicting advice made it hard to find genuinely like-minded individuals. Worse yet, the constant barrage of notifications, comments, and opinions became distracting. The initial benefit I gained through connecting with people gave way to increased loneliness and isolation. Social media can change how we parent; it can distract us from meaningful moments that may seem small but can
ultimately shape a child’s development.
This realization led to the use of AI to solve the challenges presented by social media. The primary objective? To offer parents a platform to receive immediate, trustworthy, tailored answers relatable to their parenting situations. Unlike the unpredictability of social media, Parentipity offers the additional values of anonymity and the freedom to share and connect without judgment. By leveraging AI, parents can share a tip, ask a question, and build genuine connections with those who share similar values.
The efficacy of AI in mental wellness isn’t unprecedented. Apps like Wysa have already showcased their potential. In a study involving 60,000 users, there was a notable 31% decrease in moderate anxiety symptoms and a 38% decrease in severe anxiety. Users found the app beneficial, with 88% incorporating it into their routines.
Parentipity aims to bridge the world of tech and the genuine need for reliable, values-driven parenting advice. Where social media might falter, we hope to build a worthwhile and supportive platform, increasing anonymity and without unnecessary distractions
Harnessing AI for Parenting: How Parentipity Leverages AI to Guide Parents
In the past few months, we have transformed Parentipity from a content-sharing platform to an AI-based platform with the ability to create and share content from answers received. We opted to call it an AI Co-Parent, playing on the existing concept of AI Co-Pilots, encompassing a range of systems designed to partner with users to offer assistance in various tasks.
Having used Chat-GPT, a product of OpenAI, since the beginning of the year to help me with parenting dilemmas, I have been able to formulate a method to receive concise and accurate answers to my parenting questions related to my parenting style. Using this knowledge, the Parentipitity team created the first iteration of the new Parentipity AI
Co-Parent, tested with a small user group within three months of inception.
In an initial trial of our AI Co-Parent, 93% of users expressed a positive experience within their feedback, and the average engagement time per active user during the trial was 2 minutes, more than double the average time according to Contentsquare’s 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark report, which was measured at 54 seconds average across all industries.
Navigating Parenting Styles with AI: Aligning Advice with Parental Values
The promise of AI in giving parental advice is intriguing. Large Language Models (LLMs), like ChatGPT, have surged in popularity, but they sometimes generate content based on data patterns rather than verified data. This often leads to a blend of accurate and fabricated information due to their inherent design to be creative and innovative.
Current research on the widespread use of tools like ChatGPT for parenting advice is still developing. However, preliminary observations suggest that parents actively seek AI-powered solutions, underscoring the potential of platforms like Parentipity. The 2021 MDPI publication, “Using an Artificial Intelligence-Based Chatbot to Provide Parent Training: Results from a Feasibility Study,” showcased a favorable engagement with a chatbot crafted for parenting skill dissemination. The insights gleaned revealed a notable retention of imparted skills, a substantial completion rate of the intervention, and an enthusiasm among participants to endorse the chatbot to peer parents. This study accentuates the escalating curiosity and capability to harness AI technology for parental advice. The concept of harmonizing advice with a user’s parental ethos sets Parentipity apart in the landscape of AI-guided parenting solutions.
The challenge lies in delivering advice that aligns with a parent’s values and the type of parent they aspire to be. Four predominant parenting styles are recognized in child psychology today: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. The first three styles are rooted in the work of developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind, with the fourth, added later by Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin, providing a framework for understanding a parent’s approach.
Leveraging this knowledge, we developed a short quiz to discern a parent’s predominant parenting style. The insights from this quiz shape the AI’s response to their parenting inquiries, ensuring the advice is value-aligned and contextually relevant to their specific approach and delivered in concise and emotive language.
Using AI tools for parenting advice is a growing trend, although precise statistics on its prevalence are yet to be fully explored. Nonetheless, early indications suggest many parents are turning to AI-powered solutions for guidance. What sets our approach apart is the commitment to providing value-aligned advice, echoed in our initial test feedback. One user remarked, “The authoritative answer for this one was good; it was a bit more specific and gave me ideas that I am going to go and immediately implement now!” Another shared, “I am so impressed! It gave me insight and ideas about my parenting style and made me smile, which is extremely important for me at that moment.” Such testimonials underscore our approach’s potential, helping validate our concept and shaping the next iteration’s development.
Parentipity: Where Serious Parenting Meets Playful AI Responses
Helping to reduce parenting-related anxiety is not only about serious answers but also helping to add some levity to the situation.
The team wanted to infuse some fun into the mix, so we experimented with the option of asking the same serious question to character- or personality-based co-parents. The current iteration allows you to receive answers as if the co-parent was a Cat, inspired by Nobody Studio’s Cat-GPT product, in the style of a Haiku or a Parody Co-Parent. The infusion of humor manifested through whimsical co-parent personas has emerged as a delightful strategy to heighten engagement, with one user saying, “The humorous options made me laugh and calmed me.” Another user said, “A lot of times, especially when asking hard parenting questions, we’re in a very serious state of mind, so I appreciated a humorous answer to my question. It gave it a little levity.”
The idea of a Parody Co-Parent came from the initial answers received from the Uninvolved Co-Parent, which I had inadvertently programmed to answer in an uninvolved way instead of trying to help an uninvolved parent solve a parenting problem. The idea of the Parody Co-Parent is to provide comedic answers in a parody style with indifference toward parenting.
For example, I recently asked the Parody Co-Parent the following question: My 7-year-old constantly tells me he is bored. I try to be empathetic and engage him in activities, but he is always bored. What can I do? The Parody Co-Parent provided this answer: Ah, the classic “I’m bored” predicament. It’s a timeless struggle between kids and parents, like a never-ending battle that should be turned into a reality TV show. Let’s address this issue with all the indifference and enthusiasm of a sloth on a hot summer day.
First, let’s embrace the art of sarcasm: Whenever your kid says, “I’m bored,” respond with something like, “Oh really? Thank you for reminding me of your never-ending existential crisis.” Trust me, they’ll get the message eventually.
But if you’re more compassionate and want to address their boredom, consider introducing a few “exciting” activities into their mundane lives. How about organizing a thrilling sock-matching competition? Or an intense staring contest with the family pet?
Now, if you want to take the lazy approach, who doesn’t? – you could always resort to the good old “go play outside” routine. Nothing says parental indifference like sending your kid off to face nature’s wild, unpredictable horrors.
If all else fails, nod sympathetically and say, “Hmm, boredom is a fascinating emotion.” Then, proceed to do absolutely nothing about it. After all, being bored builds character, right? Or at least that’s what I tell myself to avoid lifting a finger.
Remember, parenting is a delicate balance between pretending to care and maintaining your sanity. So, take these suggestions with a grain of salt and a dash of hilarious indifference. Good luck on your parenting journey, and may the boredom be ever in your child’s favor!
In addition, we experimented with a Dad Joke Co-Parent but soon realized that the jokes were constantly repeated and not specific to the question asked. When prompted to create an original joke, the AI could not grasp the concept of forming a witty sentence.
Finally, we added a Chef Co-Parent to give simple recipe ideas and a Math Magician Co-Parent to help explain math concepts to parents who are bemused by their kids’ homework and unable to help.
Join the Evolution: Your Opportunity to Shape Parenting’s Digital
Parentipity’s AI Co-Parent and Tipity creation tool has now moved to beta and is publically available at https://ai.parentipity.com.
As we embark on a journey to redefine the landscape of parental guidance, we extend an invitation for your invaluable contribution. We’re looking for parents eager to experiment with our innovation, offer insights, and play a pivotal role in refining this groundbreaking tool. Our principal ambition? To bolster parents’ mental well-being by providing early-stage support during parenting challenges, the option for a much-needed laugh, and the ability to share advice that resonates.
Are you poised to be part of a transformation that could redefine how parents conquer obstacles? We’re eager to have you on board. As we unveil our beta version, your insights are vital.
The confluence of parenthood and technological innovation is teeming with untapped possibilities. As someone who has weathered intense parental storms and emerged resilient, I’ve witnessed firsthand the unparalleled role AI can play in providing that often elusive pillar of support. In unity, let’s pave the way for a more empowering and gratifying parenting experience.
I’d be happy to speak with anyone in the parenting space to learn more about their challenges and how to work together to revolutionize parenting in this new digital era.
Contact me, Howard, at email@example.com for more information or to discuss how we could work together.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marketing Lead, Parentipity
A solo father of five, originally from London, now living on a serene hilltop in the Galilee. Through the experience of his unexpected trauma at the pandemic’s start, Howard is on a mission, to inspire and support parents through mental health challenges. As the marketing lead for Parentipity, he is working to build an AI assistant to support parents through their parenting journey.