We’ve all faced difficult decisions as parents. Some of us seek help discerning our choices and some of us struggle alone. We can’t be perfect, all knowing parents -- it’s impossible. And, we can’t always rely on past experience to inform our current decisions because, let’s face it, we most likely have never traveled this road before. Sure we can pick up a parenting book but wading through all those expert-driven options to find the answer we are looking for can take scrupulous screening and way too much time. What we want is tried and true parenting advice and answers and we want it quickly.

Our mothers, while their lives weren’t always rosy, were at least able to walk next door and find a neighbor at home to ask: “What on earth should I do to get the gum out of Sally’s hair?” or “Did your baby spit up ALL day long and is that normal?” Moms knew then, as did their own mothers, that the best advice usually comes from other moms. A more experienced mom has probably been in our situation and can guide us through the dilemma – with practical solutions and wisdom. Often, just getting another point of view can be what’s needed to sort through the options.

Our lives have gotten so busy that most of us don’t have time to chat over the backyard fence or sip coffee and compare notes on potty training tips. Our problems have changed from our mother’s generation: “How do you get John off of video games?” or “Did you find SAT tutoring to really boost Mary’s score?” or “Which car seat really holds up a newborn’s head?” With those changes has come a cynical view of advice. “Is this really the best car seat I’m reading about in xyz Magazine or are they trying to sell me something?” Mom’s tell it like it is.

Here are the top tips for finding answers to your parenting questions from the real experts, other moms:

-GET SPECIFIC
Clearly articulate your problem or dilemma before communicating it to another mom. Once you hone in on what it is you want to know, you are half way there. Often, just writing down your question can begin to help you gain awareness about the answer. “How can I get my 4-year old to stop whining?” might be what you think you want to ask. “How can I get my 4-year old to stop whining every time he doesn’t get what he wants” sheds even more light on the situation.

-GET BRAVE AND BOLD
You will not be judged for being inadequate by revealing that you don’t have all the answers or your kids are not perfect. In fact, by asking another mom for her wisdom on a situation you give her permission to ask you when she has a problem. You also show that you are completely normal. Rather than a weakness, looking for help indicates a savvy mom who knows where to turn.

-GET ONLINE
Head online and ask your questions. The benefits of technology are that answers are quick to circle back to you. A new social networking site for moms, MomJunction.com, offers a technology called RIPPLE that enables moms to forward your question to all their various groups who can then forward to their groups and you get many responses to your question.

-GET REAL
Take all advice you receive and screen it through your gut feelings. Does this “feel right?” If so, give it a try. One mom posted on MomJunction.com “The biggest parenting mistake I’ve made is letting someone else convince me other than my instincts indicated.”

Author's Bio: 

Rory Murray is Senior Vice President of MomJunction.com, the first full featured way for moms to communicate, coordinate and connect on the web. Visit MomJunction at http://www.momjunction.com