If you are struggling with issues in your pregnancy or experiencing problems with your child that you are not able to solve a great place to look for advice is a parenting forum. They provide open parenting discussions where you are able to ask questions and receive responses from real people. You are also able to view other people’s problems so you can not only learn from their experiences but provide them with information regarding how you handled the problem. A forum is a great place to look for answers to all your parenting problems as well as a great place to connect with other concerned parents like yourself.
The earliest internet forums were very basic electronic mailing lists which would allow individuals to post wide spread messages and receive feedback on them. Often times in these messages you could view the responses of other people that had responded prior to you. Many parenting forums were set up this way as local moms would e mail each other a problem one of them was experiencing. Many times the women were all experiencing or had experienced similar problems so their help was greatly appreciated.
In most parenting forums an individual is required to register before they can make or reply to a post. This allows the forum moderator to understand a bit of your background and skill level. Most forums require you to input a valid e-mail so that if the forum were to crash then you could be contacted with info regarding the new site. They also commonly require you to agree to terms of service in where forum rules are stated. This is a way to make sure everyone in the forum is on the same page in regards to curtsey, and proper use of the forum. Lastly most forums require you to input your date of birth so they can state you meet the age requirements for their software. Usually the age is 12 but in some cases may be 16 or even 18.
Before your join a parenting forum there is some forum lingo that you may need to become familiar with.
User groups are groups that a moderator of the forum organizes users into. Privileges are given to individuals based on these groups. Most of the time the moderator will base the group placement off of information you insert when you register. As you continue to be active in the forum then the moderator may place you in groups with higher privileges.
A moderator is a user of the forum who has been granted access to all posts and threads. They are able to edit or delete posts from any user so the forum communication is kept clean of spam and viruses that may be attached. They also have access to place forum members into groups. They are also responsible for answering questions of individuals who are new to the forum as well as dealing with complaints.
An administrator manages the technical details of running a forum. They piece together the forum website, manage rules and create sections within the forum. They perform all database operations of the forum. The administrator is often the one who created the forum site.
A post is a message that has been posted by a registered user. The post will include the message of the user as well as their information and the time they posted the information. Other members can reply to the individuals post publicly by posting a response in the thread or privately by e mailing the individual. Posts are meant to stay on one topic so that people who are searching for one topic are able to get valid information for what they are looking for. In a parenting forum a post may be titled, How do I get my newborn to sleep?, following the title the user would then include information about why they think their child isn’t sleeping and techniques they have tried that have failed. Other users can then send suggestions for the user to try.
A thread is a collection of posts with the same theme. They are organized by the administrator so that all posts can be easily located based off topic. A user should post their messages in a thread that is fitting to them. In a parenting forum common threads may be; newborns, toddlers, children 5-7, children 7-10, preteens, teens, adolescents. A user would simply click on the thread they are interested in and then find the post they are looking to comment on or add to. If one is not available then a user can start their own post.