Policies for Parent Q&A

Parent Q&A is intended as a way for parents to problem-solve with each other and get a range of suggestions and advice from other parents. The policies below have been developed to keep the forum friendly and useful for parents.

See also: Policies for Posting Reviews on BPN


Policies for Parent Q&A

Questions that BPN doesn't accept

BPN accepts all types of questions, not just parenting advice.  Popular topics include advice about relationships, careers, Bay Area neighborhoods, how-to questions, vacation suggestions, and much more. See the Advice and Reviews Archive for thousands of past discussions in many different categories. 

Here are questions that we don't accept:

  1. Editorials, rhetorical questions, and rants.  You should be asking a specific and concise question that you would like other parents to give you personal advice about.  BPN doesn't accept questions that invite other parents to speculate about a social or political issue, or that seek to "rally the forces" for a particular cause. Your question will not be accepted if moderators decide that its main purpose is to vent, preach, berate, belittle, gossip, complain, criticize, or chastise, rather than seeking advice from other parents. 

  2. Asking other parents to do research or favors for you.  Parent Q&A is intended as a way to get a range of opinions from other parents, so we don't accept questions that can be answered by making a phone call or google search yourself.  Similarly, BPN should not be used to ask other parents to help you with a personal errand, such as asking if anyone on the list has a contact at UC Berkeley graduate admissions.

  3. Questions seeking professional advice. 

  4. Survey questions. Questions such as "How much do people pay for daycare?" are not accepted because they have the potential to generate too many responses on a big list like BPN. We periodically run surveys, so if you have a suggestion for a survey, contact us.

  5. Questions intended to promote a particular school or business.

  6. Requests for services outside the SF Bay Area BPN discussions are limited to the Bay Area with the following exceptions: boarding schools, colleges, sleepaway summer camps, vacation spots, and "moving to a new city" queries.

  7. Questions seeking prohibited services or items. BPN does not accept posts about some things, including seeking children to adopt, asking for surrogates, donations of eggs, embryos or sperm.  See Prohibited Items on BPN.

  8. Questions that contain criticisms or gossip.  BPN accepts negative reviews when posted in response to a question, but not in the question itself. This includes criticisms of specific people, schools, or businesses in your question, or using phrases in your question such as "I heard that ..." or "I read that ..." followed by negative remarks. We also do not accept questions that invite other parents to post negative reviews. See BPN's Negative Review Policy for more information.

  9. Questions you have asked before. Please do not post a new version of a question you have asked in the past, hoping to get more or better responses than you got last time. We receive scores of new questions a week, and we want to give everyone the chance to have their question appear in as short a list as possible. It isn't fair to other subscribers if you repeatedly post the same question, and it can also give readers the false impression that many parents are concerned about an issue that in reality only one person is concerned about.  If you didn't get the response you were seeking when you posted before, please try other venues besides BPN. 


Responses that BPN doesn't accept

  1. Replies that don't​​​ answer the question. All responses should directly answer the question that was asked. Responses should not give advice about a different topic, or pose a new question, or comment about the question instead of answering the question. We aim to keep Q&A discussions on track, and we also want every parent to feel comfortable seeking advice on BPN without worrying that they will be criticized for asking a question.  For example, if someone posts a question asking where to get a cake for a first birthday, you may not post a response saying that one-year-olds should not eat sugary cake. 

  2. Replies that are not based on your own first-hand experience as a parent

  3. Replies that give professional advice.

  4. Negative reviews that do not comply with BPN's Negative Review Policy

  5. Gossip and hearsay: BPN does not accept posts that contain gossip or criticisms heard from others. 

  6. Name-calling and inflammatory language. BPN subscribers are expected to be civil and polite when posting on BPN. Posts that disparage other subscribers or their opinions or beliefs are not accepted. You may express your own opinions and beliefs, but you may not criticize those of others.  Posts that use derogatory language to describe other people, businesses, or organizations are not accepted.  

  7. Deceptive reviews. This includes posts that are deliberately misleading, such as not disclosing your personal interest in a business you have recommended, or withholding information in order to give the reader a false impression.  See Deceptive Reviews for policy details.

  8. Multiple reviews of the same school or business from the same subscriber.  Since reviews on BPN can be anonymous, multiple reviews from the same subscriber can mislead the reader about the popularity of the school or business.

  9. Follow-ups to your original post with clarifications, rebuttals, or new questions. Only one post per topic, per subscriber, please. (We do accept "thank you" follow-ups and summaries of offline responses.)

  10.  Judgmental and unwelcome advice is accepted, as long as it meets our other policies. If you are asking for advice, please be aware that you may receive responses that seem judgmental, or that you disagree with, or advice that you would never follow. BPN does have the goal of being helpful and supportive to the community of parents, but our community is very diverse, and opinions can vary widely on any given issue.