Lesbian comedienne ROSIE O'DONNELL sought advice from her celebrity pal Madonna on how to deal with parenting in public.

O'Donnell and her 'wife' KELLI CARPENTER O'DONNELL are parents to PARKER, 10; CHELSEA, 8; Blake, 6; and VIVIENNE, 4, while the MATERIAL GIRL is mum to LOURDES, 9, and ROCCO, 5.

The former talk show host admits she initially shielded her children from the public eye, but after discussing the issue with her A League of Their Own co-star Madonna, she decided to let her kids live a normal life.

O'Donnell tells the New York Post, "Until 9/11, I bought into the idea that the kids should be shielded. But then something happened inside my soul; I didn't want to instill in them some sort of paranoia that the world was unsafe, and they should be hidden even though my love for them is so huge.

"She (Madonna) said, 'Life is short and you don't know what's going to be. I want to raise them in the light, not in a fear-based environment.'"