So this site is a bit of an interesting oddball. On the tin it says parenting, but if you open it up inside you find questions on parenting, but also questions from the perspective of cousins, children, aunts/uncles, siblings, grandparents, even Great Cousins. None of these have been closed as off-topic, and it appears the community is accepting of these questions. I know I have come here before to ask things about for instance my infant nephew, or how to handle things with my aging mother, but the parenting tag itself has turned me off from this.

Then I came to Meta and saw a question How do we boost participation?. Given the scope of the site per community votes has expanded beyond just parents, it seems like it wouldn't be unreasonable to consider a new name for the site, something that is a bit more inclusive to all members of the family. I would suggest Family Dynamics or something like that.

That being said, I can see an immediate problem, essentially, "How is a question about this behavior different from a cousin's perspective vs a grandparents perspective?". While depending on the behavior, in a lot of instances, it's not. A cousin or a grandparent can both be concerned about their relative's grades, and the answer is probably the same, to that end, we probably should avoid things like "Cousin" or "Grandparent" tags, or make sure there pop-up descriptions are very clear they should only be used when the type of relationship changes the answer to the question.

I thought about posting this as an answer to "How do we boost participation" meta-question, but realized that changing the scope of the site would probably require it's own meta-question for consideration.

  • 1
    One thing to consider is that we'll accept any question wherein one party is acting in loco parentis, or is asking about a problem with parents (i.e. the reverse.) Not all questions concerning cousins, siblings, grandparents, etc. are on topic. But it's an interesting question and I look forward to the answers. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 18:44

3 Answers 3


I think renaming the site to something like Family Dynamics would be a lot more misleading than Parenting. First, from the tour page:

Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role.

IE: anyone with a parenting role, regardless of if they are an actual parent (or a parent of the child in question). As per the help center we welcome questions on "matters of upbringing" (among other things). This is where we allow such questions as "How do I talk to my parents about X?". Thus our questions are expected to relate to parenting, parents, etc.

"Family dynamics" would set up a whole new level of expectation. At that point, people would assume, given the site's name, that anything dealing with family dynamics and relationships would be allowed. One topic I could see coming up a lot would be relationships, especially between parents, siblings, etc. And again, the help center explicitly states that relationship questions are off-topic. It would probably lead to a lot of people asking questions that aren't welcome here. It would probably also annoy those who are already participating here to see a large uptick in off-topic questions. We don't want to drive away those people we already have with people asking things that don't belong here.

If you don't believe this is a problem, let me sum up the tale of SoftwareEngineering.StackExchange. It used to be called Programmers.StackExchange and was constantly flooded with off-topic posts. People would see the name "Programmers" and think that anything related to programmers, whether it be job advice, education advice, design questions, debugging questions, etc. were all going to be good questions. They aren't (only one of those things mentioned is actually on-topic there, but I digress). They requested a name change because the name was causing so many problems. And they finally got it and have seen quite a drop in off-topic posts (my own observation). Changing "Parenting" to "Family Dynamics" would be the opposite of what happened to Programmers and would not be good for the site.

While Parenting might not cover all possible cases of what we accept here, it is the best possible name to describe what we want here and what the scope of the site is. If we can come up with something better to capture the spirit of what we do here, great. But I don't think "Family Dynamics" is it.

As an aside, "Parenting" is going to be a lot better for new people trying to find help. "Parenting" and related terms are far more likely to be googled than "family dynamics" when someone is looking for help (I would think).


You'll see on our help page:

Parenting Stack Exchange is for parents, grandparents, nannies and others who care for children.

We welcome questions on topics like these:

  • matters of upbringing,
  • safety considerations,
  • food and feeding,
  • health and hygiene,
  • development and growth,
  • language development,
  • behavior and social skills,
  • discipline and punishment,
  • childrens'/family games for developmental purposes or parental sanity.

It isn't important whether the parental figure is the parent, or whether the child is theirs or just one they have a responsibility for.

So in my opinion, no - it doesn't matter. Calling it Family Dynamics would not gain anything, and in fact would likely lose possible visitors, as Parenting is a common concept, whereas Family Dynamics isn't.


I agree with Becuzz's answer. I would also note that "Family dynamics" would seem to include a lot of questions, for example "how do I deal with troublesome in laws" from a newlywed without kids, entirely unrelated to parenting.

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