I understand that links to external resources are encouraged, but there does not appear to be any requirement to provide a source for every answer given. Why should there be? Many people have different approaches to parenting amd a big part of having a Q&A is so parents can be exposed to different answers and decide what is best for their children.
When people merely demand a citation and that is accompanied by a downvote without additional explanation or even their own citation to support why they disagree with an answer, it gives the impression that they are very disingenuous and ultimately serves to derail from the topic.
Recently I have had such comments left for on topic, common sense answers that have long been commonly accepted axioms of healthy parenting. A source is usually not expected for things that have been accepted for years. If somebody is genuinely so out of the loop on something like the importance of having a father figure or the that having an unstable home environment can result in serious behavioral problems, a cursory web search will return plenty of sources. These are examples where the person is so far against the status-quo that, best case scenario, the burden would be on them to provide a citation supporting why they disagree. Anyone has a problem with the consensus that a father figure is important part of many aspects of raising a child had better make a pretty compelling case before down voting centuries of conventional wisdom and that probably dates as far back as the infancy of the study of psychology.
This assumes they are even genuine. I don't believe they are sincere in their display of ignorance or contrarian beliefs. If so, they are outliers, but in either case it's generally not appropriate to merely request a citation for answers on a parenting Q&A. There just aren't scientific studies for evey aspect of life and every unique situation that arises while raising a child.
Here's why I feel this is a problem for the community. Not only does it serve to derail from the topic, but it severely limits the type of answers accepted here and would lead to less posting overall. A mother sharing her anecdotal story of what worked for her and her child probably is not going to have a citation showing that it worked for 67 out of 92 participants in a study. Does this mean we don't want her to share her answer? Does this mean the asker and others with the same question can't benefit from her answer? No, of course not. If, for example, someone claims that putting Tabasco sauce on their kid's fingers helped to curb thumb sucking, it should be up to the asker and others who have tried this to determine whether the answer is helpful without requiring a formal study be conducted. In a way, this site community even has the potential to serve as an informal survey of what works and what doesn't by allowing such answers. Imagine 52 upvotes from parents who tried the Tabasco trick and weened their child of thumb sucking. I believe that to be the spirit of why this Q&A exist and that this is the spirit that will lead it to grow beyond a beta Q&A.
Let me be clear that I would be obliged to help anyone who is genuinely seeking additional resources on a given topic, provided they did display at least a minimal effort to find it themselves. I also encourage posting such resources in answers. However, it would be a great disservice to this particular Q&A to demand it. Otherwise it gets out of hand real fast:
"Smoking is a terribly unhealthy habit and I don't want to see my teen become addicted. How do I keep her from smoking?"
"Sorry, but I down voted your question because you didn't provide a citation that smoking is unhealthy."
While I'm hoping this is not an ongoing issue, I will be flagging such comments from now on which appear to be disingenuous and show no effort to conduct their own research while offering no constructive criticism of the answer itself. Such comments display no interest in helping the asker or genuinely improving the quality of the content or context of an answer. I hope this is something people will consider doing when confronted with such comments rather than being turned off to the site and leaving. It is quite discouraging to take the time to post a well thought out, on topic answer only to have some random third party downvote and comment that they don't like your answer based on not posting a citation of something which has abundant resources available.
Edit: What is being down voted exactly? Is this not the appropriate place for discussion with the "discussion" tag? You know, I just got done reading another meta thread where a user felt that much of parenting is based on opinion. They went on to say there are a lot of "attacks" on answers based on users having a different opinion. Maybe the opinion based sites just don't fit in well on SO. Instead of a conversation about this problem in meta, I'm met with down votes and no real feedback. "It gives you the impression" whatever am I supposed to do with this? Being told that flagging posts that are off-topic is abuse of flagging is not helpful or eveb remotely addressing anything I wasted my time writing here today. If you aren't going to take the time to read and understand what I'm saying, then just be on your way instead of being unhelpful.
Edit: In light of the overwhelming negative and generally unhelpful feedback I've received, I am left to conclude that a reference must be cited for every answer on this particular Q&A. This sounds like a bad idea overall, but I would appreciate a refernce indicating that a sources must be supplied for every answer here.