Having not been a member for so long, I can't say it for sure, but I have the feeling that there was some shift in the expectations of what Parenting.SE would become. It seems to me that, in the early days, its scope was envisioned to be closer to that of stacks like Biology or Psychology & Neuroscience, i. e. more theoretical. But it became more and more practical, like Interpersonal Skills or The Workplace.
The reason I believe there was a shift in expectations is that I witness its result (and mentioned it earlier). Several highly relevant tags have a very specific usage guidance that clearly show their origin:
- behavior Why do children act the way they do?
- learning The psychological process by which children gain and retain knowledge.
- psychology Psychological studies based on infant, toddler, and adolescent behavior or parenting techniques and disciplinary action.
They are used quite often, even after cleaning up some of them or getting rid of them (like behavior's evil twin misbehavior - Why do children misbehave?). The many development tags may also be affected. What further gave me this impression are tags like nicu and diabetes (but they are not up for discussion here).
What triggered this post is that they are often misused. Not long ago, I edited a question about making a child behave in public - tagged behavior although nowhere did the OP ask why the child behaved like this. They didn't want to know why, they wanted to make it stop. (When looking at old questions, they seem to always have been misused.)
That's what this is about. These tags are for the curious who wonders why their child does this or that or how they do it. But most questions are about modifying (mis)behavior, about the practice - how to make them stop doing / do something:
- Your child misbehaves or shows otherwise problematic / unwanted behavior -> behavior
- You want your child to learn something -> learning
- You fear something might affect your child's psyche -> psychology
I don't blame people since the usage guidance is somewhat counterintuitive and very specific. And I understand that when your child is misbehaving, you want them to behave first and foremost and are not just curious why they are throwing tomatoes at you. And behavior is often also used correctly, but also incorrectly too often. (I wonder why people "reject" discipline so often - perhaps they believe it's like a foregone conclusion, or correlate it with punishment only.)
That's why I want to discuss this shift and how we deal with it. We could leave everything as it is, but alos change something. E. g. make behavior about behavior ("For questions pertaining to a child's unusual or problematic behavior.") and create a tag for the why-questions (it's still an important part).
How do we deal with the remnants, i. e. the tags and their usage guidances, of this shift?