I was sorry to see this question get such a frosty reception and quick closure. Parenting isn't just about sleepless nights, temper tantrums and how to get kids to eat.

I thought we had included grandparenting questions in the past, as well as parenting of adult children. Maybe because I'm an older parent with "fully adult children", I know that "parenting" never really ends, it just changes (a lot!) Maybe I would have liked this new user to get some kind of answer because I'm an older parent who has seen a number of adult kids become estranged from their parents. From my experience and reading, the parents usually don't know why their kids reject them, which has to be just horrible.

There has to be a line drawn somewhere, but to me, the question is still appropriate for this site, if for no other reason than that a significant percentage of our Western World readers will experience this themselves as older parents (it's surprisingly common and on the rise, and has to do with parenting...)

Was this question closed too quickly?

2 Answers 2


I agree that the linked question would be answerable. The question of what's on and off topic here has always struck me as a blurrier line than other sites in the network, as all parenting is interpersonal relations and most of it is opinion based.

To me, the demarcation between parenting and interpersonal skills lies in whether OP's real issue is with the parent/child relationship, or with someone else. By that definition, the linked question is clearly on topic.

The definition of what's opinion based is more problematic, why I personally try to use it restrictively, in more clear cut cases than this one.

To answer the more general question you've posted here, no, I don't think parenting ends at a given age. I also fully expect that most people here will share that view, as I don't think the question was closed on explicitly that basis. To answer the specific question of whether the linked question should be considered on topic, I've used the tools already in place for such decisions, and cast my vote to reopen.


No, I don't feel that adult relationships with adults who are not living together that doesn't otherwise involve a (minor) child should be on topic on Parenting.

It's not that "parenting" doesn't extend to any age; it's that the questions are nearly never answerable. The question that brought on this meta question is a classic example: it's a rant by an unhappy mother who doesn't like what her son is doing. There's nothing answerable there - it's just a one-sided story. Odds are if you ask the son, he's going to say something about a controlling mother or parents who can't make up their minds or ... who knows; we don't, because he's not here.

Parenting (minor) children involves things that can be answered with facts, or at least something that approaches them. Sure, "how should I discipline my child" isn't exactly a factually-answerable question, but there's plenty of research and such, and it's all well in the wheelhouse of the (unfortunately, few) people who are members of the community. It's something you can have experience in, and it's more or less a one sided question: while the child might have an opinion on the appropriateness, for the most part they're not really given a vote.

Relationships with one's adult children, on the other hand, don't really involve facts. They're just... relationships, with messy complications and differences of opinion. It might be possible to take a very small subset of these questions - but it's not really what we do here, and the difficulty in filtering the questions to the actually-answerable ones and/or editing them into shape is high. And, crucially, there's already a site that does this. Yes, it's fine to have questions on topic in multiple stacks; but frankly we don't have the expertise here, and IPS does, so let's let them be the right place for questions on relationships between adults that don't involve (minor) kids.

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    omg, I'm so sorry you think this is a rant. I didn't read it that way. Yes, there are complaints, but I really didn't read it that way. As I read your answer, it strikes me tat a lot of your objections pertain to parenting children as well. Parenting involves "relationships, with messy complications and differences of opinion." And there are no "facts" applicable to every situation, except the most extreme situations (abuse damages kids.) Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 5:28

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