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Should we favor tags for specific age ranges like [toddlers] or [teens] over a general tag like [age-specific]? Since tagging a question with an age range implies an age-specific question, does it ever make sense to use a general tag like [age-specific]? What would the age range tags look like?

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    Excellent question, gonna be hard to get an all-encompassing answer, but let's have a try. – JBRWilkinson Mar 30 '11 at 22:22
  • Who will tag the questions? Some users might add the relevant tags themselves, but for the rest, is someone going to retag every new question? – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Apr 1 '11 at 6:48
  • @torbengb that's a fairly common activity on almost all stacks. See the various tag related badges and reputation enabled abilities related to tagging and the tag-wiki. And part of the reason we need to work out some set of tags we can agree on early so we have them in place when the site really starts to take off and we're getting lots of questions. – cabbey Apr 2 '11 at 3:53
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I think the age range tags are more useful than an "age-specific" tag would be, especially given the ability to favorite or ignore tags. Folks with expertise in a given age range can set the site up to focus on what they know and de-emphasize what they're not interested in.

I would suggest the following set:

  • premature ( <0 months — ~0 months?)
    babies born prematurely before they catch up with "normal"
  • newborn (birth — ~3months)
    for that "4th trimester" time
  • infant (~3months — ~2 years)
    that awesome time in between newborn and toddler
  • toddler (~2 years — ~3 years)
    omg, they're mobile!
  • pre-schooler (~3 years — ~5 years)
    starting on school skills
  • primary-schooler (~5 years — ~8 years)
    in school now
  • middle schooler (~8 years — ~11 years)
    been in school for a little while now
  • pre-teen (~11 years — ~14 years)
    10 going on 20
  • teen (~13 years — ~19 years)
    yeah, they still need parenting, even if they don't think so
  • adult-child (~17 years and up)
    They may technically be a "adult" now, but they're still your baby.

Anyone have a preference on singular vs plural? I wrote them up as singular, but I see 'toddlers' is used slightly more than 'toddler' so far for example. We can always set one as the synonym of the other, so both can be entered, the system will just pick one as the canonical representation.


Just to note: the above are all in place now. (pending some approvals and synonym creation by various moderators.)

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  • I think there might be a bit of subdivision needed in "school-age." There's a pretty big range of ages and development between Kindergarten and 6th grade. Is "tween" the new "pre-teen"? – afrazier Mar 30 '11 at 20:27
  • yeah tween is roughly 9 - 14, +/- a year. Some say 8-13, some say 10-15, most say 9-14 roughly. It's short for "between". The classic definition is the tween girl... too old for toys, too young for boys. I'm going to move that up into the suggestion set to cover that developmental gap, open to suggestions for a good set to cover the rest of school age. – cabbey Mar 30 '11 at 20:51
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    i'd never heard the term "premie" before yesterday, and i'm just not sure some of your other categories are all that clear either – hawbsl Mar 30 '11 at 21:59
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    That's why we're having this discussion. :) There might be some regionalisms in there from the US. Would rough age ranges help? Do you have names that you think are more universal to suggest? – cabbey Mar 30 '11 at 22:06
  • Should pre-pubescent and adolescent feature in there? Too technical? – JBRWilkinson Mar 30 '11 at 22:23
  • @JBR, pre-pubescent and adolescent are terms that few non-native English speakers recognise, especially the latter. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Mar 31 '11 at 9:24
  • Don't forget [adult-children]! – Tyler Holien Mar 31 '11 at 16:11
  • a better name for adult-child-living-at-home? "Manchild" :D – Justin Standard Mar 31 '11 at 21:14
  • And in seriousness, this is a very good list of tags, and I think it should become the standard. You probably don't need something between school-aged and tween. – Justin Standard Mar 31 '11 at 21:15
  • @JBRWilkinson, yeah... maybe a bit too clinical. :) – cabbey Apr 1 '11 at 5:52
  • @Tyler haha, good point, all too often we think about parenting younger ones, but yeah, parenting continues. @Justin: hehe... wouldn't want to alienate the MotB crowd with that one. :) – cabbey Apr 1 '11 at 5:54
  • How are you going to enforce this? Manual moderation? – ashes999 Apr 9 '11 at 17:04
  • @ashes999 that's how it's done on every stack, so yeah. Once they're well entrenched folks get pretty good at picking them from the list. – cabbey Apr 9 '11 at 18:31
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    @mxyzplk see the descriptions below those tags in this answer, they're more about where the child is in their progression through how they deal with school (aka their maturity) than it is any match to a specific school system's choices on when to move students around to various campuses. While the grades you list may be the case in your school district, they are certainly not consistent across the US. – cabbey Aug 2 '13 at 2:57
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    @mxyzplk, my elementary school went from kindergarten to 6th grade, and middle school was 7th and 8th grade. I had friends in other school districts that put the 9th graders in with the middle schoolers, and high school was just 10th through 12th. This was all in the US, in fact in a small region of a single state. Trust me, there is no consistency. – Martha Sep 27 '13 at 19:35
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Might be more straightforward to have tags which explicitly state the age as in:

  • 0-12 months
  • 1-2 years
  • 3-4 years

etc.

OK, so some questions are going to straddle these boundaries. But that will apply to any age related tagging.

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    Hard numerical boundaries can be useful in specific instances, but I think that softer divisions are generally more useful, especially for young children because their development varies so much. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Mar 31 '11 at 9:25

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