12

The act of parenting, by definition, is purely a parent->to->child process. As expected, this site is all about questions in that direction; questions about parents handling/raising dependents in one way or another. I was wondering if it would be off-topic/unwelcome if the questions were ever the other direction? A question from a child's point of view about a parent or their parenting process.

The question:

My child treats me poorly when I drop her off at in a public setting, what can I do?

could be asked from a child's point of view as:

I'm am embarrassed by my mother's good-bye kisses around my friends, what should I do?

Other examples might be:

  • A friend at school started smoking and tried to pressure me into as well, I didn't like that. Should I "snitch" him out to his parents?
  • How should I tell my mother I am ready to start driving lessons?
  • I think I should go to public school, but my parents put me in private school.
  • I've become sexually active, should I tell my parents?

I'm pretty sure there is a 13+ age policy when it comes to this site, so we aren't talking about questions like "How do I tell my mom that sleeping in a wet diaper gives me diaper rash?". But instead legitimate questions from kids about their parents or their parent's parenting. I know a lot of them will feel loaded and just the act of answering them may actually be a form of parenting.

The reason I asked is because a friend's son (15 yrs old) asked me if there is a place to go online to ask about "life" when it comes to dealing with parents and the way they are being raised. I gathered he was trying to stay away from the typical social sites. I was about to mention this stackexchange site, but held off thinking I should ask the community first since I've not seen questions from this direction before.

14

Yes, I think youths can get away with asking questions here and getting good answers - as long as the questions meet the usual quality level and only if the question has value to parents.

My reasoning is that, given your examples, kids' issues can be perfectly related to parenting even though they happen to be experienced from the other side of the relationship. You goodbye-kiss example is a good example of that. Any question is useful if it gives the parent insight into the child's perspective, thereby helping adjust the act of parenting to be more specific, more holistic, or more considerate -- ultimately, making parenting more effective!

Your examples

This is on-topic: Anything a kid needs to ask here could indicate that this kid's parents could provide more parental guidance in that respect.

A friend at school started smoking and tried to pressure me into as well, I didn't like that.
Should I "snitch" him out to his parents?

This is off-topic: It would seem that the parents haven't talked with the child enough about the school choice. Nevertheless, parents are legal guardians and this site is no place to settle disputes.

I think I should go to public school, but my parents put me in private school.

Grey area: It would be in the interest of parents to know what the kids are doing, so we'd answer the sex example with a yes. That obviously makes the site biased toward the parents (which is exactly the point!) but it means that this is not a good venue for kids to ask such questions. In that view, this would also be off-topic:

I've become sexually active, should I tell my parents?

Side effects: I imagine that some uncomfortable situations could arise if both the parent and the child are site users, but that's a risk that each user must consider for himself because obviously neither the system nor other users/moderators can determine this. In case of disputes, our site's focus should grant precedence to the parent.

  • Wonderful response, thank you for your time and clarification. – ckittel Aug 12 '11 at 13:53
  • Hah well, this is only my view (and any who upvote) -- I would be very interested to hear counter-arguments! I rarely get stuff 100% right at first try, so you might want to withdraw the "accept" until more answers have been posted. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 12 '11 at 14:03
  • I'll leave the accept for now until I hear a reasonable objection. :) – ckittel Aug 12 '11 at 14:15
  • 3
    Being on the "kid" end rather than the "parent" end, this sounds like a very reasonable kind of policy. Parenting requires the child and the parent, so it should be of import to both parties involved, and I think this covers it quite nicely. – Grace Note Aug 12 '11 at 14:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .