Here's a recent question that was off-topic as it was worded originally:

My Homeroom teacher change my seat because my ugly math teacher complain to my homeroom teacher that I was always talking during class time. I can't study I feel stress and my new partner is boy.

I've made an edit, that I think makes it on-topic:

The homeroom teacher changed the seating assignment for my child, because one of their other teachers complained to their homeroom teacher that my child was always talking during class time.

My student now feels stressed out, is having difficulty with studying, and isn't comfortable with now having a boy partner.

How can I help my student make the best out of this situation?

Which made me think about the types of questions we allow. I remember having similar questions, worded from the child's perspective, as being address as not on-topic, as they weren't about parenting. I can't find the examples right now because I don't remember their subjects.

But, in some cases the answers or advice we'd give would be essentially the same, aside from some semantics.

We do have plenty of questions from children of varying ages asking about how to handle situations with their parents. They're generally considered on-topic.

However, in this case, the original question involved no mention of parents. It did involve a situation that many parents might hear about at home, and want to help their child with. I know that I personally complained about seating assignments many times throughout school.

So, should we allow these questions as-is (with necessary quality improvements), where the advice we'd give to the parent could be pretty much the same as we'd give to the child directly?

  • @RoryAlsop: Is this Q&A really a good fit for the faq tag? In particular, this Meta post seems to be focused on a specific main-site question (that prompted the broader question). Acire's answer below is even more specifically focused on the appropriateness of OP's edit – only the first 2 sentences of the answer even address the broader topic, and the answer doesn't elaborate on why; the rest of the answer just explains why the OP's edit in this particular case was wrong.
    – V2Blast
    Mar 27, 2023 at 18:28
  • ...It seems like it might be better to remove the faq tag from this post, and instead add it to a discussion primarily about the broader topic, such as this one: Would we accept questions about parents?
    – V2Blast
    Mar 27, 2023 at 18:33
  • I agree with both of you - happy to remove. I think it may have made sense back then - am unsure (I cannot remember)
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Mar 28, 2023 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


In general, I think that a question from a child's perspective (or a question from a child but asked from the parent's perspective) is valid.

Both as parents in our own families, and as a parenting community, I would find it highly problematic to outright ignore questions that children have about how this relationship should work.

However, in this specific case, it is a substantially different question than the OP asked. Previously there was no mention of getting the parent involved in the teacher-student issue (although that could be a good Answer and/or request for clarification from the student). On top of that, there's not necessarily enough information to really give a good Answer, and so I'd now propose it be closed as too broad (!)...

  • What grade is this?
  • How long is that homeroom seating arrangement going to last? Is this a temporary punishment or expected to last the rest of the school year (which, I'll also note, may be only a few weeks away)?
  • How much time is the student sitting in homeroom? (15 minutes? A few hours? Is this really impacting their studies?)
  • What's the actual scope of the impact — how much is this causing actual educational trouble, and how much is this just anger at the "ugly math teacher"?

Depending on these factors, it's going to be a different answer. If it's a middle school student looking at a poor seating situation for months, then I'd suggest intervening with the teacher. If it's a high school student stuck with an unappealing study partner for a couple weeks, then encouraging them to learn how to make the best of a crappy situation and learn from their mistake (preparation for college and the rest of your life, when you have to cope with unpleasant people sometimes!) would probably be better suited to their age and (expected) maturity level.

It's still possible to adjust it further to focus (a particular grade, what exactly does the "parent" want in terms of advice) and so on, but at what point would you be better off simply asking a new question yourself? And that might be a different meta question ;)

I swear I'm not just trying to be difficult, or defensive about my decision :) Even though we do need questions, we also need to maintain quality standards. Sometimes people are asking things that we can't, shouldn't, or won't answer, and it's OK to close those.

  • I understand where you're coming from. Although. I'm not sure I would personally give much different advice based on the grade provided or time in the situation. A) Try to make the best of it B) Try expressing your frustration to the teacher C) Focus on a solution, not the problem. I'm sure we'd ask the OP about the age/grade, if it originally came a from a parent anyway, but would it affect more than minor details of the answers?
    – user11394
    May 7, 2015 at 20:13
  • Also, I think VTC is still a perfectly valid response. The original question was pretty low-quality, and so I also think a hold was proper there. (It's now removed). So, my question really boils down to: Do we now treat this question as normal (voting up & down/asking for more details/VTC if we think it's too broad), or is there something innate about this type of question that makes it a bad fit for Parenting.SE? (Which, I think you've pretty much answered here already)
    – user11394
    May 7, 2015 at 20:19

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