A question on a 20yo dating a 16yo and a stepfather who disagrees came up a few hours ago and it got two close-votes stating "I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this isn't about parenting". As the question is from the young man (hence clearly not a parent), I can see their point.

But, on the other hand, if the stepfather or the mother had asked about how to handle the situation noone here would have hesitated to answer or be tempted to close (except perhaps as duplicate), right?

The question boils down to what are the expectations of parents with regard to a young man dating their daughter and how to comunicate with the father. He is not asking dating advice or similar. To me, this is a question on family dynamics, even if he's technically an outsider or non-member of the family. And yes, I fully expect some answers not being to the young man's liking, especially as his love interest is merly 16 years old.

What's your view on this? Parenting or off-topic?


1 Answer 1


I think that questions are "parenting" questions if all it takes is changing the viewpoint of the asker to make it a parenting question. In this case, it could become something like "What do I do when a 20-year-old man wants to date my 16-year-old daughter and I don't want him to?" That's a parenting question. So a relevant question about the same scenario from the 20-year-old or the 16-year-old should also be parenting questions. For any of those 3 possible askers, they still want help from "expert" parents.

We should be able to address all sides of a situation, not just those from the parent's perspective.

To be honest, I chose the "off-topic" close reason, but the long explanation was already filled out by the previous VTC. I really felt it was more of a question on communication between adults. We could consider the asker an adult-child, but the question (before the edit), seemed to be about personal communication issues between two non-related adults.

I would also have been comfortable closing it for being primarily opinion-based, too broad, or unclear what they're asking. They've provided a lot of detail about their situation, but there's no strong, clear question there. Their recent edit improves on that. I now know what they're asking, and it's specific enough to be answerable, although it's still going to be highly subjective.

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