In reading the question and answers for How can I convince my parents to accept my approach on school?, I was surprised that the 2 which were deleted (as opposed to converted to comments) were deleted as not answering the question.

Those answers, tritely summarized, said, "You're wrong." For myself, I found them not bad even if not the most well-stated. One had 5 upvotes and 1 downvote.

My first inclination was to vote to un-delete; however, I have a lot of respect for the moderators of this site and decided to ask first, "Isn't 'You're Wrong' an answer?" Or, is there something else I'm missing?

  • 1
    Parenting questions come in roughly two flavours: stuff that has a strong evidence base and stuff that is mostly opinions. For the evidence based stuff "You're wrong" could be an answer, if you also provided citations to good quality evidence. Just try to be nice with the answer.
    – DanBeale
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 21:47
  • 1
    Side note: we're now up to twelve deleted "you're wrong" answers on that question...
    – Acire
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 23:41
  • 1
    @Erica Quite interesting are the stats - Owner Deleted: 3 Converted to Comment: 1 Moderator Deleted: 8 Community Deleted: 0 Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 23:51
  • I've edited my below answer to provide a bigger picture of why limiting answers to you're wrong is unhelpful in this particular situation
    – Acire
    Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


Generally, this policy is largely driven by What should we advise when one disagrees with the premise of a question? (which is, paraphrased, don't answer if you disagree with the premise). Parenting tends to be more strict about questioning the premise than the average StackExchange site, but we also tend to get more emotional or philosophical issues than average.

Most of our users are parents and we're hard-wired to try to help kids make good choices... but he didn't ask whether it was a bad idea. And even if he had, that would be off-topic -- we aren't HighSchoolSuccess.SE.

The OP's question is How can I get my parents to accept that I'm only trying to pass (that I will, in fact, pass), and that I'd like to spend my time doing harder/better things? In essence, it's a question about how to reach an understanding with one's parents about an approach to life, and therefore saying only "you're wrong" is not answering the question that was asked. (In contrast, saying "this is a lot harder than you might think, but here are ways to justify it" can convey "you're wrong"...)

The question does have something of an XY problem (he thinks it's all about his parents [Y], but in reality there's an issue with his approach to school [X]), but that doesn't completely eliminate the fact that their communication as a family is having problems. And that Y is what Parenting.SE should focus on, since that is the parenting part of the equation. His parents already want to be able to have a conversation with him about changing his behavior, and helping enable that conversation is a very topical and worthwhile endeavor. In contrast, us convincing him independently will perhaps make him study a bit more, go to college, and get a more secure life, but will it teach it how to talk to his parents about contentious or sensitive problems?

It may seem like a weak argument to be pointing to rules about topicality and relevance, but I feel like it also supports the big picture: helping that parent-child relationship function better.

  • @JeremyMiller - You might find this question helpful as well. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 4:37
  • 1
    @anongoodnurse I did read that before posting this. It's well explained, but does not address the question here of counter-advice being rejected via closing a question as a clear-cut moderator activity in this type of situation. I know I keep rephrasing, but as I get helpful advice, it's only natural. :) Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 4:39
  • 2
    @JeremyMiller - I think you're doing fine. Personally, the fact that it's a HNQ influences my decision. During a HNQ, people unfamiliar with the site answer poorly. To ask our community to take care of these bad questions (which seem to breed even more bad questions) may be the better choice, but it will not be the expedient choice. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 4:46
  • @Erika: I find the logic in your post rather poor. If now the kid posts, "I'm addicted to coccaine, how should I get my parents to accept it?", would you still require posters to only address the son/parents communication issue? Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 5:49
  • 3
    @MartinArgerami Criticizing my logic with a straw man argument isn't helpful. Anyway, I never said that only Y must be spoken about. There are good answers to the OP's question which include rebuttal of X, and I can similarly imagine a good answer along the lines of "your parents are concerned because of the consequences of cocaine addiction, here is how you should have a conversation to understand their concerns." Ref. a similar question
    – Acire
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 12:17
  • 1
    @MartinArgerami Yes. That would be correct: answers to that question would need to actually help him explain it to his parents, not convince him to change. They can include mentions of other options - but can't be an answer unless they primarily answer the question.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 19:48

You must log in to answer this question.

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