How about a Parenting & Kids Category on AskMeFi? September 23, 2018 9:02 AM   Subscribe

I've always felt that there is a category missing on AskMeFi. There are so many AskMe posts related to children, parenting, babies, etc - that I really think there should be some kind of all encompassing category for it. I've thought about this for a long time, but today is the day I finally speak up. What do you think?

There are 635 AskMe Posts that have the word "Parenting"
Daughter - 4,002
Son - 4,295
Child - 6,715
Infant - 477
Baby - 5,653
Kid - 6,608
Teen - 840
Teenager - 1,024
Pregnant - 2,018
Pregnancy - 1,197
Pre-teen - 154


And plenty where they just say "My two year old" or "My 10 year old"

Of course there is overlap & I don't know what actual percentage this makes up of all AskMe Questions, but I think there's enough there that it would be a terrific addition to the categories.

Thanks for listening.
posted by crayon to Feature Requests at 9:02 AM (37 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Just to frame the conversation, we do not have an AskMe category revamp on the schedule (the schedule is pretty full right now) but we're interested to hear what everyone thinks about this change and/or the categories in general. Thanks!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:03 AM on September 23, 2018


I don't utalize catagories in any real way outside of selecting for my own posts, but I think that it's a pretty common catagory and it could be useful.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:02 AM on September 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


I was just wishing for this the other day!

(Also, any tips on how to find the Mefi parenting group on Facebook? I’ve tried searching “Metafilter” + “parenting” and “More Inside” in groups but nothing’s coming up for me.)
posted by Concordia at 10:43 AM on September 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


If you want to join the Facebook group, send a message to sestaaak and she'll tell you how to join. (Click the "Send MeFi Mail" link under the username on her profile page.)
posted by belladonna at 11:07 AM on September 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


I vote no. There's a category already for "human relations," which parenting falls into. If we start splitting that out, then why not get "love & partners" | "friends" | "caregivers" etc.

The category list is already longish for something that's supposed to be a first-level filter. let's keep it as simple as possible.
posted by Miko at 12:01 PM on September 23, 2018 [25 favorites]


I feel like we should either totally revamp Categories (my preference) or else just leave them alone for now. They don't work very well, but I don't think ad-hoc modifications are a good idea. Do it right or don't bother, says I.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:35 PM on September 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Personally, I always struggle to pick a category for an Ask post. It seems like the questions I ask could go in different categories, depending on how you look at it. Honestly, I never search for previous questions using the categories, anyway.

That said, I'd vote "yes" on a separate "parenting" category. Parentlng encompasses soooo much else beyond what one might consider "human relations".
posted by Thorzdad at 12:56 PM on September 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


Good add, encompasses a pretty defined set of questions, useful filter.

I ma not entirely sue if I have ever used "Human relations" for these, feels like they've mostly gone in some other ill fitting bucket before?
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on September 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think this category would be useful, good idea!

Would be interested to see the popularity of existing categories, and think maybe what could be expanded or compressed.
posted by smoke at 4:38 PM on September 23, 2018


Removing a category would be a challenge unless it can all be automatically placed in another category, i'd think.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on September 23, 2018


I reckon the parenting tag, currently 909 posts, is enough for this.
posted by paduasoy at 5:05 PM on September 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


I think this is a great idea. I have in the past been surprised this category doesn't exist (I usually just use "pets & animals" for parenting questions).
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:12 PM on September 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


I don't really want more categories, and think that parenting/family-related topics ought to fit in Human Relations reasonably well. Like Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The said above, if the categories are going to be changed I'd rather see a considered reworking as a whole than ad hoc additions.

That said, I don't really use categories very often. Maybe if I've been away for a while and want to catch up on my favorite topics I'll click on certain categories, but that's probably a once a year thing for me at most. Otherwise the only time I really think about them is when I'm posting a question. Are other people using categories more regularly?
posted by DingoMutt at 6:34 PM on September 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think Human Relations is not that great of a fit for a lot of parenting questions. Like...breastfeeding or bedtimes or how much screen time should my 8-year-old get are not really "relationship" questions even if they do arise within the context of a human relationship. I occasionally use categories to catch questions on topics that I am particularly interested in and may have missed. For me those are pets/animals and human relations, but if I were still in the parenting trenches I could definitely see that as being a category I'd be interested in browsing specifically using the categories filter.
posted by drlith at 6:37 PM on September 23, 2018 [13 favorites]


I suspect moving them out of Himan Relationships might decrease the number of dumb drive by answers by people who know nothing about kids.
posted by Artw at 7:05 PM on September 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


I suspect moving them out of Himan Relationships might decrease the number of dumb drive by answers by people who know nothing about kids.

Are enough people actually using categories to filter the questions they read that it would make a difference?
posted by DingoMutt at 7:20 PM on September 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


I’m they’re not then the ask doesn’t harm anything either.
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on September 23, 2018


As a parent I would love that category but as a metafilter user I agree with Anticipation 100%.
posted by not_the_water at 7:43 PM on September 23, 2018


Yeah, I don’t think people really use categories to browse so I doubt that moving them one way or another would make a difference. It’s just more work to read a slightly longer list. We just don’t need so many categories. There are already too many. Tags make them kinda obsolete.
posted by Miko at 9:11 PM on September 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Artw: I’m they’re not then the ask doesn’t harm anything either.

I see. How do you feel about being they’re not then the ask doesn’t harm anything either?
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:40 AM on September 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


People definitely use the Human Relations category to browse. Not only am I one of them, but I’ve had discussions at meetups with other mefites who do it, too.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:19 AM on September 24, 2018 [8 favorites]


Interesting. So would those people be disappointed if they can no longer find questions about parent-child or parent-parent relationships and issues there? Or would they be happy because “human relations” would then more tightly filter romantic issues and friend disputes?

I just can’t see the end of the atomization.
posted by Miko at 6:29 AM on September 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Uh, the original post didn't contain any mention about grandparents/grandchildren, extended family parenting, and adult children relations with their parents.

So, are those NOT part of the hypothetical Parenting & Kids category?
posted by FJT at 11:00 AM on September 24, 2018


If there's going to be a revamp of categories then I propose that many of the things suggested here could be "solved" by a) Having a few more categories (Say maxing out at 20) and B) Allowing more than one category assignment per question.

Some questions could be parenting/human relations, others could be parenting/techonology, your question about reading your ex's texts because they gave you their whatsapp password would be human relations/technology, your "what can I make out of wood that would be an appropriate gift for a retirement party" could be crafts, human relations etc. etc.

Also if we're revamping the categories, why not take a bottom-up approach. Is there a way a cadre of volunteers (and really I"m thinking anyone who wants to does 10 or 20, not five people doing hundreds) could be enlisted to categorize (somewhat freeform) a giant stash of questions? Let's see what potential categories would actually have questions?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:03 AM on September 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


Allowing more than one category assignment per question.

That's something tagging can provide. Instead of revamped categories, I'd love to see a stronger tagging protocol with a forced choice that would function like a category.
posted by Miko at 11:34 AM on September 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I anticipated the "that's tagging" argument and meant to add "It would kind of be like tags, but sort of a privileged set of tags where you had to select at least one from a fixed set of options."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:36 AM on September 24, 2018


Right, that's what I envisioned too. A set of fixed options, click one or more, eliminate categories entirely. Also retaining plenty of room for free-form categories.
posted by Miko at 11:39 AM on September 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


... We're gettin' old y'all.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:59 PM on September 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Fascinating. I have posted three questions, all about my kid. Two went to Health and Fitness and one went to Education. Human Relations seems to me to be intended for interpersonal drama and I actively filter it out in My Ask Mefi. It didn't occur to me to post kid questions there.

In fact when I had a kid question, it really wasn't obvious where I should put it, and so I wasn't entirely sure that kid questions were welcome here. I don't want to bring kid topics up in adult spaces. I kind of assumed that the categories were made by people who maybe didn't have kids.

I have since discovered that many of you have children and opinions and I'm still surprised there's no Kids and Parenting category where we can all sit together and talk about toilet training and language acquisition and playdates and all that kind of stuff. So I vote yes to a Kids and Parenting category, but it wouldn't change the way I use the site. Maybe it would release a flood of category requests! And then there would be chaos. But that category would hold 90% of all my questions.
posted by Vatnesine at 4:24 PM on September 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


We're gettin' old y'all.

Beats the alternative.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:31 PM on September 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think this is a good addition. I too think Human Relations isn't the right place for this type of thing. I don't think of like, a parent trying to put their kid to sleep as two humans relating to each other. Technically it is, in a broad sense, like in a philosophical sense, but is that a useful way to categorize things in general? In the real life, useful sense, it's about parenting. It's not something that you would need to find and would miss if it were in kids & parenting and not in some other category.
posted by bleep at 8:00 PM on September 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think this would be helpful especially because parenting questions tend to repeat themselves so this might make it easier for searching.
posted by k8t at 8:10 PM on September 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am all in favor of a Parenting/Children category!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:16 AM on September 25, 2018


Personally, I always struggle to pick a category for an Ask post. It seems like the questions I ask could go in different categories, depending on how you look at it.

So today I wrote an ask, and on preview I changed categories for the question 5 or 6 times, generating different "similar questions" search results. The categories are difficult and I don't think I ever use them except when writing questions.

I don't think "human relations" is a great fit for parenting questions somehow. Maybe a "family" category? Human relations seems more suited to etiquette or workplace drama or bigger "what's socially acceptable?" questions.
posted by windykites at 9:45 PM on September 25, 2018


I think a separate kids and parenting category makes a lot of sense. Many of the questions parents ask really don't fit into the "human relations" category. And there are so many kid/parenting related questions, it's not like it would be underused! Plus like k8t said, people could search the category more easily.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:22 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I literally never know what category to stick my question in.

If I was making question categories, it would be something like:

Work/Career
Interpersonal Relationships (maybe subdivided into "Family" and "Other")
Recommendations
Help me find X
Food
Self-care/psychology
Grab-bag

and other categories based on what people seem to actually ask (I came up with this list by looking at the first page of AskMe)

----

also I want to strongly second better tagging. I never know how to tag, tags can get typoed, I want to be able to use tags to find stuff but the tags aren't wrangled to match synonymous tags, etc.
posted by Cozybee at 10:23 AM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think this is a good category idea but I would probably consider it in light of a greater category revamp (because that's when I assume categories would actually get changed). Perhaps it would be better to split into something like "Family" and "Relationships" (because I feel "human relations" divides fairly well along those lines). Call me neutral but positive.

Anecdata about people using these categories: When I was very depressed I spent a year digging through the Human Relations category in lieu of much social contact. Ignoring the obvious problems, I feel it was a net positive for me now. The category divisions matter, if just to a select few.
posted by solarion at 1:29 AM on September 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


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