Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why I Should Never Respond To Comments


Over at Grounded Parents, my latest post, Why I Will Never Have My Kid's Password, is once again bringing out the vehemence.

I think I'm getting a little better at not reacting badly to snotty comments.  (A little.)

Meanwhile, though, it's wearing.

And obviously my own fault.  I should write more sweet non-controversial* posts.

Yeah.  That seems likely.

*My post reviewing Jon Muth's books, for instance, caused no trouble at all.  Apparently I should just be nice and say nothing very important.


Anonymous said...

You have a great kid and you and the Dr. are raising her successfully in your way. It shouldn't be so controversial for you to put forward a perspective that others can take or leave, but many people experience outrage when others parent in a way that doesn't fit their views. Could be insecurity or a bully's faux concern for your kid. Could be they feel your way is a critique of their way and they hate that. But, come on, it can't possibly be true that there's only one right way to bring up a kid. People who get mad at you for not having your kid's password can piss up a rope. I don't have kids, so that's my logic. --L

Anonymous said...

Well, I think that comments that you're doing it wrong are to be expected when you write a post saying that another parent is doing it wrong. There are more polite ways to make your point than by attacking what another parent is doing.

Personally I think both your kid and the kid of the person you attack in your post are going to turn out just fine. A lot of these N=1 my way is right don't actually matter in the long run because as parents we only have so much control over our children's lives once they get to be a certain age.

Martha Knox said...

Where's the venomence? The entire thread looks like thoughtful comments and some passionate yet civil disagreements on minor points.

Athena Andreadis said...

It looks like some of the commenters were under the impression they were writing books rather than posting comments. People end up all over the map no matter what parenting they experience (within normal parameters, of course), and approaches are also culture-specific. So plenty of right ways, and plenty of wrong ones.

delagar said...

L and N&M -- Yes, I think that might be the problem.

I see these posts as arguments. I've got a theory about how to parent; I provide my evidence for why that theory is one I would argue for; I (often) contrast it with the parenting methods of those who are parenting in a way that is the antithesis to the one I am suggesting.

I suppose that can feel like an attack to those who parent in the style I'm arguing against.

tl;dr I don't mean to inspire anger, only a look at a certain way of parenting.

delagar said...

Athena -- I hadn't considered the culture-specific issue. That's an interesting point.

Anonymous said...

Being completely honest, now that I've read through the comments, even though we at Grumpy Rumblings love you to pieces, it comes off as Martha Knox being thoughtful and presenting a polite alternate view-point and you taking offense at being disagreed with. I would say that may not have been what you intended, but the words you use (ex. "we're done here" etc.) belay that.

The amount of freedom to give children is not an easy question-- surely you'd agree that toddlers shouldn't be free to dart across parking lots, and almost all people would agree that 35 year olds should be completely free from their parents' scrutiny. Somewhere in between there's a lot of nuance. And your post doesn't allow for any nuance. Martha Knox was trying to introduce nuance. Your comments seem to be rejecting that.

Flipping through the site as a whole, I'm not impressed with Grounded Parents. It seems to be full of "my way without any evidence" articles for things that if there were evidence wouldn't actually matter. Because obviously we need more pointless mommy wars and guilt.

delagar said...

"It seems to be full of "my way without any evidence" articles for things that if there were evidence wouldn't actually matter. Because obviously we need more pointless mommy wars and guilt."

I think that's the problem, in a nutshell -- that people are reading the posts this way.

I see the posts as raising questions, making arguments. Granted, some of the posts are written (I'm thinking of mine, specifically) in a strongly stated fashion. And maybe that comes off as my-way-or-the-highway.

But I'm just not sure we have an obligation to hedge everything we say, making constant conciliatory gestures in an attempt to keep everyone who might be reading from taking offense. (For one thing, the range of things that people will find to take offense at is amazing, IME.)

I suppose we could just not have a parenting blog at all.

delagar said...

I cannot agree with you, by the way, that Martha was polite in her comments, or that I was taking offense in being disagreed with.

I have no problem with people disagreeing with my points -- you can see, reading the comment stream, that plenty of people disagreed with me. With all of the others, civil discourse was possible. Not with Martha.

Martha Knox said...

I'm sorry you thought I was being impolite. I don't think I said anything that was more offensive than what you wrote to me. For what it is worth, I don't think you were being impolite. I think you just tend to overinterpret things I write and then don't seem to take me at my word when I tell you I didn't mean something the way you took it. Anyway, I'm really only commenting here again to let you know that your article "Against Marriage" and our discussion/argument that followed inspired me to write my own article on the topic. Out of respect and a desire to keep the peace (if there's any left between us) I did NOT mention your article at all. I just thought you'd like to know you inspired something: Be well.