10 Rules Every Older Mom Should Follow When Commenting On Parenting Articles
bySabrina Joy Stevens
As a younger mom, I am endlessly appreciative of older moms who take the time to share some hard-earned wisdom, or who help out when they see I'm struggling. (Shout out to the uber-mom who played with my rambunctious toddler so I could fill out forms at the dentist. Real MVP, right there.) It makes me wish there were some rules every older mom could follow when commenting on parenting articles, to keep comments in the realm of "useful advice and support" and not in the "yet another opportunity to hate on young people."
That's wishful thinking, I'm sure. Occasionally, on really well-curated online communities, comments sections can be enlightening, funny places that are almost as good as the articles themselves. Far more often, though, comments sections are places where faith in humanity goes to die a slow, painful, typo-ridden death. Something weird happens when people remove themselves from the in-person world and start commenting online, especially if the topic is something people are passionate about, like, oh, shaping the future of the human race.
Now, I’ve definitely encountered a few judgmental folks in real life. However, the drive-by elders who are convinced my hat-throwing son is going to "freeze to death" in the time it takes me to walk the 200 feet between my car and the entrance to Costco are nothing compared to, well, probably those very same people once they have the opportunity to actually sit and type uninterrupted. People online are just way, way worse than people in person, for a variety of reasons. That near-universal tendency, combined with other generations' knee-jerk disdain for millennials, makes for some really nasty conversations between parenting generations online.
But behind our screens, we’re all still real people with real feelings, real insecurities, and really low tolerance for fielding unfair judgments and unsolicited advice in yet another area of life. If your goal is to actually improve the quality of parenting, and ultimately the quality of life in a society you’re quite sure is going to hell, please consider my unsolicited advice before leaving your comments on a parenting article. (Hey, I learned from the best. And no worries, there are rules for other moms to follow, too, so it's not like we're just picking on the seasoned mothers over here.) Or, you know, ignore the following, write whatever the heck first comes to mind, and let the flame wars rip. Lord knows we could all use yet another excuse to whip out that Michael Jackson eating popcorn meme, right?