Comment policy

Someone on the internet is WRONG!

XKCD comic used by Creative Commons license

We looooove our blog comments — but we're also very firm believers in the value of online civility and respectful conversation, and we're all too aware that conversations about parenting can quickly become contentious and judgmental toward those who make choices different than those that we might make.

While we fully support every parent having deeply rooted and strong opinions about their philosophies, anything less than complete civility is unacceptable on Offbeat Families and comments are aggressively moderated.

We reserve the right to delete or edit comments without warning if they strike us as:

  • rude or judgmental
  • ranty
  • attacking
  • off-topic
  • oversharing private information about children or other family members
  • We have an especially itchy trigger finger with anonymous comments

This doesn't mean, of course, that you can't disagree with people here. You just need to do so constructively and with respect.

Sponsored post commenting policies

Our sponsored posts are paid content from a business who's chosen to voice their support of our site and our unique community. Out of gratitude for our sponsors, we ask readers to keep sponsored post comments on-topic and respectful. We also reserve the right to remove any comments on a sponsored post that we don't feel are in the sponsor's best interest. We don't do this often, but we do reserve the right to do so. Quite literally, these sponsors are how we are able to stay online. If you appreciate this site, please try to be appreciative (or at least not hostile) toward the folks who make the site possible.

A note about oversharing

While you're welcome to share your OWN experiences in your comments, please be extremely cautious when sharing identifiable and personal information about family members or other people. This includes things like delicate interpersonal family issues, your kid's medical history, custody situations, etc. Bascially, when writing about someone else, always assume the person you're writing about WILL find and read your comment on Offbeat Families (because this happens all the freaking time). Please read Ariel's post for more perspectives on this sensitive issue: Why blog commenter over-sharing is ultimately a publisher's problem.

We understand that this comment policy won't be a good fit for everyone's communication style — and we're fine with that. Thankfully, it's a great big internet out there, and we heartily encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions however you might like via your own blog or website, or on a community site that matches your communication style.

That said, since we pay the bills to keep Offbeat Families online, we're pretty clear about the kind of conversation we're willing to host. We're not interested in arguing. We're not interested in telling people who's wrong and who's right.

Maybe this policy seems harsh, but ultimately it boils down to this: We think arguing online is a waste of everyone's time. We all have better things to do than argue with people on the web.

We believe in respectfully agreeing to disagree and moving on to the things that really matter — like loving our children in the ways that work best for each of us, acknowledging that how that looks may be different for different people.

PS: If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of constructive communication, check out this primer. Not all the suggestions there make sense for blog comments, but lots of 'em do.

Creative Commons License
Offbeat Families Commenting Policy by Ariel Meadow Stallings, Offbeat Families is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.