Parent support is an integral part of F.E.A.S.T.’s mission. One of the ways that we offer this support is through our 3 moderated forums that allow parents to offer the wisdom of their own experience to others.
It is very important for us that everyone feels comfortable posting on our forums, and that parents are receiving answers, resources, and support that they find helpful. In addition, we would like our forums to be warm, welcoming spaces for parents.
We often receive feedback that the tone of some of the responses to posts is too directive, along the lines of “you must do this” or “you cannot do that”.
We are very aware that everyone who responds to posts is trying to help another parent in need. In fact, one of the strongest characteristics of our forum members is kindness. Our community is based on giving, and on “paying it forward”; parents who were once new to the forum asking all sorts of questions are now the wise, experienced contributors who respond to the posts of others.
We know that the benefit of our experience can help others. This is especially true when it comes to guiding other parents so that they avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that we made, and that were detrimental to our child’s recovery.
It’s understandable that there is so much passion and conviction in the responses that parents offer. Sometimes those answers come across as too directive, and the parents who are looking for help find that off putting and counterproductive.
If you are offering advice on one of our forums, we find that it is most useful to phrase your response from the perspective of your own personal experience instead of making broad, sweeping statements.
By all means, please tell people what you did, but don’t tell them what to do.
It may seem subtle, but tone really matters. When responses to posts are too directive or authoritative, it can negate their value, which is truly a shame. Let’s phrase our responses in a way that encourages, empowers, and validates other parents.
F.E.A.S.T. is incredibly proud of our forums, and we would like to take this chance to thank our dedicated moderators. We would also like to thank the countless parents who take the time and effort to respond to posts on our forums. You keep our forums running, and you represent the kindness and the altruism upon which F.E.A.S.T. was founded.
Here are the email addresses for the lead forum moderators if you would like to contact them:
Around the Dinner Table forum firstname.lastname@example.org
Around the Dinner Table Facebook forum email@example.com
Around the Dinner Table Spanish Facebook forum firstname.lastname@example.org