How do you know your posts are helpful?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    So, granted, I am having a snippit (possibly an episode) of self doubt.
    None the less, this has been on my mind all day.
    How do you guys know that your posts/responses to others here are helpful?
    There is the obvious -
    "Thanks XYZ that was really helpful!"
    But other than that, how do you know you are impacting other's lives by what you say?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I think the fact that one cares enough to take the time to post in and of itself gives the post value.

    I take something from almost every ideas, new way of looking at things, words of encouragement, just knowing I'm not alone.....

    I have had those doubts, too. Still do from time to time. When we post on these sensitive subjects if often feels like you're sticking your neck out and worry that it might get chopped off, so to speak.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Aside from the obvious that you said, for me sometimes you can tell from the person's response even if it's not specific to a person/people. For me though when I post, just that people take the time to respond and either say been there done that or offer advice, makes me feel better even if the advice doesn't fit the situation. Knowing that someone else actually gets what I'm talking about and going through makes a world of difference for me. If I didn't have all of you to vent to or bounce ideas off of, I think I would have lost it a long time ago.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999


    I've been around for 9 years now. What I offer may be useless, I don't know. People may groan when they see I've responded to their posts (though I sincerely hope not!!!).

    What I *do* know is the impact that other posters' input has had on my parenting and my life in general. I was a frazzled mom with an out of control kid, and I was pretty much coming unglued when I arrived. The most important part of this board for me at that time was that I could come and vent and whine and detail the antics of thank you in all their glory, and not *once* did anyone ever blame me or my parenting, or tell me I just needed to spank him or give him time outs or whatever, nor did anyone ever not believe the extent of his behaviors. In other words, it was virtually the complete opposite of the "support" I was getting in real life.

    I was educated here on how to be a better advocate for him. There are certain long-time members whose kids are now adults who were/are without question mentors for me. Not even because they responded specifically to a post of mine, but because they shared *their* world with me. It gave me hope to at least survive this difficult child parenting, because at that time I truly wasn't sure I was going to.

    I remember around the time I joined, Fran's signature said her son had been in EGBS for 18 months. I very clearly remember thinking - no *way* could I survive thank you being gone for that long. And here we are now, with thank you out of my home for 8 years. The parents who are a little ahead of us on this road support us, and we support the parents who are coming along behind us.

    Detachment? Oh my gosh... I never would have figured that one out on my own.

    I feel like this community here, newbies and oldies, understand where we've been and where we're going far better than anyone else.

    So I sincerely hope that I offer input that is thoughtful and helpful. I also hope that someday, some parent will find hope because I'm still standing... they can survive it too. It would be nice if I could offer one day the magic word or strategy, but... somehow I don't think that's going to happen. :)

    I wash my walls now because of Did-I. :rofl: It's not just difficult child-related advice that has changed my world. ;)
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    naked, moonlight, liver taped to your elbow, dances pretty much tell me I've giving someone something to think about - and a new way to scare the bejeebers out of a neighbor.


    I dunno - I guess I've always figured that the posting I did was as therapeutic for me as it was for the person I wrote it too. I've lived through so much - when I draw on experiences and post them it gives me a chance to sorta rehash my own travels & beliefs because what I post is my life experiences.

    I can't predict whether something I say will help/I hope it doesn't hurt. But moreover I just get a chance to share. Whether that is with laughter, or been there done that. So it helps not only myself - but anyone else that cares to believe or digest what I wrote.

    And besides that now I have so many friends - and get such good advices and laughs back. Maybe it's just the thought that someone cared that means something to me. Or actually knowing something i said made someone else laugh.....yeah that makes it the best.:tongue:

    As far as self doubt? I grabbed your little snippet and I put him in my picnic basket and now I'm riding my bicycle down a black and white dirt road in high wind with flying monkeys. And this little snippet did NOT run back to Dorothy.....noooooooooo I've pretty much decided that snippets are not spiders and therefore may be eliminated. Did you understand that?? Good because i can NOT ride that bike 1 more mile - the seat rides up and all you know.

    Hugs -
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    FWIW your posts have always helped me. Yours and others taking the time to share and show support has made a huge difference in my life. It would be a much colder, lonlier path without all of you. I don't think I can say "thank you" enough. xo ML
  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I haven't read the other responses yet.

    Regardless if you get a thank you or not, this is a very public place. There are a lot of people who don't even register, but read avidly. They take what the want and leave the rest.

    I have gotten so much from the board. I don't always express gratitude and sometimes I read a post and it stores in my head for a long time, but a year or so later (or maybe more) something will pop up and I know how do deal with it because of something that was discussed on the board.

    On the other hand, sometimes, we need to be mindful of our posts. Some of the more inflammatory posts that have been on the board from time to time can cause some detrimental side effects, some of which we may not be aware of since not all readers actually post. (Not accusing anyone and nothing that is on this post...just a gentle reminder.)
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    I get more support and insite here, then in my counselor's office for 45 minutes and she costs $200 an hour. I would say the value of a post is at least $1000. Of course I would be in the hole if I had to pay, you all have been so good to me here.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    As long as our faithful monitors don't tell you that your are out of line, there is a good chance that your post has helped someone if not the person you wrote to.

    There are so many difficult children out there and so many parents, grandparents, caretakers looking for answers and though we may not have them, what we do say may help keep someone on the right track.

    I know for me, I can go through a situation with my difficult child and come out saying, "What was that? What could have I done to make it better?" Then someone will give advise that will help next time. The funny thing, this same advise might be what I just gave someone else but did not recognize it for myself because I was too close emotionally to the moment. Detach - This board is teaching me that.

    I also get a lot of help without responding - sorry! We all know that each of us live different lives, have different parenting styles, and face different challenges with each difficult child. We have to remember that what we write may not fit the situation and what advise is given to us comes from someone who doesn't know the entire story with funfilled (not) details. We know we do not want to offend so we take the benefit of the doubt that what we receive is not meant to offend.

    Are your posts helpful? Absolutely!!! Just may not always be for the person looking for the input, though the person receiving does benefit from all input given in good faith and friendship.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Steely -

    You have lived through a lot and have a lot of insight. I always find your posts helpful.

    Just so you know.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Like someone else said, there are lukers on the board who for whatever reason never post. Sometimes even if something someone offers as advice in a reply doesn't help (at that moment) the person they're responding to....odds are they're probably a dozen or more reading it going "Oh, wow! I didn't know that." or "hey, that sounds like me" Or whatever. And they are getting something from the response.

    Ages ago when I first came to the board I didn't know dittle about computers, let alone how to navigate a board such as this. So for a while, too scared to post myself, I read posts made by others and the replies.

    Responses don't have to be factual, or long and drawn out to be helpful. Sometimes humor is the best thing, sometimes it's just knowing someone is listening who really does understand, and sometimes a simple cyber hug can make someone's whole day.

    I've learned so much from this board I don't think I could sit and write it all down. And not all of it about difficult children. I've learned things about relationships, employement, education, pets, weather........Well, I could probably go on forever as we discuss about everything here. lol

    When I respond to a post I know going in that I'm not a doctor. All I've got to draw on is some medical training, lots of experience, life experience, and the intention of helping someone else in whatever way that might be.

    And Steely, I do find your posts helpful.

  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't think there's any way to know if a specific post has helped a specific person. When I've asked a question, or made an observation, I appreciate the comments. It's another way of looking at the situation that I may or may not have thought of. When I respond, I hope that my post offers something, whether it's a suggestion or just support.

    Since I have no one in real life who really "gets" it, being able to read these posts makes me feel stronger. I'm not so alone now. And maybe, that's all we can do for each other. Just by standing together, we can make a difference. Stronger moms, more enlightened schools, increased care choices for our kids? Who knows what one response can mean to someone who feels lost?
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, frankly, I DON'T know if my words are always helpful -- I only hope. I know my intentions are always good, and I feel pretty certain that everyone here means well, even if things might not always be received well. So I work under the assumption that I'm putting my best forward and that others are too, and the other person can take what they need (if any) and leave the rest.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I generally don't know if my posts are helpful. I hope they are. I do know it helps me to post because it helps 'gel' ideas and experiences. I do hope my posts don't offend although I suspect sometimes they do.

    If I think what I have to say stands a good chance of offending without enlightening, I stay out of it. Otherwise - if someone has a big problem and I can offer insight, I do. Chances are if I hear nothing more I just hope that the person is busy sorting out the problem they posted about. I take a deep breath and move to the next problem.

    Over the years I've browsed a lot of posts on a range of sites. I really value the general air of polite support here, instead of the attitude I see on so many other sites, where posters tear each other apart for the slightest disagreement. Thankfully, the moderators here do a terrific job and keep this site clean and friendly.

    Occasionally, someone will thank me for something I've said. But I'm not looking for thanks at all. And sometimes the tone of a later post will show that the original poster has given all input serious consideration and is making their own decision. That's good, too.

    It's all I need, really.

  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Like many said, you give what you have and take what you need. If we had perfect lives, we wouldn't be here. I enjoy and sometimes cry at every post I am afforded the time to read.

    I think I'm 11 or so years on the board. Geez...can't believe it's been that long, but I've made some of the best friends you could imagine even though I've never 'met' them. Actually, I have met some. :)

    Every post is helpful in some way. I always look forward to getting up in the morning and having my first laugh. Is that what this site is for? No, but it sure helps. I think most of us need a good chuckle each day.

    Now, that being said, it's 4:30am and I need a chuckle.

  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Steeley! There's no need for you to have any type of self-doubt on this subject - I've always felt a "kindred spirit" type of thing with a few people on this board.

    After I found out I was pregnant, I told husband and then you guys. To date, NO ONE knows what's going on. You all posted so many nice and kind things (also some very funny ones!).

    The reason I took you guys into my confidence was because you all have added so much value in my life. Sure there's been advice that may not have applied, either because I tried it, I wasn't clear on the circumstances or there are too many people that would hear me nail their bedroom doors shut with them in their rooms!

    But the bottom line here is that every comment is delivered with care, concern and no judgement. I've gotten my "come uppances" from some (rarely) but it's never been with a cruel heart - it's always been with kindness.

    We all know I have a tendency to try and find the funny in just about everything and you guys tend to help me find that in "unfunny" situations.

    Everyone around here at home are starting to think I'm suffering from some kind of depression because I'm so tired all the time, I'm cranky and just haven't been myself. I still won't tell them that it's because I'm pregnant basically because I don't want to hear all the judgement that's going to come down the pipe. You guys didn't judge. You turned a pretty scary time into some fun!

    Answer to your question? Oh yes, you help...God knows you help!

  17. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I haven't read the other responses yet but I think sometimes you have no idea who you might have helped by posting. I know I have taken away great advice that was meant for someone else but rang true for me as well.

    I so wish I had found this site earlier than I did--I am sure I could have dealt with difficult child 1 in a more productive way or at least detached from her shenanigans sooner than I did if I had been coming here. I also could have posted about her nutty therapist and had the support from this group to "fire" her long before I did.

    Also, I feel that I can post about difficult child's successes and get encouragement and hope but if she falls again I can also come here without a bunch of "I told you so's". Everyone knows how these difficult children can let you down again and again and yet you always hope they can change at some point.

  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    What a good question! AND I think the word "helpful" is key. I have wondered this myself.
    I think sometimes we don't know for sure if our posts are helpful, unless the person takes the time to say that the posts have been helpful or specifically calls out a person's name that gave a particularly helpful idea. I think whenever possible, it is a nice idea to thank people who have replied to our posts. I know for me, I really appreciate that people have taken the time to share their ideas with me. They are almost always very helpful. Sometimes, just providing comfort is of great help. (And the ones that are funny are an extra bonus!)
    I do not care for it when people are mean spirited. I think that if you feel someone is going down the wrong path, it is wise to use gentleness and decorum when mentioning a differing point of view. I think people are more open to looking at new things when it is presented in a kind way. In addition, I believe most of us have been through a lot of heartache, and really don't wish to experience more grief due to difficult child issues. I think you can count on a clear, honest, and friendly response to a person's post WILL be appreciated and helpful.
  19. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I may never know how my post/response may impact anyone. I do know that many times it's therapeutic for me to respond. It helps me with my mindset in ways that therapy & dozens of books don't - it clears my mind when I may be at my wit's end.

    I offer all I can, given my experience & knowledge, mostly in empathy & hope it's taken in kind.
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Like everyone else has said, sometimes I post more for me and then I am surprised by what I receive from that thread in the end.

    Most times I just like to post a little hug or some sort of message of hope so that each poster knows someone is listening. I know I appreciate a response when I post.

    If someone is reaching out to a bunch of faceless friends and in turn they receive a post back, I think sometimes that's all that matters; to know someone has heard you and understands. I appreciate any and all feedback and I am guessing that most of us feel the same way. ♥