Central Queens La Leche League shares an online listserve with another local LLL Group. This is a great tool to communicate with mothers before meetings. The women share and receive support from Leaders and from one another, which helps build our community.
On the other hand, online communication poses certain downfalls. At the moment we have a very active mother on the online Group who provides not such great advice on sleep training and nighttime parenting, which is based on her own mothering experience. It’s somewhat like when an outspoken mother at a Series Meeting gives bad advice. During regular meetings we Leaders can step in to educate and gently steer the discussion in a direction that’s more friendly to LLL philosophy, but online it's really becoming a challenge.
Among the Leaders, we worry that this lady's militant views may influence impressionable first-time moms. We have gently tried to validate her and respect her views. We have even tried ignoring and moderating her posts because it was getting ridiculous. We don't know what else to do.
How are other Groups dealing with online communications and in particular with this type of situation? I would love to get some much-needed advice.
Thanks, Angela Salas, Central Queens LLL
I think you should try posting a gentle reminder on the forum that posts must be civil and respectful at all times, and that the forum administrator has the right to remove any posts deemed disrespectful. Then, if the problem posts continue, follow through and delete them. If the problem continues even after that happens, then I suppose the person would have to be disallowed to participate in the forum at all. Hopefully it won't come to that.
-- Laura Rime, LLL of Clarkstown
LLL of Floral Park has a YahooGroup where only the moderators can post, so the issue of problem posts for members does not arise. In your situation, maybe you could put the problem poster on “Moderate” status. That way the Leaders could intercept posts that do not coincide with the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and with LLL philosophy.
You might want to post on the homepage that there are many ways that people parent and there are many forums out there, but that La Leche League forums seek to promote and support LLL philosophy. Everyone should keep that in mind when posting in the LLL forum.
-- Maria Paciullo, LLL of Floral Park