children seems to be a poorly-defined tag for the purpose it can serve.
There is a clear usage case for when a book contains children as primary protagonists or antagonists or major plot points, especially when coupled with story-identification and other ID tags, trope and history-of. In essence, we should treat child-characters as a sub-genre of SFF.
There are some notable works that are not children's novels, but feature children as primary characters throughout all or most of the work:
- Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
- Stephen King's IT
- John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In
- J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter (if you admit they're Young Adult and not Children's novels)
We can improve the tag by changing the tag wiki excerpts away from a definition of what children are to actual usage guidance. Definitions do not belong in tag wiki excerpts anyway.
Should be used when a character being a child is important to the question, but not just for any question about a character that happens to be a child.
We can rename the tag to: child-characters.
Then, we're left with a small handful of questions that need to be changed from child-characters to childrens-novel or kids-movie, or simply be removed.
In general, I believe our first response to tags should primarily be improving them and making them useful, versus simply deleting them. Generally when a tag gets to the point of being used on nearly 50 questions, it means a decent number of people found it useful. When it's brought up on meta, though, the main issue appears to be that it's not applied consistently or defined well enough.
Both of these changes would mimic female-characters.
Stories about child characters (that aren't specifically children's novels) or female characters are notable, and are essentially sub-genres in SFF. To that end, as discussed on meta about genres, these examples for the
*-character tags follow the same trends and use cases as our other genres, some of which have been long-accepted by the community.