Man-day Post: Goodnight Loon

In Man-day, Parenting by Jensguy21 Comments

Welcome to another installment of Man-day from Jen’s husband Jen’s Guy

I don’t know how many of you have heard the interview with Professor Adam Swift from the University of Warwick in England on Australia’s national broadcasting system the ABC-

“Wait, a guy from England on an Australian radio show? Why should I care?”

Yeah, I promise I’ll make this worth it. Hang in there.

Anyway, this scholar has a message for you. 

“I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said.

So at first, I’m:

Then I thought Ahhh, Swift, like Jonathan Swift, the famous English Satirist  (OK, he was Anglo-Irish. But that is close enough to England to be part of the joke.) We are all being had. This was left over from April Fools.

Only, Nope. Apparently this guy has a following, and they are going to philosophically define the best way possible for you to have a relationship with your children.

“What we realised we needed was a way of thinking about what it was we wanted to allow parents to do for their children, and what it was that we didn’t need to allow parents to do for their children, if allowing those activities would create unfairnesses for other people’s children.”

From this statement, I have already made a series of judgements about Mr. (I’m not calling him Doctor) Swift. First he is undoubtedly “bluetooth guy”, and is currently shouting at nobody you can see while in line in front of you at the grocery store. Nobody with that much self importance can escape being bluetooth guy.

Next, this guy should not be allowed anywhere near a functioning educational system. Any guy this hyper-obsessed about equality of educational outcome will destroy the hopes, dreams, and fun of ALL of the students, Kind of like the anti Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society. 

Get down from those desks! Jimmy has equilibrium issues and could feel intimidated and devalued!

And finally, this guy needs to be mocked. Consistently, relentlessly, unmercifully mocked at every opportunity. Honestly, he has published half a dozen books on subjects like this and if we are going to survive as a society, people like this cannot be taken seriously, nor can we afford any accommodation with them.

I’m generally an easygoing guy. But Family is one of those things I’ll defend to the death. If I could safely grant my children the powers of x-ray vision, super strength and the ability to fly, I would do it. In a heart beat. They are my children, my responsibility, my life. My success in life is completely intertwined with their future.

They could all still be Batman at least.

I understand that some other parents may not feel that way, but I’m willing to bet that most do. We need to be left alone. If you want to wield the sword of Social Justice, work with those who haven’t caught the parenting vision yet. It is a more difficult path to reach those who are too indifferent to care and help them to improve themselves rather than to use the power of government and regulation to control and browbeat those who are doing a fine job parenting already. Fight THAT battle. It will be lonely and not offer the same opportunities for power and graft, but it is eventually the place where actual good can be done.

In the meantime, Mr. Swift, you will NOT be “thinking about what it was we wanted to allow parents to do for their children, and what it was that we didn’t need to allow parents to do for their children” without severe pushback. On your personal site Mr. Swift, I see that you are already backing away from these comments and are claiming you were “misrepresented”. I read six different articles that you authored and they are very much in favor of setting parental limits with children based on “equality”. A philosophical purpose for family organization isn’t really needed. Not authored by you, anyway.

And keep an eye open everyone. Since this article came to my attention, I have noticed Mr. Swift’s tone and philosophy is not as obscure as I would have believed. I stopped researching at one point because, frankly, it was kind of freaking me out. 

I guess I’ll have to read two books at bedtime tonight to balance everything out. Because I’m extreme like that. . .

Go ahead and share this post, you know you want to!


    1. Why thank you, Janine. Yeah, the real challenge I guess is to KEEP guys like this obscure, so this brand of thought doesn’t catch on. Although now that I have been exposed to this story, I hear more thought like this than I ever thought that I would. . .

    1. Yeah, I noticed that he teaches a few classes on Marxism at his university, surprising everyone. I’m a big believer in letting everyone speak, but I also think that idiots like this deserve all of the criticism they get too. . .

  1. Wow, I have never heard of this guy but I definitely do not agree with this idea. It’s important to help people become better parents, or for kids to get the skills and information they need – so yes, focus on that. But don’t tell families that are doing well they have to stop because it’s not fair to the other children in the word. Sheesh.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Scarred Souls by T.T. KoveMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I actually think this guys real target is private schools. But then, so what? How someone educates their child, as long as they are being educated, really isn’t any of his business. I hope he speaks more and louder to help people realize that this type of reasoning is extremely faulty. . .

  2. This guy is a loon, and I would refuse to call him doctor as well. I have not heard of this crazy story before, but how sad that he has a following! I loved reading to my kids when they were little and will definitely carry the tradition with my future grand-babies.
    That scene from Dead Poet’s Society is fantastic :)!
    Candace recently posted…Walking In FaithMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I think the weird thing is that he would expect someone to have GUILT about reading to their child, at anytime. I just can’t even approach that mindset and all of the self loathing involved in something like that. It is much easier to get children and parents to read more. More Theodore Geisel (Dr. Suess) less of this guy.

  3. I read to my son and then to my grand-baby. What you do with your kids is fine with me and what I do with mine is none of anybodies business. This guy is off his rocker. Seriously off his rocker. He’s also the problem. That mindset that is.

    Have a fabulous day and read to your kids. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Wednesdays QuestionMy Profile

    1. Yeah, reading to your children is on a list of things you might be ashamed of that you do with your children. He has a whole book on the irresponsibility of expecting children to go to worship service with you. I wonder if he ever had children. . .

  4. While I haven’t heard of him, I have heard this argument made before. I don’t get it, and I don’t understand why more people are buying into it.
    Akaleistar recently posted…Basic InstinctsMy Profile

    1. That is interesting, because, traditionally, Social Justice Doctrine usually stays away from relationships within the family. This guy is almost unique in applying those principles to a family relationship. The fact that you are hearing this in other places is worrisome. . .

  5. I can’t remember how it came up (maybe NPR?) but my husband and I were JUST talking about this guy. I did the same thing: Googled him until I had to stop because I was shaking my head so much it got hard to read.

    I did however, learn a new word from your citation of his retort about the “careless polemical journalism” to which he has been recently subjected. Thanks for that, now I know what polemical means. :)
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…Tips to Get More Sleep Part 1My Profile

    1. “He keep using that word, polemical. I don’t think it means what he thinks it means. . .” It is really interesting how he paywalls a lot of his stuff, in an effort, I suspect to shield some his more crazy stuff from all but his true believers as much as to make more money. If we are choosing up sides for a philosophical war, I’m picking Sarah right after Jennifer. She fights. . .

  6. I had never heard of this guy before; but I must admit that I completely agree with your position. That, and I believe that if your husband ever met my husband they would probably get along very well. (Seriously, that entire paragraph about mocking sounds like it could have come straight from my husband!)
    Leslie recently posted…I am…My Profile

    1. Bring him over. We don’t do beer, but now that Jennifer is getting sponsored by Dr. Pepper (the point where, in my estimation, she arrived as a blogger) we have plenty of THAT to share. . .

    1. Yep, love that book and it is a staple with the children. In retrospect, however, it is a bit bizarre. . . “Goodnight, bowl full of mush. . .” Still great and the illustrations are top notch and artistic in a unique fashion often missing from children’s literature.

      None of that (but the bizarre part) is applicable to Mr. Swift.

  7. Wow. Just wow. So the good parents should try to suck so that the sucky parents won’t have disadvantaged children. Except then EVERYONE will have disadvantaged children. And the world as we know it will cease to exist.
    Do people actually think through their thoughts before they blurt them out of their mouths?
    Lauren recently posted…14 Surprising Life Lessons My Kids Have Taught MeMy Profile

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