“Go the F*** to Sleep” IS Funny
Long time, no post. Working full-time and being a parent definitely pushes blogging to the bottom of the heap, but I digress. I was getting my fill of CNN.com the other day and came across this opinion piece by Karen Spears Zacharias. Part of me wants to ignore it so that it doesn’t get any more thought — but, well, this IS a blog.
First and foremost – this was an opinion piece, much like this entire blog and I stand by the fact that Karen has every right to her opinion, however, I can disagree with the connection she is trying to make (even though she states directly she isn’t trying to make the connection that this book will lead to child abuse, but more about that later).
Second, and somewhat more bothersome, after looking up Karen’s bio, it doesn’t list anywhere that she is a parent. While she might be hiding this piece of information (which, I don’t disagree with at all), I think she would put this as part of her bio since it gives her more credibility in the space. If she is not a parent, the opinion loses all credibility. You can read all the books you want and study things to death — but you will never understand the mind of someone living it. Based on her bio, I am sure she understands this more than anyone.
On to my issues…
Nobody is suggesting that there’s a connection between Adam Mansbach’s book and child abuse or child neglect. Still, there’s no denying the reason “Go the F*** to Sleep” should be kept out of reach of children is because of its violent language and because of the way it demeans children. – Karen Spears Zacharias, CNN.com
What more can I say to this other than understanding how “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” works. Starting a sentence with a disclaimer doesn’t stop it from happening. And out of the reach of children? Does this really NEED to be said with a title like “Go the F*** to Sleep”? If you buy this book and give it to your reading-capable-but-still-to-young-to-drive child, then I think it is safe to assume there are other issues.
Joan Demarest is an attorney in Corvallis, Oregon, and the mother of three young boys. Demarest told me that initially she thought the book was funny. That was before she read it. “Now I find it unsettling. I don’t like violent language in association with children.”
She has good reason to be concerned about the message behind such a parody. Demarest was the prosecuting attorney in one of Oregon’s most high-profile child murder cases. She understands the fear that far too many children endure because the lines of what’s appropriate parenting have become blurred. – Karen Spears Zacharias, CNN.com
Here is the tie I don’t like. In short, buying this book will lead to child murder, although to be fair, I think she is only going for “could” as opposed to “will”. I love and hate putting my son to bed. I love that he taps me on the shoulder as he goes to sleep and says “hi, dad”. I love the quiet time I get to spend with him. I love thinking of the things he is dreaming about. But…I hate his absolute unwillingness to go to bed, which only gets worse the more tired he gets. It is a tremendous frustration that many parents share. Not being able to laugh about it only makes it worse.
Where do I agree with Karen? Parents should read to and with their kids more. I am guilty of not doing it and I love to read.
I also agree on the facts that there are bad people in the world that do horrible things. I would love to be a superhero that protects the children of the world, but it just isn’t possible. Ever since my son was born, my sensitivity to articles about children being harmed has skyrocketed. It absolutely pains me to think about what some children are going through in our 21st century world — but I haven’t lost the ability to distinguish fact from fiction, satire from reality.
Do I think books like this drive the monsters to do what they do? No. Bad people do bad things. Kids are being raised in horrible conditions. Odds are good they (the monsters) are not reading a book like this and engaging in discussions about parenting, much less taking the time to actively engage in putting their children to sleep.
The world is hard and the minute we stop laughing, it will only get harder.
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