Overheard on CNN.com: Parents to author: What the "f?"
June 28th, 2011
05:01 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Parents to author: What the "f?"

Comment of the day:

“What has happened to satire? Why are people in the U.S. so ridiculously sensitive? Why is it no longer OK to make a joke about anything? Why are people so thin-skinned? I'll tell you why: people like to complain. People like to whine.” –Barack5tar

Zacharias misses the mark

Author, journalist and public speaker Karen Spears Zacharias says the popular book "Go the F*** to Sleep" - which addresses parents’ frustration with bedtime rituals - sadly also reflects some kids' reality. She says obscenities - and worse, obscenities toward kids - is common in some households and shouldn’t be the butt of jokes.

But many people who commented on Zacharias' opinion piece on CNN.com heartily disagreed with her, saying she is taking the book too seriously.

ads98 said, “I think that laughing about a tough situation helps a lot of people deal with their problems. A parent that is overly stressed about a child's sleeping schedule might find some comfort in laughing about and realizing they are not the only one in the situation.”

Rockinruby said, “My kids, aged seven and nine, have never heard swear words in our home. They don't watch movies rated PG-13 or R. They have had bedtime stories every night since they were newborns. But you know what? I laughed until I cried when I read Adam Mansbach's book.”

FFCBairn said, “Really? So this book is the most pressing, important thing to children? Not the high divorce rates, poor education, dubious medical care, etc. It's this book because it uses the F word?”

longhorn734 said, “I couldn't agree with the author more. My child got a hold of  ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ sailed away to an unknown monster forest and I haven't seen him since. Max, if you're reading this, please come home, your supper is getting cold.”

kablarkin said, “Grow a sense of humor. This book is funny because its stuff that you're thinking, but would NEVER say to a child. Like Bad Santa. It's funny because it's so wrong.” RolandL said, “This book was meant to make you laugh and release some of that tension and frustration that naturally goes along with being a parent. Don't like it – don't buy it.”

Some readers did agree with Zacharias.

Thousand said, “The tone of the book is pretty well hideous. You all think your ‘dark sense of humor' isn't damaging to children, but you can't even see how messed up you are yourselves.”

Cartzzzz said, “The problem is that the book perpetuates the myth that kids are to blame for things like not sleeping. After raising three kids and observing how a lot of people raise their kids, I find the problem lies with the parents. If you are having battles over sleep and your kid is more than a few months old - that's your fault.”

Cruddy11 said, “Some things in life are very funny. This subject isn’t funny or humorous. I just believe that type of language in regards to your children is unnatural. It makes me very uneasy that so many people actually think its ok.”

EnochRoot said, “I don't' want to ban the book. I want the so-called parents who find it funny to not have any more children.”

SonyPony said, “Don't like it? Don't read it. Problem solved." Corvus1 responded, “Doesn't solve the problem of promoting verbal abuse towards kids as 'humor.'"

natepete said, “If you swear and think swearing is funny, you might as well teach your kids to swear as well...this is ridiculous hypocrisy.” aldrix said, “Not saying I agree with the author, but I think it's legitimate to question whether something's really worth putting out there and I believe that's what she's doing here.”

Raising a nerdy son

Columnist LZ Granderson says he’s raising his son to be a nerd. Although his son is talented at sports, he’d rather see him excel at academic subjects. He says people tend to applaud athletics more than academics, although it’s the latter that usually matters most.

People who commented on Granderson's column generally appreciated his point of view.

whodey said, “Nerds have had a hand in everything that keeps you alive and makes life worth living. From medicine, electricity, computers, Internet, vehicles, TV, bridges, houses, you name it. The world runs on nerds.”

RyanDumb said, “I thought this article was refreshing and a wake-up call to my own parenting. I was a Division 1 college athlete and played five sports in high school. My oldest son is 3 and my other son is nearly 1. I spend time with my oldest trying to teach him to catch a ball, run as fast as he can playing tag, etc. when I really need to spend more time working with him on learning to read, spelling, learning basic math. Things he will use daily in the ‘real world’ because the odds are against all athletes becoming professional.”

capnhindsite said, “Totally agree Mr. Granderson. You are taking responsibility for your child’s education and I wish more people would realize that. People complain about our schools failing our kids but rarely do you hear anyone stand up and point out that the parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s learning.”

philbangayan said, “We need more people thinking this way. Last November, the regional competition for the Siemens Science Competition was held at Caltech. Students from as far away as Washington were presenting graduate level work that can make real changes for us. How sad was it that the auditorium only had ~30 people (all family members) in it? This is auditorium that easily held 200 people and where Nobel Prize winners such as Feynman once lectured in. Yet down the road, thousands of people attended a football game.”

bcole04 said, “This is exactly what we need to encourage in our nation's children! Being smart is cool. Being successful is cool. Being a nerd is cool. If you want proof that you can be a nerd and still be cool, look no further than Steve Jobs.”

AsoRock said, “I’m praying to God that my daughter becomes a nerd as well....I was a nerd in HS and guess what? Condo near the lake, beautiful wife, fast car...I smile when I see my ATM receipts and life is good....yep,

agrib said, “Whether jock or geek, it doesn't matter, just having an involved and supportive parent will help any child, no matter what their talents or abilities. We need more parents to be involved with their children. Invest time in your child.”

dogmathree said, “As a teacher who works with students at risk, I just want to say thank you. I would like to send this to every parent at my school.”

SSBlurpe said, “Love a proud, hands-on daddy. It's terrific.”

slyer said, “I wouldn't call a kid a ‘nerd,’ I prefer the term ‘intellectual badass.’" MrAsheSin responded, “Warrior Philosopher!”

soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. halligator

    Get a sence of humor.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mojo

      You people are taking this WAYYYYY too seriously. No one is recommending swearing to your kids or showing them the book – it's a JOKE for the parents. If you all raised your kids with this chronic lack of humor, I truly feel sorry for them (and you).

      July 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      I'd much rather read "The Manual: What Women Want and How to Give It to Them" though. It's on the same topic as that book, "sleeping" that is...

      August 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yoyobinks

      Very funny Ralph!


      August 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. barbara vesely

    LIstening to Headline News. Just sat there and watched the joke of the sentencing.Give me a break. She must feel that she is without sin and it is heartbreaking. She needs the four years. Each time when there is a time in court in front of Judge Perry not one single time is the name of the beautiful angel who hopefully and I am sure she is in Heavan.Casey, Schools Start on Auguest 14,201 have you been shopping for Clothes and supplies for kindergarten.
    There we so many statements made about how will she begin again. No matter where you go you relocate or stay in Orlando give me a break do you think you will not be noticed.? You are Sociopath, Narcisstic,selfish me, me, me person
    HOw dare you mention that you would like to become a MOm again oh please> More later

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |

    Only sheltered white people would ever fret about these things. You should be worried about the jobless rate instead.

    July 8, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    I could care less if casey is quilty or not but one thing i can tell ya is that Everyone is tierd of hearing about it and if somthing does happen to her i Hope someone sues the media for not letting it go and it is only the media that keeps this going

    July 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doyle

    Respect. It is that simple. We have to respect kids even more than we respect adults. That manner of joking isn't harmless. It encourages other adults to join the "no respect for others" chorus. If you can't respect childrens' rights to have a few innocent years, what kind of person are you?Do you really want to spread disrespect to innocent kids? That is morally wrong, and if you think about writing a book about kids and publishing it, it is also ethically wrong. Bad judgment is what happened here.

    August 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arick

      Ahhh so you are the judge of right and wrong, I've been looking for you! Let me ask you this moral question, I hate pretentious, judgmental, reactionary ******bags. Is that morally right? I figured you would know since you know everything about the topic.

      August 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
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