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. brianh748

    Oh, forgot to mention that they then would follow up the news story with a segment where they just read internet comments from a monitor. Great investigative journalism there guys.

    June 29, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Leslie

    This is clearly a book that parents can relate to when it comes to the frustration of trying to get your child to go to sleep. This is obviously not a book I would read to my son but I bought 2 copies (one for me and one for my mom) we both get a chuckle out of it. People need to stop being so sensitive if you dont like the book dont get it. Why ban something like this?? Freedom of Speech!!

    June 29, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Justin Agnew

    My friends gave this book to my wife and I to celebraite our first child. We read it to each other and loved it to the point where we couldn't stop laughing. Does the fact that I find it funny mean that I love my child any less or would ever say anything like this to my small child, or even read this to them? No, of course not! It is satire for adults who understand that it is a joke and nothing more! To those decrying that it promotes child abuse, I don't know what to say to you other than you need to seriously pull your head out of your ass and understand that the adults who read this are not looking for cues on how to treat a child. I get it and I think everyone else understands that this book's humor is not for everyone, so if you don't like it don't buy it.

    June 29, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. brianh748

    I wonder how long it took them to dig up that many pro-zacharias comments...

    June 29, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Melissa

    I agree that people are way to thin skinned! this book was great and after raising 2 children, (now 20 and 23) It made me remember all those nights of good and bad while trying to put my kids to bed. Its not meant as a book to read TO your kids...lighten up and enjoy something for a change people!
    good on ya to the author!

    June 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. EP

    Really? The reason our country is going down the tubes is not because of this book, but because people like the author in all their grand PC-ness equate satirical humor to racism. I have two young children, and while I would not allow them to read the book (it's not meant for them anyhow), I think it's a hilarious look at what's going through many if not all parent's minds at one time or another. If you don't like it, then don't read it.

    June 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bill

    As I said at the top of the page, this book just proves that America has been dumbed down. Read 90% of the above posts if you want proof.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LordofBobz

    How is this book bad? Its not meant for kids. If an adult is reading to this to their kids you can be sure that this book is NOT their biggest problem. Why CNN has these crappy reporters ill never understand.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bea

    Oh look.........Calvin and Hobbes!!!!!!!!!!

    June 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bill

    @LordofBobz: the caps lock is out of style now, also if an adult is reading to this to their kids is incorrect grammar. Step(in caps) away from the book and read one on how to form a proper sentence instead.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LordofBobz

    @bill Its called the shift key. and insulting me for no reason sure is a great way to get your point of view across isn't it? Actually, it makes you look pretty dumb. I am only saying that people need to calm down, breathe, and see this book is obviously not made for children. It's called a joke.
    Please point out my grammatical errors this time. Why read a book on it when you are right here to help me?

    June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bill

    Sorry, I forgot to correct your ill, you should've wrote I'll as in I will. Ill makes no sense at all, but hey keep reading that book you're just proving my point all the more.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LordofBobz

    Well wasn't that a silly mistake of me. I must be part of 90% you're talking about right?
    Troll more please. You have no valid argument so you try correcting my grammar.
    The book is a joke. Adults need to lighten up, its embarrassing that we have to censor so much because parents can't do anything for themselves anymore. The 90% you're talking about must be the author of this article, anyone who thought this was a children's book is a moron.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bill

    I don't recall anyone suggesting that this was a children's book so not only can you not write, you also can't reason. BTW you said part of 90%, you should've said part of the 90%.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kpete

      I recall reading a comment someone posted on the original article stating "Any parent who reads this to their child is a monster!" Therefore stating they indeed thought it was intended for children. There are those types of ignorant people out there who obviously don't know how to process the article correctly.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AthensGuy

    why don't people just let go? they have to complain about everything?

    June 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
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