Bedtime reading could disadvantage other children, academic says

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bedtime story Could snuggling up in bed and reading a bedtime story to your children ever be a bad thing?

An ABC Radio National program about whether “Having a loving family is an unfair advantage” has questioned whether bedtime reading is causing an uneven playing field for more unfortunate children.
Adam Swift

Adam Swift

British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi the benefits of the time-honoured custom were greater than a private school education.
“Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,” Mr. Swift said.
According to Mr. Swift, the “devilish twist” was whether bedtime stories should be restricted.
are you serious
Ultimately the net good of bedtime reading in promoting strong family bonds outweighed any other downsides, Mr. Swift said.
“You have to allow parents to engage in bedtime stories activities, in fact we encourage them because those are the kinds of interactions between parents and children that do indeed foster and produce these (desired) familial relationship goods.”
But parents should be mindful of the advantage provided by bedtime reading, he said. “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.
Mr. Swift told the Daily Telegraph the idea of evening the playing field by encouraging all parents to read to their kids was not discussed. The bedtime stories idea had been suggested by the ABC “as a way of getting attention”, he said.
Professor Frank Oberklaid, from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, told the newspaper he was “bewildered” by the idea of bedtime reading disadvantaging others. “It’s one of the more bizarre things I’ve heard,” he said. “We should be bringing all kids up to the next level.”
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0 responses to “Bedtime reading could disadvantage other children, academic says

  1. Disadvantaged for Whom? We always read to the children and books have always been a large part of our lives. I’ll be danged if I dumb down my family because this over educated hypocritical moron thinks it is disadvantaged for some. The poorest person in the world can go to the library and get a book for free and start sharing and educating their children. It doesn’t take long.
    Just another liberal smuck trying to help dumb down the children. You do not have to go to a private school to enjoy reading.
    Glad I wasn’t one of his kids.

  2. To Adam Swift:
    Since you are a “British academic” and, from your pic, a white male, clearly you yourself are the recipient of countless “unfair advantages.” I suggest you resign from your university position, and surrender all your money and possessions to the government for “re-distribution” to the “disadvantaged.”

    • And Adam Swift should eliminate himself from using up anymore of our precious resources to even better enrich those who are so starved of cultural enrichment. What a complete wanker.

  3. traildustfotm

    Another Harvard educated fool.

  4. Lance Jackson

    When I was a wee lad, long before the days of affirmative black racism, mom read to me at bedtime and took me to the library with her. She fostered in a love of reading and learning. I suppose in today’s world that is considered white privilege and must be stopped while little cca children are out looting, burning knockout gaming and and raping which is a healthy all African/Hispanic pastime, reading to children must be banned <said in utmost sarcasm

  5. I think this man qualifies for a ” Special kind of stoooopid ” award . I’m sure he would be in favor of a D.F.A.C.S. worker doing the reading / propagandizing to the child though !

  6. WOW! WOW! i can’t even form a sentence here. WOW!

  7. Seems to me….. and I don’t want to get off on a rant here…..
    If more ‘parents’ would spend some time with their kids, reading to them or just letting them know that they have a supportive family…..
    … and kids would develop a greater interest in reading, and not texting, or tweeting, or just ‘facebooking’….
    … and kids would develop better speech patterns and learn to dress properly indicating that they have self respect and respect for others.
    … then there might be higher graduation rates, higher SAT scores, ‘graduates’ better able to contribute to the betterment of society…
    …. and not so many ‘youths’ out rioting and burning down businesses that represent a lifetime of labor.
    At one time, all of the above were considered to be worthy goals,
    rather than penalizing those who work hard to get ahead, and bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator.
    It would appear that those at the top of the intellectual heap have been ‘dumbed down’, themselves.
    The new PhD is indeed ‘piled higher and deeper’…..

  8. My bedtime reading as a child and as a young girl are among my most treasured memories. Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. How can I ever forget The Prince and The Pauper, by Mark Twain, read to me as only my mother could read it? Or The Girl of the LImberlost, a gift from my grandmother? Or The Song of Bernadette, a gift from a very dear friend? As a young girl, I remember being curled up in bed on winter evenings reading Lorna Doone and falling asleep wishing I had a lover like John Ridd. I thrilled to the adventures of Ivanhoe. And the Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott turned me into an incurable romantic. I fell madly in love with the outlaw, Roderick Dhu. The poem has largely been forgotten today, but it indirectly influenced Schubert’s Ave Maria and the Song, Hail to the Chief. It contains some of my favorite lines in all the world and I have never forgotten them. “The rose is fairest when t ‘is budding new and hopes are brightest when they dawn from fears. The rose is sweetest washed in morning dew and love is loveliest embalmed in tears.”

  9. This is as STOOPID as progressives whining that using white paper in schools is racist.

  10. Wow! Just imagine . . . life just isn’t fair! The sad thing is that some kids got sent to the homes of lazy, shiftless parent(s) who just can’t be bothered to read to their kids. To heck with the unfairness of it all–keep on readin’ to your child, and let other children’s parent(s) do what they will. They are the ones who are guilty of neglecting their offspring. For this gentleman to suggest otherwise is absurd, and in fact I believe that he is a nincompoop!

  11. Another thing I always did with my children was sitting down and coloring, lots and lots of coloring books. You can open their minds while engaging them in conversation. It is amazing what you can find in those little minds.
    It was time well spent

  12. This is the politics of envy, and after having studied the flow of ideas on the internet for over six years now, many of the bad ideas that have infected society have come out of England.
    Let me see if I have this straight: In order for you not to feel “uncomfortable” I am obligated to stay put while you not only fail to get ahead, but drag me down with you? ARE YOU INSANE, OR ARE YOU JUST PLAIN EVIL?
    THIS is what Daniel Patrick Moynihan meant when he wrote “Defining Deviancy Down.” THIS is Gresham’s Law applied to the rest of society.
    THIS is PRECISELY what happened to the Catholic Church beginning with the election of John XXIII in 1958.
    THIS is Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront.” “‘Kid, tonight’s not your night.’ Not my night? I could have taken Wilson apart! You shoulda done somethin’, Charlie….”
    So let me see if I have this straight: We’re morally obligated to become LOSERS? THIS is an idea STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL!!!

  13. This is disgraceful weak thinking.
    By this reasoning, it must be equally true that those parents who don’t take the trouble to read and interact with their own children are creating an uneven playing field, putting their children at a disadvantage.
    However some of those parents may also be creating another uneven/advantageous ‘playing field’ (is education a competitive sport?) by teaching their children to dance, sing, catch a ball, jump a ditch, bring in a fish, ride a horse, share their lunch with a friend who forgot his, and these achievements may also involve family bonding and feelings of love. Somebody, who considers his own worth is so high that he is to be the judge, has the brass neck to imply that only reading counts.
    Celebrate all skills. Academic skills are not the only ones of value.

    • When one promotes egalitarianism and social justice (and bases their body of work on it), everything in life is a “playing field”. That must be recognized and deficiencies noted in order to achieve the utopia of equality.

      • Based on that kind of thinking, anything you teach your children, any skill they are allowed to develop, could be seen as giving them an unfair advantage, even walking – after all there are children who cannot walk. Must everything be reduced to some lowest, common to all, denominator? This is not, in my opinion a path to fairness in life. To teach all children to think critically, to spot injustice, to see when freedom is being hi-jacked and to notice when we are being misled, these are more likely to lead to fairness. We each have talents and they are not all the same, what good does it do for humanity to amputate any buds of flair or genius, rather than to tend them?

      • The ‘Utopia’ of Mediocrity, where nobody is encouraged to blossom, and any blossoms that appear are stamped out. Descent into misery, no celebration of talent or skill, no painters unless they scramble their colours to brown.

  14. Anyone who would like the true story behind this imaginative invention, you can read it here:


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