But it is all right. Nigel is a clinical psychologist, that much is true; but he is, more importantly, one of us. So his parenting advice, which is reassuringly politically incorrect, can be taken. There is no danger of getting any weird continental ideas. In case you are still worried, let TVNZ comfort you:
See, it is safe for kids to poke each other in the eyes with sticks; that flies in the face of conventional wisdom, doesn't it? You won't hear that sort of thing from the beige brigade.
Just when you could be forgiven for thinking that the beige brigade have won, just when many of us were on the verge of giving up and abandoning the field to the kind of people who really do think it isn't safe for kids to climb trees and poke each other in the eyes with sticks, and just when you thought stimulating after school activities were mandatory, along comes a television show that flies in the face of 'conventional wisdom'.
But then the copywriter continues:
Um yes; well, no. Maybe someone needs a holiday. Maybe someone is letting the cat out of the politically incorrect bag, as it were. Maybe there is slight and unhelpful suggestion in that last paragraph that all this political incorrectness is just selfishness and stupidity. Maybe.
The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show is the freshest thing to hit the world of parenting since someone first thought: 'Hey, what about instead of washing cloth nappies all the time, we made disposable ones you could just biff on some landfill somewhere? Sure they might take 10,000 years to biodegrade, but think about the convenience...'
Maybe we should listen to Dr Edwards, a highly intelligent, highly educated, 71-year-old liberal, according to himself. Maybe intelligent, educated people still have something to offer, something like intelligence, and education.
Or we could listen to Bob
Family First director Bob McCroskrie, who worked in schools in South Auckland for 10 years, said some doctors were too quick to diagnose "naughty kids" with ADHD and prescribe them drugs when what they actually needed was "some counselling, therapy and firm discipline".Drugs, who needs them? Who needs experts? Who needs physicians? We got Bob, and Bob is all we need. You see, Bob knows. Bob knows that these doctors, these specialist paediatricians and psychiatrists are misdiagnosing naughty kids and giving them drugs as if drugs were a reward for being naughty, when they should be giving them firm discipline. Bob's like that. He just knows. He doesn't need medical training; he doesn't need to see the children who are being treated. He don't need no office with certificates on the wall; he don't need no fancy job title, no research, no library, no high falutin' quali-fic-ations. He just knows. Nobody can spell his name, but he knows.
"Maybe all we're doing is drugging up naughty kids rather than dealing with the reasons why they're naughty in the first place," McCroskrie said.
And because he knows, journalists will always go to him for an opinion, while those pesky experts like Dr Julia Rucklidge will be quoted further down the story, where most of the readers don't go.
Experts, who needs them? What these kids need is counselling, therapy and a good kicking.