Monday, February 07, 2011

The little book of Bob

So, I am walking along Ponsonby Road this morning, pushing my way through the hordes of yummie mummies and their adorable over-achieving children (and let's not forget their wittily cross-bred dogs), when I came across a poster advertisement for a television show. It is called The Politically Correct Parenting Show and it is presented by Nigel Latta, who looks quite peculiar. Perhaps with this peculiarity in mind, the advertiser has augmented the poster with the reassuring message "he's one of us." I am sure the mummies and the daddies will feel all the better for that. They might otherwise have thought "hmm, a man of peculiar appearance who gives advice on parenting; he must be one of those academic types, one of those coves who holds post-modern views and doubtless leads an unconventional lifestyle which involves practices that have names only in French; not the sort of fellow I would want to have any influence over my parenting."

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:

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'.
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.

But then the copywriter continues:

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...'
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.

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".

"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.
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.

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.


LadyNews said...

Ugh, I read that quote from Bob with a sinking heart. Oh, you've worked with kids? You're clearly an expert on behavioural problems in children and ADHD. Fuck medical training and research: I had a conversation with a child once, surely that's more relevant. The cries of "over-medication!" always get to me personally because I work with people doing research with ADHD and as part of that I see how many people have to assess and re-assess children before a diagnosis is given, and I also see the numbers of children who are referred to our clinic and end up being told that actually their behaviour doesn't warrant pharmacotherapy (because it isn't ADHD). So if Bob wants to argue that parents/doctors don't know what typical child behaviour is and are medicating unneccesarily, maybe I could let him in on the numbers of children being referred for typical childlike behaviour who don't end up being stuffed full of drugs as he seems to imagine.

che tibby said...

hmmm... latta isn't actually all that bad.

his first show had some pretty good sensible stuff in it.

stuff like, "little boys like to run around and make noisy fun".

we went "WHOA!! HOLD THE PHONE!!"

che tibby said...

ps. the real surprise that is latta is actually very politically correct...

Boganette said...

Why are they quoting Bob. Again? WHY?? There is no reason. No reason. There has never been a reason to quote Bob.

stephen said...

Ah, that'd be the same Nigel Latta who appeared in the role of "skeptic" on Sensing Murder and proceeded to act like a complete patsy.

che tibby said...

yeah, that's him. total duffer.

his approach to raising kids was sensible but. the one where kids were actually allowed to take risks in play, *even though they might injury themselves* was good.

Anonymous said...

I turned off Latta because he appeared to have problem with boys showing emotion and used the term "big girl's blouse" in his technique of how to stop this *weird* 'showing of emotions' as quickly as possible :/

Latta sold out to the parenting INDUSTRY - of books, dvds, lectures..

It's a shame. He seemed very good at informing a naive NZ public about spotting a pedophile and preventing certain types of random abuse i.e. (like never leaving your younger child with a teenage son &/or his friends to babysit) ... he said (from his experience of working with STOP) that this is the age where experimenting (that way), coupled with little empathy, peer pressure, porn and risk taking leads to little ones being abused.

He might need to get back to that kind of educating and regain some credibility. Rather than telling non-PC parents what they want to hear.

Rich said...

"hmmm... latta isn't actually all that bad.

his first show had some pretty good sensible stuff in it."

Yes, but the whole thing was sold as if somehow we have all been cowed into cotton-wool parenting by a shadowy, unspecified...Them! And that he is some dangerously clear-eyed revolutionary who isn't afraid to stand up and talk truth to power on behalf of mum and dad kiwi battlers across the country, who wouldn't otherwise allow little timmy to ride his tricycle unless on OSH-prescribed foam rubber.

I could barely see Latta's face for all the straw from the strawmen flying around the studio.

che tibby said...

agree. as i say, surprisingly PC for an "unPC" show.

but who takes anything they see on TV as gospel?

commies, that's who.

Michael Wynd said...

I know you are not a fan of Bob, but inj this case he does know what he is talking about. There have been plenty of studies conducted by specialist paediatricians and psychiatrists as to the over-prescription drugs as a way of controlling children's behaviour. There is genuine concern that a pharmaceutical option is the first option rather than the fallback if all non-chemical options do not work. Isn't it a concern when the only option we can think of is medication?

LadyNews said...

Isn't it a concern when the only treatment option for a genuine medical condition is medication? Not especially. And anyway, the idea that the only treatment is medication in isolation is not the whole picture: as well as pharmacotherapy, the child and parents should also be involved in some sort of behavioural intervention. Optimal treatment isn't just pumping the child full of pills, it involves a lot more than that; however, medication definitely has a place.

Anonymous said...

And in British news, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs member Hans Christian Raabe was sacked from the council in question after engaging in a slur equating homosexuality with pedophilia back in 2005. Raabe also holds questionable beliefs that rubbish harm minimisation and risk reduction as drug policies.

Craig Y

indoor playground said...

I think Nigel Latta is great, use a lot of his tips and found it works! Kids are Kids after all. PS I think the comment about poking sticks in eyes was sarcasm by the way!