"Go the F*** to Sleep" not funny

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 06/28/2011 ( 84 moms have responded )

4,455

6

402

(CNN) -- "Go the F*** to Sleep" is being hailed as a cathartic children's book for parents. Beautifully illustrated and written in the same witty prose style as generations of beloved bedtime storybooks, this read has made a startling climb to the No. 1 spot on Amazon and as a New York Times Bestseller.

Who can explain it?

As the title suggests, "Go the F*** to Sleep" mocks the parental frustrations of trying to lay a child down to bed. Crass in concept and execution, this is an expletive-filled bedtime story intended solely for the amusement of parents.

Joan Demarest is an attorney in Corvallis, Oregon, and the mother of three young boys. Demarest told me that initially she thought the book was funny. That was before she read it. "Now I find it unsettling. I don't like violent language in association with children."

She has good reason to be concerned about the message behind such a parody. Demarest was the prosecuting attorney in one of Oregon's most high-profile child murder cases. She understands the fear that far too many children endure because the lines of what's appropriate parenting have become blurred.

Nobody is suggesting that there's a connection between Adam Mansbach's book and child abuse or child neglect. Still, there's no denying the reason "Go the F*** to Sleep" should be kept out of reach of children is because of its violent language and because of the way it demeans children.

"Imagine if this were written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos," says Dr. David Arredondo. He is an expert on child development and founder of The Children's Program, in the San Francisco metropolitan area, which provides consultation and training for those working with troubled youths.

It is hard to imagine this kind of humor being tolerated by any of the marginalized groups Arredondo cited. Consider the lines on page 3:

"The eagles who soar thru the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run and creep.
I know you are not thirsty. That's bulls**t.
Stop lying.
Lie the f*** down, my darling, and sleep."

The irony, says Arredondo, is that the people buying the book are probably good parents.

Bedtime story: Go the bleep to sleep

"The people reading this book are educated parents, who actually care about their children and are frustrated that often their children don't behave the way storybooks display."

Parents often don't act in the way storybooks depict either. Putting kids to bed can be a challenge, and it may be an even bigger problem for this generation of parents because the sacred bedtime ritual of reading to children has gone away.

"I think it's pretty important to note that most kids in this country do not get read to at all when they go to sleep," Arredondo says.

That lack of interaction between parent and child troubles him.

"It's a big problem" he says. "There is nothing in the cosmos, nothing known to man, that comes remotely close to the complexity and the elegance of the architect of every child's brain as it is developing. Neglect of a developing child's brain is a terrible thing."

We hex our children when we fail to read to them, he says; a child's developing brain makes connections at the rate of 1,000 per second. That's why children require copious amount of attention and stimulation. When they are denied that, they suffer.


Author Adam Mansbach is undoubtedly the kind of father who heaps love, affection and attention upon his daughter. (He reportedly had the idea to write the book because of his exasperation with her at bedtime.) But sadly, his book accurately portrays the hostile environment in which too many children grow up.

For far too many kids, the obscenities found in Mansbach's book are a common, everyday household language. Swearing is how parents across the social, educational and economic strata express their disappointments or anxieties, their frustrations and outright anger at their children. Sometimes the biggest bully in the neighborhood lives in the same house you do. Sometimes it's your parent.

Perhaps the reason Mansbach's book resonates isn't so much because of the humor, but because of the truth behind it.

The violent language of "Go the F*** to Sleep" is not the least bit funny, when one considers how many neglected children fall asleep each night praying for a parent who'd care enough to hold them, nurture them and read to them.

You know, like all those parents depicted in all those beautifully illustrated storybooks.

***Woudl you buy this book?***
***Could this book be Detrimental to parents reading this***

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lady Heather - posted on 06/28/2011

2,448

17

91

It is not a kids book and to me it's hilarious. I read to my kid every night. Her dad reads a book and I read a book and we each get a kiss and a hug and the dog gets a hug and she's off to sleep. I don't see why this book has anything at all to do with parents not reading to their kids. It's a book for parents to laugh at and really shouldn't be taken this seriously.

I really hate when people suck the fun out of shit.

Jenny - posted on 06/28/2011

4,426

16

129

Are people so fucking stupid as to think this book was intended as a children's bedtime story? The writer of that commentary is an idiot and needs to lighten the fuck up. Adults are allowed to laugh too. Fuck is not violent language, it's an extra big exclamation mark.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

21,273

9

3058

I think it is a pretty funny book. It just shows how frustrating bedtime can be. It is pretty clever. I think it lets parents know they are not alone in the bedtime battle. You don't like it, don't buy or read it. Simple as that.

Rosie - posted on 06/28/2011

8,657

30

321

who the fuck cares? it' a book meant to make humor out of a stressful time. the political correctness in this world pisses me off sometimes.

[deleted account]

It is absolutely a funny book. And it is not meant for children, at all, but for the parents. Its there to say, "hey, its okay, we've all been there."
Whats happened to our society where we can no longer even laugh?

84 Comments

View replies by

Chasity - posted on 07/07/2011

180

23

14

I think the issue here is some of use are ok with swearing and some us us are not. Me and myself I understand the humor of a joke but I do no feel I need to think such harsh ways to get my point across. If someone looked at you and said now why the fuck is your kid not in bed??? I think you would have a shit fit? Wouldnt you?

Tiffany - posted on 07/07/2011

435

41

10

I think it's hilarious! Come on, lighten up! It is NOT meant to read to your child and I would never read it to my child. But how many of you can honestly say you have never been that frustrated where you say in your head just go the bleep to sleep? It's just a funny book/audio for parents to laugh at and unwind with...and having Samuel L Jackson doing the audio for it? Genius.

Katherine - posted on 07/04/2011

65,420

232

5195

Just read it. Pretty crass. But it WAS funny. Not something I'm going to read again though, even though I swear, there were a ton of swear words in it.

He might have well have said, "Go to sleep you little mother fucker." The way he was talking.

[deleted account]

Oh my i thought it a 5am this morning when my 3yr old came in and wanted to talk. My head was screaming " go the fuck back to sleep" while i was saying " It's still sleep time, go to sleep"

Angela - posted on 07/04/2011

2,216

33

37

WTF???? J/K but I never would have thought to say that to my child...however I have felt it.... for SURE.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't buy it or read it, but I guarantee I've thought a much cleaner version (I don't use that word) on a VERY regular basis when I'm lying there wanting to go to sleep and my son will NOT stop talking....

Casey - posted on 07/01/2011

633

37

104

I don't have a problem with it and I think the people who do either need to chill the hell out and get a sense of humor or just not read it, it's not something that I would bother to buy myself but I don't have a problem with it at all.
I've lost count over the last three years that I have been a mother of how many times I have thought to myself "go the f*** to sleep" lol and I have even muttered it more then a few times under my breath too, does that make me a bad parent NO, does it mean that I don't care about my children NO, it just means that sometimes I really do just want them to just "go the f*** to sleep" lol.

Stifler's - posted on 07/01/2011

15,141

154

604

LOL Kunang... that is EXACTLY what I think. Hurry up and go to sleep so I can spend time without you... and I make no apologies for it.

[deleted account]

I just wanted to share my discovery with all of you. The child safe alternative to the f-word in Australia is "fruit tingles". It's actually a lolly, like lifesavers. I'd never heard that before this week when a friend got all flustered and in order not to swear in front of the boys she yells out "Oh FRUIT TINGLES!" It's a bit like saying sugar instead of shit, but I thought it was cute.

Rosie - posted on 07/01/2011

8,657

30

321

you do realize kunang it's not meant to be read to children right?

as for those who think it's disgusting, and people shouldn't be thinking that way about their child.... if you've never thought to yourself "please go to sleep" well i'd say you are lying. you may have never though go the fuck to sleep if you aren't accustomed to swearing, but it's the same damn thing as saying please go to sleep. just with a little finesse..;P

[deleted account]

You're right Kunang, it's much better that we repress all that we think with absolutely no safe outlet (such as humor.)

I'm off to eat an Irish baby for dinner.

Kunang - posted on 07/01/2011

0

0

7

No I wouldn't buy this book. Nor would I borrow it from the library. Its a poor choice is bedtime reading and is basically saying to a child 'I've had enough of you, hurry up and get the f**k to bed, so I can spend time without you.' Kids these days are inundated with violence through all sorts of media, they don't need their one source of love and nurturing to get on the sarcastic, bullying, violent bandwagon. Even if it is a joke, adults minds are much more developed than childrens, so what might appear to be a joke to adults might be taken seriously by children even if they don't show it.

Xandria - posted on 07/01/2011

148

26

9

Anyone who says that they haven't thought that or something fairly close is on more than Prozac. I love my daughter but there are days when all I can think is "JFC would you take your a$$ to bed already, can I get five minutes to myself!" I heard it a few weeks ago and I was doubled over on the sofa laughing. I love Samuel L. Jackson.

That being said, would i read it to my daughter, No. But I can't read about half of the books that I read to my daughter. Who would think that you would read this to your child. I mean really, I work in a library, and the stuff that some parents complain about will make your head spin. If you have a problem with a book guess what, you don't have to buy it.

As someone posted earlier the parents who do tell their kids to "go to fuck" to sleep don't read books and especially not to their kids. I love my daughter, I love the book, and I don't see why I can't do both.

Audrey - posted on 07/01/2011

143

29

11

just one more thing for snoody parents to get mad about. i dont care who you are, you cant sit there and say youve never gotten so frustrated with bedtime that you didnt wish they would just go the f to sleep. no parent is that perfect. whoever is getting their panties in a wad over this needs to chill out and stop taking themselves so seriously.

Merry - posted on 07/01/2011

9,274

169

263

Yup my mind is full of swears, I just don't usually say them cuz Eric would repeat them.

But of course I've thought that when trying to get my kids to sleep.

I'm also a nurse kids to sleep bedsharing type ap mom.

:)

Momof1 - posted on 07/01/2011

528

0

17

I haven't read the book. I don't know if I would buy it, but I would read it, maybe get it from the library... if they had it there. LOL I have definitely had the thought "go to f to sleep!" I don't know how any parent wouldn't think that. Especially when nothing is wrong and the baby should be tired. Obviously this isn't meant to be read to kids, but why shouldn't adults read it?

Minnie - posted on 06/30/2011

7,076

9

788

I've nursed my almost three year old to bed every night of her life so far and I assure you I've thought those exact words. Does that dash the idealistic AP parent against the wall, now? I guarantee you I was thinking those at around 19 months when I hadn't yet caught on to the fact that she was DONE with naps and laid in bed nursing a wiggly toddler for 1 1/2 hours every night wondering WHY she wouldn't fall asleep.

Charlie - posted on 06/30/2011

11,203

111

409

Amanda Im confused , what does one have to do with the other ?
This isnt a childrens book so I fail to see how that affects reading to your child before bed.

Amanda - posted on 06/30/2011

344

44

9

nope i would not buy this book...and i read to my children every night since the time they were in my belly!!

Charlie - posted on 06/30/2011

11,203

111

409

Soon stand up comedy will be shunned because how DARE we poke fun at ourselves !

And that is what the book does , it pokes fun at THE PARENT in relation to their feelings.

It's funny nichole that you would be against it considering how obnoxious you claim to be in your previous thread.

Christina - posted on 06/30/2011

1,513

28

142

Nichole, are you honestly telling me that you have never been so exhausted from holding a screaming infant that hasn't stopped crying for days on end, or even worse, months on end? Have you never thought, "WTF have I gotten myself into?" How many children do you have? I was so conservative with my first child. The more I had, the more laid back I got.
But if there is actually a parent out there who has never been so sleep deprived or so exhausted from dealing with screaming children, or fighting children, or sick children, or a colicky infant that they have never thought, "I was fucking crazy! Why the hell did I decide to have a child?" then that parent must have a mutant spawn for a child. Because all of my friends have a lot of kids like I do, and even the one that is most conservative and NEVER swears or says mean things admitted to me one night when her first born was about 9mnths old, "I'm losing my fucking mind!" It was the first time I ever heard her swear and I've only heard her swear once since then (when she was pregnant with her second) and we've been best friends for the past 16yrs!
There is nothing wrong with a book that gives comic relief to something as parents we've all experienced. At least the ones who gave birth to human babies and don't have nannies.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/30/2011

12,224

26

264

I would never buy it............ wow. 1 joke is funny, an entire book created in anger over children and normal and parental issues? Not funny at all.

Casey - posted on 06/30/2011

35

19

0

Really?! Since when is everything so serious? As stated in the author's disclaimer, this is an ADULT book, not intended for use by/for/with children. As a parent, there are times when every human emotion is experienced. The author intends the book as a way to blow off that frustration with humor. Sadly, there are many expletives in the book, but again; it is intended for ADULTS. And sadly, much of that comes from a society where that language is accepted and even encouraged (although you will not hear it in my home). Get a sense of humor.

Christina - posted on 06/30/2011

1,513

28

142

As a mom of FIVE children, two with autism that do not sleep very well at all, I will fully admit there have been many nights where I would think to myself, "If you would just fucking go to sleep....!" I am determined to buy this book and read it.
I have a lot of books that I would never let my children read. They are not appropriate. But just because I read them as an adult does not make me a bad mom, just like this book doesn't mean you are a bad parent.

[deleted account]

Chasity, My daughter refused to go to sleep last night i can assure you by 10pm i was thinking it!

Emily - posted on 06/30/2011

7

0

0

I should add, after reading some of the comments, that reading the "self-edited" version to a child who can't read is not the same as reading this book to your kids. That is totally cool, no problems there. Unless your kid decides that they love the book so much and it becomes their favorite and they eventually learn to read it to themselves... that might be bad news.

Emily - posted on 06/30/2011

7

0

0

I own this book. It is funny, and it can help you laugh when all you want to do is bang your head against a wall in frustration. However, it is not a children's book. It is a book for adults. Period. Anyone who reads this book to their child has a lot more serious issues than occasionally being frustrated at bedtime like the rest of us. Would you let your child watch Southpark or listen to profane music? No. Because they are intended for adults, as is this book. And I highly recommend it to any adult who needs a laugh after a series of seemingly never ending bedtime battles.

Chasity - posted on 06/30/2011

180

23

14

Ok so I thought it was just the title (which in my mind would of been ok, if it stopped there) but as I read it its kind of disturbing. Although its for parents, who see's there children this way? Yes we all get mad and aggravated when our children keep getting up and down all night but I never once thought of such obscene things like this because of it.

Minnie - posted on 06/30/2011

7,076

9

788

Matt and I thought it hilarious. It reflects those thoughts that sometimes go through your head. And I'm an AP parent.

I did find it nice that dad did continue to get kiddo whatever he or she needed and stayed up with the child too.

[deleted account]

LOL Laura, the first time I heard it (in 2 languages simultaneously, knowing my father) I was probably 3 days post conception, if that. :-) Gotta love the Navy!



Edit to add: By the time I was 13, I knew a racial slur for almost every group of people on the planet. Thanks, dad!

[deleted account]

Joy, I actually did read it to them. Just edited out the MA rated words, although I'm not exactly sure why since they have already heard all those words out of their father's mouth (and on occasion mine).

Oddly enough, after hearing my 4 1/2 year old utter the f-word... in context, I might add... I started explaining about "adult words" and "kid words" and he could understand that some words are not for kids to use. Later that afternoon he scolded the neighbour's teenage son for "being naughty using adult words".

I think perhaps we get too hung up on the language, when many kids hear the words already. If not, it's easy enough to explain and even turn into a game. "Let's play how many words we can think of that mean the same as 'ass', but is a kid word!"

Oh oh oh, I should tell you that after reading this to my boys the 4 /2 year old said to me, "Mummy, this daddy sounds as frustrated as you did last week!" Yes, I think he was.

Charlie - posted on 06/29/2011

11,203

111

409

LOL Cooper wants me to read my books to him ....I was reading The hunger games and had to modify some of it ...he got bored anyway.

[deleted account]

LOL Donna! I wouldn't begin to bash you because you aren't really "reading" it to your kids. But I do think it would be funny as hell to see the looks on your kids' faces in the future, as older teens or adults, when they read it and say, "Heyyyy........something's not right...." LOL!

User - posted on 06/29/2011

566

9

47

Yeesh! Duh its not supposed to be read to kids! Ignorant people! Its for adults! Because honestly we have all reached that point with our children about bedtime! Dont even try to deny it!

[deleted account]

Okay, I'll admit that I'm one of those "assholes" who have read this book to my kids. Yup, go ahead and bash away.

My command of the English language is strong enough that I can actually read through some copy and edit it on the fly for children's consumption. That's saying something for someone who's NOT a native English speaker.

I loved this book from the moment I heard about it all the way through the Sam Jackson narrated YouTube version. Having him narrate the book was perfect, in my opinion.

Of course this was meant as an adult book, but because of the look of the book kids do get interested in it. Since mine don't read yet, I could have made up anything, like I do when they come to me with anything and everything with print in it. One afternoon, they decided they wanted "my stories" instead of any of their books. Just so happens "my story" was "Kiss the girls" by James Patterson. Do you think I read that to them word for word too?

As many have said, these people need to grow a sense of humour. There was actually nothing obscene in that book.

Rosie - posted on 06/29/2011

8,657

30

321

sharon there was one really funny one there. they were making fun of the people that thought the book was innapropriate.
This is the worst goodnight book I've ever read. It made my four year old cry every single night I read it to him. And then just the other night when it was time to put his baby brother down, he said, "Why won't he go the f*** to sleep?" What sort of lesson is that?

I don't normally give one star reviews. I would have given this a two star review if the authors had used a better word like "fudge" or "flock", as in "Go the Flock to Sleep", but now, thanks to this horrible book, my four year old is using the f-word every day and my baby son just said "flluch", so his first word was the f-word. Am I supposed to tell him this when he gets older? "Son, your first word was the f-word"? What's he going to grow up to be now? A tattoo parlor artist? A Democrat? This book is a disgrace.

sometimes i love internet trolls, lol.

[deleted account]

The first thing I thought after reading the article in the OP was "OH PUHLEEEZE!" I haven't read it yet, but I've seen enough reviews and heard enough comments from my friends to know that it's just a book that says out loud what ALL of us have thought at one point or another in our Mommy careers. For those of you who don't curse, you may not think "go the FUCK to sleep" but you most certainly have thought something along those lines, with the same feeling, just a more cleaned up version lol And I agree with Laura G. Any kid whose parent would read that book to them? The book is the least of their problems.....the person who wrote the article needs to remove the stick from their ass and lighten the hell up :P

Isobel - posted on 06/29/2011

9,849

0

286

If you are a child with the kind of asshole parent who would read this to you at bedtime...the book is the least of your problems.

Sarah - posted on 06/29/2011

5,465

31

344

I've just listened to the Samuel L Jackson narration and it's hilarious!

Anyone that would read it to their kids is an idiot....it's blatantly for adults (I figured that out by the word "fuck" in the title haha!) people complaining about it need to find a sense of humour! :)

[deleted account]

I guess it's only detrimental if you have zero sense of humor. for those who aren't aware, Jonathan Swift wasn't serious about his proposal either.

Charlie - posted on 06/28/2011

11,203

111

409

EVERYBODY , please refrain from reading Green eggs and ham to your child clearly it is promoting unsafe food as a substantial source of nutrients and we all know green eggs and ham are unsafe for consumption , anyone who would encourage such a thing is clearly abusing their child .



Think about it , how would you feel if people tried to feed green eggs and ham to women ......or only to the Jewish community or to Asian people .



It is heinous I tell you :p



Next adults wont be able to read historical war literature because it means THEY are violent or indulge in a murder mystery because surely it means they want to go and hack people up, and please for the love of the little children steer clear of Mills and Boon.

Jenn - posted on 06/28/2011

2,683

36

96

I think it's fuckin' hilarious! BUT, I would never buy the book or read it to my kids or let them see it or hear it.

Katherine - posted on 06/28/2011

65,420

232

5195

I can't WAIT to read it/buy it. It's raw and it's real. I love that. Besides the illustrations are gorgeous.
Seriously like Marina said don't flippin read it or buy it if you have a problem with it.

Katherine - posted on 06/28/2011

65,420

232

5195

I can't WAIT to read it/buy it. It's raw and it's real. I love that. Besides the illustrations are gorgeous.
Seriously like Marina said don't flippin read it or buy it if you have a problem with it.

Katherine - posted on 06/28/2011

65,420

232

5195

I can't WAIT to read it/buy it. It's raw and it's real. I love that. Besides the illustrations are gorgeous.
Seriously like Marina said don't flippin read it or buy it if you have a problem with it.

[deleted account]

What i shouldn't have read this to my kids? Jk. Seriously though its a book for crying out loud!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms