Nevada City, CA — Local technology worker Brent Underwood says he’s “got the whole kid thing figured out” despite not having any children of his own. Mr. Underwood says he’s got a unique understanding of child development and parenting wisdom from closely observing families for the past 5 years.
“I enjoy sharing my kid wisdom with my friends who have kids,” said a confident Mr. Underwood. “I have all kinds of insights. Being an engineer gives me an analytic perspective on all this. And besides, we all know that its hard to make the right choices when you’re in the middle of the noisy action. I know parents appreciate my feedback on how to raise their kids.”
The 32-year-old Mr. Underwood is not a software engineer but rather a customer support specialist at a local video technology company. He is single, but is currently dating someone he met on the popular dating site Plenty-of-Fish. And although he doesn’t have any children of his own, he is happy to dispense his self-proclaimed child rearing advice to anyone who’ll listen.
“Usually the first thing I do when I go over to a friend’s house with kids is comment how loud it is,” said a somewhat nervous yet oddly over-confident Mr. Underwood. “I mean, how can you have an adult conversation with a 3-year-old driving a yellow Tonka truck around the house screaming for macaroni and cheese? I know if I had kids, they’d never make that much noise. Letting the kids do things like this is just enabling them into bad behavior. It teaches them nothing about the real world.”
Gish Gallop reached out to some of Mr. Underwood’s friends to get their perspective on his child development recommendations.
“Look, we all love Brent,” said Warren Grant of Nevada City in a Gish Gallop telephone interview who also happens to have a degree in child development. “We just laugh his suggestions off. We know he means well, but there’s a lot that goes into raising kids. Most people who make comments like this assume that we’re not aware of what’s going on. We are. Complaints say more about the complainer than they do about how we’re caring for our children.”
According to Professor James Badwater of the University of Chicago, the Internet has given rise to the “everyone is an expert on everything” movement.
“You see it everywhere,” said Professor Badwater. “What I like to call strident “amateur expertise” used to be confined to social media and website comments sections. Now it’s spilling out into the real world like a mediocre John Carpenter film. Everyone has an opinion and advice about everything under the sun. The Internet has unfortunately empowered people to engage in things they should never go near. Sometimes with disastrous results.”
As for Mr. Brentwood, he’s started a Facebook Group called Nevada County Parenting Advice where anyone can come and hear what he has to say.
“I need a bigger platform for my advice,” continued Mr. Underwood. “So Facebook is the perfect place where I can be heard, and moderate-out anyone who tries to talk over me. I’m expecting it to be a hit.”