Parental behaviors, biases topic of lecture

By Ben Hyatt

Bill Swinford is going to tell UK students things their parents won’t.

As part of UK’s Final Word lecture series, which invites professors to discuss topics outside of their areas of focus, Swinford said he hopes students will see that the behaviors of their parents are part of a universal parenting code.

“Today’s society requires us to behave in a certain manner, and it is the responsibility of the parents to enforce that behavior on their children,” said Swinford, UK’s director of policy analysis.

The lecture, tonight at 6 in the W.T. Young Library auditorium, will give students the chance to “discuss with other students how their parents act on a day to day basis,” Swinford said.

The idea for his speech, “The Things Your Parents Won’t Tell You,” came from the personal interactions and experiences he has with his four children, he said.

Swinford said he first realized the way society requires students to act when his child came home from preschool with a letter telling the child to work on coloring inside the lines.

He plans to discuss the role parents play in teaching their children and also to try to provide a better understanding of both wrong and right biases and perspectives that parents can give their children.

“We are not very transparent about our motivations,” Swinford said. “This forum is designed to discuss why parents say the things they say and how they mean it.”

The forum is meant for students and parents alike who feel they don’t have a clear understanding of parenting roles, Swinford said.

“Not only do I want students to understand their parents more, I want students to be more aware of how to be a parent as well,” he said.

The forum will be a learning experience for everyone, including those who have children already, Swinford said.

“There are things parents don’t get about their children; there are things children don’t get about their parents,” he said. “Hopefully we can take this time to better understand each other.”

Even though students don’t want to think about being parents yet, they should consider that the time might not be far off in the future, said Meghan Bostic, director of engaging issues for Student Activities Board, which sponsors the Final Word series.