Does reading to your children somehow give them an unfair advantage over less fortunate children? A British philosopher is making that claim, and it’s causing ripple waves across the globe. A story on the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s website asks: “Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” It raises the question: “Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?” “I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” British academic Adam Swift told ABC’s Joe Gelonesi.

“Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t – the difference in their life chances – is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,” Swift said. In his article, Gelonesi added: “This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion that perhaps – in the interests of leveling the playing field – bedtime stories should also be restricted.” Swift is a professor of political theory at the University of Warwick in the U.K., and the co-author of “Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships.” He was educated at Harvard University and Oxford University in the 1980s. MORE