My friend Brett Berk got a very early start as a teacher, and by the time he was twenty-five, he was the director of a progressive preschool in the East Village in New York City. Blocks, clay, and instead of costumes, the kids had scraps of fabric they could adorn themselves with. There were occasional guest appearances from a gay, pink haired Cherokee performance artist. There was a lot of rolling around in Tompkins Square Park.
So by the time he was thirty and his friends started having kids, Brett had been working professionally with kids for a long time. And after watching us flail around for a few years as early parents, he figured he’d write a book about us, and for us. The Gay Uncle’s Guide To Parenting was born. In this conversation we talk about some of the hilarious choices he’s seen parents make, and what he makes of them. We talk about poop and sleep and food and what, in his mind, the job of parenting is all about. Welcome.
About Brett Berk
Brett Berk, M.S. Ed., has worked professionally with young children and families in New York City for almost twenty-five years, holding positions as a classroom teacher, a preschool director, and an educational consultant and evaluator. He is a widely published writer on issues pertaining to parenthood and child development, with articles appearing in Babble, Cookie, Momlogic, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out New York Kids, Parenting, Yahoo! Shine, and Vanity Fair, among others. He is also the author of the humorous instructional non-fiction book “The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting” (Crown, 2008)
In addition to his work in early childhood, Brett publishes widely on cars and the auto industry. Foremost among his outlets, he is the automotive columnist for Vanity Fair, and Writer At Large for Time Inc.’s newly launched site The Drive, where he writes about cars and their relationship to our larger culture. keep up with him at brettberk.com.
Here’s a picture of Brett and a sheep.