Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #5: Ask for help (Dad)

In a world where self-reliance is lifted up, admitting you need help, asking for help, and accepting help are hard to do.

But dear, sweet independent ones, in your life you will need help. Be it in academics, athletics, work, or anywhere else, over time you must learn the best ways to seek and accept help.

In this case, I am not talking about help relating to work tasks, math problems, or soccer moves, but as it relates to your emotional and physical health. We live in a world where in times of distress, “taking one for the team,” “toughing it out,” and “sucking it up” are seen as positive attributes, and we are taught that seeking help is a sign of weakness. This life approach is not helpful because when you avoid or ignore genuine emotional and physical trauma, you risk things getting worse, not better.

When it comes to your body, don’t risk a lifetime of injury and pain because going to the doctor is inconvenient or you don’t want to appear weak. If the doctor clears you to play, fine, but remember: you’re not a doctor, and even if you were, it’s said that doctors make the worst patients.

When it comes to your emotional state of being, if you ever feel overwhelmed by life, please talk with someone. Do not let yourself get to the point of believing that there is nowhere to turn or that ending your own life is the only way to alleviate the pain and struggle. It’s not. It. Is. Not.

In the end, listen to your body and listen to your soul, and when either cry out for help—ask for it.

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