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 #1: Make good choices (Dad)

About 15.69 percent of my parenting self wishes that I could control the world so that you would never have to confront difficulty, experience failure, or have your heart broken into a million tiny pieces and strewn about in a sea of despair.

Alas, if you lived in such a world, while you might be “safe” in the strictest sense of the word, your life would be  lacking in texture and depth. You see, that other 84.31 percent believes that how you will grow as a person and become uniquely you is by venturing out into the world and experiencing heartache, jubilation, frustration, and accomplishment.

As you explore the world, it is our job to give you enough direction so that you will be equipped to, as your grandmother still says to her children and grandchildren, “Make good choices.” Some directions will be familiar: “Don’t light anything on fire, don’t get arrested, and don’t torment young children.” Other directions are more broad: “Be kind, think of others, stand up for yourself, fall in love, be open to the possibilities, and don’t forget your mom’s birthday.” Specific or general, all are meant to help you, yes, make good choices.

The guidance we offer changes as you and your parents mature, but our hope remains the same: that you go into the world, experience the breadth of wonder that exists within it, and thrive as a person in body, mind, and spirit.

So go, make good choices, take responsibility when your choices don’t quite work out, and don’t forget to call.

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