This is an excerpt 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.
The origin story
The impetus for writing this book came from our friend Jenn. She posted a Facebook update in response to an incident at a local pool with her daughter, Koi, pleading to the parenting universe:
I rarely (if ever) give parenting “advice” on Facebook…mainly because I’m NO role model. I’m often lazy, lose my temper over stupid shit, and seem to have poor judgment when Koi is sick (I either underreact or overreact). But I always try to teach her to be kind to people (well, she naturally is anyway). I try to teach her to follow the rules: wait your turn, never ever express anger through violence, and don’t take other people’s stuff—that sort of thing.
With that being said, I feel as a parent, we have ONE job with our kids: NOT TO RAISE ASSHOLES. Why is that so hard? Please enlighten me—what are the benefits of raising children to grow up to be selfish jerks?
Enlighten me. What is the benefit of raising kids who are assholes, who will later grow up to be adults who are assholes. Please educate me on the benefits of asshole-itry. Thank you for listening. And good night.
After reading that post from Jenn, we were inspired. You see, not only is the asshole’s cousin the “asshat,” one of Bruce’s favorite words of all time, but also Jenn is absolutely correct in her plea to all parents and raisers of children. It really does seems so simple, yet we know it is not.
Parenting is chaotic, messy, and filled with emotional landmines just waiting for unsuspecting parents to explode with one misstep and banish all parties to assholedom for all eternity. At the same time, we know that most kids are not, in fact, being raised to be assholes. We choose to believe that most children have parental and communal influences that are doing their best to raise humans who are kind, compassionate, and just. It’s just that in the chaos and muck of life, there are times when we could all use a little help.
So it is with great joy that we offer a big bag of thanks to Jenn for inspiring us to take on this project. She has challenged us to think about who we are as parents and to be courageous and confident enough to put to paper our best ideas that may address her initial call not to raise assholes—or asshats.
Pick up your copy of Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children on Amazon