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 #2: Don’t be an asshat (Dad)

While I will undoubtedly have to make a substantial contribution to the family cuss cup for my generous use of the “A word,” it’s totally worth it. If you only remember a few lessons from this handbook, please make sure this is one of them. After all, I’m paying a lot of money to have it included.

There are a few things that make one decidedly not an asshat. Nonasshats know when to speak up and when to listen, value the experiences of others, and understand that kindness, compassion, humility, and thoughtfulness are essential traits as they go about life in their communities.

To be an asshat, however, is to believe that the world revolves around you, your needs, your whims, and your opinions—on all things. Asshats not only believe these things but freely let everyone else know. Asshats have something to say about everything, whether they have any knowledge of the topic or not. Asshats must have the last word. Every. Time. Asshats have little regard for the lives, feelings, or experiences of others, and when called on their asshattery, retreat into postures like, “You’re being too sensitive,” or “I’m just saying it like it is.” And a big Asshat Alert is any statement that begins with the words, “I don’t mean to be [sexist, racist, a jerk], but” because asshats think that that disclaimer gives them a pass for saying things that are, in fact, sexist, racist, and jerky.

This book is our attempt at giving you every chance to avoid adding to the level of asshaterry in the world. Read it well.

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