How Not to Raise an Asshole (and other parenting thoughts)


Over the years, I have tolerated a lot of snide comments about how I am ruining my child (and the world) by choosing to forgo punishments and rewards in favor of something less controlling.

I have also seen and heard a lot of banter on the internet begging instructing parents on "how not to raise an asshole."

It appears there's a lot of sanctimonious judgment of children (and parents) floating around in cyberspace these days. 

So, I thought I'd jot down a couple of quick tips that I've come to rely on in my own parenting journey.  

STOP reading here if you can't handle the F-word or bear to see me devolve into the crass and vulgar. If you want clean, compassionate, and empathetic - click HERE, but if you want my honest, unfiltered, fucking opinion - keep reading.

How to NOT Raise an Asshole in Five Easy Steps.

1. Stop using fear.

Do you know what happens when you threaten, scream, and shout?

You scare people.

You know what happens when people are scared?

They shut down.
They threaten others.
They scream and shout.
They even run away.

Basically, they make BAD decisions because they're so wrapped up in fear that they can't think straight.

Their brains turn off, and they forget everything they "know." 

Using the "fear of God," the "eye," a belt - or whatever else you deem sufficiently frightening - does not raise a responsible person.

It raises cortisol levels.

Raising-an-Asshole Predictor: Dangerously Close

2. Stop ignoring your child's emotions saying nobody coddled you.

That's why you fucking scream and shout when children with neanderthal-type-executive-function ignore you - because no one ever listened to those important behavioral clues called feelings YOU and now that you're bigger and stronger, you're hell-bent on making sure that never happens again.

Validating emotions doesn't mean you agree with your child or that you allow unsafe behavior. It means you're a fucking adult who doesn't get offended by developmentally typical behaviors. 

Kids learn what they live. Ignore their feelings and needs, and they'll surely ignore you and everyone else.

Raising-an-Asshole Predictor: Slippery Slope


3. Stop fucking yelling at your kids. 

Why? Because when people get screamed at - it makes them want to yell back. 

Maybe not at YOU - but at the smaller more pinchable sibling over there? Yeah, they're excellent target practice!

And besides, it's just not nice. I don't do things for people who yell at me (unless they're making me food). Long-term sustainability effect: nil, nada, zip.

Raising-an-Asshole Predictor: Aiming High


4. Stop punishing and rewarding kids for learning to grow up.

You know why? 

Because it makes kids think that they should be rewarded for doing maturity or that they're the ONLY ones acting out or making mistakes.

It also makes them selfish and sneaky. Avoiding punishment and seeking approval through "stuff" become top priorities over things like caring and making thoughtful decisions.

Do you know how kids avoid punishment?

They sneak, lie, blame, and deny, Deny, DENY

They don't think about doing the right thing because the brain will do anything for another dump of dopamine (cupcake, privilege, or star on the chores chart).

Unfortunately, kids don't learn personal responsibility or accountability.

They learn to force their way - or get away - at all costs. And, if they fail trying, they resort back to deny, deny, deny.

They never consider the effects of their behavior on others because punishment and praise train them to be self-absorbed instead of self-aware.

Raising-an-Asshole Predictor: Pretty Much a Yes

5. Stop with the fucking name-calling already. 

Jimmy doesn't need to hear that he's spoiled, ridiculous, a handful, impolite, smart-mouthed, rude, being a baby or that you're sick of his shit.

You know what that does? It makes Jimmy feel bad. You know what happens when people feel bad about themselves? 

They start to live up to those standards.

It does not give Jimmy the confidence to say, "Hell yeah, I can change my behavior. I got this. I'm practicing. I made a mistake, but I can try again."

It makes him think, "I'm only a suck-ass disappointment, so why try and be anything else?"

And besides creating a judgmental asshole - it's just rude.

Raising-an-Asshole Predictor: Guaranteed

I think most people are under the assumption that you have to squash any negative behavior with an unrelenting-iron-fist, lest you run the risk of raising an asshole.

Believe me, the most important thing you can do is BE the kind of adult that you want your child to grow up to be. 

Gandhi had the right idea. Be the change you want to see. A good model is priceless.

While this tongue-in-cheek expression of my feelings shares what not to do, I would never leave you stranded there alone.

If you've gotten this far without getting pissed off, c
lick HERE and I'll teach you everything I know about raising kind, compassionate kids - instead of little assholes.


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