How NOT to Raise an ASSHOLE
I have to tell you something of extreme importance: no one — absolutely NO ONE— will love your child as much as you do. No one will think that they are as great as you do. Not a wife, husband, employer, teacher, coach — NO ONE.
So, what that means is that you have to dedicate yourself to not raising assholes. I would actually put this at the top of the list of long requirements for those of us raising kids:
- Feed them
- House them
- Clothe them
- Raise them not to be assholes
- Educate them
An educated asshole is still an asshole. An athletic asshole is still an asshole. You can’t out-earn, out-educate or out-run asshole-dom. It is universally repulsive.
I assume that no parent went into parenthood with the intention of raising an asshole; but some so easily fall into traps. Here are a 5 parental behaviors you may be inadvertently doing that will set your kid up to be an asshole:
- You constantly talk about the kid. Like ALL. OF. THE. TIME. There is one in every mothers’ group, family, or pack of friends. Though everyone has kids, this person obviously thinks their kid is superior because she doesn’t hesitate to go on endlessly about how little Jimmy broke the school record, and little Jimmy got braces, and little Jimmy is reading at the 6th grade level, how sweet it is was that little Jimmy walked the dog. Then they accompany each accomplishment with a picture posted on FaceBook (daily because everything little Jimmy does is great. “Did you see how cute he was eating his ice cream cone?). This is the problem: no one thinks your kid is better than their kid (no matter how many disingenuous likes and phony comments they give you). There are only two people who are convinced that Little Jimmy is better than everyone else —you and Little Jimmy.
- You require NOTHING of the kid. You have waited your entire life to be the mother or father of this special child. You relish in taking care of her. You clean her room, cut her sandwiches, and wash every dish. You don’t require her to do chores because you want her childhood to be magical—just as she is. But guess what, you’ve set her up to be a miserable roommate, houseguest, girlfriend, wife or partner. Not another soul will allow her to sit on her princess butt and do nothing.
- You are her best friend. Dear, please find yourself a friend who is your age because when you are your kid’s best friend, they think early-on that they are on an equal level with adults and struggle with respecting authority. One day he will have a boss, teacher or coach who will need to provide instruction to him, without him having a temper tantrum because he feels “disrespected.”
- You fight her battles for her. Don’t call every parent whose kid hurt your kid’s feelings. Don’t call the coach because she isn’t getting enough playing time (coaches want to win people. If she were better, the coach would play her—trust me). She needs to know to reason, explain herself, self advocate, make valid points, and be disappointed. If you have already placed a call or shown up at her college—it’s too late. You’ve raised an asshole.
- You don’t make him accept responsibility for his actions. This is the most important principle. Be clear—the rest of the world will hold him accountable. Nine times out of ten he didn’t do poorly in the class because the teacher sucked; his performance sucked. If you’ve had to move schools more than once—it’s your kid. If the kid keeps having problems because “everyone is jealous”—it’s probably your kid. If your kid has been fired from more than one job—it’s your kid. If you allow him to blame other kids, teachers, traffic, jealousy, or even you, he will never take responsibility, never learn from his mistakes, never grow. He needs to be comfortable with saying, “I was wrong”, “I’m sorry”, “I own this problem”, “I need to work on myself”, “I am disappointed in my behavior and myself.” If you do not encourage (actually force) your child to own his mistakes and accept responsibility when he is younger, you will still be making excuses for him when he is older and you will have raised a reckless, selfish, human being–or rather–an asshole.
It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts. Mahatma Gandhi
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more