A Children’s Guide to Being an A$$hole

  1. Start a fight club with your siblings. Have working meetings during all the waking hours beginning at the ass crack of dawn. Fight about who’s the leader of the fight club. Always and only fight at max volume and highest pitch.
  2. Do not do ANYTHING unless Mom is screaming at you. Instructions given in the inside voice aren’t serious.
  3. Always strike back physically (i.e.: kicking, punching, hitting and/or biting) when antagonized by a sibling. This way, Mom’s blood pressure skyrockets and she has no idea who to punish because she doesn’t care who started it and she’s too busy looking for a corkscrew.
  4. Never, ever put anything back after you’ve used it. Just get up and casually walk away. Glue, Calico Critters, cookie cutters, glitter, Legos, 400 crayons, dirty dishes, used tissues. Eventually, Mom will get so tired of looking at it, she’ll do it herself. Hakuna Matata.
  5. On school mornings, make Mom drag you out of bed Weekend at Bernie’s style. On the weekends, blast the soundtrack to Moana as loudly as possible before the sun comes up (but don’t forget about fight club). Then once Mom is awake and sufficiently pissed, demand breakfast immediately because otherwise you will surely die of starvation.
  6. Take any and all commands as mere suggestions. Then decide whether or not it suits you to oblige.
  7. Cry about taking a shower every single night like it’s your job. Act as though the bath water is actually hot lava coming out of the faucet.
  8. Always consider your options when given a punishment ultimatum. Sometimes not complying is worth losing that toy you don’t really care THAT MUCH about because– let’s face it–you have way too much crap anyway.
  9. Do not, under any circumstances, eat the meal that is put in front of you, especially if it’s the same meal everyone else is eating. Pretend it’s poison. Demand special dietary accomodations like you’re Mariah Carey.
  10. Beg your parents to sign you up for expensive extra-curricular activities across town. Then, after two practices, make THEM beg YOU to go to said activities every week. Also, make sure to misplace at least one of the shoes required for wearing at this activity precisely one minute before it’s time to get in the car.
  11. Always try to see how much more you can squeeze out of Mom’s generosity. For example: If she takes you to get ice cream, immediately beg and whine to get multiple toppings. If she takes you to the movies, immediately beg and whine for an Icee AND some candy. If she buys you a bike, immediately beg and whine to go on a bike tour of Napa.
  12. When Mom says she’s in a hurry, pump the brakes and IMMEDIATELY slow the eff down. If she tells you to hurry, decide it’s time to poop.
  13. When you spill something, stand stock-still until someone else frantically springs into action (preferably Mom). Let milk/nail polish/syrup/amoxicillin drip off the counter right in front of your stone face without moving a muscle.
  14. Never replace a roll of toilet paper, lest Mom think you are capable. Also under this umbrella, never clean up your poop smears from the toilet seat.
  15. At bedtime, get out of bed NO LESS than 7 times before going to sleep–10 if Dad is out of town. Bonus if your room is upstairs and Mom has to walk you back each time. Some suggested complaints: thirst, hunger, fear, digestion problems, unfairness of sibling’s bedtime, impending heat stroke, freezing to death, lost library book, lack of appropriate music, old bug bites, general insomnia, grief over pet who died two years ago.
  16. Never put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Leave them on the floor where you took them off. UNLESS you changed your mind about what to wear, then you can put the discarded clean clothes in the dirty laundry basket. Never remove underwear from your inside out pants. And also make sure you leave your chapstick, gum, or a couple crayons in your pockets.
  17. Do your best to cry, whine, and complain like a boss at every opportunity while on vacation. Especially theme parks. Parents are particularly vulnerable at theme parks because they’re only there for your pleasure. And when you’re at the beach, act like Mom dictates the weather conditions and direct all your rage at her when you have to get out of the water during a lightning storm. Screaming fits encouraged.
  18. Always tearfully apologize and tell Mom you love her after she recovers from losing her shit. She’ll most likely forgive you and allow you live to see the light of another day.
    IMG_6372
    My own child at Disneyland diligently following rule #17, circa 2009.
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105 thoughts on “A Children’s Guide to Being an A$$hole”

      1. Because your president is a childish asshole, so the joke was relevant to this conversation. I hope since you’re on top of pointing out when people are being a jerk that you’re equally vigilant at pointing it out to him when Trump’s being a jerk (though that would be a full time job I think). The most effective way to lessen the ceaseless attacks on trump’s character all over the internet would be for him to start being a better person.

    1. Ashley, since you said YOUR president, I am assuming that you are not in the USA. If you are in fact in the US, he is your president too, whether you like it or not.

  1. If your child’s an ass you’ll want to look at who raised him. Or who failed to raise him. Children are a product of our parenting. If your child is off course it is your responsibility to help them but working on yourself.
    It puzzles me why when dealing with angry children no one wants to ask the child “why”? Start there but be prepared to not like the answer and assure them that you won’t be angry at them for being honest.

    1. Very well said. My child doesn’t do those things, because my child knows it won’t be tolerated in my house. If kids are acting this way, it’s not their fault. Being a parent is THE most difficult thing one will ever do, and if it isn’t, one is not doing it correctly.

      1. My three are grown and have families of their own. I too, had well behaved children because as you said, we didn’t tolerate those things in our house either. It is hard and takes constant supervision and correction. If you start out while they are very young it’s much, much easier on you and them later on, at least it was in our house. You can’t let them start doing things when they are toddlers, (screaming for example) that you are going to have to stop when they are older. Don’t let them start bad behavior in the first place. We used to get compliments on our children’s behavior. People would comment how well behaved they were and our reply was that they had better be because that’s what we expect out of them. They were great kids and they’re great adults too. Were they perfect? No, but, with what I’ve seen out of parents and kids today, they were a breeze compared. Very proud of all of them. It seems that people these days don’t want to take the time to teach their children and also don’t seem seem to know they, not their children, are in charge. They need structure and guidelines. The child is to bend to the will of their parent, not the other way around. When you let children have the upper hand you have nothing but chaos and sometimes have to start all over. Children are never in charge. Never. Supervision, persistence, and consistence is the key.

    2. @jstjude: Are you kidding me? Get real. You obviously don’t have kids, or if you do it’s just one, or they haven’t reached this age/phase yet. Plus, it’s supposed to be a light-hearted, somewhat-sarcastic-but-based-on-reality article. Get over yourself.

      1. I was just thinking the same thing. Why can’t people lighten up and just enjoy reading a tongue-in-cheek piece, every now and then. I TRULY doubt that anyone’s child/children do ALL these things. I personally LOL at some of her thoughts! I’ve raised my two children. They are fine adults today. But looking back, I’m sure some of this stuff probably happened, without them ending up in the principal’s office or even jail.

      1. “The child is to bend to the will of the parents” Oh dear, that smacks of some strange, deviant, bible thumping (not studying) deep in the woods, banjo playing, old time religion!!!!

    3. My first child was a breeze, walked, talked very early, huge vocab, sweet, never had any troubles. Even those toddler years. Honors classes, very well-behaved in the classroom. All he ever did that was annoying was that he constantly talked. I was so smug about other parents, so confident of my parenting skills. Then along came my second child. From the first day, literally, the first day, she cried all the time. Car ride? Screamed the whole time, not falling asleep. She didn’t cry ONLY if I was holding her and standing. Period. On it goes, the meanest little girl in preschool, all the way through her childhood career, she was only well-behaved, and did well in a class, for teachers she liked, not the strictest, or the nicest. Just for whatever reason, whom she clicked with. And that was RARE. Same with gymnastic coaches, dance teachers. We won’t even go into teenage years and the vague hope that “if they get out all their rebellion as a toddler they won’t need to as a teen.” I stopped thinking I was a great parent, kids are how they are. I got lucky with the first one, unlucky with the temperament of the second. They are both grown now, the little terror will be 25 in a few weeks. Great mom, a nice person, wise, insightful. I couldn’t have ever imagined how wonderful she would be. Kid one is 32. Still smart, sweet, kind and talks too much, lol.

      Humor pieces help people with the frustrations of parenting. It makes them feel like they aren’t isolated with their day to day life filled with constant demands, always thinking about everyone else’s needs before their own. AND questioning their parenting skills, feeling inadequate for the tremendous responsibility they have. Writings like the above help them be better parents; comments like yours does nothing but again make them question themselves, makes them feel defensive, or, just makes them think you are a jerk. This piece is not a parenting guide. Your comments and attitude are better off somewhere else and serve no purpose here to anyone, except you.

      1. Rachel, you lovely woman, you win the day with this comment. How marvelous and thoughtfully written. In fact, it could probably be written into a useful and well-received blog post of its own. Thank you for being you.

      2. Very well written Rachel. I would be honored to know you. You are a very wise woman. Thank you.

      3. Rachel, thank you. Your comments are both wise and kind — you managed to be kind even to the self-righteous, empathy-less person who started this thread. Thank you.

      4. Oh Rachel, I love you! I’m living that life now. Good to know there is hope for the 2nd child, who we think might be the spawn of satan and future leader of a prison gang. Thank you for putting these fools in their place – we need humor as much as we need water (or wine).

      5. Awesome response!!!… I am a single mother of 3…and I sure hope that my parenting skills are on point…hahha… well at least for me…. it’s not an easy job at all… Thank you for your post… Thank you for your response….

    4. Lol, you’re obviously NOT a parent or you only have 1 child. I mean, get real lady. All that stuff you just said sounds all fine and dandy until both parents have been working all day and patience is at a minimum.

    5. parents do bear responsibility, i raised 3 children and did not put up with much, also watched other children in my home and enjoyed it, none of those children were like my granddaughter, she is one of the most trying children i have ever dealt with, she has been that way since birth, taking care of her during her first year took years off my life, she is an energy vampire, be it one person or five, we have tried a variety of tactics, none have worked that well, glad she is going to school this year, so though the post was meant to be funny, some children are all of these things rolled into one

    6. not every child is angry because of their parents. children, just like adults have their own personalities. I am a pre school teacher and i see some children with God awful parents who bring their kids to school in the same clothes as the day before, dirty faces and a diaper that has clearly been slept in. this child is one of my most well behaved. the same goes for my “problem child’ , whose mother and father take very good care of him, always speak nicely to him and love on him with consistency. I live in a very small town so i see many of my parents outside of work and see how they treat their kids when they think no one is looking.
      I hate it when the parents are to blame. sometimes, the children are just difficult children.

    7. You know? You can be awesome parents and have pretty good kids but sometimes kids are punks. Finding the humor and commiserating with other parents makes you feel like you’re not a horrible person.

    8. Hey everyone! Look who’s f**king perfect?!
      Do go on, so we can all take notes on how to live a perfect life with perfect children like yours!

    9. @JSTJUDE et. al. …there is a difference between acting like an ass and fundamentally being an ass. The why of the behavior usually lies in typical childhood/developmental hurdles that kids outgrow.- not some deep fundamental existential inner workings in their minds. I have two completely different kids – if my second one was my first I would have clipped my tubes and called it a day… ease up Dr Phil and slow down on the judgement of others…..

  2. Never has their ever been a more true list written! I’m dying! Read it out loud to my hubs with the boys in the room. Fingers were pointed, (Nerf) shots fired, and crying by the youngest. He ran from the room after declaring, “Please stop! You’re saying I’m an A$$hole!” #18 by the end of the list! LOL!

  3. Mom of 4 & younger (2 & 8 mos) response:
    Number 1 Is this post for boy moms?
    Number 2 πŸ™„πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹πŸ˜«
    Number 3 Again, boy moms? (Oh, right. Scratching, hair-pulling, shoving heads into closest blunt object…… this is gonna get worse after toddlerhood, isn’t it? Sigh.)
    Number 4 NEVER gonna happen with MY children (πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) but seriously, I don’t clean
    Number 5 We’re homeschooling because mommy doesn’t function before 10am
    Number 6 can I still spank them when they’re 12?
    Number 7 what’s a “shower”? What’s a “bath”? (We use tushy wipes to “clean” ourselves. Except Daddy. Daddy showers daily. Even though he has no hair. Except on his chest and back. How is this fair? I digress.)
    Number 8 I’m gonna stick with Dollar Tree toys for longer than I originally expected
    Number 9 All the people in a family eat the same food during a meal? πŸ€—πŸ˜† I can’t. That’s a real thing?
    Number 10 Welp. We don’t “do” shoes so I guess that’s that.
    Number 11 Napa? 🀘
    Number 12 Huh?
    Number 13 We will never have nice things, will we?
    Number 14 The traditional toilet paper roll holder is the worst-designed piece of machinery on the face of the planet. I’m with the kids on this one.
    Number 15 Melatonin GUMMIES. Hello?
    Number 16 MY children will learn to do their own laundry at age 6. (Go ahead & laugh)
    Number 17 There’s a vacation in our future?!
    Number 18 The 2 year old is already telling me, “Don’t be mean, Mommy!” This ship has sailed.

  4. This made me cry with laughter! Especially number 8. So true. My 2 year old went to hit his little brother so I told him if he did it again no Thomas the Tank engine. Of course he did it again. After about 20min of a relatively quiet car journey a voice piped up “I no say sorry to George. I don’t want Thomas…” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! πŸ˜‚

  5. Aw, it’s nice to see someone with my sense of humor in this world full of woman who think their children are perfect and never throw fits in the middle of walmart because you didn’t let them get that glow in the dark fidget spinner.

  6. I loved this, it truly is what I go thru, live the “fight club”! To the people who want to shame you like you’re a bad mom, go eff yourselves, it’s comic relief, we’ve all been there, if you have a tight leash on your kids, good for you, but don’t judge others, we’re doing the best we can! If you can’t see the humor in it, you’re doing it wrong!

  7. Thank you for this! I am an ‘older’ woman raising two grandchildren I considered ‘feral’. Now I realize that I was comparing my memory of #18 and the ‘funny’ anecdotal events from my kids growing up years to the daily ‘reality’ of raising two children. Kinda like the pain of childbirth… otherwise why would you ever do it more than once. Thank you for making me laugh out loud.

    1. Hate to admit this BUT my 18 y/o going off to college son STILL has to poop when something important is happening 😩

  8. #15
    “Bonus if you’re room is upstairs and Mom has to walk you back each time.”
    you’re should be your.

    Great article!

  9. We thought we were great parents because our 1st kid was so good. One super-religious (just north of insane) neighbour actually said, “Your little ____ is how I imagine Christ was as a boy.” Then came son # 2. He was born in full rebellion. The only way I could shut him up was to put him in a front sling and stick a boob in his mouth. I carried him until he could walk. At two he dismantled his room (tore off the mouldings, peeled off the wallpaper, took out the bolts in the bunkbed and it collapsed while “the Christ child” was asleep in the top bunk. Some days I was ready to give him back to the wolves. We weren’t great parents, we were just lucky to have had a sweet, calm child first time around. Never mind. They are 51 and 44 now and both grew up to be wonderful men though they lived like rats in their room and fought like tigers as kids – the older one was small, the younger large for his age, and until they hit adolescence they wore the same size clothes. You do like mothers have done through the ages, you laugh, you cry, you love them to death (not literally!). You get through it and when they’re grown and you’re old you look back and realize those were the *sweetest* days of your life.

  10. Children behave this way because they are testing social boundaries in a safe environment where they will still be loved, even after they cross a line. Its part of the socialization process and how they learn to interact with people outside of their protected bubble. I’m not sure if I really believe this, but I have muttered it to myself over and over while searching for a corkscrew on many occasions.

  11. Hahahahaha… This is so true, even for us single parent Dad’s raising a now almost 7 year old. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! 😎

  12. An addendum to #5. If you wake up early on the weekend and interrupt your parent’s “alone time”, make sure to also stay up as late as possible that night as well. If there are multiple siblings, make sure you have a schedule made out beforehand, so the person who wakes up early doesn’t have to stay up late. If you are a single child, make sure you get a nap.

  13. #19. Refuse to eat breakfast at home because you’re fighting so successfully with your sib (see rule #1). Then become so upset with sib during the car ride to school that Mom has to pull over at the busiest intersection to let you out to vomit in the street. When you arrive at school, run to the cafeteria and begin eating french toast sticks because you’re so hungry. Bonus if Mom gets a call at work from the cafeteria, saying you’re out of money and running a debit on your account.

  14. If you and your brother are high-functioning autistics, bonus points all around. Not only are you an expert in math, Minecraft, Algodoo, Mario Kart and everything else digital, you have the circular argument down to a pure science. You will never make sense when frustrated, and that’s the key to having your parents lose their minds. Well done! Plus, the added quirks (holes in food, tattoos, social anxiety) put you on a pedestal well above the neurotypical. Outstanding, give yourself a round of applause!

  15. What has happened to discipline? Everyone afraid of going to jail? There is an old American Indian saying. It’s better for the child to cry than the parents. I witness little ones who have parents jumping thru the hoop at (2) years old. The crying at the slightest problem. I am hungry, tired, or just didn’t get my way. When you reward a young child for negative behavior with bribes you are sending the wrong message. Feeling compassion for a sobbing out of control child isn’t going to solve a thing. The use of the word NO goes unheeded and you wonder why. It’s poor parenting period. It’s easier to give the kid a toy, bottle, cookie to shut them up. Now that you have basically caved into this child they have learned how to manipulate mommy and daddy. Guess what it only gets worse with age. Like the iceberg that sank the Titanic. The problem only gets bigger and more expensive. Discipline needs to be revived as supported by the many whiney liberals who complain about everything not my fault.

    1. Oh my goodness. Please enlighten me some more oh wise one. Not once did she say how she handles this, so you are making huge assumptions. It is satire and meant to be silly, not a piece on how mom handles things, or a guide to discipline. Why are there always Judgy McJudgersons out there looking to find fault in everything? Lighten up and get over yourself, it is humor, or is that something too difficult to understand?

  16. Been there, done that, said for the love of Jesus so many times she has picked this up in her vocabulary. I feel like you are the fly on the wall.

  17. I’m amazed at the “parent shaming” comments left here. This was hilarious. My kids are raised and fine adults. We didn’t “tolerate” poor behavior, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t try it and often, succeed as a result of my exhaustion from raising four kids within five years of each other. Come on, this was FUNNY and even though I think my son and his wife are doing are wonderful job raising their two kids, I see my “perfect” angel g-babies in this story as well – because I’ve taken care of them and know how obstinate and stubborn they can be. This story reminds me of the “plotting cat” stories. Children will do their best to get their way and sometimes, we’re too tired to fight them. It’s about consistency not perfection.

  18. I don’t know how anyone could live like this; honestly this sounds like my idea of hell. II have no idea how y’all do this: the noise, the constant repeating yourself…Jesus. I’ve never been more sure of my choice to not have children as I am after reading this.

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