They were terrible. Okay. Not like breaking windows and lighting fires. Not like screaming obscenities. Or aggressively lashing out at me. But collectively, my boys, were being, as labeled by me — assholes.
And I don’t use that word to get a rise out of people. I don’t use it as click bait. If I were, it would have been in the title of this piece. But I use it due to a lack of other words to explain their outlandish attitudes. In the way of behavior as I know it, the two Oldests were being very assholey. Disrespectful. Whiney. Ungrateful. And just not the humans that I want them to be as we put our blood, sweat, and tears into them.
I adore my children. More now than ever before, in fact. I think they are endearing. Darling. Smart. Entertaining. Creative. And beyond. I stare at them in wonderment throughout the day. I sort of want to go snuggle up with them in the middle of the night. But sometimes… they can really be jerks.
Like… these tiny, perfect little beings that started so dependent on you… guess what, at some point, if you’re doing it like I think you probably should, they are going to want to practice independence. They are going to test you. They are going to make you wonder how on earth something as sweet as that little face can be such jerky jerks.
And sometimes, I’m gonna call them that. Not to their faces. Okay. Sometimes, to their faces. But never the asshole word to their faces. Because nowadays, that would be reported to authorities. But the jerk word. The rude word. The spoiled word. The crappy word. All the things that they are being, when they’re being it.
This is something I used to feel kinda bad about… I can’t call my children rude in front of someone else… I don’t want to hurt their feelings or embarrass them. Ummmm… I also don’t want them to be asshole people. So… it’s a balance.
Regardless, I’m pretty sure I’ve already provided my kids with plenty of fodder for therapy later in life. I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t somehow ruin my kids’ life at some point? But if I get to choose between people who are good to the world and aren’t lazy and jerky and ungrateful OR raising entitled, bratty, assholes, well, I’m gonna go with what’s behind door number 1.
So the other night, I decided to share on my Facebook page. I decided to share that I called my boys assholes to my husband. And I was FREAKING TERRIFIED that I might be split apart down the middle with the knife of the Internet Sanctiparents reprimanding me for using that word. Because they’re just babies. They’re only children. That’s terrible. Some might say.
But not my readers! We all agree! Our kids can be ASSHOLES. Our kids can also be fucking amazing. And they are always BEAUTIFUL. They are often times funny. They are entertaining. But… just like adulting humans, childrening humans can. be. jerks. assholes. tyrants. dictators. and the like.
So how do we deal? Well. I got some AWESOME advice for consequences.
Have your kids write letters to their siblings when they are mean to them. Or to their parents.
Send them to their room for the whole night. Be firm.
Try a button system.
Take away the things that mean most even if it hurts you. It will help them.
Make them do extra chores.
There were more and more great ideas on how to avenge asshole behavior. But more incredible… not one person shook their virtual finger at me. Because these. are. my. people.
When you blog, you hope to be in that sweet spot. That spot where you get to connect with people. But you don’t have to deal with the haters. And I. Am. There. In the land where my community is okay with Jesus and goodness but also okay with a little swearing and making fun of our kids. I love it. It’s a village. And it takes one to raise kids. But if you get in the wrong one, you will constantly question your parenting. You will forever feel guilty. You will feel like you are the worst.
But you’re not. At least not to me. To me, the fact that you can look at the face of that beautiful being of yours and love them all the while thinking jeez you suck right now but I’m gonna love you through it… well, you’re my type of people, people.
Our kids are assholes sometimes. They are messy. They are rude. But we don’t want them to learn that we are tolerant of that or even that we want to let it slide. This is the village I get to write in. One where we love our kids enough to admit they are not perfect. Where we love our kids enough to know we are not perfect. And I love it.
It shouldn’t matter… what people think of how you choose to parent. But if I’m being real, it does matter a little to me because I don’t want to royally screw my kids for life. I’d rather just give them enough to talk about to their siblings regarding “crazy mom” when I’m 67. And I think… I think that we are all in that boat together… rowing away tirelessly, one minute at a time. And being in the boat with others, well, that makes the rowing easier… more enjoyable… a shitton funnier… and really, quite gratifying.
Cheers to all of you for your asshole children, your advice, your patience, and this village! You are doing it right. At least… I think so.