How not to raise assholes

I just read a blog post that might be the best piece of writing since Grapes of Wrath.  While this post applies to all mothers, it’s especially apropos for mothers of boys. My daughter constantly is lecturing my younger son on how not to be a d-bag. It’s quite entertaining to hear, but I think the advice she offers her brother is summed up in this post. So, my fellow parents of teens, I hope you heed the advice that this mother  of four boys,  shares. I know I’m going to take it to heart.


How Not to Raise Total A$$holes

Being the mom of 4 boys is not without its challenges.Understatement of the century! Every parent says they wish they had a handbook for these male beings that possess our hearts, yet test our patience daily. How in the world will we make it through childhood and teen years without raising a serial killer? Wait….you never asked yourself that question?

Well then, maybe you need to be writing this blog.

With my eldest now almost 20 (gulp), I look back and see some things that I did right and I can pat myself on the back. But there are things that I slacked on or downright missed. Thankfully he is a great kid, but who’s to say his brothers aren’t growing up to be complete a$$holes. I’m doing everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Below are things I have done, things I am trying to do, things I’m meaning to do and things I wish I did while bringing up 4 boys. I, by no means, am an expert in parenting, but these, I feel, are important to ensure you aren’t raising an a$$hole. Some are pretty obvious and some may take you by surprise.
  1. Teach them manners. There is a lot to be said for not just for saying “please” but also in my house, “ma’am” and “sir”. It was how I was raised and how I expect my kids to respond. I have to admit it makes me feel old when I hear another kid refer to me as “ma’am”. I have a moment of turning around looking for an old lady, followed immediately by “What a nice boy”. If my kid offends you by responding to you with “yes ma’am”, blame me. Kids should at least know the basics of “please, thank you, and excuse me” even if “ma’am and sir” aren’t your parenting cup-o-tea.
  2. Teach them to look up when someone is talking to them. Be engaged. My 3 younger boys struggle with this ALL THE TIME. Whether it’s a boy trait, an inherited response (I was a very shy kid), and/or social anxiety of some sort, it’s something we continue to work on. Realize this starts with you, the parent. When they speak to you, be engaged. Show them the same respect you ask of them.
  3. Explain to them when receiving a compliment, to always say “thank you”. If someone goes out of their way to praise my son, he needs to acknowledge their words in appreciation with a simple “thank you”. I’ve seen my kids turn away in embarrassment/shyness/stupidity when receiving a compliment. Then I realized I had dropped the ball on something very simple in explaining the importance of acknowledgement and appreciation. Recently my youngest son has smartassedly started saying “I know” when someone compliments him. At this point I want to throw in the towel as a parent and crawl in a hole but instead we are now working on #4.
  4. Teach them not to be cocky. To my boys; you aren’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. Granted, I think you’re awesome, but it’s because I have to. Others may not think you’re all that and a bag of chips. Like most parents, I am proud of my boys. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t lazy, sloppy, moody, pains in the neck too. You wanna be cocky? Scrub your toilet, take the dog out in 9 degree weather every morning, empty the dishwasher & refill it, vacuum the basement, iron your clothes (all without being asked), make 100’s on everything, volunteer every hour you’d rather be playing Xbox, save all your birthday money to buy your first car, and use your manners 100% of the time. THEN you can puff out your chest, mister. In the meantime, it’s my job as your mom to bring you back to reality.
  5. Help build their confidence. (not to be confused with #4) It’s hard as a parent to instill self-confidence in your son, especially as a mom because, remember, they go through the “Mom doesn’t know anything” phase. Encourage your kids daily even if you think they aren’t listening. They are. Help them set realistic goals that they can achieve. Praise them when they do something well, yet give encouragement when they fail. Help them to focus on their strengths. Even work on the siblings to help out in this department, too. I’ve found my eldest son’s encouragement and praise goes a long way with his younger brothers.


Click here to read 11 more tips. I like #16 the best!

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  1. gg January 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    This post should be on light poles and doorways everywhere. Teaching kids manners starts in the home. Kids are a reflection of their parents, to some degree. Great post!

  2. Stupid Girl and the Train Wreck January 11, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    You mean their not really the greatest thing since sliced bread??? I’m glad it’s not just my stepson that think he’s The universes gift the man kind. He’s nearing the 20 mark now and still thinks he’s amazing!

  3. Francesca Morosi January 12, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Very straight forward post- thanks for sharing your honesty

  4. Kristen January 13, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing my blog! I LOVED your piece on Axe body spray. I laughed out loud!
    I’ve bookmarked your site for future great reads on your parenting experiences. Laughing through this parenting craziness keeps the sanity in tact. Somewhat. 🙂
    Blood Sweat and cheers!


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