My kid is an asshole. And your kid is an asshole, too.

This essay was originally published a year ago, and it is one of my favorites. Read through the comments — so many moms found it by googling “my kid is an asshole,” which tickles me to no end. I think of this post when I find myself tripped up with doubt over whether I should share something really personal — either in my work or in my relationships. The takeaway from the experience of this entire blog — in which I have so, so stretched out of my comfort zone — is that the truth is always right. That when you share a secret, you not only wash yourself of the shame attached to that secret, but the shame of others who hear you. And in that experience, you connect and love.

Is that too deep for this quirky post? Now I feel a little ashamed …

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
― Brené Brown 

 

A few weeks ago a guy I’d dated texted me. “You sound like such a good mom on your blog. I’m a disaster at being a single parent!” My response: “Start a blog and create your own reality!”

I shared this exchange with my brother, who reminded me that the previous week I reported about my 2-year-old: “That asshole shit his pants at the library.”

Because I wanted an excuse to keep the conversation going (say nothing of trying to downplay the sanctimonious tone I often take in this blog), I texted him about my potty-mouth parental antics.

Radio silence.

Not many people will admit to calling their kids bad names. Except, it seems, my friends. Everywhere I turn people I know are laying out how they really feel about their offspring. One of my oldest girlfriends has two great kids, yet she often refers to her daughter – an opinionated, defiant and bossy 7-year-old – as a bitch. A mommy friend in my neighborhood was so relieved by her daughter’s 5th birthday. “The worst age is 4,” she recently said over a dinner out. “Every single day my husband and I would say what an asshole she was.” At a family Halloween party, the hostess greeted me by rolling her eyes and saying of her preschooler, “Daniel has been a raging dick today.”

Some might shake a judgmental finger at parents like us. But I’ve noticed that moms and dads who use swear names to express their parental frustrations also have a unique respect for their children. We also have more fun with them — one of my top tips for thriving as a single mom (find the other 14 secrets in this free ebook) My friend with the bitchy daughter, for example, refers to her children as “people” – not kids. “Sam is a really thoughtful person,” she’ll say of her 12-year-old before launching into her myriad annoyances with him.

My friend whose daughter has graduated from her shitty preschool stage is described by her mother as “a person who gets really angry if she feels she’s not being heard,” and “the kind of girl who doesn’t have a lot of drive but will always be fine in the world.” Parents who view their kids as whole individuals, I find, are parents who have license to detest parts of their kids – just as they would any person. After all, as much as we may love our boss or neighbor, we likely describe them in with the occasional four-letter word. We don’t use those monikers to their faces. As we spend lots of time with our children and their many escalated moods, it’s normal these words are thrown around from time to time.

Describing our children with cusswords also signifies that we accept ourselves as whole people with complex feelings and thoughts. We are not robo-parents who only think, feel and say delightful and fair things about our kids.  If that were true, there would be no way to explain the runaway success of Go the F**k to Sleep, which sold 150,000 copies, hit Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller and was optioned by Fox. The illustrated book looks like a classic kid’s tale, but is clearly intended for parents – parents who sometimes hate their kids.

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.

The lambs have laid down with the sheep.

You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear

Please go the fuck to sleep.Did you read that book? Did you laugh? Congratulations. You’re a real person, a whole parent. And sometimes your kid’s an asshole.

125 thoughts on “My kid is an asshole. And your kid is an asshole, too.

  1. I almost think I can’t be friends with someone who can’t admit their kid is an asshole. Because, Good Lord, they are assholes. My daughter flung her milk across the room today because it was a half degree too hot for her. She’s an asshole, believe me. And so am I. I am the tree, she’s the apple. We are both assholes.

  2. I can relate 100%! My darling, perfect boys are really kind of jerks some times. Our closest friends occupy that “closest” status in part because we can talk to them about how jerky our respective children are. “Yeah, my son is kind of an asshole,” my friend said of his boy, who had just broken a toy of my younger son’s. Do you watch the show “The Middle”? In an early season, the dad says, of his teen son, “I think our son might be an idiot!”, which is pretty ballsy and awesome for network TV, where all parents are usually patsies and all kids are usually precocious and/or precious.

      1. thanks asshole you want to know y wer asshols because you adalts are the reall asshols your after all 40 and grow up in a difrent senchory so ya im 13 and you dont get it so ya thanks ass

        1. Im 11 and I would just like to say that you’re a fucking idiot. 1 your spelling makes me want to vomit and 2 these people obviously can’t even give two fucks because what you said was so stupid. I suggest never you never talk ahain. Your comment gave me cancer.

    1. To each her own. Wanker is a funny one – I mean, you’re basically calling your kid a dick, but in British parlance. Which may sound fancy to some, but just silly to others.

  3. My parents used to say it is not me or my brother, but our behavior that was bad. My kids aren’t assholes, they just behave like assholes from time to time : )

  4. All kids are assholes at some point. They, as kids, are born selfish and it is our job as parents to teach them how to be/act otherwise. I think the majority of the time these asshole moments are not deliberate insomuch as they are reactionary.

  5. >> All kids are assholes at some point. They, as kids, are born selfish and it is our job as parents to teach them how to be/act otherwise.

    Yup!

    1. Now I have 4 teenagers and when they act like assholes, I look them in the face and say “You’re an asshole”. Maybe I am taking it too far, but they know the real me and know how much I love them. Can I use the old “This will hurt me more than it hurts you.” No one wants their kid to be an asshole, but they all are sometime. As are we.

  6. Emma! I found your blog through Leah’s recent Facebook post. I love it and can’t wait to explore it a bit more. I can so relate to this. When my son was a baby, a friend made my day by complaining about her daughter and how hard and shitty parenting can be. She made it ‘OK’ for me to be honest with myself about my parenting expereince. Parts of parenting are great. Other parts suck.

  7. I loved reading this. Let me tell you how I stumbled on your blog.. By googling the exact phrase “children are assholes”. The fact is we’re all assholes sometimes. I love when people can see past society defined guidelines and just be real about it. I’ve probably never seen a bigger asshole than me when I’ve skipped breakfast and lunch and it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I’m standing in line at Costco. My kids are 17, 11, 5, & 4. They make my life incredible, beautiful, funny, heart wrenching, fulfilling and even still on a Friday afternoon I’m googling “children are assholes” so I can get a humorous reprieve from this gift of motherhood, so thanks again!

    1. LOL – exact same thing here! Having put myself in a time-out before I strangled my son, I googled “my kid is an asshole”. Goodness I’m glad I can across this blog! It cracked me up and I’m in a much better mood. Guess I’ll have to quit hiding now…

  8. Linda – this comment made me laugh aloud (aka LOL!).

    “They make my life incredible, beautiful, funny, heart wrenching, fulfilling and even still on a Friday afternoon I’m googling “children are assholes” ” hahah!

    Keep reading, hope to see you here again.

    Emma

  9. OMGosh! This was THE funniest I’ve read in quite a long time…ok…I’m guilty of feeling this way about my kids…mostly my 11 year old son. You will bust your but helping them, nurturing them, providing for them, and still, they can easily act obnoxious towards you and shrug their shoulders at your authority.

  10. Thanks for cracking me up! Some days asshole is the perfect word and somedays his actions are assinine. I also told my son “screw you, do it yourself” in a moment of intense frustration over homework. Everyone I confessed it to was relieved by the honesty. We’re all in this together, why not be real about it?

      1. thank you so much for this blog. I literally just found it a few minutes ago by googling, “my son is a fucking asshole please help” I am so glad that there is a place I can be honest about how frustrated and upset ive become without judgment thank you everyone for sharing and for listening. my sons are 12 and 4 – different fathers i am a single mother

        1. Hi Brianna – Did you skim the comments? So many parents found this post the same way. I always laugh aloud when someone writes that – I mean, we are human, we swear and WTF?! People are not angels immune from fault until their 18th birthday!!

  11. Glad I found this blog.
    I had never called my daughter names until recently. She is 23 now. She did something pretty vile to my husband and I to appease her boyfriend. I finally spouted off and called her the “C” word then told her she was fat. Even the mouthiest of my friends could not believe I did this. There is no way to take it back, and although she was initially in the wrong, I apologized for allowing myself to go there. Now her friends tell me “You don’t deserve her!”. Wow..

    23 long years lost in the blink of an eye. Never though in a million years she would do it.
    She almost ruined my husband’s career of 30 years. And we accrued a financial debt for her mistake. Yep – I was pretty hot for what she did,

    1. so sorry for your pain and loss but have to admit your post cracked me up! sometimes we start out right and end up wrong but I totally get how and why you reacted that way. just cause we are related doesnt make it ok for them to choose awful behaviour

  12. Actually, I rarely use the word asshole any more because an asshole is a very necessary part of the body. I have instead started using the word hemorrhoid since they originate in the same region but do nothing but burn, irritate and annoy. We had a neighbor at our old house who we called Hemorrhoid on the Hill. He hated being called that but it cracked us up. He knew we called him that because if I was out on the front porch having coffee and he walked past the dog would bark. I’d tell the dog to shut up it was only the hemorrhoid. He heard that plenty of time. I even made a shirt which really pissed him off that said Love thy neighbor… even if he is a hemorrhoid. Oh and my youngest daughter (who will be 34 next week) is a raging bitch!

    1. omg I love you! I love you all! this is the funniest best blog in the universe! I love my son but he is a hemorrhoid!!!!!

    2. my 4 year old is an asshole too! he keeps destroying everything he gets his hands on nothing is safe he sneaks off and hides under my bed and goes to town mostly chewing stuff apart like a naughty puppy but other times just ripping it apart with his hands.

    1. OMG Oria. I called my stepson a douchebag yesterday. He is. Problem is, I said it to his dad and hurt his feelings. I only meant that this kid is such a dick to his dad who does EVERYTHING for this kid (17 year old) and gets shit on in return. I know that kids can be awful to their parents, but he is pretty much an asshole to everyone given the chance. I guess I’m lucky in that the way I deal with it is to stay as far away from him as possible – because I can. Not the best way to have a loving relationship, but it works OK for us right now. He’s almost 18 and will be (oh please!) on his way out the door within months.

      1. I am so thankful to read your post. My step son is a 16 year old manipulative asshole. He blames his dad for everything in his life. He has done some very intentionally mean things and his dad and I are just waiting for him to turn 18 so he can live with his mom. I have a countdown going. I feel so much better knowing there are other parents out there with entitled, rude, mean kids. Thanks for this blog!!!!

  13. I found this post because I Googled, “my four-year-old is an asshole,” to get parenting advice. On how to keep myself from murdering him to death in his sleep. Thanks for making me laugh about it. *Breathing deeply.*

    1. Emma you are a genius! there should be an award given to you for this! thank you so much before i started reading this i was about to cry and probably murder my rotten ass kid

  14. Wicked funny. I thought I was being “evil” for thinking that of my 12 yr old son. He is truly an asshole. My husband and I have read a bazillion parenting books. My son has seen two therapists (neither did any good). We give him plenty of love and attention. We provide a comfortable daily routine, more than fair discipline, loads of time with friends, exciting activities, etc. And yet – the child is never happy, you can never do enough for him. He refuses to do homework. He lies constantly about all sorts of stupid shit. Is disrespectful at every turn. Insists on arguing with us –even when we are agreeing with him(!). He is an ASSHOLE. I can’t wait for him to grow up and leave home.

  15. LMAO…this is the first of your blogs that I have read…you have me in stitches…if only ALL parents would be this honest…maybe we wouldn’t have as many “criminals” on our hands…I have often referred to my son as an asshole…he now nearly 18 yrs old…so then I can tell him to his face…lol….my sister’s both refer to their daughters (13 and 6)as “a little bitch in training”….I laugh hysterically every time…thanks for the laugh!!

  16. I will never forget the first time the word slipped out of my mouth. My daughter was probably 4.. she was being sassy, hard-headed, argumentative- All of the things that I love and adore about her as a person; just not things I always have the patience to deal with at 11 p.m. Her bedtime has always been 8, and we were having one of “those” nights where it was her way or no way at all, and we were butting heads, because her bedtime is 8 on work nights- if no one is bleeding or vomiting, then no excuses!

    After I had tucked her into bed for the 6th time, I came back downstairs. My boyfriend was sitting on the couch with his movie paused. He looked at me as if to ask, “What was it this time?”

    Before I had even registered the words hitting my brain, they were coming out of my mouth. I uttered, “Sometimes, my daughter is such a bitch.”

    I froze as soon as I said it, and my boyfriend’s eyebrows were sky-high. Then he smirked and said “Wait until she’s 14..” to which I replied, “She’ll really be a bitch at that age..”

    We both dissolved into laughter. I felt better.. like I wasn’t such a horrible person for THINKING these things sometimes. And sure enough, when she got out of bed again 30 minutes later, I thought to myself- she is such a bitch. But sometimes, so is her mommy. I tucked her back into bed again with more of a smile on my face.

    It was one night in many over the years that I’ve thought such things.. but never with anything but love and a little bit of frustration, knowing that that too will pass, and it’s just part of life.

  17. My search was “can children be assholes?” because even though I have living, breathing, scowling proof just feet away from me, I needed evidence that I wasn’t a shitty mom for thinking it. You probably will save lives with this post, no bullshit. Recognition, as they say, cures many ills, and in this post and these comments, I’m feeling seen, heard, and empathized with. Doesn’t happen in real life too often, so thank you so much for writing it.

    1. Nicky – Thank you so much for this. The asshole bit is funny, yes, but your comments about feeling seen and heard really make me so happy (and proud). Thanks for chiming in. You’re normal!

  18. I dislike the word “asshole.” I prefer “asswipe,” although upon reflection, it doesn’t have the oomph of “asshole.” Also, “hole” lends itself better to the preceding emphasis on “ass,” as in, “What an ASS-hole!” Right now my teenaged daughter is banished to her room because I just couldn’t take one more bit of bullshit spewing out of her piehole. If I’d said or done half the crap she has when I was a kid, I would not be alive today to write this post. The left side of my face would have been smacked clear to Kansas, ricocheted off a barn silo, and then permanently embedded in Mt. Rushmore where visitors today would exclaim, “Look. There’s the girl who talked back to her parents.”

    1. Oh my gosh Tracy – you have me laughing aloud with this: “The left side of my face would have been smacked clear to Kansas, ricocheted off a barn silo, and then permanently embedded in Mt. Rushmore where visitors today would exclaim, “Look. There’s the girl who talked back to her parents.” hahhaah!! Be my BFF? Please?

    2. I literally just laughed out loud @ “The left side of my face would have been smacked clear to Kansas, ricocheted off a barn silo, and then permanently embedded in Mt. Rushmore where visitors today would exclaim, “Look. There’s the girl who talked back to her parents.” and my face would be right next to yours, all the way from New Jersey. I’m still laughing, my 9 year old just asked what was funny…lol.

      I actually found this by googling “i just called my son a jerk” jerk/a**hole same thing. He was absolutely being a jerk of a 10 year old to his brother, which happens entirely too often and I finally decided to call him on it but then I felt bad. However, thanks to this post and these comments, I am feeling much better. I always say I am raising adults, not children; sometimes we have to be called on our mess, so why shouldn’t they?

      1. Also wanted to clarify I actually told him he was “acting like a jerk”…because name calling is never allowed but he was acting like one so I had to acknowledge to him “you are a great person but you were ACTING like a jerk and that’s not cool”

  19. In the parlance of my recently unbanished teenager, “Totes!” Look, I think raising children is a lot like going to the State Fair: Costs a lot, is an antiquated practice, but we keep doing it year after year. For the most part it’s great, rewarding, and worth it. But then there’s that ten minutes in the Fun House with the funky mirrors. A nightmare of distorted perceptions and rabbit-hole arguments and reasoning, during which the salvation comes in being butt-faced honest: “OMG! My kid is a total fucking asshole! THAT’S what’s going on here!” If we can respond to this ugly reality without killing them, we have taken one more step toward making the world a better place, because to paraphrase the Dalai Lama, the world doesn’t need more assholes. It needs more people who are compassionate, kind, and loving. (I suppose it could argued that by calling my kid an asshole, I am not being kind, compassionate, nor loving, but that’s another blog post.)

  20. It is unclear if your kids are assholes or not, but one one thing that is perfectly clear:
    Their mother is a HUGE asshole.

  21. Bwahahaha! My son is named Daniel… and many days he is a raging dick. I’m expecting sainthood if I get this kid to 18 in one piece… despite his best efforts otherwise.

  22. Yup, I Googled “are all 6 year old boys assholes?” and found this. I raised two girls on my own for 10 years who are now teenagers (and really, really awesome people) and then I got remarried and inherited a stepson who is now 6. He was spoiled rotten until I got him and some people in his life still spoil and coddle him. They just think he’s as sweet as pie. I think he’s a complete shithead. Always has to be the center of attention, always thinks everyone should wait on him, never listens, has a fit if he doesn’t get his way and says “Na, na, na, na, na” way too much to be thought of as anything but an annoying, frustrating jerk.

    So I thought, “Well, maybe this is just a boy thing. After all, most men are pretty much jerks. Maybe this is how they start.” But I think it has more to do with the way he was raised before I came along. You all who think it’s such a horrible thing to call your kid a bad name, think of it this way: the only reason we’re so pissed off and frustrated is because we want our kids to turn out to be good people and, no matter what we do, they just keep being assholes. The name calling and anger comes from pouring our lives into a person for THEIR OWN GOOD to seemingly no avail. At least that’s where mine comes from.

    Great post. Thank you.

  23. Yup . Googled my 5 yr old is an asshole. Brought me here. Thank you . I was ready to put him in a fckn pretzel form.

  24. I find this truly disgusting. As a teenager who is faced with being called a “raging bitch,” DAILY, this is… just… no, It’s probably my mother’s – who has manic depression and narcissistic behavioral issues – favorite phrase. She also gets a thrill from this.

    I’ve almost killed myself because of this.

    Now, how do you think your immature toddlers feel about those words?

    Please, if your child were to say these things to you at a later age, would you be offended?

    1. If I treated my child the way he treats me I would fully expect and deserve him saying these things to me when he was an adult.

    2. I think if you’re getting called “a raging bitch” on a daily basis then you should probably take a look at what you are doing to cause this and get your shit together before you move out of your moms house, get a job, pay your own bills, buy your own clothes, pay your own car insurance, pay for your own cell phone, pay for internet and cable and rent and food and supply your own spending money, pay for your own health insurance, medicine and dr visits and do it all on minimum wage cause your dumb ass wasn’t smart enough to suck it up and give your parents enough respect to pay for your college too.

  25. Thank you a thousand times over! The phrase I googled was “what to do about my asshole child”. Just your blog post and the comments have taken me from literally looking up boarding schools for my eight year old, to giggling and feeling like I have a whole internet of support and understanding. Keep up the great, and honest, work!

  26. Thank you for this post! My 7yr old daughter is a person who is incredibly self-absorbed -with family only- and doesn’t not see or doesn’t care that her actions negatively impact others in the house.

    I’ve always tried to be logical and level-headed, choosing my words carefully when bringing these things to her attention. I’ve also denied myself the reality of some situations by believing I have to package this behavior as “okay” because she’s a kid.

    But, yesterday was my birthday, and after a permanent marker scribble on the cream couch, and two large bottles of spices sprinkled all over the kitchen floor, I lost it. And all the things I wasn’t even aware I was thinking and feeling came out…and it was a wonderful release.

    But then I felt guilty for saying what I felt. I thought that was not what “good” moms do…until I read this post.

    I finally realized that as a mom, I need to be honest with myself about my feelings and it is okay to see my daughter as the imperfect human being that she is. This post finally gave me permission to acknowledge to myself and those reading this that sometimes, if not a lot of the time, this person that lives with me is a selfish, indignant asshole – and it is healthy to authentically acknowledge that.

  27. Yes I too almost killed my almost 8 yr old son about an hour ago. He seriously makes me crazy!! And to top it off I have a 13 yr old girl who feels the need to point out LOUDLY what a jerk he is all the time which only enrages him more and causes physical fighting as she provokes him. Not to mention in the mix of all this I have a young baby to juggle while my boy insists on calling me names, slamming doors, and telling ME what a jerk I am. And yes, I googled “my son is an asshole”. But of course I typed it very slowly to see if it would show up in the suggested searches first cause I felt guilt for even thinking such a thing. It’s soooo hard to be a good mom!!

  28. Are you totally kidding me? This is okay? No, it’s not. There is NO room for an opinion here. Sorry, folks. I am a parent of three nearly grown kids and if I ever THOUGHT of calling them a name, I kept it to myself. Do you not realize what self-esteem issue this causes? My parents would never do this either. Are we perfect? No way. But I’m a better person than this to THINK that calling my kids assholes is acceptable. And if you think this is right, there’s something wrong with YOU!

  29. Oh and by the way, if the kid is not behaving well, who do you think we should be looking at? The parents are A DIRECT reflection of that child. Fess up and claim responsibility.

  30. So Nancy what your saying is it’s okay to think your kids an asshole but it’s not okay to express it. I think my 7 year old son is an asshole on a daily basis. He’s rude to others (I’m not) he hits his sister (I don’t) he destroys things that aren’t his (I don’t) he refuses to poop on the toilet but will shit himself daily (I don’t do that) he won’t brush his teeth, get dressed or do anything in general without an argument (I’m not that way) his doctor says he has objective defiant disorder. I’m old fashioned I just say HES AN ASSHOLE. His doctor says basically that’s what people call ODD……Asshole disorder. So the medical community agrees with me.
    You can ask many people I have associated with throughout my life and I bet most people would agree I’m not an asshole but someplace down the line someone must have been in my family and that’s where he gets it from.

    1. Good for you Shawn. There always has to be one do gooder shaming the rest of us. I agree nancy .. You are an asshole. A self righteous asshole! Get over yourself and your perfect parenting. This obviously is NOT the blog for you. Maybe you should look up “passive aggressive Christian do gooder mothers”

  31. Who in God’s name is the parent and who is the child here?

    Yes, of course it’s okay to think things. But if you express it, do you realize that those are words that you can’t erase from a child’s memory? If your kids are “assholes” as you say, and hits his sister and destroys things that aren’t his and won’t brush his teeth….ect…sounds like some actual PARENTING might be in order. Does anyone do that anymore? The kid needs disipline and if you’re JUST starting to do that at age 7, you might well be TOO LATE. Respect and boundaries should be instilled at a young age. If you didn’t instill it at age 2, that’s probably why you’re not getting it now.

    I don’t give a rat’s behind what the medical community says. It’s NOT okay to call your kids names.

    1. Nancy! Nowhere in my essay do I advocate or admit to calling kids bad names. Nor do any of the dozens of comments here. As you say yourself: “Yes, of course it’s okay to think things.” I think them, you think them, I express them to other adults an in my writing. Read through the comments — doing so absolved many’s shame for thinking negatively about their children. Honesty=freedom.

  32. I have a 15-year-old son. Guess what I Googled to get here. He has, I hope, hit Maximum Asshole because if he acts like more of one, he will create an Asshole Vortex that will rip apart the fabric of existence.

    You can’t be humorless and be a parent. Especially the parent of a teenager. You’d go insane. Thank you, Emma, for having this place: a place where I know I’m not alone.

    1. Shannon – this made me LOL: “I hope, hit Maximum Asshole because if he acts like more of one, he will create an Asshole Vortex that will rip apart the fabric of existence.” hahah!

      “Thank you, Emma, for having this place: a place where I know I’m not alone.” — comments like these make me feel like my work here is important. Thank YOU for that.

      1. I’ve been trying to reply by hitting the trusty “REPLY” button next to your comment, but…my buttons are being contrary. Anyway, Emma, keep on keeping on. I’m glad I landed here, regardless of the reason.

    2. This is great!! My two teenage boys are both assholes! I can so relate to the asshole vortex comment left here. Just when I think one of them has reached maximum asshole capacity, they prove me wrong and do or say something else that makes them even bigger assholes!!

  33. I have a teenage son who has been a particular ?#@*%! to me of late. He is 15 going on 30 and you cannot tell him anything because he thinks he knows everything and he is opinionated and stubborn to boot! He is frustrating me like no other of late!!!!

  34. Dark Helmet: Careful you idiot! I said across her nose, not up it!
    Laser Gunner: Sorry sir! I’m doing my best!
    Dark Helmet: Who made that man a gunner?
    Major Asshole: I did sir. He’s my cousin.
    Dark Helmet: Who is he?
    Colonel Sandurz: He’s an asshole sir.
    Dark Helmet: I know that! What’s his name?
    Colonel Sandurz: That is his name sir. Asshole, Major Asshole!
    Dark Helmet: And his cousin?
    Colonel Sandurz: He’s an asshole too sir. Gunner’s mate First Class Philip Asshole!
    Dark Helmet: How many asholes do we have on this ship, anyway?
    [Entire bridge crew stands up and raises a hand]
    Entire Bridge Crew: Yo!
    Dark Helmet: I knew it. I’m surrounded by assholes!
    [Dark Helmet pulls his face shield down]
    Dark Helmet: Keep firing, assholes!

  35. haha same way I found this site was google searching my kids are assholes what do I do ????? hilarious that I am not alone . I have 4 boys and life is tragic at moments !

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  37. I think there is a kind of fortune-cookie quality to the frustration-Google. That is what I term the last ditch effort to shout out to the expansive abyss, the very ether that is the Internet, in hopes for something enlightening or at the very least helpful. I am a frustration-Googler. It seems that so are many of you. This is why I think it’s very important that we maintain our online privacy in this country. So people won’t learn that I’ve googled, “When do you know your marriage is over?” “How do you know if your bi-polar?” “My kids an asshole.” and my all time favorite, “How to poison someone just a little.” Honest is the new normal.

    1. OMG Susan you have me laughing aloud over here in Queens: “How to poison someone just a little.”

      You make a lot of great points. Ultimately my curious mind is so grateful for Google. I remember being in 7th or 8th grade, listening to REM and wondering who the eff Lennie Bruce was (as mentioned in ‘The End of the World as we Know it”), searing in our Encyclopedia Brittanica, to no avail. Hitting up an almanac of my moms. No dice. The card catalog at the local library. Nope. It wasn’t till college and I stumbled across the movie Lenny at the local video store that I got my answer.

  38. I feel a tad guilty still because I read through all the comments and did not see a 2 year old asshole. Hello my name is sahm who needs a f*cking break and my two year old son is a total asshole. Every plan I make be it from grocery shopping to vacations is all based on how miserable my asshole son will make it. I am also highly discouraged because I was hoping to find an end to the asshole phase. But you all put it into the teen years and beyond .. Fml

    Also a big thank you to Emma for being here. I too googled ” my two year old is an asshole” I appreciated all comments . .. ( except the spam and nancy)

    1. Hi SAHMNAFB – ha! thanks for chiming in. Putting on my expert advice-giving hat here … I wonder if you changed up your expectations of your kid it may switch up his behavior. My normally pretty cool 4 -year-old has for months been in the habit of waking up in the morning in the SHITTIEST mood, throwing massive tantrums and putting the whole house in a funk for the day. I found I dreaded, well, life. Then this shitshow became a self-fulfilling prophesy. So I tried something different – waking him up with a juice box. Obvs this gave his blood sugar a jump, but we also made a big deal out of it, talking about “magic juice” the night before, and how it would make him happy. It took a few days, but broke the cycle.

      Just something to think about :)

  39. I feel like crying. I hate that I hate my kid right now. but i do. 13 is the most horrible age yet. every time he comes home its misery and torture until he goes to bed which I had to set at 7;30 just to get away from him. we used to be so close. now its all about stuff and friends and girls and clothes and shoes…and no matter what I say or do its not enough. not good enough. he lies and calls me names. he is the most grumpy asshole ever and all I do is try to make him happy. well, fuck that. now instead of his punishment being go to your room no phone and no video games…its that but he also has to rub my feet and clean the guinea pig cages (we have 7 pigs/4 cages) !!! he can treat me as badly as he wants to now. lol

  40. My 6 yr old son is a Supreme Jealous Asshole. Thank God for this post. I just took my middle son out of the pool & made him go straight to his room for the night. See, he scratched his 4-year old brother so badly down his back that blood, screaming, splashing, total shitshow on display for half the neighborhood to witness was because I looked away from him for 2 seconds & he cannot stand to share me w/ his brother. Ever. I am so tired of his shit. I have tried every. Single. Piece. Of. Advice.& Read a lot of books.My 11 year old is a great kid as is my 4 yr old…they have their moments but my 6 yr old acts like Satan’s Spawn in behavioral bs phase…@ wit’s end! And anyone who judges someone by theirchild’s behavior/actions is a complete Wanker/Asshole/Piece of moldy dogshit in my book!!!! Explain my 2 well-behaved boys & my lunatic child!!!

  41. I can SO relate!
    Thank god I have a friend who is a single mom and anytime I am “loosing it” I can call her to vent.

    Yesterday I firmly but gently pushed my son through the day care’s doors and closed the door behind him, so I could get on my conf call for work.
    All Hell broke loose! He screamed and cried.
    The teacher took him outside to see me – while I was sitting in my car – on a conf call.
    The worst part – the two parents dropping off their kid at the day care – who doesn’t give them even an ounce of hard time. The mother was giving me the judgmental/critical looks – like – why would she just push him through the doors and leave him there.
    Even though this is what we do every day – minus the pushing.

    Ohhhh the shame and guilt!
    I couldn’t get out of the mindset that I am the worst parent ever!

    I am so sick and tired of other parents judging the rest of us – thinking that they would be a better parent to our children.

    Every child+parent relationship is different.
    Each child will behave differently with each of the parents.
    So, yes – if nancy would be a my son’s parent – she would be a different parent and they would have a totally different dynamic and a relationship. She would employ different discipline tactics and would have a totally different parental style.
    And if I parented her child – we’d have a different relationship.
    And thus – both parent+child couple would be differently affected by that said relationship.
    And we would raise different children.

    So.
    Having said that – Nowdays I joke – “I used to be the best parent – before I had children”.
    And that “people who don’t have children – are the best parents”.

    The best moment I can think of – is from the book “carry on, warrior” by Glennon Doyle Miller – where she says that the next time you see that frazzled and frustrated mom dealing with her tantruming child/ren – give her a smile that says “I know, I’ve been there”.

    Thank you for the blog post.
    I am a big fan of Brene’s work on shame as well.

    The way I dealt with shame and guilt yesterday was to be kind and gentle with myself and to forgive. Him, for acting that way and myself – for acting that way. None of us are perfect and oftentimes we all slip and fall flat on our faces.

    Carry on, Warrior!

  42. LMAO! This is too funny! And why do some parents make excuses for their “ass hole” kids instead of addressing the issue? I know one mom that says “Oh, he’s just being stupid.”…. She might as well be saying “Oh, he’s just being an ass hole.” lol. She’s in this blur of utopia mommyhood while her and her kids are driving everyone else nuts! She thinks she’s doing her kids a favor by saving them every time they do something wrong, but really she’s raising them to be ass hole adults.

    Kids are people like adults… everyone can be an ass hole at some point in their life. I know my kids can be ass holes and I do my best to address the ass holiness before they ass hole their way through adulthood. Ass-holiness can turn into a disease (like narcissism), and if not controlled or addressed, can prevent jobs, relationships, opportunities. lol Don’t feel bad for providing disciplin for “ass holish” behavior. You are doing your kids a favor :)

  43. OMG, so glad that I found this post. No, I would never call my child names to their faces that’s just wrong. But I think, in recognizing their multiple dispositions, googling “my kid is an asshole” (and that is exactly what I googled, after sweetly saying goodnite, I love you and knowing that they are tucked safely in their beds), as parents we realize that kids are people. Grumpy, tired, hungry, assholes. They can also be smart, funny, witty and usually have amazing hearts. And we grow, just a little and can accept that loving an asshole (child, relative, spouse) means loving ALL of their amazing personalities.

    Most days, I feel like an EPIC failure as a parent. I’m certain that I am ruining them and their precious little self-esteem. I’m certain that it is my fault that my son, 9, is an ass and my beautiful daughter, 7, is a snotty little bitch, despite my best efforts to raise them right, provide for them and teach them how to be decent human beings; especially to each other. But, I also have nothing to compare to. My mother was bat-shit crazy so anything is pretty much an improvement over her parenting skills.

    After having read these posts, I realized that GOOD parents recognize and accept when their child is an asshole and that it is possible to LOVE them in spite of themselves. The most frustrating thing is wanting so much to give them everything and to give them all the right opportunities and to make sure that we have bonded with them enough. Oh, god, have we done enough for our little assholes yet? Can we please just sit on the couch and stop trying to be perfect fucking parents!

    I accept the fact that my kids are themselves with me, which means at the end of the day of being diplomatic with their friends, getting along and basically behaving in a socially acceptable manner for what can be a VERY long day for kids (whether its school or daycare) they come home and basically dump. I’m actually honored that they behave this way with me and it can be frustrating and overwhelming for any parent to get the “asshole” child.

    So, I feel better now, knowing that yes, my child can be and act like an asshole from time to time and I hope that its a phase that he will grow out of. And if not, then one day, someone will in fact call him an asshole to his face. And then what? Will I be the EPIC failure of a parent that my child grew up to be an asshole and someone else called him out on it? No. I will be the parent who will say, Gee, honey, I’m really sorry someone called you an asshole. Do you think its possible, that at that moment you were in fact acting like an asshole? Yes, yes, in fact, you are an asshole. Oh, but can’t we all be assholes at times? I think I have even said outloud, at work, I’m kinda being an asshole right now.

    So here’s to raising great kids and hopefully decent human beings.

    1. “I think I have even said outloud, at work, I’m kinda being an asshole right now.”

      LOL!! Keep being an asshole, aka a normal person and a perfectly respectable parent. xo

  44. Great post, my kid is an utter asshole and the only reason I keep myself from telling my 6-year-old son “you’re such an asshole ” is because he is an asshole and he would them start calling everyone from the store clerk to the car driving too slow an asshole…some things need to just be mumbled at this age. But I’ve no issue pointing out you’re being a jerk or a bully or mean, save asshole until he’s at least seven.

  45. And I suspect you weren’t loved enough as a child and this is your worthless attempt at finding acceptance, even though your website itself has “wealthy” in the name, so you’re a cunt seeking acceptance while excluding the less fortunate. ….
    Well.
    Fucking.
    Done.

    1. Ew, I just saw the nasty comments right before mine. To clarify: my thanks are to Emma and the other parents of assholes, not that judgey “stfu” person.

  46. Oh my god!, these posts are really funny! I just stumbled on this blog because I googled “My two year old is constantly up my ass”. Thinking I might get some insight on how to keep him busy ON HIS OWN sometimes. This reminded of a time when my wife and I went out with some friends and one of them referred to his son as an asshole. My wife was pregnant at the time. I told her that I can’t believe that someone would refer to their child as an asshole, I would never do that, that’s horrible! She agreed. Now, fast forward two years, my son is screaming at the top of his lungs because he has to do everything himself including opening doors, turning off lights, and putting the DVD into the DVD player (all at the most inconvenient times mind you). I can’t even go to the bathroom without him on the other side of the door screaming to get in. After about the third time he punched me in the nuts I yelled at him and he laughed. I looked at my wife and said “what an asshole!”. We both started laughing.

  47. Wait till your kid is 20 years old and decides a life of pill snorting, lying, and stealing is the way to go- then they truely arrive at “asshole”

  48. I’ve got two teenaged stepsons who I love with every bit of everything I am – I’ve been raising them since they were toddlers. That said, there are times when they are total assholes. And now that they’re older, I feel comfortable calling them on it – “Dude, I’m not going to have this conversation if you’re going to act like a douche.” “You know what? When you decide to stop being a dick, and can talk civil again, you can have your laptop back”. I think it connects with them better than “That’s unacceptable, please don’t be disrespectful”. They know kids that are dicks and douches… they don’t want to be one.

  49. I have two young children, I love the crap out of them and…they can be total assholes at times.

    Then again, I am a total bitch at times. No one’s perfect. ;)

  50. I often compare dealing with a angry 2 year old like dealing with a belligerent drunk person to my friends without kids. They don’t want to listen, always think their right, do things they know are wrong, sometimes break things just because, and are loud and obnoxious regardless of the place they are in. And what do you call a drunk belligerent person??…an asshole!

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