OK, I know, I’m not supposed to judge other people’s parenting. I know that parenting is hard, every child is different, we all have special talents, and blah blah blah. I know I’m supposed to be supportive of the mom whose 4-year-old is melting down and blocking my path to the Dollar Spot at Target. I understand that I’m not supposed to roll my eyes when a kid bumps into me with his grocery cart and practically takes a layer of skin off the back of my ankle. And I know that plenty of people have forgiven bad behavior of my kids and have excused many of my parenting flaws over the years.
There are some serious asshole parents out there, people.
Whether it’s at a school event, a sports game, or in your neighborhood, there are parents who act like mega-assholes and it’s hard to keep your mouth shut. And their behavior often detracts from the activity you are attending, or worse, interferes with the children and their moment to shine. Parents who make unsolicited comments about breastfeeding, potty training, and discipline are enough to drive us non-asshole parents over the edge. Yes, he’s still wearing diapers, and no, I’ve chosen not to breastfeed. Sit down and shut up, asshole.
It’s annoying, and I can’t keep my mouth shut anymore. If you are wondering if you are an asshole parent, I’ve made a list of asshole parenting behaviors. You’re welcome.
1. Obstructing the view as you film your precious snowflake with your giant-ass iPad
This parent can usually be found right in the middle of the row and in the thick of the seating arrangements. As soon as the lights go down, this dad whips out his iPad and begins to film the entire dance recital. He holds it over his head to get a better angle, and you spend the time watching your child through his lens because you can’t see around him and his rudeness. If you do this, it makes you an asshole. Just stop it.
2. Doing school drop-offs and pickups wrong — in May
Let’s review: By May, you should know the school drop-off routine. Seriously, how hard is it to remember where to enter and where to leave? I get that there are parents who screw up at the beginning of the year. We all have our moments, and at the beginning of the year, we are all in a race to dump our kids at school as fast as humanly possible. But if you are that parent who is still screwing up the line for the rest of us in May? Get your shit together because you look like an asshole. And we are all saying it as you cut in line and drive around the cones.
3. Letting your kid wander to a neighbor’s house for hours
Now, I’m all for the “it takes a village” mentality, and I’m the first one to whip out popsicles and snacks for a yard full of kids, but don’t expect me to feed your kid every day. And if your kid wanders over to play, great! I’m happy that my kids will be entertained and quiet. But you are an asshole if you don’t reciprocate and feed my kids lunch once in a while as I sit in a quiet house. I won’t take it out on your kid when they’ve been in my yard for hours, but I will call you an asshole under my breath all afternoon.
4. If I’m worried about my kid, I don’t want to hear how great yours is
If I’m concerned my kid has an issue or might have a problem in the classroom, and I choose to share it with you, this is not the time to tell me how well your special snowflake is doing in math. I don’t want to hear that your kid is excelling at a sport while mine rides the bench, and I’d rather not listen to you expound on your kid’s report card when I’ve just told you mine failed a class. If a parent shares a personal worry with you, don’t be an asshole just to make yourself feel better about your parenting, OK? Oh, and if you say the words, “I’d never let my kid get away with that,” I may just punch you in the junk, ass-wipe.
5. Coaches who scream at 9-year-olds
Hey, Coach Smith, a word? You are coaching 9-year-olds, not the Major League All-Star team. I know it may seem that these kids are bound for the majors, but in reality, they mostly just want to swing a bat and scratch their balls next to their buddies. They are going to make mistakes, and sometimes, they may even foul out or run a batter. Screaming at them in an effort to inspire them to work harder makes you an asshole. And when you are nose to nose with the opposing team’s coach, screaming over a bad call, your kid is watching you and your asshole behavior. So, be kind, shut up, and let’s just play some ball, OK?
6. Leaving when your kid is finished at a recital and not staying until the end
This is the highest form of assholery, in my opinion. The kids on that stage have practiced and rehearsed for months, and many of them have worked up the nerve to stand on that stage and perform for excited parents. I’ve been sitting behind the iPad guy for two hours waiting for my kid to have her moment, and you decide to disrupt the entire auditorium with your party of 20 and your departure. That’s just not cool, and it makes you a supreme asshole. My kid worked just as hard as yours did to learn her tap routine. Sit your ass down and wait until the end and clap for all the kids, not just your dancer.
Unfortunately, I could go on and on. But I won’t. Because I’m not an asshole.