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August 25, 2008


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Thank you for linking St Jude. My hubby was treated there as a teenager. Best Docs around. Fabulous staff. Experimental treatments, no charge to the family above what your insurance covers. That was 24 years ago. They are still the charity that gets our donations.


I'm actually shocked that I'm not an asshole parent, at least not by this quiz.

Did you see Motherhood Uncensored's post about the baby on the bar? Asshole parent for sure. Also, yesterday at the mall, a woman let her kid jump from table to table (on the top mind you) until security told him to knock it off. Then she left, muttering under breath about the guy being a jerk. Hell, I started clapping for him.


Asshole parents: anyone who buys Bratz for their daughters. Sluts-in-training.

Rattling the Kettle

Well, I'm an asshole, and I'm a parent, but I don't do any of the things you listed.

Except drinking beer in front of my kid. As soon as he learns how to operate a bottle cap opener, I'm going to gain 15 pounds.

Mark T.

Yesterday, I saw a mother chain-smoking cigarettes in her minivan with all the windows closed. And yes, there were children in the car. Asshole!


years ago, during my first week of taking care of an almost five year old, i gently explained that he could choose one food item and one drink for his afterschool snack. (he wanted much more.) later that evening, his parents took me aside and said he told them i 'talked down to him' and asked me to be more polite, or it would not work out. i later realized that the poor kid had hardly ever heard the word 'no' in his life...

Rachel E.

What I did: Told another mother that my daughter was in the top five of her class of 6th graders. She was, but no one cares and it's just an obnoxious thing to talk about. A moment of bragging that just made me look like an asshole for saying it out loud.

What another parent did: Took their five-year-old daughter to see The Dark Knight. What the hell?! I'm in my 40s and that movie traumatized ME!!


Last week I saw a little girl push another girl down extremely hard for no apparent reason. The bully's mother was standing right there and didn't do a single thing! Why are people afraid to discipline their kids today?

always home and uncool

I believe drinking beer in front of my child gives me the chance to impart many valuable lessons. I think of some right after I finish this six.

Liberal Banana

Breast milk and jelly... makes me think of some sort of craze dieting brainstorm. "Oh, this month I'm only consuming breast milk and jelly. I've already lost 6 pounds."


I was in a restaurant recently and was seated next to a booth with a father and his son. The child was in that toddler stage of asking a million questions about everything. All very cute and innocent. Suddenly the father turned to his kid and said, "Will you shut the fuck up with your goddamn million questions?"



Do you buy gear for your child not because of safety or practicality but solely because it shows how much disposable income you supposedly have?

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I do have a business card for my blog, but other than that I seem not to be very much of an asshole at all.



That frazzled new mom at the playground dressed in old sweatpants that are covered in breast milk and jelly? I think you just described me to a perfect tee. I am always THAT mom. And yes, I can feel the scorn from all the other mothers at the playground. Screw them!


Brilliant post - one that should be Required Reading for anyone who "does the parent thing."


Why does having a lot of money qualify one as being an asshole parent?

My wife buys expensive designer clothing for the children. My 10-year-old daughter has an iphone. My teenage son drives a new BMW. And when I send the kids away on their annual trip with their grandparents, they fly first class.

My kids are good kids. They're smart, obedient and respectful. Most importantly, they stay out of trouble.

The truth is that I happen to make a lot of money and spending that money on my children honestly isn't a big deal for me. Isn't it all relative? Does being fortunate enough to make a lot of money make me an asshole?


You're a good man, MD. And funny as hell too!


When coaching a 10 year old playoff basketball game a few years ago I iced a 10 year old by calling a time out as he was set to take 2 foul shots with only a couple of seconds left, and us up by 1.

It worked.

In fairness to me, the other coach was a class A asshole and he needed to lose. His formal protest of the game was discarded when multiple mistakes in his favor (by his wife) were discovered after the game.


From the little that I've witnessed, all hockey parents are assholes. I just went to my nephew's first game last weekend and I could not believe how many parents were heckling the kids on the other team!

Mikeymike shocked

I'm actually shocked that you think its bad to not drink beer in front of the kids. Granted I'm childless, but I wouldn't want to force my kid to confront the big bad world, when they can have a cautionary tale at home with them! I mean, I wouldn't have a beer with the kid.

Yeah, not ready to be a parent yet.


I drink beer in front of my kid and I have flames on the minivan - but they're magnetic. It's reeeeally hard to be cool in a minivan and I say, any help I can get.


I drink so much beer in front of my kids that they refer to practically anything in a can as "Daddy Juice."


Sending kids to an independent school that has the same tuition as many colleges, only to tell the kids at the open house in front of the faculty that their teacher doesn't know what they're talking about and couldn't get a job in the real world. Oh, and they aren't paying good money for your salary for their kid to get a B.


Ha! My brother and his wife just had a kid and named her CoCo. He's not that bad but she's a pretentious asshole!


The biggest Asshole move was left off your list, but probably because you live in NYC. CAR SEATS!

Asshole parents don't put their kids in car seats. They'll usually strap an infant in, but children over the age of one roaming free in the backseat will always piss me off.

The law (and common sense) says kids must be in a car seat until 40 lbs or 4 years old, and a booster seat until 8 years/80 lbs.

At the rate my kids are NOT growing, they'll be in a booster in high school! HA!

Tyler @ Building Camelot

Hey wait - I drink beer in front of my kids...I'll have to play the Catholic card and tell you that my mom, dad, aunts and uncles all drank beer around us kids.

Hell, my daughter even knows the word beer and won't drink out of anything that looks like a beer bottle.


Parents who lie, lie, lie on behalf of their children and look for every possible "loophole" in a situation to get their kid off. From a teacher's perspective, this includes blaming the teacher on multiple levels when it comes trying to explain why the student is not doing well.

At the elementary school level, I have heard from friends that it is common practice for parents to call a school and get their children switched out of classrooms to go to "better" teachers or the room with more friends. If the school agrees to this, it is typically a tell-tale sign of a weakened administration that fears the parents and will cater to their every whim.



Evidently I'm not an asshole. That's nice. My aunt and uncle belong to one of those churches with a desirable affiliated school and they can spot the "we're joining because we decided we're ready to have a baby" types immediately. It's hard to get my relatives to say anything bad about anyone, but those couples inspire them somehow.

The asshole parenting trick I see most often around here is recoiling in shock at learning that another parent sends their child to (gasp!) PUBLIC school. Actual sentence from my neighbor: "But that school is like 90% Asian!!!" I should have said something but I was speechless.

Captain Dumbass

Is it ok to let them watch Pixar movies on my iPod to keep them quiet for 2 freaking minutes so mom and dad can at least get one bite of dinner into them that didn't come out of a straw... sorry.


I have to admit that we joined a church because we wanted to send our kids there for school. It wasn't even our denomination! I do sometimes feel guilty about it but there are no decent pre-schools in our area.

Nothing But Bonfires

Fort Lauderdale airport, last week: Two Total Asshole Parents PUSH THEIR WAY to the front of the security line, carrying their Lacoste-clad kid in their arms. (Side note: the kid, a boy, is both DEFINITELY OLD ENOUGH TO WALK and wearing a pastel pink shirt with a popped collar.)

Security guard: "Excuse me? Are you...employees of the airline?"

Asshole Parent #1: "No."

Security guard: "You're...uh...in the airline employee line."

Asshole Parent #2: "Well, we're Platinum AmEx cardholders."

The proceed to push their way through. In front of me. I scowl. Later, I contemplate spitting on their Louis Vuitton duffel, as it comes out of the X-ray machine in front of my carry-on bag.

YES! PLATINUM AMEX CARDHOLDERS. Who knew they got priority in airport security lines?


I waitress part-time at an Italian restaurant. You cannot believe what parents let their kids get away with. I've seen kids run around at full speed, knock into people's chairs, and scream the entire time. What do the parents do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

No wonder these kids grow up thinking that they can get away with anything. They can!


At the playground, I recently saw a dad trying to comfort his young daughter after she'd skinned her knee on the pavement. His words of comfort? "Stop crying and I'll give you 5 bucks." What an asshole.


Hmm... while I have considered business cards for my blog, and I DO have business cards for playdates (hey, makes it easier!!), and I would seriously <3 flames on my tricked out minivan... I've got to say you hit some pretty typical asshole parent behavior.

Asshole parents may also be more likely to do the following:
- Refer to their offspring as "Tax Deduction 1 & 2".... all the time
- Smile indulgently as their bratty kid steals/hits/taunts/hurts your child
- Cut you off in traffic in a tricked out minivan with a "Baby on Board" sign in the back and then flip you off and shout obscenities out the window when you give them the "What gives?" expression.

Mama Nabi

What? They have business cards for mommy bloggers now? Damn... um.. gotta go... and, uh, check on something... so, uh, does Kinko's make business cards? No reason... just wondering.

Nick D.

On a flight home last week, a little kid was kicking the back of my chair non-stop. When I finally couldn't take it anymore, I stood up and asked the mother if she could have her child stop kicking my seat. The mother barely looked up from her magazine and said, "Tell him yourself." I have never been more shocked in my entire life.

crunchy carpets

What does drinking beer in front of kids have to do with being an asshole??

Drunk bad...sure..but a beer????

And that list is more..are you a RICH asshole instead of just an asshole.

Asshole parents are the one's whose kids are total shits but blame everyone else's kids for the 'situations'...can you tell I hate my neighbours just now???


LOL. What about the parents that put their kids in the play area at the mall and then go shopping. Total assholes!!

Jay Andrew Allen

Even better for (5) in the last block: learn to apologize to your kids for YOUR OWN behavior.

cry it out

I am in love with Ann now.

Great quiz, dude. I'm really surprised you didn't make the cut ....


Not only do I have business cards for my mommy blog, they're moo cards cuz that's how the cool kids roll. And I didn't name my kids 'Cat' but it's my name. I guess I can maintain that I am an ass, just not asshole parent.

Phew - glad that's resolved.


If anyone ever handed me a business card for their mommy blog, I might just laugh my ass off! Please tell me that's a joke. Do moms really do that? Aside from Dooce and maybe a few others, why bother? Do they hand them out at playdates in the suburbs?


As someone who owes an enormous debt of gratitude to my local Boy's Club, thanks for linking to them. I always urge everyone I know to do volunteer work with them. They literally changed (and saved) my life.


I just have to respond to "anonymous @ 12:35": No, making a lot of money does not make you an asshole parent. But really? Does a 10 yr. old need an i-phone and your teenage son need a BMW? It's nice that you can afford to give them phones and cars, but if they have the best of everything at these ages, where do they go from there??

I hope you are also teaching them a strong work-ethic (ie your son having a job even though he doesn't "need" it) and I hope that you do some volunteer work WITH THEM (working a day in a soup kitchen maybe, or a home for abused children) so that they never forget how privileged they are. Trust me, you will be doing so much more for them by teaching these lessons than you will EVER achieve by buying them "stuff".

So no, being wealthy doesn't make you an asshole. Raising spoiled brats who grow up with outrageous entitlement issues, however, DOES. Not that that's what you're doing, of course.


I know you must be joking about the business cards - what possible reason could there be for such snobbish behavior?

People who never say no and offer no discipline annoy me beyond belief. If you want to raise brats then at least do us all a favor and keep them at home.


Kate thank you for saying to anonymous exactly what I was thinking - just because you can afford something doesn't mean you should buy it.


Asshole parenting Example #1: A group of seven to eight year old kids in a playground full of preschoolers/toddlers acting out detailed scenes from The Sopranos (who lets their kids watch that??)
Example #2: Raising a kid in a crack house... I'm not sure, but think it may be happening a block away from us... Children's Aid may be hearing from me soon.
Example #3: Bringing my kids to a park where all of the other mothers were in full make-up, skirts, dressed to the nines, ignoring their kids. I was in my typical "mom" uniform of capri pants and a tee, no make-up and hair in a pony. The only other mom that would talk to me was the breast milk and jelly stained one whom everyone else had deemed to be too "hippy" to associate with.
I didn't score any asshole points... does that mean I'm doing something right?


My son is enrolled in a pretty cool art center preschool and last week they had a parents meeting for those of us who are first timers. My husband and I sat through the meeting and then they gave us the grand tour of the classrooms. After the tour was over they brought out refreshments and wanted the parents to socialize and get to know each other. Immediately the parents broke up into their little individual cliques and my husband and I stood at the back of the classroom and looked at each other like we were the nerds no one ever picked in gym class. We sat there for a few minutes and then vowed to never raise our kids to grow up to be adults like that. If it weren't for the money we have already invested, we'd be out of there in a heartbeat. Just because you have money doesn't mean you have class.


When I first started reading this post I thought oh man this is so going to prove that I am an asshole parent but to my surprise I am not.Hold on my kid is handing me my smoke and the other one is opening my bear for me.Joking really your one funny guy.
I like your other post about not kissing your daughter on the lips. I really didn't think there was anything wrong with a father doing that until I saw the Olympic incest incident it really yucked me out....


ha I think my kid would be confused if I didn't have a beer in my hand. but there is very little doubt that I am an asshole.

On the airplane after a boston/sf flight. mom telling her son she was going to chop off his arms and he would be the only five year old with no arms. Then she told me she should have stopped at one, yeah, the 5 y.o. (her second) was right there.

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