How to NOT Raise an A-Hole

When we become parents, someone really should hand us a book that details, exactly, how to NOT raise an a-hole. 

Karen Alpert (of the blog Baby Sideburns), a mom of two and author of Mamas, Don’t Let Your Kids Grow Up to be A-Holes: Unfiltered Advice on How to Raise Awesome Kids, recognizes that parents are terrified of inadvertently raising assholes.

“It is definitely one of my big fears,” she says. “I don’t want to raise a kid that’s an a-hole. All the sexting and scary stuff and  male chauvinism and racism  – I’m trying to hard to teach my kids that stuff shouldn’t be part of their lives.”

But she knows there are no guarantees. And she starts her book by stating that babies are, almost by definition, a-holes. (Think about it: They scream when they need something. They don’t care about your sleep or your needs or anything but their own comfort.)

“It is our job as parents to get the a-hole-y-ness out of them,” Karen says. “We have 18 years. It is our job to send them out into the world in the best way possible.”

We can do that by seizing random and ordinary moments. “Kids are like clay,” Karen says. “Everything we do contributes to shaping them.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet & Karen discuss:
  • Parents’ secret fear
  • Bullying
  • How parenting approaches evolve as kids grow
  • Teaching kids to be considerate
  • Seizing opportunities to teach values
  • Revisiting conversations
  • Teaching kids to be anti-racist
  • How to teach kids important lessons while being creative and fun
  • “Boys will be boys”
  • Resisting gender stereotypes & expectations
  • 20 ways to make your kids more creative
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Kids Grow Up to be A-Holes: Unfiltered Advice on How to Raise Awesome Kids — Karen’s latest book

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A Bunch of Holy Crap Moments No One Ever Told You About Parenting — Karen’s first book — Karen’s blog

Just Don’t be an Asshole (w Kara Kinney Cartwright) — ON BOYS episode

How to Raise a Decent Human Being — classic BuildingBoys post