Your Kid Is a Jerk

Parents, it's time to wake up.  Your child is a jerk or something worse.  (You can insert whatever word you want.)  I'm not saying your child is bad or evil.  But your kid, boy or girl, has been a jerk at some point in his/her life.  You know what else?  At some point (or at many), YOU have been a jerk too.  Don't hide your head in the sand; it's true.

This doesn't make us bad people.  It makes us human.  And ALL humans are asses at some point in their lives.  Yes, ALL humans are jerks.

Even now in the 21st century where we think/hope we are enlightened our kids are jerks.  We have assemblies on bullying; we have zero tolerance rules around it.  It still exists.  It is still ignored.  It still hurts.

I'm pretty sure that 99.99999% of the human race has been a bully at some point.  Maybe you don't think of it as bullying.  Maybe we should call it teasing.  Or you think of it has just poking fun.  We are almost to 2020 and we still have mean girls and thoughtless boys.  We still have kids being left out or picked on because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their sexual name it.  I thought by the 21st century we would be over this.  I was wrong.

So, let's just get down to it shall we?  At some point in his or her life, your child is going to do something hurtful to another child.  Your child is NOT perfect.  No child is.  So be a parent, and own up to it.  When you learn about it, admit that your child MAY be in the wrong.  Talk about it.  Seriously!  Sit down with your child and TALK about it.  You probably don't want to.  Your child definitely won't want to.  Do it anyway.

Perhaps you might start off by admitting to your own infallibility.  When I look back with an open mind, I see that while I was bullied or picked on or teased or whatever you want to call it, I also did the same.  Maybe I wasn't an instigator, but there WERE times when I shunned someone because it was "the thing to do."  Or I laughed at someone.  In some way I DID participate in the process.  And that was wrong.  I was wrong to do so.  You KNOW you did something similar.  Sure times were different, but that doesn't make it right.  What need to acknowledge our history, but not make excuses for it.  We need to acknowledge our past mistakes.  We need to apologize if necessary.  We need to learn from the past.  We need to work towards a better future.  And most importantly, we need to teach our children the same.

You may have been a jerk.  Your child may be a jerk.  That does not mean that is what you or they have to ALWAYS be.  The mean girl does not have to always be mean.  The insensitive boy can become sensitive.  But we, as parents, need to address it.  We need to own up and communicate.  

We also need to make change.  We need to realize that one talk is not necessarily enough.  Let me be painfully blunt.  A year or so ago, my child was called to the principal's office for saying something inappropriate on the playground.  Yes, MY child!  Now if it had been twenty, ten or maybe even five years ago, it might have been overlooked.  But that was then...times are different.  My son was called on it and I was MORTIFIED.  We had a long discussion on this.  There was yelling.  There was crying.  And yes, there was punishment.  Earlier THIS year, something similar happened AGAIN!  Another long discussion; another punishment and CONTINUED conversation.  My child is a good kid, but that doesn't mean he's not a jerk sometimes or he doesn't do the wrong thing.  As parents, we need to work with him to help become the person that I know he is.  And as parents, we need to work on ourselves and acknowledge our own errors.

We are ALL jerks.  We need to work towards being better human beings. (To that end, I point you to a blog written by a friend:  READ it!)  We to own up to our imperfectness and we need to move towards being better people.  ALL of us!  We need to realize that this is an ongoing process; like life it is a journey.  Let's make it a good one.


  1. Wonderfully written and yes I have been a jerk. I can look back and remember those occurrences where I realized I was way below the line. I wish I could go back in time to apologize to those people if I knew who they were


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