How Not to be a Jerk #1


“The best way to get things done is to simply begin.”

Lately, I’ve been using my little Kmart chalkboard to write encouraging or inspiring words for my boys. You see, Alex asked me a few weeks ago if being a parent is hard, which I answered honestly that some days it is, but it’s always worth it. And it got me thinking about the difficult days, when you want to tear your hair out, or possibly hide in the cupboard in the foetal position, and what makes parenting worth it. I think part of it is seeing your little babies grow up into awesome people.

Before I had kids, I sometimes daydreamed about how awesome they would be, what amazing, kind, talented humans we would create. Now I have children, my main aim is pretty much not to raise jerks.

Any parent that I know obviously gets proud when their kids achieve something, but the proudest I ever see parents is when their children show kindness, sportsmanship, and a giving heart. It’s the best feeling in the world to see your child spreading love around. Better than seeing them win a race, or do well in a test.

So my “chalkboard words” are to help guide my children to grow up spreading love around, trying their hardest and learning how not to be a jerk. Trust me, sometimes it needs to be spelled out explicitly. Sort of guidebook on How Not to be a Jerk.

This week’s words were to encourage Alex to get his frigging homework done. It’s not hard. It’s putting his spelling words in alphabetical order and the like. Some weeks, he’s great, he’ll sit down and get it done in 15 minutes. Other weeks, he will just lose his shit as soon as you ask him to do his homework. Usually on a Sunday when it’s due on the Monday.

I do understand. I know, for him, it seems like pointless busy work. His five year old brother often does the alphabetical order for him, because Alex finds it so tedious. But I think it’s important for children to learn that some things in life are tedious, repetitive, boring, and occasionally a little pointless, but we still do them. We don’t like them, but we do it anyway. Not everything can be a stimulating and fun activity. I don’t think there’s any job that doesn’t involve some level of tedium. You suck it up, and you do it. It’s really okay to be bored.

So hissy fits aside, whether he likes it or not, he’s doing his homework. Even if it makes me the meanest Mummy in the whole world.

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