The easy answer is probably "Never", but let's take a deeper look... And this blog will probably only resonate with parents.
I hosted Podfathers again with Clem on Wednesday, and after 3 consecutive weeks of reporting on nationally-covered stories where parents stepped WAAAAY over the line to help their kids either make the cheerleading squad, become homecoming queen, or simply win a fistfight, this week, we had a listener send in a letter asking for advice on how to react when another kid is being a dick to yours.
And her letter resonated with the other 3 stories because there are only a few situations in life where you tend to lose your shit quicker than ever before...
- The first is when you're driving. I don't think I am ever LESS patient than when I am behind the wheel and criticizing inept drivers around me. And I also think the most racist part of my life is when I get cut off by someone in traffic and I race around to the front of their car for the express reason to take a gander at their face and then make an inappropriate comment about whatever race I think they might be.
- The second is when you're waiting in line for anything for an extended amount of time. Similar to road rage, I am at the ready to fuck someone up at the drop of a hat if I get cut in line at the DMV, gay nightclub, or straight waterpark… Granted, if the cutter is bigger than me, I normally channel that rage inwards, but the rage exists nonetheless.
- And the third time is when someone fucks with your kids, or you perceive someone is fucking with your kids… And THAT, my friends, makes you lose your fucking mind worse than the other 2 ever could.
So although the following 3 recent headlines all seem terrible…
Cheerleader Mom Arrested for Creating 'Deepfake' Images and Videos Showing Her Daughter's Rivals Naked, Drinking, and Smoking In Bid to Have Them Kicked Off The Team
High-Schooler and Her Mother Hacked School Records to Steal Homecoming Queen Election.
Mom Super-Glues Boxing Glove to Her Wrist, Fights Child at Daughter's School
… To the average parent, they don't seem all that unfathomable. Or more simply put- They are certainly despicable, but I understand how they happened.
On a much tamer vein, a young lady named Sinead wrote in to the show this week with this question…
I recently brought my son on a play date with 4 other kids. The other kids were a little older, but my son joined in and seemed to get along just fine.
At one point I saw one of the other kids shove my son so hard that he fell back and hit his head on the floor. The kid's mom didn't see it happen, but the other mom knew my son was pushed and quietly said "He's mean" about the boy who did the pushing.
Later on, the same boy was pushing my son around again, and his mom saw it this time. She appeared shocked but didn't offer any apology. This same boy was also pushing one of the other kids around, too.
This was the first time my son had a real play date since we live in COVID times, and we are first-time parents, so I have a question- Are some kids just dicks?
Should I avoid getting my son together with kids who behave like that, or with kids whose parents don't seem to give a shit about how their kids behave, or are these kids too young for me to be caring about this?
All I know is my husband and I were pissed and I'm wondering how to better prepared in the event that something like this happens again.
Great question, Sinead… Nothing compares to it.
I think first-time parents are so hyper-sensitive to everything happening around their pride-and-joys that they sometimes forget that kids bounce. And if their son is able to escape concussion protocol, a little rough-housing during a playdate, or encountering and then learning how to deal with a bully builds a tremendous amount of character.
But I also remember how fucking INFURIATING it was to see one of my three kids be in a bully's crosshairs, so I see both sides here.
To start, though, I will answer that main question: Are some kids just dicks?
The answer is no… Some kids are not dicks. ALL kids are absolute dicks at one time or another.
Very rarely do you have a kid go womb-to-tomb without doing something that justifiably annoys or possibly assaults everyone they come in contact with… Luckily, a good percentage of those dicks leave their dicky phase at some point.
Look around the room you are in right now and come up with a percentage of how many people are dicks… The living room I am currently in is running at ~ 35% dick rate, I would suppose (including me)… And that will give you a good guess on how many of these one-time dicky kids grew up to NOT be dicky adults.
Sometimes that dick phase lasts a week… Sometimes a year… And sometimes a kid will be unbearable for a decade, but the majority will grow out of it. Case in point: Some of my kids' friends were at one time social pariahs, and conversely some of my kids have become great young adults when they were at one time straight-up, unapologetic dicks.
So how does Sinead separate the wheat from the chaff at such a young age (her kid is 2)?
Well, it's a crapshoot as to which kid will make the leap to being palatable, so you have to look at the parent.
It's the combo of kid-to-parent that will be your divining rod as to whether give a dick kid a chance… Or to simply cut bait… OR to maybe give him/her a fucking…
(Which I don't recommend.)
Here's a handy chart that assumes traditional gender roles (apologies) that you can print out and keep in your wallet…
KID NOT-A-DICK + MOM NOT-A-DICK + DAD NOT-A-DICK = 2ND BEST CASE SCENARIO
KID DICK + MOM NOT-A-DICK + DAD NOT-A-DICK = KID has a VERY good chance at reform
KID NOT-DICK + MOM NOT-A-DICK + DAD HUGE DICK (AKA my kids) = KID has a semi-good chance
KID NOT-A-DICK + MOM DICK + DAD NOT-DICK = KID is fucked (terrible moms trump good dads)
KID NOT-A-DICK + MOM DICK + DAD DICK = A UNICORN
And it's that last one that is the best-case scenario… A child who is savvy enough to know that his caregivers are awful and makes a conscious effort to fall far from their tree?… That's not only the type of young man/woman that you want your kid to hang with… He/she is also the type of person you want your kid to marry.
So there's the long answer to your short question, Sinead, and I hope my little printable chart helps next time your kid comes face-to-face with another dick.
And if it doesn't, you can simply…
Happy Easter… Take a report.
Every week, Clem and I talk about kids we'd like to slap on Podfathers…
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