Rule #4: Tell Your Child He Sucks

in Rules of Parenting

peed pants playing baseball

Peeing pants isn't a part of baseball. But for your kid? It is.

You feel it almost every day. It gnaws at you like a pet mouse with a tapeworm: Despite your best work as a parent, there are times—well, many times—when your child just sucks. They suck in school, sports, personal hygiene, posture, overall appearance, and even checkers. And nobody really sucks at checkers. Well, except your kid.

But you resist the temptation to say anything. It wouldn’t be right to point out the obvious. You’re a progressive parent, after all. Children have feelings. They care what you say. Hell, you care what you say.

But consider this time-honored maxim: Humility is underrated.

That’s why it’s important to tell your child they suck. Not every day, just every once in a while. It’ll feel good and will kill the mouse with the tapeworm.

How to Tell Your Kid He Sucks

It’s always best to launch the verbal left hook when they’re already down in the dumps. Perhaps after an abysmal day at school or after they’ve missed the winning free throw in their youth basketball league. You don’t have to be demonstrative or mean, just resolute. Say something like, “You know, Brandon, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and you really do suck. The other parents are right about you.”

Sucking in General Terms

joel osteen is vague

Back your statements with no detail, like our friend Joel Osteen.

Your child may look puzzled and ask for specifics about why they suck, but it’s best to keep things vague and otherwise general, like a CEO or religious figure with a serious following.

Your follow up to any questions can be, “Oh, I don’t know—it’s not any one thing, but just a collection of things where you suck. It’s like the only thing you don’t suck at is sucking itself. And you micro-suck—that’s sucking on a molecular level. I just made that up, but I think it’s entirely appropriate when it comes to you. And if there were a Suck Hall of Fame, you wouldn’t necessarily be on the first ballot, but you’d get your share of votes from some people who saw you at your worst. Now, come on down to dinner, and don’t forget to wash those filthy hands of yours.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jason January 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

don’t all kids suck naturally?


Kelly September 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Excellent!! I’ve been perplexed as to how I would break the news to a child that they are a F*%&^$G retard without totally raping their self-esteem. Thank God this article was here to make me aware of an easier, softer way. This being especially helpful in that I have no children of my own, but, find it necessary to alert others. It honestly takes a village and I feel that I must do my part as a citizen. I mean, c’mon………is there anything more obnoxious than a toddler having delusions of grandeur? I think not.


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