Dear Snotty Kid…

I didn’t ask whether you opened the door. I told you to close it.

I don’t care if they’re your favorite pants. I care whether they cover your butt. That’s what pants are for, actually.

It doesn’t matter if your homework is stupid. It matters that you do it.

If you’re not hungry enough to eat the dinner you were served, you’re not hungry enough to know the value of food. You can choose to be that hungry if you keep it up.

No, you do not “have to do everything around here.” If we depended on you for everything, we’d all be dead.

No, it will not kill you to pick up your socks. Hasn't killed me yet, has it?

After you say, “I don’t care what you do to me,” don’t bother bitching when you’re punished  exactly the way you were warned you would be. You either care, or you don’t care.

I can tell the difference between when “I’m sorry” means that you’re sorry and when it means “go to Hell, Dad!” You will elicit a reaction appropriate to your real message.

I know it’s not fair. It wasn’t fair when I was your age, either. You get no votes at all until you move out and shift for yourself. Then you get all the votes — right up until you have a snotty kid of your own.

It’s also unfair that I don’t believe you’re serious when you scream “I hate you,” while I expect you to take seriously my silent reply: “But I love you, kiddo.

“Always will.”



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  1. Tracy Milano says

    Thanks Jack. Short, to the point, and wonderful as usual. I read this out loud to Mike and the last few sentences hit pretty hard because of what we’re dealing with, courtesy of our 15 year old (AND our 6 year old, actually).

  2. Monte Miller says

    Worked for us and our two young sons. Consistency and love really matter. Both grew up to be responsible men -one a 40-year old teacher and the other a 37-year old Soldier presently on his fifth deployment; second one to the ‘stan.

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