The Trials of Good Parenting: A Demonstration


How far can we go when confronting other adults in regards to our children? Louis CK, with his kids in a grocery store, wins.

Good parenting is a job meant for super-humans.

I don’t mean Marvel or D.C. or whatever.

I mean the real deal.

There are similarities. You can see that most parents are a bit affected. Some are plainly schizophrenic vigilantes of love in stained shmatas frayed at the cuffs. Or maybe you have another picture of what I mean.

We have to be super flexible and super acrobatic and harbor the potential for super powers used for good. Or used for utter annihilation.

Our children require us to live in multiple dimensions.

Each child deserves our fullest attention, and attention means staying an adult while having the ability to come to whatever level the individual child needs. And if there is more than one child, that means being able to switch from one dimension to another. This requires twitch musculature development in the brain, hoary wisdom, jiu-jitsu intuition, and a master teacher’s patience.

In this video, Louis CK, playing the dad, demonstrates the trials of good parenting. And he succeeds brilliantly.

While teaching the younger child how to apologize, he must reassure the older one of the correctness of the lesson without excluding her completely. He must deflect the horrid advice of others who pipe in suggestions like “Slap her mouth.” And then, just as he succeeds in teaching the lesson, a woman on her phone bumps the young daughter and moves along without pausing, without giving any indication that she realizes what she’s done. And without apologizing. And his daughter who apologized immediately recognizes this fact.

How he handles the rest is better left for you to watch. As a parent of two teenagers, I never had to do this, and watching it, I wonder if I would have. I certainly wish I would have if the occasion arose.

How far can we go when confronting other adults, strangers, with regards to our children?

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About David Karpel

David Karpel is from Miami Beach and now lives in a South Florida suburb. He is married to the funniest woman in the world and they have two freakishly well-behaved children. When he’s not teaching Krav Maga, practicing Brazilian jiu jitsu, or eating leather in muay Thai classes, he’s a high school English and Social Studies teacher, aspiring poet and amateur essayist, neglectful blogger at Jew Jitsu: Life in Search of the Soul Roll, and the founder of Frum Fit to Fight, a self-defense academy dedicated to serving the Orthodox Jewish community of Coral Springs and Boca Raton, Florida. David is now also on the editorial staff of The Good Men Project.


  1. The idea is nice, but I have a problem with empty apologies, that is when people don’t really mean them but do it to get out of a situation. Or when kids are made to say sorry mechanically. It sort of gives the message that you can do anything as long as you say ‘I’m sorry” afterwords. Then there are those obnoxious people who say “I’m sorry, but…”. The “but” simply erases the ‘sorry”.

  2. henry pym says:

    Stupid question, i know. I can’t seem to spot the video link for the life of me, can someone help?

  3. Whoa, what? He lets the cops take her? What kind of example is that?

  4. BoogerFree says:

    That was entertaining, but a bit over dramatic.

  5. Travis says:

    I like how she thought he was trying to hit on her. That was perfect.

  6. Annie Rose Shapero says:

    Great article! Sometimes other adults need a few lessons from a parent too!

  7. Louis CK wins again. This is what I mean by again:

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