I’m a Sh** Parent Like Tony Hawk. Aren’t You?

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About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane, hlntv.com, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. Nothing more to add to my comment on the other article, I just wanted to say I really liked this article. Also, Diet Coke is by far the best Coke variety. Except Cherry, but that goes without saying!

  2. Thanks for the link back. We all both thrive and fail in all things. We blame in hopes that magical action will keep us from being hurt. I’m sure this is all part of victim shaming as well.

  3. Bad behaviour needs to be called out. Anti-vaxxers put the herd at risk, if they grow in number they become breeding grounds for diseases that can mutate and hit the vaccinated people. I fully support blocking financial aid to those who don’t vaccinate their kids because these are risks to everyone, not just their kid. If you want to live in our society you damn well better do your best to make it safer and that means don’t purposely become a breeding ground for polio, etc. No way in hell should their unvax’d kids be allowed to goto the same preschools, etc and mix with others if they’re going to put everyone at risk. I’d like a world where polio stays the fuck away thank-you very much.

    Where does it start though? Slap a kid on the ass? Slap them across the face? Punch them? When should we start saying OI, you’re a bad parent, stop putting your kid in danger or being abusive?

  4. Alyssa Royse says:

    Unfortunately, you said it so well that I have little to add. I fail in many of the same ways, and some that are wholly unique. I believe, from the bottom of my warm and fuzzy little heart, that one of the best things we can do for our kids is model imperfection. And use every moment as a teaching opportunity. I don’t expect myself or my daughters to be perfect. I don’t expect any of us to always be right, to always know the answer. I expect us all to make mistakes, and then to talk about it in a calm – and often amusing – way. Although I make them wear helmets and such, I also go out of my way to expose them to risk and fear, so they learn how to handle it, as risk and fear are ever present. I try to help them learn that although we can mitigate risk, magical thinking doesn’t make the world safe. That often, when we worry, we just use up energy that could be spent living on worrying instead, and almost always worry about the wrong things.

    When I broke my neck and nearly died in a car accident, one of the many fleeting thoughts as that car was racing towards me was, “I didn’t see that coming.” And I didn’t mean the car. I meant dying that way. Since then, I haven’t bothered with a lot of worrying. We practice living fully with all practical risk-mitigation, and no magical thinking.

  5. Nick, mostly says:

    I’ve always said, someone’s kid must be “the wrong crowd” and it very well could be mine. I also think safety has become a fetish among parents, a way to delude yourself into thinking you hold some amount of control in what is a random and capricious world. It’s a response to urbanization and rapid change, both technological and cultural. The idea that we can protect our kids from harm is an illusory one, and in pursuing this unattainable goal of “safety” we miss out on teaching our kids what is truly important: how to be good people in a future world we may not recognize. Instead we hover about them – ever the generation of helicopter parents – while our kids come to think YOLO is actual wisdom. We shield their eyes from pornography but let them soak in the latest Taratino flick or FPS release. It all seems to be a cruel joke, doesn’t it?

  6. Mark Greene says:

    My son is seven. I have two words to say: “Robot Chicken”.

  7. I actually do look at my kid sometimes and wonder about what horrible acts toward humanity he’ll do. It keeps me teaching him the good things. If I see him torturing bugs and enjoying it, I immediately think about how that’ll turn into torturing animals and then how it’ll turn him into a mass murderer. So I try to stay ahead of the game. My actions? I just don’t like it when he catches me goosing momma because then he does it too and things get weird.

  8. It’s so much easier to point out failures in others because we’ve all done stuff as parents–and humans–that we knew we shouldn’t have. And people are always looking to knock down celebrities. I don’t need anyone else to criticize my parenting; my son draws pictures of me losing my temper (new facebook profile pic, my redfaced bald head screaming at a cowering dumb ass dog “You broke the scrin[sic] door!”). Rarely do we tell someone–even our spouse–how awesome it was to recreate Minute-to-Win-It in the backyard with the neighborhood kids. It’s like Andrew’s comment in the original post “When I see those photos, I see a beautiful bonding experience between father and daughter, one that she’ll probably cherish as one of her earliest memories.” We choose what we wanna see. Every parent could do a better job. And every parent that is active in his kids’ lives is doing a helluva job.
    Read more at http://goodmenproject.com/families/merry-christmas-tony-hawk-the-world-thinks-youre-a-s-parent/#AuqL7CeAr05lTTWC.99

  9. wellokaythen says:

    I am very easily annoyed by apparently clueless parents and the first to notice when kids are misbehaving. But, I’ve learned to be somewhat realistic about “bad parenting,” whatever that means anyway. It’s just one more of those “pick your battles” things.

    Realistically, there is only so much control and only so much responsibility that parents have for the way that their children turn out. Our society tends to be schizophrenic about this issue. Either parents are completely responsible for everything their children do and are to blame for everything wrong in a kid’s life; OR, kids are totally out of control, it’s too late, they’re too far gone, parents are helpless to do anything.

    The healthy reality is somewhere in between. There is a lot parents can do, but there’s always a risk, and there’s always the fact that a child is a distinct individual, not merely an extension of the parent’s ego. Past a certain point, a person has to stop blaming parents for the way that he/she turned out.

    As for the anti-vaccination crowd, who will they blame when their children get scarlet fever? Will they say that scarlet fever is the product of a pharmaceutical conspiracy?

    As for Tony Hawk, I’ve worked out a compromise. He’s a perfectly fine father skating with his daughter without helmets. If he falls and she gets hurt, then I will judge him harshly for being a dumbass. Until then, no blood no foul. I try to suspend judgment until there are concrete outcomes.

    As for parents not wearing helmets, of course there’s some benefit to modeling the behavior you want to see in your kids. But, there is still the fact that adults and children get to play by different rules. Children are not adults, which is too often forgotten. As a parent, you get to do things that your children are not allowed to do. When they’re grown up, they can choose for themselves whether to wear a helmet or not. If they expect to have all the same privileges that their parents have, then there is something very wrong in that family dynamic. (In my outsider’s opinion.)

  10. wellokaythen says:

    The NRA might suggest that it’s negligent parenting to send kids to school unarmed. How could you let your little boy go off to school without a way to shoot back? That’s just another way of dangling him over the railing….


  1. [...] This is a comment by Nick, mostly on the post “I’m a Sh** Parent Like Tony Hawk. Aren’t You?“ [...]

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