Dear Children: 

Should I die from heat stroke in hot yoga class I am being forced to take tomorrow by my alleged “friends” here is a list of ten of the most important life lessons I want you to remember.

Love Mom

1) DON’T be a sh** head.

Don’t be a sh** head is actually the only piece of advice you will ever need in life. A sh** head can best be summed up as a person who thinks they are better than everyone and therefore can act however they want without taking into account the feelings of others. Just think about it: ISIS, filled with sh**heads. Nazis, sh**heads. Westboro Baptist Church, sh**heads. That girl in fourth grade that invited everyone in the class but you to her birthday party, sh** head. and her parents are also sh**heads.

You will, unfortunately, find sh**heads everywhere, they will be in your school, on your sport teams, sitting beside you in the movie theatre, the coffee shop, on the train, the airplane, the beach, maybe even at Thanksgiving dinner.

2) DON’T ever think you know the whole story. The truth is while some people are born sh**t heads, most are made that way by either crappy parenting or crappy events in their life.  You never really know when someone acts unkindly to you what else is going in his/her life so give people a second chance, then if they are still a sh**head, move on.

3) DON’T let anyone push you around. If some stupid bully on the playground hits you, hit them back. I know, I know, your teacher says, “Use your words.” Great. Here are some words to use (try to say this with a low and gravelly voice, like Liam Neesen), “Listen jerk, I don’t want to hurt you, but if you hit me again I will hit you back and you won’t like it.” Now, if they hit you again, hit them back, hard. You tried to warn them, you used your words, it didn’t work.

4) DON’T ever say, “I would NEVER…” The truth is, we don’t know what we would say or do in certain situations; what words we might say or how we might act. Don’t be too quick to judge others. There are circumstances in life that cause us to become strangers even to ourselves.

5) DON’T do drugs. Seriously, have you ever seen this particular life choice work out well for anyone? Ever? Elvis? Whitney Houston? Michael Jackson? The Rolling Stones? Ok, well maybe the Rolling Stones, but that’s it.

Onto the 5 DO’s:

6) DO check your teeth, feet and fly before leaving the restroom. Teeth: for wayward pieces of broccoli; feet: for pieces of toilet paper that are quietly and grossly trailing along behind you and fly: to make sure it’s up and you don’t look like a creep.

And don’t forget to discreetly tell your friends when they have something stuck in their teeth or if their fly is down. What kind of a sh**head wouldn’t tell their friend when something was in their teeth? Wouldn’t you want to know? Isn’t that what a true friend does? Tells you when something isn’t quite right. Helps you out in a jam. Steps on that nasty piece of paper stuck to your shoe before you get back to your date. Now that’s a true friend.

7) DO pass the ball. PASS THE DAMN BALL!  And I don’t mean to your best friend or the star player on the team, I mean pass it to that kid that will probably miss it. The one who might fumble. Throw it to him/her and if they miss it, no big deal, this isn’t the NFL or the NBA.  They just want a chance. Everyone wants to be a part of the team.

8) DO surround yourself with people you can be yourself with. So here’s the harsh truth: you tend to make mistakes, you are sort of strange and sometimes you smell. You are no different than anyone else, and you better be with the people or person who will love you through all of that. I recently read about a woman who said she could never pass gas in front of her spouse because it would ruin their romance. Seriously? I have been married for almost twenty-five years and personally, I just don’t have the energy to hold in all of the bad parts of me all of the time. I’m not saying to let yourself completely go and sit around all day drinking beer and blowing gas in your grease-stained sweatpants, I’m saying once in a while the ugly and smelly come out, and you need to accept it and move on. It’s life. It’s human. It’s you. It’s all of us.

9) DO say yes when someone asks you to dance. It takes a lot of courage to get up the nerve to ask someone to dance. They aren’t asking you to marry them; it’s just a dance for Christ sake! So, don’t be a sh**head, dance!  

10) DO listen to old people once in a while. We know a few things. We have had hookups and breakups. We have done mean things and done the right things. We have been drunk and high, and woke the next morning full of regret. We thought we knew the whole story, only to find out later that we didn’t actually know the story at all. We have worked up the courage to ask someone to dance only to be rejected. We have tried to hold in the stinky parts of us, only to realize we cannot. We have known sh** heads and we have been sh** heads. We know.

(This post originally ran on Ten to Twenty Parenting)

About Anne Sawan: I am a mother of five, a psychologist and author. I have four books published through MeeGenuis (The Halloween Costume, The Baseball Game, When Santa Was Small and The Great Adventure Brothers) as well as having written several articles for Adoptive Families, Adoption Today and Brain-Child Magazine. I also recently won the International Picture Book Contest held by Inclusive Works for my book, “What Can Your Grandmother Do?” which will be published by Clavis Publishing some time this year. You can find more at Anne’s site!

LIKE THIS POST? Check out how this mom talked to her tween about orgasms in You Get One, You Give One or read The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You



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    • I like the sentiment behind #9, but I don’t always WANT to dance, depending on the song or the dance itself (I’ll do an East Coast Swing, for instance, but despise the Two Step). And I shouldn’t have to dance if I don’t want to, but I completely realize that it takes courage to approach someone (often a stranger) to ask. My response in these cases is “No, but thank you for asking.” It’s sincere, and I say it with as much genuine kindness as I can infuse into one sentence. I do appreciate the effort and the compliment and want him to know that.

      • Exactly! No one should feel guilted into doing something about which they feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t make someone a sh!thead to have boundaries.

        • I once chastised my daughter for not dancing the boy who asked her. I told her it took him so much courage to ask, and to try to imagine how hard it would be for her brothers to ask someone. Her response was, “But I don’t want to dance. Why should I have to?” And I realized the message I was sending her – that her feelings mattered less than the boy’s. I immediately apologized and told her she did not have to dance unless she wanted to do so.

          • Anonymous

            Ok then, your daughter is older now and married. Your daughter asks her husband to do something for her, he says my mom taught me that i dont have to do it if i dont want to. Translation, moms a sh**head, lol, just kidding. Life is all about give and take. And yes we all should do things sometimes if we dont want to, you do it for others, and be a better person for yourself.

      • Or not this song but the next, no but would you like to get some punch, or I love watching but hate danceing(only if it is true).

      • Mildly annoyed Reply

        I agree – only I would say it much more strongly than you did. I didn’t like #9 at all. You should never do something if you get a bad vibe or it makes you uncomfortable. Those instincts are there for a reason and the whole “it’s just a dance” doesn’t wash if the guy decides it’s more than that and any opening you give him is an invitation to be creepy and/or ignore boundaries in other respects. If you don’t value your own feelings, why would he? Terrible advice to give to girls at least. If a creepy dude asks you to dance and you get a bad vibe from him wanting to touch you, say no nicely. If he reacts to it badly or gives you a hard time, take that as vindication that you were right. Someone nice wouldn’t try to make you feel like crap about asserting your own wishes/boundaries. Seriously. Stop giving girls this kind of advice. Just stop.

        • Seriously? Reply

          I took the advice to simply be: be considerate of others. That is never bad advice. Heed you internal warnings, but be nice. People think it’s ok to treat other rudely just because they can or they think it makes them look good/strong/etc. I strongly disagree.

          • Anonymous

            Thank goodness! Someone else who didn’t read so much into it that it becomes a “are you empowering your daughters” issue! Just be nice. Consider others. Don’t look at some kid who isn’t the hottest/most athletic/popular kid in class and laugh or look down your nose at him if he asks you to dance. Just be nice. How hard is that?!

        • I think this advice was more for those girls who don’t want to dance with a person bc he is perceived as the nerd or “not cool”. Absolutely teach people, especially daughters, to go with gut choices but don’t be ugly when it comes to your reputation or outward appearnce. She is talking about middle and high schoolers. And it is not like she is choosing to date or go off with this guy. Just a middle school dance where the nerd or shy boy got the courage to ask your beautiful or confident daughter to dance. Not to be ugly or picky bc the jock or most popular didn’t ask you for that song. She is talking about being a sh** head not compromising your safety.

          • AMEN! “Just be NICE!” is what I heard all my life from my mom. I have never regretted being nice ( nor regretted to not be a sh***head).

      • Find a good partner and learn the Two Step! I used to feel the same way, but then really learned with someone who knew how, really knew how and now I love it!!

  1. Yea, my son, who graduated high school this past June, recently told me that on the last day of school, his photography teacher said the best advise he could give them about the real world was “it doesn’t really matter what you do in life, just don’t be a dick”. Words to live by for all of us, for sure….

    • Wil Wheaton’s rule #1: Don’t be a Dick. Words to live by.

  2. Brilliant! Pretty much what I said to my now 32 year old son! How refreshing common sense is!

  3. It says never say I would never, and it also says not to do drugs. Is it okay to say “I would never do drugs”

  4. to this i would add: “be presentable. dress for the occasion at hand.” too many people- particularly the young stuff, don’t put any effort whatsoever into what they look like before being in public. show the world you deserve to be respected.

    • All humans deserve to be respected, whether they are “presentable” or not. Just sayin.

  5. 11. Don’t write “sh**”. If you’re going to say “shit”, say “shit”. Own it.

  6. I’ve been a father for 27 years and you have summed up good parenting in 10 step. I wish I had this list 27 years ago. I feel good that I did do many of the suggestions on the list but in hindsight I wish I could have done them better and did the ones that I didn’t do!!

  7. Good advice! Please write about helicopter parents who want to fix everything in life for their kids.

  8. This post makes me feel wonderful…..We have two wonderful children and grands that are not Sh**heads. And a Daughter & a Son in law as well….We wasn’t the best parent, but I guess we did ok. Love your blog.

  9. I love it all…except the part about hitting back….I prefer a more passive/aggressive approach and something less violent. I could mention a few things, but….anyway….great list

    • Please mention. I find it irritating when someone says, what not to do, then doesn’t offer an alternative. Like going in for a high five and left hanging.

  10. When my daughter was in the second grade she wanted to invite all the kids in her class except for one girl. I told her she didn’t have to be friends with the girl but she could not invite the entire class and leave one person out. She was so mad at me for forcing her to invite somebody she didn’t want to but I stood my ground.

  11. To be blunt, there is no “if” only “when” because even you are going to die.

    • Brandy Bryant Reply

      She was simply speaking specifically to IF she should “die from heat stroke in hot yoga class”. Therefore, she should have used “if” instead of “when”. Although, of course, we all will eventually die, not everyone dies of heat stroke in a yoga class. Just saying!

  12. I have no idea who Liam Neesen is, but apart from that; there’s some great advice on there. Thanks For sharing!
    Oh and I do know Liam Neeson

  13. I read this thinking I would pass it on to my 19 year old, but….he does them all. That gave me a sigh of relief. He leaves tomorrow to start his next journey in life and along with a few other wisdoms of life, he lives this list. I am not ready to let him go, but I know he will be ok, and will call me if he’s not. Maybe I did do something right. I know this was meant as a teaching tool, but it also gave me peace. Thanks so much. It came at the perfect time.

  14. Practical commentary about navigating the world. Kindness is in short supply for too many self involved kids and generosity is almost unheard of. Instilling good values happens throughout raising kids. Polite and courteous manners are so noticeable that they are now remarked upon when encountered. Put down the phone, do something nice especially if it’s something that doesn’t require being reciprocated, and don’t belittle others. Can’t say that I am in agreement with the crass aspect to font a curse word, as this is unneccesay (though attention getting) to get the point across. Kind of like wearing a tube top to a sporting event, the goods are covered, gets you noticed, not necessarily all attention is “good” attention…but then again that is what you were looking for.

  15. Having read all the commentary – which were almost as entertaining as the post – I have suggest #11 is missing. “Relax and don’t take yourself too seriously.”

  16. Having read all the commentary – which were almost as entertaining as the post – I suggest #11 is missing. “Relax and don’t take yourself too seriously.”

  17. I wonder – who asked the author to dance when she was in high school? You should not have to dance with creeps just because it’s the nice thing to do, no matter what your age. I lived through this my entire life and I have the right to say no.

  18. “Don’t be an asshole.” That is the advice I give my 12 year old son, Colin. Anne, get out of my head! I even once told him that one day he would tell his own kids that the only advice his mother ever gave him was, “Don’t be an asshole.” He just nodded his head with a big (it’s funny because it’s true) grin on his face.

    This is the first article I have read on Bluntmoms. Thanks Anne! Now I’m hooked.

    • I tell people all the time, “I will not raise and Asshole.” That’s the only thing I’m confident in!

  19. Mimicreature Reply

    So, #9. Gee, I think that was advice based on the idea that her kid might only say no to dancing because he didn’t want to be seen dancing. Not because he, or she, had some weird feeling about their projected dance partner, or because the kid didn’t legitimately want to dance. The advice is, if you’re not actually uncomfortable, and you’re just want to avoid dancing because you think only a specific type of person dances, then just do it. No good parent would knowingly tell their kid to dance with someone if their kid was really creeped out.

  20. I would have loved to be asked to dance.I would have loved to be asked to join in anything.I would have loved to be invited.I was a quiet only child & painfully shy. Consider the feelings of someone else & not just yielding to your own.

  21. Loved the article. Shared it to my 19 year old son’s fb page, because he is being an asshole and a shithead (I’m owning it) 90% of the time these days. Maybe, I won’t have to die and he will realize he should stop the shithead stuff right now.

  22. Not the first Alice Reply

    Hey folks,remember that this is advice to kids. I agree they should have the right to say no to something that gives off a dangerous, perverted, sort of vibe, but usually one classmate asking another to dance at a school function isn’t like the creepy, dangerous, adult wanting to separate the child from the group for illegal activity.

    If the kid doesn’t like the song or truly doesn’t want to dance then she or he can be polite and suggest either waiting on another song or maybe getting a snack together. The key is being polite to the asker.

    In fact the key to the whole article is manners. Being considerate and thoughtful to those around you whenever possible. (Bullying aside)

  23. been there done that Reply

    Don’t ever tell anyone you can’t remember sh $$, because it will bite you in th a $$ forever.

  24. I just read the post about don’t be a shit head. It was amazing. Thank ya for sharing

  25. Oh, how I enjoyed this essay. Not much worth reading on the interwebs most of the time, but this one I happily shared with my four adult (hopefully) non-sh**head spawn. So much TRUTH. Keep on keepin’ on!

  26. Roberto Ruiz Reply

    We delight in those moments when a mother sees a man in uniform coming towards her and realizes it is her son coming home from war…. the joy is immediate and indescribeable, and the screams are the voice of angels filled with gratitude, the tears are the tears of happiness, relief and joy. So many homecomings… so many moments when God definitely answers her prayers. But please, PLEASE, let’s also not forget that mother that sees a man in uniform coming towards her, but it is NOT her son…. the depth of her grief is immediate and indescribeable, the screams may present as whimpers grasping for denial, and the voices of angels cannot comfort the shock…. the tears are rivers of sadness, despair, and remorse. Please reach out to this mother and make sure she understands OUR gratitude, OUR pride, and OUR respect for the sacriice SHE has had to endure for the sacrifice of HER soldier, who is also OURS. We are also THAT mother…

  27. Great post! My kids are 26 (HOW?) and 24 and I still remind them daily to be good people. I think it’s working. My son (26) an engineering student, crashed his bike on the way to class and broke his finger, but he got back up and made it to class on time because he had the only hard copy of a group project. He said he couldn’t be “that guy” who let the group down. So proud. Then he asked his professor for permission to go to the medical center. Thanks again! Keep up the good work.

  28. I wish I had written this myself but I am HAPPY to share – I know I say every one of these things – Bless you for writing this – it’s going on my fridge today and in an email to my kids.

  29. Sounds pretty good.
    My two cents.
    It is possible to be blunt and accurate without the words using the *. Really, you can. You are smart, educated and capable. Its possible.
    Everything else, pretty much spot on.

  30. You obviously never lost a parent. I lost both within 9 months of each other when I was 9 and 10. 1. It is not your fault. There is nothing you could do. 2. Love your siblings fiercely. 3. It is ok to love another parent figure. In fact, completely let them in. 4. Don’t shut people out. Let them in. 5. Ask for help. Everyone wants to help you, let them in.

  31. So true and honest. I have said the same words to my children with different results from each one. You just never know where your child is in their life at that time and face it each child is different in their own ways. You just pray that you can keep their head above water until they can swim by themselves.

    Here’s an article I would like to see written: WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER REALLY HATES YOU AND YOU DONT KNOW WHY.

  32. Eileen E. McCauley Reply

    It’s all All true and funny, but #8 is hysterical!!! Later when my husband came home and read it aloud, I still laughed just as hard. How nice to have someone echo your own thoughts!!!!

  33. I think you need two more bullets: Don’t be a phony and don’t walk around with blinders.

    A woman I know who is absolutely horrible — mean, rude, fake, phony, sanctimonious, judgemental — had the nerve to post this to her Facebook page. I wanted to post, “Gee, look in the mirror much?”

    It’s always the meanest people who share stuff like this.

  34. Hilarious! I wished I had said this to my sons when they were younger. Fortunately, they didn’t turn out to be Sh** heads anyway.

  35. Robert Stedman Reply

    That was a FANTASTIC read and I couldn’t agree MORE with any of it.

  36. I needed that Patti Huffman today of all days ,this world is full of sh– – heads ,and I’m probably one to.a lot of times .But if you feel that way ,itfeels so good to get things off your chest.I say ,We get more of them evert day SHIT HEADS ,this is ??????Helen Reinhart Reineck.liked your article.

  37. My mom just resently passed away. Last week to be honest. This works perfect for my children as well as dealing with my mom’s estate and my two sisters sh**head personalities.

  38. Many good points though: “Do Pass the Ball” is a fine idea and everyone should get a chance, BUT passing the ball just to pass the ball or make people feel good. Most often that does not get the ball moving forward but sideways.

  39. Pingback: Worth Reading — 6.14.17 | A Touch of Cass

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