Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children is a new parenting book written by Bruce Reyes-Chow and Robin Pugh. Robin is an instructor at City College of San Francisco and Bruce is a pastor and author. If you’re looking for a fun book about raising kids, written by two parents who have raised three wonderful daughters, this is a good book to pick up.
As they will mention below, Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat is not a Christian book on parenting and not one that you’d find in a Christian bookstore (store owners probably wouldn’t get past the illustrations on the front cover), but it is a parenting book written by two parents who have a deep faith and a lot of stories about raising kids in today’s world.
I had a chance to interview Bruce and Robin, and wanted to share that interview with you below. If you’re ready to go ahead and buy Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat, click here. They’re also slowly releasing the contents of the entire book, and you can read some samples here.
Illustrated Ministry (ICM): What led you and Robin to decide to write a book about parenting?
Bruce and Robin: We have a friend who posted on her Facebook page that she thought the bare minimum requirement for being a good parent was “not to raise assholes.” That got us to thinking, “What do we want to teach our own kids?” We had always played with writing a parenting book, and this seemed like as good of a time as any to dive in. We kickstarted it, wrote it, hired a kick-ass designer, an awesome editor, and voila, Don’t Be and Asshat was born!
ICM: What do you think is one of the hardest things about being a parent?
Bruce and Robin: The most frustrating about parenting is that early on it becomes clear that our children are not robots that can be programmed to do certain things if they just have the right code inputted into their cerebral cortex.
Intellectually, we think most parents get that this a good thing and that each child is an individual person and will react and respond differently to the things they experience in the world, but we all would love it if they just always did and believed what they were told. Practically, it would be great if there was a guaranteed cause and effect thing that happens with every teaching and lesson that we we give our kids instead of our kids behaving with their own agency, and often in opposition to what we just thought we taught them.
Bruce and Robin: While the book is not directly addressed to a church audience — if it were, we probably wouldn’t have approved the ass-crack imagery — we do talk a bit about faith, namely to have faith. We think it’s important for our young folks to be able to develop their own belief systems and at some point have genuine agency over those decisions.
What we do not encourage is to raise kids with nothing. We have found that kids that are raised with NOTHING seem even more lost when a spiritual yearning begins to develop and that giving them some healthy foundation of faith will help them to discern and discover their own faith and belief system.
So yes, do the church, mosque, synagogue, etc. thing, but do so with the intention and understanding that at some point they will decide on their own, and that these early years have given them a frame of reference for their search.
ICM: I’m sure there isn’t anything you’d want to change about other parents you’ve encountered before, but if you had one “parenting pet peeve” – what is it and why?
Bruce and Robin: Hmmm . . . oh so many 🙂 Okay, if I have to pick one, it would be when other parents see kids that are having a meltdown in public and the parent/s of the child are clearly embarrassed and frustrated. Rather than give an encouraging, “It’s okay, I know what you’re going through and it will be okay” smile, they give a smug, and condescending look of disapproval as if to say, “MYYYYY kids would never behave in such a manner and you suck as a parent!” We have all been there as parents, but some seem to forget. Come one people, have a heart.
ICM: What is the best piece of advice that you and Robin offer in Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat?
Bruce and Robin: For our kids . . .
Well, I would say what the world needs is for our kids to continue the tradition of being able to identify and fight injustice in the world, so some of my favorites in the book are about standing up against injustice, remaining teachable, and protesting.
For the parents . . .
If I had to pick one thing that has been most helpful for me is to know that parents are not the only ones in the world responsible for parenting. Our kids have been raised by communities of people who may not have their own kids, but have been integral to raising our girls. So yeah, even if you don’t have kids, we are counting on your to help raise our kids, and if you have kids, be sure to take advantage of the gift that other in your community are to your own kids.
And for both — Rule #81, When you have to fart, please be considerate and leave the room.
If you are interested in following Bruce and Robin and their new book project online, here are some helpful links:
- Book on Instagram
- Book on Twitter
- Bruce on Twitter
- Bruce on Instagram
- Robin on Twitter
- Robin on Instagram
If you’re ready to just go ahead and buy Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat – you can get it on Kindle or paperback on Amazon here.