If You Can’t Find Humor In Temper Tantrums, A**hole Parents Isn’t For You

Kristen Howerton, author of the parenting blog Rage Against The Minivan is causing tongue to wag and pearls to be clutched with her newest Instagram account called Assholeparents.com. Sadly, Howerton isn’t asking parents to send in tales of poor parenting in action that we’ve witnessed (note to self: write that down). Instead, Howerton is inviting readers to submit photos of their children crying with a caption as to what they, as the bad parent, must have done to cause the child to be upset using her hashtag #assholeparent. Behold:

Her new Pumas don’t light up so I’m an asshole. #assholeparent (Repost @kristenhowerton)

A photo posted by #assholeparent (@assholeparents) on

In speaking to the Huffington Post about this new venture, Howerton said it’s purpose was to help parents laugh and:

[G]ain some levity over this phenomenon that can sometimes be really frustrating. Despite our best efforts, children are often disappointed, and I’m hoping it can be a humorous reminder that we’re all in this together.

While fans of Howerton’s idea enjoy bonding with other parents through sharing tales of parenting gone wrong, not everyone seems to get the joke. Critics are decrying Howerton’s new site because they claim it promotes shaming of children. There are lots of comments like this:

get off my internets comment Other insults written by people who are complete strangers to Howerton and yet still feel entitled to comment about her personal life range from attacking her work as a therapist to calling her a racist for only posting crying photos of her biological, and not her adoptive, children.

If there’s any reason to get worked up over Howerton’s new site it’s not because she’s daring to talk about the unpleasant aspects of parenting, it’s because it’s already been done before. A few years ago, part time stay at home dad Greg Pembroke started posting pictures of his crying children on his Facebook page. He included captions with the seemingly silly reasons why they were crying. His friends thought it was funny, so he posted the images on Tumblr and the rest is the internet blogger success story known as Reasons My Son Is Crying.

Pembroke now supplements his content with submissions from readers of their kids crying. With over 39,000 Twitter followers, multiple television appearances and a book published last year by the same title, clearly there’s a market for parents who want to relate to each other over crying children. Instead of insults, Pembroke’s book is rated 4.5 stars on Amazon with reviews like this:

reasons amazon review

Just like how the toys our kids play with and the food we feed our children may vary from our own childhood, social media is changing how we preserve and share family moments.  Most people have at least one embarrassing picture of themselves as a child, whether it’s a naked baby riding on a tricycle or one of you red-faced and sobbing in the lap of a creepy Easter Bunny. Sure, parents weren’t posting these images online, but they were sending them to a developing center to be seen by those workers before saving them in albums to bring out and show your prom date. If you’re not comfortable with it, you don’t have to participate. But there’s no reason to try and make other parents feel bad for finding the humor in raising kids.

(image: PIKSEL/Gettyimages.com)


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