“Cut your shit” because “Shut the fuck up” is rude

At some point, we all have to put down our phones and take a good look at what our beautiful babies have turned into….they’ve turned into teenagers. These little pains in the ass, whom we’ve loved and raised with thoughtful dedication, still need our help.

They don’t realize it. But they do need us.

So let’s wait patiently for them to stop talking or sulking, let’s smile and take a deep breath. Then we’re going to have to say, “Cut your shit.”

These three words will not only help our children become better human beings, the philosophy behind the words will help make the world a better place.

My parents never spoke to me or my siblings like this. Luckily, I met a groovy guy when I was eighteen years old, and fell in love. After two dates, and about thirty phone conversations, he looked at me after one of our high-rolling, dollar-movie date nights with dinner afterwards at Dairy Queen and finally put into words what many before had only thought.

“Cut your shit.”

He said it with love and humor, but he also meant it. He probably interrupted a rant about how no one understands me. Maybe I criticized his voting habits.

“Katie, cut your shit,” he said.

So I did. We’ve been together ever since, going on 27 years now, and this directive long ago helped me to be a thoughtful, more considerate human being. I stopped with all the unspoken expectations. I no longer believed I was always correct. My opinion was not consistently valid and worthy of expression. I listened to other’s ideas for a change and when walking through an open door, I began holding it open for the people behind me.

It’s the little things that add up and indicate to onlookers whether we’re reasonable or we’re assholes.

My evolution to “reasonable” didn’t happen all at once. Marc had to say “Cut your shit” a few more times, but I eventually made a conscious decision to move past the controlling, self-absorbed girl of my youth.

In contrast, I know lots of people who never met anyone who told them to cut their shit. As a result, one friend still believes everyone on a group vacation should abide by her wishes – even if that includes a three-hour opera with no potty breaks. My brother married someone who only smiles and nods, so he still believes it’s perfectly acceptable to demand a $45 birthday cake – because the really expensive desserts have no preservatives.

Really. It’s cake.

As former teenagers, and now parents of teenagers, we know this is the age where douchebaggery begins. Between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, previously adorable children decide to crawl up inside their own asses.

They’ll live there forever if we let them.

When driving, notice people honking and flipping off senior citizens for “taking all day” because “I work for a living!” They never had parents who told them to cut their shit.

The transition snuck up on me and I almost missed it, too busy multitasking to pay attention. My sons went to bed with a hug and a kiss, woke up with pimples and a scowl, believing the entire world revolved around them.

They needed my help to snap out of it.

I introduced them to the sun, and told them to cut their shit.

It isn’t easy, but neither were toddler years when we wanted to sit them in front of cartoons all day. Fellow moms and dads, we can do this.

Here are some standard teenage statements in our house that required a soft but firm Cut your shit right away:

“I’m an adult!”

“I am not going to talk about it.”

“Whatever.”

“Bobby’s dad said we could.”

“Enjoy your wine much?”

“Florida has great universities.”

“The game only has 3 minutes left, then I’ll join you for dinner.”

“You can tell there’s no cereal left, just shake the boxes.”

“Who scheduled Aunt Martha’s funeral during playoffs?”

“I wasn’t talking trash on the basketball court, dad. I was speaking the truth. I really am bringing the heat.”

“I need you to drive back up to school and bring me my grey folder. Or would you prefer I fail?”

“While you’re up, can you hand me the ketchup, a napkin, more French fries, and the remote control?”

“I’d like to finish my thought before you lecture me.”

We have no one but ourselves to blame if our children become investment bankers and breeds lots of other little jackasses. Then what will we do? Move to the tropics and pretend there’s no Wi-Fi?

No fucking way. I don’t want permanent diarrhea and besides, reggae is only cool for an hour and a half.

Instead, let’s stick it out. Let’s finish what we’ve started. Let’s stand up straight and say, “Cut your shit.”

We’ll say it with love and humor and feel fantastic about it. So will a grateful planet.