Rahm Emanuel’s Guide to Down-to-Earth Parenting

Backward: A Purim Spoof


Published March 04, 2009, issue of March 13, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share
Papa Emanuel: Chuckling over Knuffle Bunny with his colleagues.
Papa Emanuel: Chuckling over Knuffle Bunny with his colleagues.

Rahm Emanuel is the tough-but-fair, no-nonsense chief of staff for President Barack Obama. He is also a former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The loving husband of Amy Rule and father of three small children, he’s taken lessons he learned in the rough-and-tumble world of politics and applied them to the challenges of fatherhood in his new book, “I Made You, I Can Break You Just as Easily: Lessons on Parenting From Inside the Beltway.”

Although Emanuel may have faced tough questions working at the White House and in Congress, we bet he’s never faced anything tougher than these questions from our readers!


Dear Rahm,

Our boys are 2 and 4 and always seem to be pushing the limits. They take each others’ toys, throw things around and open closets I’ve specifically told them not to, all the while grinning cheekily at me. What should I do?

PERPLEXED IN SEATTLE

Dear Perplexed,

This boundary pushing is perfectly normal. Kids, and especially boys, are always testing the borders. You just have to set and reinforce reasonable rules and make clear what penalties they’ll suffer for transgression. As I tell my kids, “I can cut off your access. I can cut off your b—s. I made you and I can break you, so don’t make me f— you up.”

Rahm


Dear Rahm,

My little 6-year-old daughter is very shy and finds it uncomfortable to mix with others at her new school. How I can make it easier for her?

WORRIED DAD IN N.J.

Dear Worried Dad,

Going to a new school is always hard: a new environment, new people, new rules. What would really help is for you let your daughter know you are there for her, to talk through her problems and help her solve them. You can sit down with her and isolate the social divisions in the community and discuss ways to game them so that she can be queen bee. Help her understand that she shouldn’t be afraid to kneecap a few troublemakers to set an example, and that it is better to be feared than to be loved.

After all, this is your daughter’s happiness we’re talking about.

Rahm


Dear Rahm,

I feel as if I never see my family anymore — my husband’s always at work and my three kids are growing up and have their own lives. What can I do to keep my family a family?

SAD MOM IN CHICAGO

Dear Sad Mom,

My father used to say, “The family that eats together, stays together.” But that’s not always a practical solution.

Maybe your husband is really busy trying to save this f—ing country for Barack, and maybe now is not the best time for your touchy-feely bulls–t. Maybe you should pick up the phone instead of writing to newspapers, Amy. Don’t f— this up for me. I may not have made you, but I can still break you.

Rahm


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.