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How to Break up With a Son

Breaking up with someone is always difficult, but at least when you’re ending a romantic relationship there is a template to follow. Chances are it’s not your first time, and even if it is, we’ve watched breakups in film and television our entire lives. It can be much more challenging to end a different sort of interpersonal relationship. Say, a friendship that’s become toxic. Oh, but you’ve already read an article on how to do that? Okay fucker, let’s take the training wheels off: Here’s how you breakup with a goddamn son.

Dumping someone as a son can be awkward and difficult to navigate. Here is a step-by-step guide on identifying if, when, and how to break it off with a dud kid.

Ask yourself, “Does this person make me feel good, or do they make me feel drained?”
If you’ve even read this far, chances are pretty good that the bundle stopped bringing you joy a long time ago.

Have you given things a fair chance to work out?
According to child psychologist Dr. Vivian A. Platt, even the shittiest 9-year-old boy could start turning things around any day, but by 11 you can “pretty much tell which way the wind is blowing.” There is a reason for the old saying “a decade and one, I’m so fucking done.”

Look at him.
Just look at him! That smarmy, lazy, good for nothing prick! Sitting on the couch, YOUR couch, with his video games all day, asking you for shit he could just get up and get for himself like his leg’s don’t work, who the fuck does he think he is?! This is YOUR house!

Choose a public setting
When breaking up with a son, or really any of your offspring, there is a good chance for hostility on both sides. Dr. Platt suggests that having “the talk” in a busy coffee shop or dinner will help keep both parties in check.

Be direct
There is no room for non-committal language when severing ties with one of your own children. Platt advises that you avoid saying things like, “I don’t know if this is working out” or, “I/We think this is a good idea.” Look that little fucker right in the eye and tell him point blank, “It’s over.”

Thank them
There must have been a time when he was like 4 and pronounced a common word wrong and it made everyone laugh or something, talk about that or whatever. “Remember, you were both huge parts of each other’s lives and you have both shared a journey together,” says Platt. “It is important to honor that.”

Be firm
Don’t get too sappy going down memory lane. Stay on message. Remind your former child that once you leave the table, it is illegal for them to ever speak to you again. Inform them that if they wish to arrange a pickup of their things they can do so through an intermediary, but that you paid for everything they own, which means they don’t own anything, so really there is no point.

There, you are now armed with enough pop-psychology bullshit to make the biggest decision of your life so far. Remember to say “self care” a lot going forward, and if you experience any doubts, try imagining buzzwords jumping over a fence until you’re able to take a little nap.