Funny dad brings 'Bare Minimum Parenting' to Lafayette

When it comes to parenting, one Indiana dad says less is more. James Breakwell wrote 'Bare Minimum Parenting' so people wouldn't feel so much pressure when it comes to their kids.

Posted: Nov. 9, 2018 6:34 PM
Updated: Nov. 9, 2018 6:37 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — James Breakwell's content is so funny and relatable it's gained him one million followers on Twitter. Now, he's bringing his message back to Lafayette, where he used to live.

James Breakwell's one and only book signing is here at Main Street Books from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

"I love Lafayette," said Breakwell. 

He used to work at the Journal and Courier but moved to Indianapolis after he realized journalism wasn't what he wanted to do.

"I couldn't take it so I got out and just got a regular job in a cubicle," said Breakwell. "I thought, well maybe I'll write on the side, I'll build up an audience on my own."

He tried but nothing he wrote seemed to stick. That is, until he started writing jokes about his kids on Twitter.

"He does have very funny tweets about child raising and the funny things that kids say," said Janet Elmore from West Lafayette. 

Elmore plans to share his new book, Bare Minimum Parenting, with her daughter in law. She's hoping it's as funny and helpful as his tweets.

Breakwell is no expert on the topic of parenting. 

"I did zero research for this book at all," said Breakwell. "It's all based on common sense and humor and all of that so I was kind of surprised at how poignant people found it. I had one person who said it made them cry I was like, that really wasn't the goal."

The goal was to cut parents some slack.

"There's just so so many people out there, so many parents who are going above and beyond and putting all this extra pressure on themselves and all this extra pressure on their kids not because they want to but because they feel like everybody else is telling them they have to," said Breakwell. 

But this funny author is doing the complete opposite.

"As long as they survive, as long as they feel loved, as long as you get them what they need basically," said Breakwell. "I think there comes a point where putting in more effort doesn't get you a greater return and that's what this book is really about."

The method is working well for him so far.

"Four daughters, ages, 8, 6, 4 and then one of them actually just turned 3 today," said Breakwell. "And they're a handful. I think if I was trying to raise perfect children, I would have had a nervous breakdown a long time ago."

His kids aren't fully grown but he has a theory on how he'll know he succeeded as a parent.

"If they can support themselves, they're not a social deviant, as in you know, they're not in jail or being chased by a mob with pitch forks and torches, and then if they don't blame you for everything," said Breakwell. 

It's all pretty simple in the end.

"You just have to be there for them," said Breakwell.

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