Where to Order

Main Street Books (Indie Bookstore, U.S. Only)


Amazon UK

Indigo (Canada)

Barnes and Noble


Indie Bound

Benbella Books


This isn’t a book about overachieving at parenting.

This isn’t even a book about achieving exactly the right amount.

This is a book about doing as little as possible without quite ruining your child.

Overachieving parents want you to believe the harder you work, the better your kid will turn out. That lie ends now.

The truth is most kids end up remarkably unremarkable no matter what you do, so you might as well achieve mediocrity by the easiest possible route. The goal of “bare minimum parenting” is to turn your child into a functional adult with only a fraction of the effort spent by super moms and dads.

If you do it right, your kid will be no better or worse off than their kids, but with more free time left for you. That’s more valuable than all the participation trophies in the world.

In Bare Minimum Parenting, amateur parenting expert James Breakwell will teach you to stop worrying and embrace your child’s destiny as devastatingly average. To get there, you’ll have to overcome your kid, other parents, and yourself, all of whom will push you to do more than is absolutely necessary. Honestly, by reading this far, you’re already trying too hard. But don’t stop now. You’re exactly the kind of person who needs this book.


“A painfully honest and hilarious parenting book for us non-parenting-book-reading underachievers trying to survive the whole parenting experience.”

—Brian Gordon (@fowlcomics), creator of the webcomic Fowl Language

“A witty and refreshing take on parenting in a modern world. ”

—Rebecca Mader (@bexmader), actress on Once Upon a Time and Lost

“I’ve never felt so guilt-free ignoring my child to read a book.”

—Laura Perlongo (@LauraPerlongo), Shorty Award-winning cohost of We Need to Talk and guest commentator on MTV’s Catfish

“Breakwell has a hit . . . uproariously funny, and at times, unexpectedly poignant.”

—Liliana Hart (@Liliana_Hart), New York Times bestselling author and mom of five

“Oh, parents! Read this book and free yourself from the blood sport that parenting has become! With humor, insight, and honesty, smartass James Breakwell tells you what no other parenting book has the guts to say—relax. You and the kids will be just fine.”

—Kristan Higgins (@Kristan_Higgins), New York Times bestselling author

“As a father of three children ages 25, 17, and 3, who are all reasonably well adjusted and jail-free, James Breakwell’s views on kids and parenting speak to my soul . . . If you have a kid, are planning on having a kid, or have friends who have kids, and want to hold on to some of your sanity, this book is a must-read!”

—Jaime Casap (@jcasap), chief education evangelist at Google and free-range parent

“I don’t have any kids and still, I loved this book. I laughed and laughed, and then I reached the part about raising a child in your thirties or forties and I cried.”

—David Litt (@davidlitt), former speechwriter for President Obama and bestselling author of Thanks, Obama

James Breakwell’s Bare Minimum Parenting is a rollicking, entertaining manifesto for the half-assed revolution. Reading it was WAY more fun than writing my own books and raising my own kids.

–Carolyn Parkhurst (@CParkhurst1), New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel and Harmony

“A parenting book like no other. Wise, hilarious and a must-read for harassed, guilt-ridden parents everywhere. Parenting doesn’t have to be high maintenance. Don’t believe me? Read this.”

Vicki Psarias (@HonestMum), bestselling author of Mumboss and Founder of Honestmum.com

“I haven’t laughed this hard in a while.”

—Aimée Carter (@aimee_carter), bestselling author of Simon Thorn, Goddess Test, and Blackcoat Rebellion series

Media Coverage



Mostly Proud Parents

The Writer’s Bone

Today’s Parent

Emily Gaudrea

Daily Mirror

The Jennifer Fulwiler Show

Isle of Misfits

Let It Grow

The Dorset Book Detective

They Say Parenting

Explorations In Ambiguity