According to my 13 year old daughter, I am THE most embarrassing parent in the world. I know most teenagers think that about their parents, but apparently they are all wrong, because it is me. I actually think I’m a pretty cool parent, you can see how cool I am from the picture right? Right?! Apparently though, this is the problem, parents shouldn’t try to be cool they should just be, well…parents. The thing is though, I didn’t realise I was TRYING to be cool, I thought I just was cool.
I completely understand though, because I do rather a large number of embarrassing things – I talk, I smile, I laugh, sometimes I wave, and once when we were in the car I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel in time to the music in front of her friends! It’s surprising she can ever show her face anywhere considering this ritual humiliation that I constantly subject her to.
My son seems to be a bit more accepting of my presence in public for now (unless I try to give him a hug or kiss in front of people), but I’m sure that will all change in a couple of years when he’s at secondary school. For now, however, I am permitted to go out without having to walk six paces behind him with a paper bag on my head.
I wonder why it is though that so many kids/teenagers find their parents embarrassing. I lived with just my Dad from around age 7 till 16, and I don’t remember being particularly embarrassed by him (and I’m not just saying that because he subscribes to this blog, teehee), maybe I was and I’ve just forgotten, but I don’t think so. Ignoring the photo at the top of this post, I’m genuinely baffled as to what I do or don’t do, or what I could do differently to make things easier for her. I’m generally fairly quiet and in the background when her friends are around, I’m pretty easygoing about what they do. She hasn’t cited my clothing or hair as being a problem (mostly). I do sometimes tell stories about things she did when she was little, and I guess that can be a bit embarrassing. Maybe that’s it. The stories. Hmmm. And sometimes I might dance around and sing a bit when she puts some music on. And I do like to try silly hats on in shops. But overall, I really do think she could do a lot worse.
Does anyone else have experience of being an embarrassing parent? If so, any tips on how to deal with it?