Parental Units: Tell me about the "Embarrassing Parents Phase"

You know, the phase where they don’t want to be seen in public with you, and everything you do embarrasses them. Also known as, “Aww, Mom!”

It’s so hard not to be hurt by it. Kids naturally do all kinds of things that can hurt your feelings, it’s part of growing up; and mostly I could let them all slide because I understand this. Water off a duck.

And I understand the need for individuation and symbolic rebellion. (tie-dye! the perfect way to freak out a punk mom!) But this part is a little harder. Even when we hang out together, he is texting on his phone constantly. I miss him.

So, how have you dealt with it emotionally?

I’ve cut them out of my will.

In my head, anyway.

Otherwise I just accept it as a developmental stage, and don’t get worked up over something I’m not going to be able to change. Why let someone else live in my head rent-free, even if they’re living in my house rent-free?

The fact that your very existence embarrasses the hell out of your children gives you enormous power. Use it wisely, but use it.

“If you don’t clean your room I will call you widdle snooky-wookums in front of your friends.”

That room fucking gleamed.


And if things get dire, you can pull out the Nuclear Option: threaten to hang out with your son and his friends and sing. Bwahahahaha!! Fear us, O Adolescents, for we are … your parents!!

My two teenaged sons are long into this stage, where I am somehow “weird”. I try to get them to tell me how I’m weird, and to show them that I’m really not weird, I’m just a normal person. They, however, insist that I am weird.

Other than that bit of confusion, I’ve dealt with their increasing distance pretty well, as a whole- although I may want to smother them occasionally, those moments are decreasing in number, gradually. I try to stress to them that as a woman and their mother both, I deserve at least a show of respect, even if they don’t feel like it at that moment. It’s too easy for kids these days to let their apathy degrade into disrespect, but must not be tolerated. If all else fails, act like you don’t know that your shirt is not a dress and prepare to go out in public in it. You will get the attention from those kids that you need, then!

I remember my parents taking my brother and I out to a movie on a Friday night, then having the nerve to take us out for donuts after the show. To the donut shop near my school I sat with them while the really popular crowd were two tables away, having fun while I sat there just dying.

At school on Monday, one of the kids asked if I had been at Robin’ on Friday. I nodded, mortified.

“Why didn’t you say hi?”:smack:

I, on the other hand, continue to kiss the top of my son’s head when he gets on and off the school bus. I have been informed that I am only allowed to do this until he is as tall as I am, then I have to stop. :smiley: He’s five.

I can’t help you. But it looks like we’ve dodged the bullet in the Boutham household.

Since the kid was 11, I’ve been warning her that when she became a teenager we would embarrass her and she’d think we were awful people. And that all her friend’s parents would seem better than her own.

And bygod, she’s 16 and still likes us. I have no idea if the warnings helped, or if she’s just a naturally sweet kid.

“Before I had kids I had three theories about child-raising. Now I’ve got three kids and no theories.”

In an ideal situation, the amount of embarrassment your kids feel because of your very existence should be counterbalanced by the amount of fed-up-with-their-attitudeness that YOU feel. It’s in the nature of things that kids pull away, not a thing you can do except learn to accept it. Though it seems personal - it’s nothing personal. You can be a toothless old immigrant wearing a babushka and carrying a pocketbook, or you can be Madonna or Cindy Crawford, and still your kids are going to pull away. I would insist on politeness and respect, yes! Someday - someday you will be surprised that your li’l babies have turned into something like friends.

Heh. Haven’t seen the top of my son’s head for years. Right around the first time he beat me arm-wrestling. :slight_smile:

I always threatened to get out of the car and give my daughter a big hug and kiss when I dropped her off at school (jr high and high). This worked until she turned 16 and drove herself to school. We were about a tenth of a mile too close to the school for her to qualify for bus rides.

I try to remember how embarrassed I was by my mother, and remember that once I was married, she became a font of wisdom (especially when the first baby arrived). This too shall pass. Although since I teach at my kids’ high school, my goal in life has always to be weirder than anyone else and be able to gross any high-schooler under the lab tables*, so it’s hard to tell with normal people.

*No one messes with the science teacher who brings cow tongue to school, peels it, and eats it.

It’s a strange stage, isn’t it? I remember when my mom wanted to go to the mall and buy me stuff. I was terrified someone would see me! What would they think?

My mom & I did that today!:wink:
Of course, I am now 43yo.
a lil’ OT?

d&r . . . . . . .