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Am I embarrassing?

Am i embarrassing
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As parent’s we may have often asked ourselves ‘am I embarrassing?’ especially when kids reach their teenage years. When our children were young, they would come running out from school with a big hug and kiss for us, were happy to walk round a shopping centre and sit and have ice-cream. Then what seems like overnight, our loving child turned into a hormonal, adolescent, angst-ridden individual who is embarrassed to be seen with us – just like the TV character ‘Kevin’. This can be difficult for parents to understand and for kids to be able to communicate effectively with us.  Starting in pre-teens, this behaviour may last a while so get ready for the ride!

Natural progression

As children grow into adults, they are developing new skills and relationships and parents often find that transition difficult. Music, fashion and what is and isn’t cool will be different in each generation, so don’t try and be ‘trendy’, act like a teenager in front of their friends, or be someone you aren’t – a sure fire way of being accused of being embarrassing. Don’t take it personally if they don’t’ want you around, you haven’t become a bad parent and your child doesn’t hate you, they just naturally want to spend more time with their friends than family. Giving them space where possible will show them you are trying to respect their feelings and understand they are changing.

Gaining independenceAm i embarrassing

Slowly let them gain a little independence – they probably don’t want you to drop them right outside the cinema or be sat in the car at the school gates, but handing them cash, a bus timetable and saying ‘off you go, find your way across town and buy yourself some new clothes’ would be irresponsible and dangerous. If you are out shopping and your teenage daughter is throwing a strop because she won’t be seen dead with you, don’t get into a row but show that you’re willing to compromise. Suggest you get what you need as quickly as possible and then she can have an hours shopping by herself while you grab a coffee?

Although you want to compromise, you shouldn’t be railroaded into giving in so remind her you’re giving a little and if she isn’t prepared to, you can always leave and get nothing. As your child becomes more responsible you might start to relinquish control a little more, perhaps they go shopping with a friend and you pick them up at an arranged time? It works both ways, if they stick to the rules and prove they are trustworthy, you’re prepared to give a little more and so on – before you know it, your daughter will be calling you up to go out shopping with her!

Rules and boundaries

It can be really hard for kids when their friends’ parents may have different rules and boundaries and you constantly here ‘well Dave’s parents are way cooler than you’. If for example your teenage boy wants to go a party and you say no for a good reason, these frustrations will undoubtedly cause friction. A bad attitude and back chat are to be expected but make sure you have firm rules on what is and isn’t acceptable. You should probably draw the line at swearing and threats of physical violence are not to be tolerated.

Don’t get drawn into the argument and give them time alone to calm down and regain composure. When you are ready, speak to your child rationally about your decision. It may be that you know there will be drugs or alcohol there, in which case they should understand any responsible parent won’t allow it. Tell them you understand they are mad with you but that is no excuse for their behaviour. It is the age old expression, ‘if you want to start being treated as an adult, act like one’. Explain they need to find a different way to express their feelings and there will be consequences for behaviour like that, such as mobile phone confiscation or grounding.

They’re growing up!Am i embarrassing

If your child wants to spend less time with you or talking to you, remember they aren’t your little babies anymore, they won’t come and jump on your knee and tell you all about school. Try and engage them in different ways, chat in the car about what is trending on twitter, what their plans are for the weekend or rent a movie you can both enjoy and chat about it after.

Try and recall what you were like as a teenager; you didn’t really hate your parents and they weren’t really embarrassing, you were just developing into a new adult and the dynamics in your relationship change. Remember, this behaviour isn’t forever and kids grow so fast it won’t be long before you are both looking back and laughing about the tantrums and trauma’s they put you through!

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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