Is your child embarrassed by you? If you are the parent of a teen then, you have probably heard a version of this coming from your child’s lips, or the rolling of their eyes, or a door slam! It’s very painful for us when our children suddenly can’t stand the sight of us and act like they would rather die than be seen by us. On top of that, many kids become disrespectful when they go through this phase of adolescent. They resort to name-calling, insult, and other hurtful behavior. When your child starts doing this you might look at him and wonder who is this person, this kid who use to love me last year but suddenly is embarrassed by me.
You have to keep the emotions out of it. It’s is not about you!
I learned this from first-hand experience! This is about your child and his behavior. This behavior is a warning sign that the adolescent is approaching. We often see it emerge in the preteen years when kids generally don’t have the communication skills. Your child is not going to say, “Please mom, I need a little space right now, can you find something else to do!” Instead, they scream, “leave me alone!” They may slam the door in your face. Part of the parents’ survival is remembering that this is part of the child’s growth. As painful and annoying as it is, understand that your child actually needs to go through this process on their way to adulthood. Don’t take it personally and give them space when possible.
It’s sad but true most of us will embarrass our kids at some point in our lives. Some teens may be able to shrug off the things parents may do that seem silly to them, while other teens may suffer because of their fear of what you will do next. That’s what really is at issue here. If you fit in to any of the other categories, please give these ideas some thought. You might want to consider some lifetime improvements, teen style!
1. Yelling at them in public
If I were going to suggest you change any one thing your relationship, I suggest you change this one. When you yell at your teenager in public, you do a great deal of damage to their young hearts and minds. Your goal I assume is to raise a confident successful person and yelling at them, and belittling them in public is a sure way to create a weak, depressed, and dysfunctional adult. You usually yell because you feel powerless, and that shows your teenager that you are out of control. So maintain your composure. If you feel like you are going to explode, excuse yourself, take a break and talk to them when you are more in control.
2. Dressing less than fashionably
This is a hard one! You’re busy. You don’t have time to keep up with all the fashions and “shop ‘til you drop.” I understand but if you are still buying clothes that you bought more than ten years ago, you might just be causing your fashion conscience teen to blush! It’s true that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and judging seems to be superficial but it’s how we think as human beings. Whether you realize it or not, how you dress tells people how you want them to think of you.
3. Trying to be cool
A lot of parents hate the fact that they are getting older and in order to forget it or to hide it, they act like teenagers themselves. Now, there’s nothing wrong in having a really cool mom or dad but that means a parent who isn’t embarrassing and who is kind, friendly, noninvasive, and loving. It does not mean a parent who dresses and talks as if they are still twenty-two. If you find yourself trying to entertain your kids’ friends or spending every weekend with the gang, then perhaps you’re trying to hard too be a kid and not a parent.
4. Being loud and drawing attention to yourself and them
This is often closely related to wanting to be cool. Loud parents are an embarrassment because they are trying to draw all the attention to themselves. This makes the child feel like they are being either upstaged or humiliated. When you draw attention to yourself by being loud, you are really saying to your child and the world, “it’s all about me!” What about me? I need some attention!
5. Being too affectionate
Adolescence is the time when kids are exploring the world. They are learning how to function as individuals and when you are overly affectionate you make them feel, and look to their friends, like a little baby. For teens that are learning to grow up and fend for themselves, this is a huge embarrassment. So save the affection for the privacy of your home and help them make the giant step into adulthood by giving them their space in public.
6. Treating them like a little kid in front of their friends
When your child was a baby you would wipe their face because they couldn’t do it themselves, but when you do that and other baby type things now, you make them feel like they aren’t big enough to care for themselves. This is the time in your child’s life when they need to practice leaving the nest and flying solo. If they can’t take care of themselves now, then how will they ever do it when they are truly out on their own? So control yourself. Resist the urge to treat them like they are a kid in front of their friends.
7. Grilling their boyfriend or girlfriend
This one is totally understandable! When your teenager has a date it’s good for you to know who they are dating. I’m not telling you not to talk to them or find out more about them but, grilling them can really embarrass your teenager. Frankly I think it’s something they are just going to have to learn to live with. Although, there might be a ways of doing it that are more sympathetic, than other ways. Try not to grill your teenager about their date but ask questions in a way that you are showing interest. Allow your teen to open up and share with you when they are ready.
8. Saying something stupid in front of their friends
This one is almost unavoidable! At least I know it was is for me. Sometimes you are going to put your foot in your mouth no matter who you are with. Just do your best not to be to unguarded with your word selection in front of your teens friends.
9. Drinking too much or doing drugs
This one seems obvious to almost everyone, but some parents feel like they have a right to keep on doing the things they have always done, including mood altering substances. If this is you I encourage you to get help. If you want successful teens, then consider the fact that if you continue to abuse drugs or alcohol, you will more than likely soon be estranged from your teen who is of great risk of taking on the same behaviors as you.
10. Not taking care of your body
Parenting isn’t easy. It is important to take good care of yourself. Giving your child the gift of being healthy is priceless! If your body draws attention to your teenager, then I can almost guarantee that they are embarrassed. Teens desperately hope to avoid situations that will make them look odd, and that includes having an odd parent.