It’s easy and we don’t really have to try. It just comes naturally to us. Parents have been embarrassing their children since the beginning of the family. Noah’s sons probably begged for a spoiler on the back of the ark.
Whether you revel in the idea of mortifying your kids (this seems to be a dad thing) or you do your best to avoid those situations, most of us have experienced the look of horror in our child’s eyes as a result of our parental words or actions. Tracy and I have put together the following list of a few of our personal experiences. Read over them to see if you have found yourself there. We have also included a few tips to help you avoid some of the same mistakes we’ve made.
If your children are still in preschool and you can’t imagine yourself as anything but the best Mommy ever, just wait. Maybe you can use this list to keep yourself in the cool category, but don’t count on it.
10. Your Flip phone
You say practical. They say dork.
9. Singing the wrong music lyrics
By music, we mean their music. I (Chelle) enjoy doing this intentionally; however, sometimes I’m just clueless. BTW Beyonce’s Irreplaceable lyrics are NOT, “you must not know my name, you must not know my name…”
8. Using BTW
7. Shopping for clothes with your teenage son
Take these steps to lessen the degree of awkwardness.
- Keep your distance from son upon entering American Eagle.
- Do NOT ask for help from a young sales clerk.
- Stay within a 6 foot radius of the dressing room in case he needs another size. No browsing too far. He might have to walk out into the store to find you – THE HORROR!
- Never pull or tug at his waistline to test fit of cargo shorts
- Avoid small talk with college age cashier. Just be polite. Pay. Leave.
6. Wearing clothes from the wrong decade
…or just really bad clothes from the current one.
5. Dressing like a teenager
Walk the fine line between frumpy cardigans and belly shirts
4. Any hand movement resembling a wave in public settings
Keep your hands in your lap when they’re on the risers for a mandatory middle school choir concert
3. Your dance moves
2. Putting “The” in front of any social media
The Twitter, The Facebook, The Instagram…Not cool, Chelle.
1. Applying red lipstick you think is clear Chapstick
The tables were turned! Several years ago my mom and I were Christmas shopping together. I was purchasing a gift at the check-out counter. My mother was standing off to the side, waiting for me to finish. She casually took out what she thought was some Chapstick and began to very generously smear it all around her sore lips. What she didn’t realize was she was applying red lipstick, not Chapstick. I remember glancing over at my mom and looking back at the cashier who was trying to keep a straight face. I was laughing so hard I could not explain to her what she had done. She finally looked at the lipstick in her hand. My mom and I (and the store clerk) cried from laughter. Even though Mom tried to wash off the lipstick, she had a bit of a “clown mouth” for the rest of the shopping day.
It’s a good thing to laugh about the ways we sometimes embarrass our kids. It’s inevitable. We’ve all experienced it as kids with our own parents.
For the record, Tracy and I respect our kids’ right to a little embarrassment without crossing the line into bratty behavior. We try to take it all in stride and find ways to connect with our kids that don’t cause them to walk away quickly in the opposite direction from us. That can be difficult sometimes.
We would love to hear some embarrassing moments you have experienced as a parent or a child. Be careful you don’t embarrass your kids by sharing it!
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