My teenage daughter and I were talking the other day about how some of the things I do embarrass her. “But, Mom,” she said, “Don’t change. That would make everything seem too unstable.”
As much as our kids might find us cringe-worthy, what would be even worse is if we changed just for the sake of being less embarrassing. So even if it seems like your kid’s face constantly reads “child embarrassed by parents,” here are 4 reasons you need to stay true to who you are.
They need a lighthouse.
Our children encounter a lot of opinions about what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s normal and what’s not normal. This starts as soon as they’re old enough to play with other children. Once they begin going online or using social media, they’re bombarded with things that seem true or right, because “everyone” believes that they are. Our kids need us to be the reliable place they can turn to for truth. Our beliefs about how to live should be grounded in values and principles that are rock solid for our kids.
They need a basic mom.
I don’t even have to try to be the basic, boring mom—I come by my un-coolness naturally. But, there are times when my son or daughter has become the “child embarrassed by parents” because I tried to be more hip and casual than I actually am. If you’re a cool mom without even trying, that’s fine. That’s who you really are. But for the rest of us, attempting “cool” more than likely will embarrass our kids.
They need boundaries.
My children have told me many times that I am “too strict” and that their friends and the other parents think I’m “weird” because I won’t let them automatically go or do what everyone else does. My rules might be tough, but I know kids need boundaries to feel safe and secure. Do I expect them to articulate it that way and thank me? No. Do my kids think my rules are lame? One hundred percent. And that’s OK.
Of course, if there are things you need to change, like bad habits and parenting missteps—yes, change those. We never want to embarrass our kids if there’s a wise way around it. But, more than likely, our children will outgrow being embarrassed by us. Until they do, hear them out. And, use our Teen Conversation Starters to find out even more about what they’re thinking.
We’d like to know: Are your kids in the “child embarrassed by parents” stage? What do you do that makes them cringe?