Ask a group of teens about their most embarrassing moments with their parents and guess what you’ll get? You’ll get a whole lot of similar answers and many laughs.
My mission is to always keep parents in the loop, so I am going to spill today. I am going to fill you in on answers that I got in response to the question “When do your parents embarrass you most?” I spent several hours with a large group of teens this week, and I learned a lot.
Here are the 3 most common embarrassing moments that the teens discussed:
1. The teens described feeling embarrassed when out shopping with parents. It wasn’t only about being seen with parents but it was also related to the questions their parents asked the staff at various stores. The teens were particularly embarrassed about their parents’ questions about electronics. I guess that they believe that their parents’ questions reflect poorly on them. First, they assume that friends will spot them with their parents and that they’ll be judged as having nothing better to do than to spend time with their parents. Additionally, they feel that their parents’ behavior is a direct reflection of their own. So, if their parents are clueless about electronics,etc. then others will assume that they too are clueless. Wow! Teens sure do make a lot of assumptions;right?
2. Next, the teens described feeling embarrassed when their parents try to talk to and fit in with their friends. They want their parents to be parents and their friends to be friends. Don’t worry about this. It will certainly change as they get older. They won’t always wish that you were hiding. I promise.
3. The teens are not too keen about parental displays of affection toward them or being talked about by parents around their friends. This included revealing personal information about current issues and past issues. And, clearly they don’t want you to pull out the baby photos. They also mentioned becoming embarrassed when parents “baby” them around friends.
My best advice here is not to separate from your teens too much during the teen years because they need you. On the other hand, I suggest keeping interactions low-key and calm. Sometimes less is more.