What are the ways to avoid being an embarrassing parent? It's probably inevitable that you're going to embarrass your kids more than once - kids are easily mortified by things their parents say and do! However, you can do your best to avoid leaving your kids cringing. Here are some ways to avoid being an embarrassing parent …
One of the ways to avoid being an embarrassing parent is to avoid trying to make friends with their friends. Your children need their own friendships, and if you try to be too chummy with their friends they may feel that you're invading their territory. There's nothing wrong with treating their friends well, but don't overdo it and practically adopt their friends as your own.
All parents have amusing stories about things their children said or did when they were younger. Your kids probably won't thank you though if you share those stories, especially with their friends or partner! Save the funny stories for when your kids aren't around.
Offspring of any age find it excruciating when their parents make any reference to having a sex life. Even though we all know that's how we got here, we don't want to be reminded of the fact. So avoid making any sex-related jokes in front of your kids, since they're highly unlikely to find such jokes at all amusing. Discretion is a must!
You don't have to dress like a grandparent just because you have children, but you should be wary of dressing too much like your kids. Some fashions are best left to the teens, and look plain wrong if you're (well) past 20. A truly embarrassing parent even steals clothes from their offspring's wardrobe. Be yourself, not an older version of your children.
Be on the lookout for the moment at which your child becomes excruciatingly embarrassed by any signs of affection from you in public. From then on, make absolutely sure that none of their friends are in sight. Otherwise, your poor child will be mortified at their friends seeing you kiss them goodbye, and you will sob being reminded that your little boy or girl is growing up fast.
Does it seem like your children speak a different language? That happens with every generation, as youngsters develop a new jargon that older people (and not always that much older) can't understand. Avoid trying to use the slang that your kids speak - you'll probably use it wrongly, and make yourself look silly!
When you meet your offspring's new boyfriend or girlfriend for the first time, resist the temptation to grill them or be overly protective. Your child will also be utterly embarrassed if you recount any 'amusing' stories about them. Be casual and friendly, but don't be too gushing.
Whether your children are 5 or 25, it's all too easy to embarrass them without meaning to. So try to be sensitive to your child's needs and feelings, and think about how things would seem from their point of view. You probably won't be able to completely avoid embarrassing them, but they will certainly appreciate a high degree of consideration for their feelings, especially when they are adolescents! What was the most embarrassing thing your parents did to you?
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