Parenting Tip: How Not to Embarrass Your Tween from Holy Innocents Episcopal School
Tweens are often embarrassed by parents because it is the nature of this age group to feel this way. Learn how to be a cool parent (and still be in charge) instead.
Tips for Keeping Family Life in Balance “Mom, you’re embarrassing me!” is something that a parent will often hear come out of the mouth of a tween child. Don’t be hurt if this is the case. It is important to discover the reasons why a tween thinks that her parents are embarrassing her in the first place. Then discover some tips on how not to embarrass a tween, how to cope with the fact that she is growing up quickly, and how to make necessary adjustments in an attitude towards the child so that these apparently embarrassing incidents could be minimized. Why a Tween Thinks Parents are Embarrassing in the First Place This is the stage in life when a tween is discovering herself, developing her own likes and dislikes, and starting to have a real social life. Top all of these discoveries with the physical changes taking place during puberty, and it is no wonder a tween's life may seem like utter chaos. Because so much is happening at once, she may feel confused by her emotions, and look to her peers to see what is acceptable and what is not. In the tween's mind, a parent is too old to know how she feels, but friends can relate to her way of thinking.
While a parent wants to reach out and be a shoulder to lean on, a tween may find it embarrassing to talk to an adult about certain situations. Take for example, when a girl begins to like a boy in school. She may find it hard to let a parent know for fear of her feelings being downplayed or even being told she is too young to like anyone. This is exactly the reason why a parent needs to know how not to embarrass a tween, but still take an active interest in her life
Tips on How Not to Embarrass a Tween as a Parent In order to learn how not to embarrass a tween as a parent, the number one thing that needs to be done is putting oneself in the child’s shoes. Surely a parent can remember how things were at this age when it seemed as if a parent's taste in music, clothes, and social behaviors were totally uncool. Things have not changed much, and tweens still feel this way today.
Remember these tips on how not to embarrass a tween while staying active in her life. They include:
Always act as a parent instead of trying to be a child’s buddy. It is tempting to want to be the "cool" parent that can hang with kids, but a child wants her friends to be hers alone. This could surely cause her to be embarrassed in front of friends. There is plenty of time to be a "friend" to your child when they get older. Be a parent first; be a friend later.
Earn a tween's trust by not blabbing her problems to others. If she knows she can confide in a parent, there will more than likely be a marvelous relationship between the two.
Be willing to compromise a bit when the situation calls for it. Learn how to pick battles, and give in to some of her demands, such as choosing clothes or when it is appropriate to wear makeup.
Keep communication where other kids will see it, especially on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, upbeat and never mushy.
One crucial thing to remember when a parent does cause a tween to be embarrassed by something is not to take the aftermath (her attitude) personally. All parents will cause embarrassment at least a few times during a child's life. It’s not the parent, per se, who she is embarrassed by; it is merely a normal phase that every kid goes through.
Being a tween (and well into the teen years) is a stage when a kid wants to fit in with her peers. If that means she is occasionally embarrassed by what a parent says or does, just learn how to take it in stride. Always be considerate of a child's feelings, but always keep rules in force. It's quite the balancing act that parents need to perfect, but having a well-adjusted child is a great reward.