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How to Embarrass Your Kids

They especially love when I sing and do the choreography to "Gangnam Style" on my carpool days.

Nothing’s more fun than finding innovative ways to embarrass your kids.  As the mother of a 13 and 16 year-old, pretty much anything I say or do these days winds up mortifying them.  They especially love when I sing and do the choreography to “Gangnam Style” (see #4 below) on my carpool days.

So, imagine my delight upon coming across a recent online article offering additional pointers to ensure your kids (actually the article talks about tweens but I think these techniques work on teenagers too) want absolutely nothing to do with you. 

Here are the author’s suggestions:

1. Forbid it. That's right...forbid your tween to do anything and everything that her peers are doing. Don't ask questions. Don't discuss options. Just forbid it! The louder and more forceful, the better.

2. Kiss and go. Require your tween to kiss you whenever your drop him off anywhere. A requisite hug, blown kiss, enthusiastic hand wave, or verbal phrase — for example, "I love you too, Mom!" — will have the same result.

3. Lick and wipe. Lick your thumb and use it to wipe the remnants of breakfast off the corners of your tweens mouths before dropping them off  at school.

4. Sing. While driving the carpool, sing along to current pop songs playing on the radio. This is especially effective if you don't quite know all the lyrics or can't carry a tune.

5. Use text slang. When holding a conversation with your child and her friends, use expressions like LOL, OMG and ROFL. It'll make her post "KMN."

6. Write lunch box notes. What was fine in elementary school will be dreaded in middle school, so make sure you tuck a note in your kid's lunch every day ("Good luck on your test today!" or "I'm so proud of you").

7. Use pet names. If you called her "Smoochie" or "Baby Cakes" when she was an infant, keep doing that — especially in front of friends and potential boyfriends. [My mother did this one to me during a high school basketball game. For one of the few times in my lackluster hoops career, I actually had a fast break.  As I dribbled ferociously down the court, the only thing I could hear was my mother yelling, “Go (incredibly embarrassing pet name), go!”  Needless to say, I was unable to convert the basket and I had a lot of explaining to do to my friends.]

8. Display baby pictures. When he is having a sleepover party or "hanging out" with a girl for the first time, drag out all his old baby pictures. He'll love having his friends see him naked in the bathtub, sporting a bunny costume at Halloween, and eating in his highchair.

9. Make your life all about her. Don't have your own interests or hobbies. Everything should revolve around your child. Your email address should indicate your motherhood (momrules@aol.com) and your social networks should use handles like Emily'sMommy" or "ILoveMyBabyLilly."

10. Volunteer for everything. Help out with absolutely everything you can think of, including (but not limited to) field trips, school career day, church outings, Boy Scouts, classroom mom, lunch monitor, school fundraisers and, most important, dance chaperone.

So, Patch readers, did she miss anything?  What do you do that embarrasses your kids?



Amanda M. Socci, Freelance Writer October 18, 2012 at 09:55 AM
Absolutely hysterical, Beth! Admittedly, I'm not yet in the embarrass-the-kids mode, as my girls are just 6 and 1, still thinking I'm the coolest mom around, but this list, I'm sure, will make its rounds into my house in the upcoming years. Loved the "lick and wipe" one.
Kathy Inlow October 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM
My young ones still think I'm hilarious when I start dancing but that will change soon, my 26 year old son almost died at a wedding last year when mom got on the dance floor with some of the girls and started dancing! Oh and another good one is to yell random stuff while they are talking on thier phone and the person on the other end can hear....like "Hey BooBoo Bear, I washed all your underwear, but I couldn't get the stains out of a couple of pairs!"
Renee Y-A October 20, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Offer you child Gas-X while driving the carpool. Reminding her that the chewable mint tablets will freshen her breath.

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