Do you inadvertently embarrass your teen? Read on to discover tips on how to prevent yourself from doing so.
All good things come to an end and our cute little child eventually grows up one day into a teen. It is important, as parents, to understand the changes that our child goes through at this age. It becomes
necessary to ensure that our actions as parents do not embarrass our
teen. If you constantly embarrass your teen in front of others, you
could find that you have a hostile teen on your hand.
Avoid embarrassing situations in public
There are two main ways in which you can embarrass your teen. One is by overly fussing over him, challenging his independence.
The other is by indulging in some activity that makes your teen feel
that "you aren't acting your age". Your teen may enjoy playing tennis
with you rather than have you skateboard with him at the local park. As
for the former, it is better to fuss over your teen only behind closed
doors, and when there is only your family about. This will take some
time to get used to, depending on how much you usually pamper your
Sometimes it may not be overly obvious to you that you have embarrassed your teen. Strive to understand
your teen's point of you and you will easily identify certain habits of
your own that put him in the spot. Knowing how your teen expects you to
behave, helps break the ice. Teens today will point out things that
make them feel self conscious by giving instruction, such as, "Mom,
stop doing that!". As a parent you may often dismiss such comments.
However, heeding them will help in putting your teen at ease.
Avoid scolding or reprimanding your teen in anyway when they
are in the public eye. This also extends to when they are having
friends over. However, there is a thin line to tread here, as sometimes
you may find that your teen is overly mischievous and needs correction.
The world has changed. What you enjoyed doing as a teen
is no longer cool and is most probably embarrassing for your teen. Do
not try to relive those days with your teen as it will probably just
embarrass him. Trying to involve yourself in his favourite pastime or
what he is currently into may also cause your teen to feel embarrassed. For example, skating with your teen might cramp his style and embarrass him. Try not to encroach on his personal space.
Your teen may shrink away from public displays of affection
towards him. This does not mean that he does not love you any more.
Rather, it is up to you to talk to your teen and find out what he is
comfortable with. You can always reinforce and state your feelings in
ways that will not put your teen in the spot.
Avoid telling the whole world what your teen is up to. Learn
to respect your teen's private life. It is natural for parents to be
proud of their teen and want to show off. However, the teen may not
want to be put in the spotlight in this manner.
Apologise to your teen if you realise that your behaviour has embarrassed them. This is a good precedent and works both ways.
Let your teen stand up for himself in difficult situations.
Over-cuddling him or protecting him will be a blow to his self esteem
and might embarrass him in front of his friends.
When your teen has his friends over, ensure that they have a
place where they get privacy but where you can occasionally peep in to
check up unobtrusively. Having you constantly look over your teen's
shoulder can be embarrassing at times.
Treat your teenager with respect, in the same manner that you would treat any other adult. This will help prevent any embarrassing moments.
When dealing with teens, it is good to recollect Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of highly effective people, and his emphasis on seeking to understand before you are understood. Such is the case with teens of today. Unless you understand how exactly you are embarrassing your teen, you will not know how to behave with him and reach a common ground.
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- The Indiaparenting Team
When was the last time you embarrassed you teen? How does your teen react to your embarrassing him? Do you feel teens today are more easily embarrassed as compared to when you were a teen?
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