Do your kids think you’re embarrassing?! Join the club! LOL! I think it’s a prerequisite to becoming a Mom, at some point we will become embarrassing!! 😳
But how do these sweet children who never left our side & always giggled at all our jokes, all of a sudden find us embarrassing to be with? It doesn’t seem possible! I’m a “cool” Mom in lululemon, unlike my mom in her mom jeans! I mean, I can understand the mom jeans, but me? No I’M not embarrassing! Now my child on the other hand …
How dare they call me embarrassing, when they blow bubbles out their nose, pick body parts in public, talk back & don’t do their homework like all the other kids!
Does it make you feel slightly anxious at the thought of this happening one day or are you totally triggered because your child is so embarrassed of you, it feels like you haven’t spoken in days?
Remember how beautifully in synch you were with that little baby, in the womb? There was a natural rhythm, a flow & oneness between the two of you. We were the same & now we seem so different! They must have gotten those unfavourable quirks from the other side of the family! LOL!
So how did we go from blissful harmony to embarrassment, frustration & feelings of judgement, guilt, shame or blame towards our beautiful little humans?
Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten that we are playing on the same team, not against each other! This is a common misunderstanding, that it’s us parents against our children but that sets up a dynamic that makes it difficult to engage co-operation with our younger teammates.
Imagine working with a boss who doesn’t trust you to handle any of the work, so they micromanage your every move, makes demands & imposes an unreasonable agenda that sets you up for failure among your colleagues. Or maybe they blame & accuse you of things you didn’t do, or lecture you on all the things you’re not doing & could be doing so much better, humiliating you in front of everyone!
I imagine wanting to tell this boss two words, both short, that would probably get me fired!
Our children feel the same way when we interact with a top down mentality. Lets face it, like the boss, we’re a little scary & simply not that much fun to be around.
If you happen to have a fearless teen they may tell you exactly what they think! But most of us with our kids, like with our boss, will resort to the most primitive part of our brain to keep us safe & we will respond with a fight, flight or freeze reaction when we feel devalued or embarrassed!
This coping mechanism shows itself as undesirable behaviour in our child, which then triggers us to react with the same primitive part of the brain, creating a reactionary loop that never completes! Crazy right?!
So how can we be less embarrassing & stop the reactionary cycle? Here are a few tricks:
Instead of demanding things in front of their friends, try requesting what you’d like done, before they see their friend.
Instead of accusations in public, try giving information, describing what you see.
Instead of correcting them in front of their friends, try telling them how it makes you feel later.
Instead of shouting so the whole store can hear how “good” a mom you are, try a lower tone meant for only your child to hear.
Instead of long lectures, try using one powerful word.
And when all this fails, .... call me!
Working with a professional who has already made every mistake you could possibly think of will save you time, money & possible embarrassment with your child!
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching
Imagine how much extra time we’d have for the things we say we don’t have time for, if we weren’t so consumed by technology?
Would you think it weird, odd or outright scary if someone was following your every move? You turned right, they turned right, you went into a store, they were right behind you. I think it’s safe to say you’d start to feel a bit uneasy. What if your spouse followed your every move, checked your credit card statements, listened to your phone calls? You might be looking for a restraining order.
Most of us would NOT consider this healthy or normal behaviour and yet we somehow justify our right to follow our child’s every move, not only because we can but because we’ve been told that this is what a “good” parent does.
Who doesn’t find themselves tracking ‘find my phone’ to make sure our kid is where they said they are, or checking their texts to monitor their conversations, timing their screen time & generally being in their business? It’s not terribly surprising that our kids find us annoying & frankly outright scary!
But don’t kid yourself, our kids will always outsmart us in this department. They’re 10 steps ahead & have figured out ways around our little tracking devices so lets talk about ways to use technology to our advantage.
If we use it wisely, technology is an amazing advantage that we have in parenting, over our parents. It’s a great way to build connection with our child, particularly teens, when they’re shy for words! It gives us a general feeling of safety if we know we can reach them & it can give us the opportunity to be relevant in our child’s life, if we learn about the things they’re interested in.
It’s easy to complain about our kids technology but remember who’s name the contract is in. A child can’t go out and buy a working phone, they need a plan & it’s usually your name on it. We have to own our part in how WE use OUR technology. Just like setting the example of not drinking and driving, it’s our responsibility to set the example of how to use technology responsibly. They’re learning behaviours from us, even though we may be learning how to use the technology from them!
Hold off giving your child technology as long as you possibly can, but when they start talking about it, make sure they’re ready to use it without constant supervision. It’s never too early to start preparing them for how to stay connected & use technology responsibly.
If we want our child to come to us & trust us, we have to start by trusting them. Kids will usually make good choices if we let them. Our kids are educated, savvy, & they will make mistakes, just like we did, but technology is a part of our lives & it’s not going anywhere, so we all need to learn how to use it to make all of our lives easier, not create battles over it.
In the mean time, if you’re looking for a few extra hours in your day, turn off the WIFI, leave cyberspace & come back to the world in real time, all around you! You’re kids are watching.
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching