It’s a dad’s right to do things that his kids find humiliating, isn’t it?
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The world of a teen is carefully balanced- Mirrors are there to ensure that the perfect ‘look’ is achieved, and friendships are cultivated and nurtured. Everything has to be a certain way. That’s why to a teenager, a simple thing like having your dad walking through the house in his Speedo while your friends are visiting ranks as one of the most embarrassing moments possible.
Yes, it’s his house (and his swimming costume), but most dads aren’t built like Olympic swimmers. While it’s ok for him to walk around next to the pool like that when the friends aren’t around, when they are, he should just KNOW it’s not cool, right?
'I hope you're using condoms!'
The trouble is, many dads just don’t get the subtleties in keeping kids happy. In fact, many of them go out of their way to embarrass their easily-blushing teens. Things like pretending that you’re going to beat up your daughter’s new boyfriend, making tacky jokes about condoms or cutting in on phone calls to say something silly may seem funny to dad, but they can create major speed-wobbles in your kid’s lives.
Perhaps it’s dad’s way of trying to reach out to his teen- after all, when your child is younger, it’s easy to impress them with piggy-backs and bad magic tricks, but those things rarely work on teens. Teenagers need a baffling combination of intense attention to their moods and complete freedom to be left alone with those moods. If the relationship hasn’t been developing consistently, dad may start to feel left out.
The listening years
And that’s fine. Dad needs to have enough self-confidence to realise that being snubbed by a teen is not about him, but it’s all about her. The ‘my dad is SOOOO embarrassing’ comments she makes in front of her friends will transform into private hugs and cuddles and maybe even asking for his advice if he’s sensitive enough to make her feel as though he’ll listen.
It’s also more about them- the freedom they crave vs. the responsibilities and restrictions parents place on them. If you want to be a great dad during those times, then it’s best that you pack away your Speedo for another day.
Do your kids ever feel embarrassed about you?
By: Scott Dunlop