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Why Do Parents Embarrass Their Teen?

When Your Teen is Embarrassed to be Seen with You

This morning I received an email link to an article that really hit me, most likely because this has been an on-going issue with both of my teens. Not so much the one in residential treatment because obviously he is not living at home, when he was home it was an issue, now it is noticeable with my 14 year old son whom is starting high school next month. The author in the article reflected back to when they were a teen and how their mother wore her hair  in a bun and how embarrassing that was. My mother also had this funny hairstyle, where she braided her hair and then wrapped the braids into a crown on top of her head with hairpins. I can remember watching her at the dressing table as I was growing up.  None of my friend’s mom’s wore their hair like my mom. She wore her hair like that for years, never changing with the times until I left for college. My mother past away 10 years ago and today I would kill to see those braids and her smiling face. I don’t wear my hair in braids and I dress ok (I think), jeans, sandals, t-shirts, so why am I an embarrassment to my kids? I am much hipper than my parents ever were.  I guess it is the passage, no matter what we do as a parent we will be embarrassing to our teens. Here is a quote from the article “When Your Teen is Embarrassed to be Seen with You”: “When kids move away from their parents as their primary caregivers and into more social and meaningful interactions with their peers, they discover, much to their dismay, that mom and dad have become somewhat outdated. This isn’t in the least bit intentional on the part of your teen, and it isn’t designed to hurt your feelings, it’s just the way that kids and parents learn to let go. As you might be able to remember, it’s a pretty rough process for the teen also. And, since you’ve been there, done that, you should be able to react empathetically when your teen begins to experience the same growing pains.” It really makes me sad now that they are old enough to go places I like to go, but they don’t want to be seen with us; like the movies.  This summer my 14 year old son surprised my husband and asked if they could go backpacking. Since it is not too often he wants to be seen with us, this was an experience not to be passed up. My husband offered to include a friend if he wanted to bring one and but he was satisfied with just the two of them. I guess if you are going into the wilderness you don’t have to worry about being seen by any of your friends.

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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