My daughter is 9-1/2 and today was a turning point in our relationship. She told me that I embarrass her in front of her friends regularly. At first, it was like a dagger in my heart. But quite quickly, I decided not to take it personally. Rather I decided to ask what it was specifically that humiliates her so I can stop it. At that point, she started to get embarrassed that she had mentioned it, so it was time to drop the subject.
Deep down, I knew exactly what she was talking about.
Sometimes I do have too much fun with her friends. I like to have a good laugh with them when we’re in the car. I never realized I was embarrassing her, but now I realize I do.
What’s important for me to remember is that she’s growing up. I’m not her hero anymore, although I hope to be again. She’s dealing with so much – harder work at school, peer pressure, increased independence and a desire to do things on her own. Life can be hard enough – who needs a mom who goes out of her way to throw herself at her friends? Not that I do that, but lashing out at me may be a way of dealing with her own changes. She’s developing emotionally and physically. It’s big stuff.
And you know what? I’m far from perfect and she’s at an age where she recognizes it. She’s always called me her best friend, but I know I won’t be forever.
But I’ll sure be waiting on the sideline whenever she needs me.
How about you? When did your kids start becoming embarrassed by you?