Waiting in the Wings

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?


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  1. I see my SIL dealing with this mostly from her 11 yr old and 7 yr old girls. It’s very bizarre to me. I don’t have a girl but as a girl, I never had this moment with my mom. She was always mom and I can think of times that I swore she didn’t understand something but I never felt embarrassed. Same with my dad. Although I can see it/relate a bit more to girls and their fathers. Maybe it’s my personality – to this day it takes something pretty amazing to really embarrass me. So I’m always baffled by all the drama I see ensue at my SIL’s house. Of course, I am fully aware that someday my now 4 yr old boy who right now is all about me will tell me no more kisses in public. Good luck Holly…I feel for the tweens these days. It’s fierce out there.

    • I was drama. But not until I was a teenager and then my craving to be left alone leaped out of my skin and landed with some pretty heavy insults on my lovely mother. Luckily, she knew it would all pass.

  2. Great post! And? It’s only the tip of the iceberg. My DD went through a point (around 11 years old?) where her emotions would turn on a dime. You could basically spend all day yelling if you wanted! I figured I had to pick my battles and let the rest slide. I especially remember watching mothers of teens/tweens while in line at the supermarket. There would be the sullen kid and the overly acquiescent mother. I would judge from afar thinking “ha! I’ll NEVER be like THAT.” Well, guess what….?

  3. Gah – I have a sinking feeling because although I’m a few years away from this (my girl’s almost 7), I know it’ll come up quickly. Right now I’m still what I call “rock star mommy” where she just adores everything about me.

    I’m soaking it all in because I know soon it will change as it should, for the reasons that you articulated. Good for you for not taking it personally.

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