"Don't Embarrass Me Mom !"- A View On Modern Parenting

September 28, 2010
"Please don't embarrass me in front of my friends, Mom", these are the words I haven't heard ever from my son.  I am sure, no parent would like his/her child utter these words, thereby declaring their sense of individuality, a sudden expression of their self. No parent wants to be caught unaware that the little kido, as he/she seems, can be offended by one wrong gesture especially in front of his/her peer group.

Recently, when my son's friends came to our place for a project work, all of them were taller than my son, with voice beginning to crack,(and my son being the exception - still a cutie pie), I knew I have to set my act right.   My son, very appropriately introduced each one to me and the boys said a shy 'Hello' to me.  And then a sweet smile on my son's face said "OK mom, it's done now, can we please be left alone to discuss the project?" Initially, it took me a few moments to adjust to this change, but I knew I should learn to embrace the change.  The child who was always clinging to me for his home work and projects alike, today is behaving like a grown up and doesn't want his mother to hang around when he is working with his friends. So, I just offered them a soft drink and snacks and left the room. 
His action was understandable to me.  I'm sure he was thinking what if I happen to call him by his nick-name, his friends are going to joke about it later.  He knew if I begin to ask each child about the marks they got in the last Unit tests or I start telling them how much time my son spends on PC (which he doesn't), he will be embarrassed by my inquisitiveness.  So I was appropriately shown the door!  I knew I was only a facilitator and not the chairperson of the meeting!

As a teenager, I had, at times, felt embarrassed in front of my friends. But I guess, our generation (if you are in your 30s you will know it) could not tell this to our parents.  Whether it was their dress up or mannerism or social interaction skills, we used to feel awkward at times.  Weren't we?!

I was always worried that mother will start up telling my friends how I don't get ready for school in time! How I always leave the water bottle getting filled by the water filter and forget till the container gets empty (the double container type filter), and how careless I am (phew... I was!)

Or else, how we would want our parent to stop asking our friend a battery of questions like" how many hours do you study? you have a fixed time table for everything, beta?", all the time glancing and smirking meaningfully at us!

Coming back to this generation, they are  faster and much open with expression, less apologetic and see no harm in calling a spade, a spade.

Children today want their parents to be careful about what they talk about in front of their class mates or friends.  They don't want to be embarrassed on any account. Parents today are expected to understand and respect children's space.  Also, today they want their parents to be well dressed, with good mannerism and also generally aware about things that affect their lives, including the gadgets and games ie, little bit of technology stuff.  And I think they are reasonable too in asking for that.

If my mom was not comfortable with TV remote ages back, or still finds it difficult to type a SMS from her mobile phone, tried a lot but failed to learn driving, that does not mean, I can choose to be ignorant and uninterested in learning new things.  I, as a mother, will look like a fool in front of my child, and someday he will say the age old phrase which all the sons had been telling all the mothers all this time " Arre Ma, tum kuch nahin jaanti"!!! (Oh Mom! you don't know a thing!"

Modern parenting, has to have a lot of understanding and respect towards the growing children.  Only then can we expect a reciprocation.  Parents complain of kids being rude or disobedient in the presence of their friends, which embarrasses them and hurts theirr ego. But, I feel apart from basic mannerism, it is their sense of individuality  and their need for personal space which we must take care of and respect thereby avoiding any hurt feelings on both the sides.

I may have left a few things here and there.... please feel free to complete it... feel free to share your expereriences as a parent. Or else, if you are a youngster (most of my readers are in their 20s), please share what do you think about this topic.  I have written completely from my perception, I may be wrong too.  So do let me know your thinking.



Samvedna said...

this post will touch a chord somehwhere for all the parents:)....
My nephews used to say..ma dont wear salwar kameej when you come to parents teacher meeting.
Dont hug me in front of my friends.
My children willo say..mom please dont talk we are watching the TV..whereas I could nevr say something like this to my parents, they would ask me to bring them this and that, whereas we nevr asked elders to do our bidding:)
times are changing fast.

NeoTheHack said...

This article very effectively shows the writing talent in you. Infact, the articles you've written as also those you are going to write, only proves that you have in abundance of the same. (Writing talent, I mean). Never let it lie dormant in you.

Neo said...

This article very effectively shows the writing talent in you. Infact, the articles you've written as also those you are going to write, only proves that you have in abundance of the same. (Writing talent, I mean). Never let it lie dormant in you.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Well I am still a son, young, but I think my parents understand it too.

And what I think is that there is an appropriate timing for everything. SO if a child has to say something, its obviously not in front of any of his friends.

UB said...

These days parents are open to accept changes I guess. I share a lovely bond with my parents. They knows what's happening in my life and what not and only coz I tell them and they trust me and know I wouldn't misuse the freedom I have. I think it depends on both sides. Parents and children need to connect well. Parents should accept changes as it comes and children should be comfortable enough to confide in them. Nice post!

Vaish said...

First of all, RS, your new blog look fascinates me! It's kewl!
I should refer to your blog when I'm in my parenthood. such a thoughtful post!
I always wanted my mom to be dressed up well, and be more respected by my friends. And ya..those days, parents bluntly compare us with every single person!! I know..it sucks..
Today's gen Y is super transparent. Conventional parenting method can never work out.

Niket said...

My take on this is pretty simple & straightforward: Even if the parents aren't well versed with English, even if they are not cognizant of the latest gadget available in the market but the child knows everything, then it shows the immense efforts put in by those parents for their child's upbringing providing him with the best of facilities!
The child should respect that come what may, I do! :)

Girish said...

Parents need to understand and respect our boundaries, that's a given for the present gen!
But I endured some of the most embarrassing moments during school days when my mom, who is well educated, used to compare me to other kids in front of them and it drove me nuts and I used to constantly crib about it! Now its all cool!
Good take on modern parenting :)

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

that is well written.
There is a lot to talk about modern parenting and your article just paves teh way for it.
I personally believe that there need not be a sea changein parenting from generation to generation, ground rules remain the same but the approach differs
very well written

25BAR said...

Parents can be embarrassing, especially the old school ones. But me and my friends used to collect parent dialogues from each other and just have a good laugh about it. We still do!

Arpana said...

parenting a difficult yet interesting task, there is lot of learning in the path.

Vee... said...

i fall into a generation between u and ur kids, so i really don't know what to comment on this post. may be after a few years, i will have something to share in this front. but i do agree with what you have said. i guess i would've felt the same if my parents try to compare me with someone else or something like that. i mean not every kid is the same (remember Taare Zameen Par :P). it only increases burden if we compare one kid with others. it's the same even with us. in professional life, it hurts if someone compares you with your class mate who achieved greater success.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Samvedna - so right! yes our children tell us to do things, which we could not dare our parents!

Neo - Thanks a ton dear! You are my real critic, must say, and getting a word of praise from u is so difficult! Keep commenting, I value your comments, howsoever you disagree with me, I value them all!


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

BA - okay, yup true, but sometimes kids also don't understand this.

UB, am so glad to know that, you are really so lucky, it is amazing for you as a person also to have a great support system. very glad :)

Vaish, so right dear, COMPARISON was a point i kind of missed out, yes it was so irritating. U know i don't even compare both my kids with each other, it is so unhealthy.

Yup, would be glad if u come searching for this post once you take the role of parent!


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Niket - I can sense the deep respect you have for your parents... really touched.

Yeah surely kids should respect parents irrespective of the things mentioned by you, but my point is parents should try to match pace with kids , a little bit.

thanks for sharing ur take Niket! :)

Girish - I know how it feels! A friend's mom told me how much time he takes in the bathroom everyday! imagine the boy's plight :D

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Md Mudassir - glad u liked it :) I don't see many articles for modern parenting for teens though, so will be writing more on this.

25 BAR - you must be really naughty boys then!

aparna - Very few parents think they acutally have something to learn... from parenting or kids.... need to change that thought. thanks!


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Vee - yes comparison hurts... any field, as a student or professional or in a relationship... it kills... but parents always thought it was a sure shot way to make kids more efficient and hardworking... it was wrong... I have made it a policy not to compare any child ever.

But thanks Vee for sharing your view on this rather Mommylike article!


Neo The Evil Daemon said...

Thanks. Anyhow, I am someone who lives by Voltaire's "I May not agree with you, But I will fight to my death for your RIGHT to say so" dictum. Ya, I have indeed been critical about many of your thoughts, but do recognise that it's your world and it's your perception. And the comments are perhaps my perception of the issue. Ya, I may be cynical about most of the things, or so it seems, But I am sure too, there are elements of truth in what i purport. I may again at times sound partisan, but we generally, tend to tag someone or something as partisan, if it does not conform to the views of the majority. Having said that, things are not always the way we perceive, or the way they are projected.

Regarding this write-up, I found it to be pure writing skill, so i had to appreciate, and those posts where I felt, I differ from your perception, I have been critical. I appreciate you taking good compliments as also good criticisms in the same vain. It indeed tells a lot about the person that you are.

Reema said...

ahh teenage is a tough time..both for parents and the kids.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Neo - good to know that.

No, I don't see u as a biased person. But as somebody who has strong opinions, and has a logical base to believe in what he says. I see you as somebody well aware of the world around him, but at the same time, I sense some grudge, some negativity anchored deep in your heart. I may be wrong too.

It is said that getting the appreciation of your critic is the best thing you can get... I get mine sometimes!

take care :)


Neo The Evil Daemon said...

You are partly correct and partly wrong.. well.. i do consider myself as a bit biased.. but i dont see anyting wrong in it.. we all have our perceptions, our biases, and our views... others may feel it as pervasive or biased.. its not wrong to be biased.. being biased just means you stand for a view point and dont digress from it...Ya.. one can have a turnaround of their ideas.. but that takes a lot of effort and time...

and you are right when you sensed the grudge...yes..and negativitiy too.. deep inside me.. you hit the bull's eye there.. hats off to you... Do you read psychology???

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

I feel "Biased" is a bad word. It lacks flexibility, it has hatred in it, it is devoid of the understanding of other's point of view. It closes us. it closes our mind. Why be biased? Be opinionated. Have opinions based on logic and facts, question, disagree. Disagreement has flexibility to evolve, being biased lacks the basic respect for a human beings. I think so, so would never like to be called biased.

I had not expected u to accept it on this forum. But,I knew it. And no, I don't read psychology (though I love the subject) I read PEOPLE.

NeoTheHack said...

well... i must say.. 'biased' is the common form of 'opinionated'.... well thats what i think. If you have an opinion about something and the majority don't subscribe to your views, then for them you become biased.

Anonymous said...

Author fellow, that's only one did not understand how much is it?

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