How parents embarrass their kids and what to do about it

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How parents embarrass their kids and what to do about it

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It’s one of the most common things that kids complain about is their parents embarrassing them. And I think there is two kinds of embarrassment though. One is good embarrassment and one is bad embarrassment. And good embarrassment you get to do – and this is what I include under good embarrassment: you can be the chaperone at their dance and you can dance and you can even separate kids who are inappropriately dancing. I think you can sing in the car, even when there are other children in the car. And I think you can hug them in public, you can brush their hair out of their eyes in public. That is all good embarrassment, it’s all good. But then, there’s also bad embarrassment. I’m going to talk to you about two different kinds of bad embarrassment. One is the overshare – and that is when you are telling personal information about your child in front of other people and that includes people at the grocery line or the checkout line, includes your friends, it could include just random strangers on the street and you’re talking to these people about your child going through puberty. Not appropriate and it’s totally understandable that your kid would freak out on you. And then the other part is is introducing your child by their deficits. So you know, you might feel really concerned about how shy your child is, but to do this thing, where you’re introducing somebody to your kid and saying, “Oh, hi, this is Tommy. I want to introduce you to my son, he’s really, really shy and really doesn’t like to talk to people.” Parents do that kind of stuff a lot and there should be no surprise that your kids would then run away as fast as possible to get away from you.

View Rosalind Wiseman 's video on How parents embarrass their kids and what to do about it...

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Expert Bio

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Rosalind Wiseman

Author & Educator

Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership. Rosalind is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, the groundbreaking, fully-revised edition of her bestselling book that was the basis for the movie Mean Girls. Her follow-up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents and is now being made into a major motion picture by New Line Cinema. In 2010, Rosalind published the  young adult novel Boys, Girls, & Other Hazardous Materials, which was recognized by the American Library Association as one of their Most Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.  She is now writing a set of companion books for boys and their parents, scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2013. In addition, Rosalind has written the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social justice program for grades 6-12 which is in widespread use across the country.  She writes the monthly “Ask Rosalind” column in Family Circle magazine, and is regular contributor to several blogs and websites. Also, Rosalind is a spokesperson for LG’s Text-Education Council that aims to inform parents about responsible monitoring of teen cell phone usage. Each year Rosalind works with tens of thousands of students, educators, parents, counselors, coaches, and administrators to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity. In 2011, she was one of the principal speakers at the White House Summit on Bullying.  Other audiences have included the American School Counselors Association, International Chiefs of Police, American Association of School Administrators, and countless schools throughout the U.S. and abroad. National media regularly depends on Rosalind as the expert on ethical leadership, media literacy, and bullying prevention.  She is a consultant for Cartoon Network’s Speak Up, Stop Bullying campaign. She is a frequent guest on the Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360 and Dateline.  She has been profiled in The New York Times, People, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, USA Today, Oprah, Nightline, CNN, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country. Rosalind holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Occidental College. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two sons.

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