Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

So…I went on a vacation last summer with my family. It had the complete look and feel of a fabulous trip, the whole shebang; traveling to another country for the first time, having thrilling, novel adventure after adventure, enjoying each other’s time and attention without the pressures of work, school, and chores, blissfully giving our kids opportunities of a lifetime.

Yea. It LOOKED that way. Cue the end of the vacation, and I was in my therapist’s office, crying about my vacation. Why, you may ask?

Although we had made plans for everything we could think of-plans for transportation, lodging, beautiful and delicious local meals, reservations on tours to be guided through museums and historical sites- we didn’t make a plan for what it would FEEL like for my family and me to travel together. You see, we didn’t know how challenging it would be to parent our adult kids in a new place, all while spending every frickin’ minute together.

My husband and I didn’t know how much our kids had grown up and just how much their opinion about what would be fun to do would be different than ours (like, a Grand Canyon of different). And not a single one of us knew that it would be terrifying.

In some ways, for us to be surrounded by so many people we didn’t know in the height of travel season, trying to decipher street signs, encountering a transportation strike and many, many days in a row of over 100 degree heat. We didn’t know our kids would both want us to protect them AND want us to get away from them (for the record that is almost impossible to do, especially when you are meeting in front of_______for the already paid tour).

What I’m trying to say is, that the vacation of a lifetime was, for me, a colossal Parenting Walk of Shame. I will spare you the ugly details, as I’m still cringing.

Feeling embarrassed while parenting teenagers is a common experience, but it’s one of the deepest types of shame we can feel. Parenting opens us up to a whole new level of vulnerability. We make ourselves responsible for every thought, feeling, and action our teens have- and so does the world.

Well intentioned family, teachers, coaches, even therapists may formulate an opinion about how the child they are interacting with has been parented. And we parents can feel judged not only outside our home, but maybe inside too, by our spouse/partner who is parenting alongside.

Adolescence is a period of rapid change and exploration, and it often brings situations that might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable for parents.  Here are some parenting challenges that you may have run up against, and thoughts on how to handle and have compassion for your totally normal embarrassment:

1. Behavior in Public:

Embarrassment: Your teenager is struggling, can’t hold it together and is rude or offensive in public.

Coping: Remember that teenagers are still learning to navigate their emotions and impulses and don’t yet have the tolerance to hold some reactions. You are not responsible for how your teen chooses to represent themselves. Later, consider sharing how you felt (“That was really embarrassing and confusing for me when you ran down the pillow aisle at Target, lobbing pillows at strangers”).

2. Differing Values or Beliefs:

Embarrassment: Your teenager may express opinions or adopt behaviors that differ from your own values.

Coping: Recognize that teenagers are forming their identities and may experiment with different beliefs. Can you be a little more curious, open, non-judgmental conversations to understand their perspective?

3. Social Media Posts:

Embarrassment: Teens may share content on social media that parents find inappropriate or embarrassing.

Coping: Establish clear guidelines for social media use. Communicate the importance of responsible online behavior and discuss the potential consequences of their posts.

4. Awkward Conversations:

Embarrassment: Teens may ask challenging questions about sensitive topics, such as sex, relationships, or personal issues. Also embarrassing is if they choose to avoid talking to parents entirely and attempt to make every single important decision without your input, which can make parents feel inadequate and not wanted or needed.

Coping: Curiosity rules here. Ask, try to stay light-hearted. Prioritize safety and let go of idle chit chat if that just isn’t your kid’s style. My youngest is not so young anymore, and only NOW do they call to ask my advice.

5. Parenting Mistakes:

Embarrassment: Parents may feel embarrassed if they make mistakes in handling situations or responding to their teenager.

Coping: Acknowledge that parenting is a learning process, and mistakes are part of the journey. Apologize when necessary and use the experience as an opportunity for growth.

6. Teen’s Appearance or Style:

Embarrassment: Parents may feel embarrassed by their teenager’s unconventional appearance or fashion choices.

Coping: Remember that self-expression is a crucial aspect of adolescence. Respect their autonomy in making choices that aren’t harmful, even if they differ from your preferences.

7. Family Dynamics:

Embarrassment: If family conflicts spill into public spaces or social gatherings.

Coping: Prioritize open communication within the family. If conflicts arise, address them privately and work on constructive solutions.

Remember, feeling embarrassed is a natural part of parenting teenagers. It’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication, demonstrate understanding, and approach challenges with empathy. Seeking support from other parents or professionals can also provide valuable perspectives and coping strategies.

If you feel better after reading this and want more words of encouragement, stay tuned here for more thoughtful conversation about all things parenting teens, or reach out for a free 20 minute consultation at www.restoringrelationships.today for some support in my office.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Parenting Shame

Parenting Shame

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.Restoring relationships
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