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My Mum Is So Embarrassing

Have your parents ever said or done something to make you cringe? It happens to us all at some point so here’s how to handle it…

Whether it’s a spot of dodgy dad-dancing or a cringey selfie, you’ve most probably had an ‘OMG I cannot believe I am related to them!’ moment when it comes to your parent or guardian. Whatever the situation, we’re here to help!

Q. My mum has asked to be my friend on social media but that’s totally embarrassing. None of my friends are mates with their mums online! How do I tell her without hurting her feelings?

A. This situation is all about compromise and an honest conversation will be the best place to start. Be truthful about why you don’t want to add them as a friend and talk it through. You could also gently explain that you want to spend time with her in real-life, not online, and make an effort to do just that.

If your parent is worried about what you might be posting or sharing and wants to friend you for those reasons, why not suggest a compromise of showing them your profile pages from time to time? This could go a long way to reassuring them that you’re being sensible online. Alternatively, you could accept their friend request but ask them not to post or like any of your content, if you’d prefer?

Q. I was a bit embarrassed when my step-dad got up and did a dab at my birthday party. My friends all thought it was hilarious, but I could feel my face burning and that just made me feel even more mortified. How can I deal with cringes without blushing bright red?

A. Embarrassing moments can be hard to deal with but there are ways to make a cringe less uncomfortable. Try not to worry if you feel a blush creeping up your neck and onto your face. We all blush from time to time! Your friends might not even notice and, even if they do, if you’re laughing along and brushing it off, too, then it’s far less likely to be a big deal. You could also say, “You’d blush too if you were me!” and laugh along.

You might want to mention to your step-dad that you found it a bit embarrassing if you want to avoid a similar situation in the future. If you’re worried about hurting his feelings, why not speak to another family member for advice? They may know of the best way to approach the situation or could have a quiet word with him.

Q. My mum likes to dress in bright, floaty clothes which usually doesn’t bother me but now people at school have started commenting on it after they saw her pick me up. It’s really embarrassing but I don’t know what to do about it.

A. Our peers will often judge people who don’t ‘fit’ their ideals or tick certain boxes. Your mum is embracing her own style and isn’t harming anyone but that doesn’t stop certain individuals from making nasty, critical comments.

You can ask the people who are saying things to stop and minimise their negativity by saying something, like, “Yeah, she’s pretty unique. That’s why I love her – she’s not afraid to be herself.” Once they see that their words aren’t having the desired effect, they’ll probably get bored and drop it. If they don’t, talk to your teacher or an adult about what’s happening to get more help.

Curated by

Vicky Bird
Vicky is a Bacp accredited counsellor and supervisor in private practice in Hampshire. You can contact Vicky via Psychologytoday