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Old 09-03-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Well, to clarify, I don't mean "embarrass to the point of tears."

My own mother, when she was in her seventies, actually snuck up on my oldest daughter (mother of four herself now) in a store and grabbed her on the behind and made her scream! So yes, we do have a pretty raucous and rowdy sense of humor and we don't mind slightly embarrassing each other.

Just the other day, as we were walking into a restaurant just after a nice little rain, my husband waited till I was under a branch right outside the door and then reached up and shook the branch and got me quite wet.

Some people would get mad about that sort of thing, or be embarrassed about walking into a restaurant sort of wet, but I thought it was hilarious and so did he. In fact I told him, "Oooh, good one. I admire your sense of timing...in fact, it sort of turns me on."

That's just how we roll.
That is joking around...not trying to embarrass a child. I see nothing funny in making some else uncomfortable by trying to embarrass them in front of others.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Sigh. I knew when I started this thread that I'd get a few sanctimonious responses.

Now for the "rest of the story."

The "Fiddler on the Roof" story - here's what I intentionally meant to teach my kids (and DID teach my kids with this, and other examples) - the meaning of hypocrisy, and how to embrace what you love about yourself in spite of others' opinion. Let me explain>

1. Hypocrisy - Kids that age (and some young adults) think nothing of blaring the music THEY like at a decibel level that can actually damage ear drums. Now, to clarify, of course I don't go around blaring Fiddler on the Roof (or any other music) loud enough to disturb other people. But I wanted to show them how irritating it is. Sorry but the general public doesn't really want to listen to your music. If they're horrified by me playing Fiddler on the Roof at a loud volume around their friends, think how others feel when they impose their musical tastes on others.

2. Now - I happened to know that my kids actually LOVE the movie "Fiddler on the Roof" and one of our favorite past times on road trips was to put in that cassette tape (yes, those were the days) and sing all the words and speak the dialogue to the soundtrack. But...were they self confident enough to show that they actually do really like that music? Or did they hide that personal taste from their friends because they were afraid their friends wouldn't think it was cool? This little example opened up that discussion.

I am very glad to say that my kids, without exception, have very healthy self esteems and are very comfortable with self expression. They learned very early on not to be afraid of expressing what they love, their interests, their opinions, etc. Not a one of them was ever "clique-esh" and I like to think that I helped them avoid that mind set.

I only did the Fiddler On the Roof thing once, by the way, and they still laugh and talk about it to this day. So it made an impression - in a unique and interesting way. And yes, we had the discussion about hypocrisy and self expression on the way home from school that day, and they remember that as well.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:33 PM
 
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I think nurturing a sense of humor in our kids is important. And, we love to laugh. But, embarrassing them indicates(to me) doing something in public that makes them uncomfortable. So no, I'm not a fan, and I don't consider it sanctimonious.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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I can think of only one time I embarrassed my child on purpose.

A good friend and I were shopping at a mall with our sons who were both about 13. We'd gone to lunch and were walking around. It was an open air mall by the beach and an absolutely beautiful day. We hadn't seen each other for a while and were enjoying being together. As we were walking around (with the boys following along behind us) she stopped at a kiosk that sold hair pieces. She asked to try one on. I was telling her how nice she looked (she really did!) when her son said, "Mom. You're embarrassing me. Stop." My son started complaining as well. "You're too old for that. Both of you are too old for this!"

Oh, really?

I'll try the black one with the bangs please!

They didn't want us to have a good time. We decided part of our good time was going to be embarrassing them. Yes. Evil Moms out to destroy the self esteem of teenagers. She bought one. They REALLY went ballistic with the "you're embarrassing to be around" complaints when I insisted she wear it while we ate our frozen yogurt.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 09-03-2014 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Finland
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Embarrassing your kids, just like with teasing someone or taking the **** out of your mates, as long as you know where to draw the line its just an amusing part of a healthy relationship and shouldn't result in hurt feelings, so long as everyone involved has a decent sense of humour.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
I can think of only one time I embarrassed my child on purpose.

A good friend and I were shopping at a mall with our sons who were both about 13. We'd gone to lunch and were walking around. It was an open air mall by the beach and an absolutely beautiful day. We hadn't seen each other for a while and were enjoying being together. As we were walking around (with the boys following along behind us) she stopped at a kiosk that sold hair pieces. She asked to try one on. I was telling her how nice she looked (she really did!) when her son said, "Mom. You're embarrassing me. Stop." My son started complaining as well. "You're too old for that. Both of you are too old for this!"

Oh, really?

I'll try the black one with the bangs please!

They didn't want us to have a good time. We decided part of our good time was going to be embarrassing them. Yes. Evil Moms out to destroy the self esteem of teenagers. She bought one. They REALLY went ballistic with the "you're embarrassing to be around" complaints when I insisted she wear it while we ate our frozen yogurt.
I love it.

See, this is the sort of thing I'm talking about. I'm not talking about publicly ridiculing kids, embarrassing them in hurtful ways, but more along the line of "calling their hand" on things - like this example. While it embarrassed your kids, no doubt, you didn't do it with the sole intention of embarrassing them - though it may have given you a little kick to do so - but you also did it with the intention of teaching them something. At least that's how I see it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natsku View Post
Embarrassing your kids, just like with teasing someone or taking the **** out of your mates, as long as you know where to draw the line its just an amusing part of a healthy relationship and shouldn't result in hurt feelings, so long as everyone involved has a decent sense of humour.
I agree. I think it's part of also teaching them "If you can dish it out, you better be able to take it." Teens are NOTORIOUS about being judgmental, harsh in their criticisms, cliquish, and focused on the wrong things when it comes to self esteem, and gentle ribbing, poking a bit of fun at them, etc can often show them the reality of their behaviors.

When my oldest daughter was about four, she suddenly developed the most WHINY way of talking. It was nerve grating and frankly, I wasn't going to put up with it after a certain point. After trying to reason with her, rewarding her for NOT whining, , etc she was still doing it. So my husband and I decided to answer her back in the exact tone of voice. We also decided to whine to each other like she went around whining. BOY, SHE HATED IT. Let me tell you something, within a few days she had stopped it. She really had had no idea how she sounded, I guess - which is understandable considering she was four. But she needed to know.

Sometimes they need their antics pointed back at them to get a point across - and sometimes it's very effective. Like I said earlier though, I would NEVER condone doing anything actually cruel to them.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I agree. I think it's part of also teaching them "If you can dish it out, you better be able to take it." Teens are NOTORIOUS about being judgmental, harsh in their criticisms, cliquish, and focused on the wrong things when it comes to self esteem, and gentle ribbing, poking a bit of fun at them, etc can often show them the reality of their behaviors.

When my oldest daughter was about four, she suddenly developed the most WHINY way of talking. It was nerve grating and frankly, I wasn't going to put up with it after a certain point. After trying to reason with her, rewarding her for NOT whining, , etc she was still doing it. So my husband and I decided to answer her back in the exact tone of voice. We also decided to whine to each other like she went around whining. BOY, SHE HATED IT. Let me tell you something, within a few days she had stopped it. She really had had no idea how she sounded, I guess - which is understandable considering she was four. But she needed to know.

Sometimes they need their antics pointed back at them to get a point across - and sometimes it's very effective. Like I said earlier though, I would NEVER condone doing anything actually cruel to them.
I don't think the words " purposefully embarrassing" means what you think it does (it means "to deliberately cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert").

Purposefully trying to embarrass anyone is cruel....you can't get around that. Why would you want to shame your child in public?

Joking around with someone should not have to be embarrassing to either party (and honestly, your examples don't appear that way). Letting your child know that their tone of voice is annoying is not embarrassing.

A preteen/teen may get embarrassed at a parent simply being a parent...that happens....they soon realize it's not a big deal. However, if that parent goes out of their way to make their child uncomfortable in public....then I really do wonder what their motives are.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
but you also did it with the intention of teaching them something.
Of course.

It was an excellent opportunity to teach both of them that their mothers weren't "old". And, while my friend was trying on various hair pieces and her son was was frowning and groaning, I told him her nickname among the car pool dads: The Fox. That was a moment. Thirteen and he learned his own mother was hot. I'll never forget the look on his face.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletG View Post
I don't think the words " purposefully embarrassing" means what you think it does (it means "to deliberately cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert").

Purposefully trying to embarrass anyone is cruel....you can't get around that. Why would you want to shame your child in public?

Joking around with someone should not have to be embarrassing to either party (and honestly, your examples don't appear that way). Letting your child know that their tone of voice is annoying is not embarrassing.

A preteen/teen may get embarrassed at a parent simply being a parent...that happens....they soon realize it's not a big deal. However, if that parent goes out of their way to make their child uncomfortable in public....then I really do wonder what their motives are.
I know what "purposefully embarrassing" means but thanks anyway. And what I'm describing can fall very neatly under the "to make uncomfortably self-conscious" - especially with preteens and teenagers, since every moment in public in their parents' presence often makes them uncomfortably self conscious!

For the record, I don't really think we're disagreeing on this for the most part.

What I'm NOT talking about is cruelty. I'm talking about light hearted things that embarrass a child, not because they're actually embarrassing to "normal" people, but because our kids are often unduly hyper-paranoid about what other people think.

I asked for examples like that, as well as any other examples where parents may have inadvertently embarrassed their kids (and by the way, I didn't stipulate that it had to be in public).

I thought of a time my dad very effectively embarrassed me, by the way, in the privacy of our own home. I had stayed out too late on a date, and of course I also hadn't called to let my parents know I was OK. My dad locked the back door with a chain lock so I would have to ring the doorbell to get in. My boyfriend was at least "man enough" to go to the door with me to apologize to my dad if the "opportunity" came up, and boy did it - my dad showed up at that back door wearing nothing but his boxer shorts (if you knew what a sophisticated and sharp dresser he is, you'd know how shocking this was to both of us!)! And then he was gruff to my boyfriend - and then he told me to "get in the house - we'll talk about this IN THE MORNING!" I was so embarrassed I thought I would just die!

My dad knew it would embarrass the mess out of me for him to show up at that door shirtless and wearing only his boxer shorts. This was intentional - and very effective. It alarmed the boy nearly to death, embarrassed the heck out of me, and I don't think my boyfriend ever got me home one minute late after that!

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 09-04-2014 at 12:37 AM..
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