As a parent, it is inevitable that your child will embarrass you one way or another. Whether that embarrassment comes from your child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, yelling something humiliating in the middle of a worship service or telling a friend something personal, it will come.
As a mom to a toddler, my experiences are beginning to grow each day. There have been numerous times where my face has turned bright red, I avoid any bystander’s eyes and I rush out of the room as fast I can. I’ve had people make comments to me about my parenting, some trying to give me advice on how to handle these moments which ends up humiliating me even more.
When these moments occur, you may not know what to do. You may even start to harbor some harsh feelings toward your child for putting you into such a horrifying position. However, you can move past those embarrassing moments and love your child even more.
Laugh about it
Embarrassing moments will come. They will happen as we try to raise our family. However when those moments come it is important we remain positive and upbeat. After an embarrassing situation, laugh. Find something in the situation that is positive. When you have a negative attitude toward the event, it will only allow you to harbor more upsetting feelings toward the situation and possibly your child.
Don’t dwell on the situation
After we are embarrassed, we dwell on the situation. It is common for many of us to replay the situation over and over in our heads to determine how we could have avoided it in the first place. After an embarrassing moment, move on. If you have a hard time letting it go, write it down in your or your child’s journal. Writing can be therapy for many people and by writing it in your journal you can look back on it years from now and smile at the difficult moments that occurred when raising your children.
Talk to other parents
You are not alone. Every parent goes through embarrassing moments — some of them even worse than your own. After the humiliation, share the moment with other parents. I have found that when you are willing to share your embarrassing moments, they will be willing as well. By laughing at one another’s awkward and horrifying experiences, you will feel a lot better about the situation and you will have an easier time moving on.
Accept the fact that it will happen
Before I was a parent, I heard stories and would even witness children humiliating their parents but I never thought it would happen to me. I figured I would be a good parent who could control my child and teach him how to be well-behaved in public. I was completely wrong. Children are their own individuals. They will say and do things whether we like it or not. We may try a million things to distract them from a situation but that doesn’t mean it will help. Understand that these moments will come.
Go home and snuggle
There have been several occasions when other parents offer me advice about how to handle my child if he is acting up or humiliating me one way or another. During those moments, I want to crawl into a corner and never come out. After those occasions, I’ve even felt like I needed a break from my child, just to calm down and not let the anger boil up. When those feelings come, go home, get out of the public’s eye and snuggle. Give your child an excessive amount of hugs and kisses. Let him know just how much you care for him.
It can be tough being a parent. However, it can be tough being a kid, too. We need to stop and realize just how lucky we are to have children. We need to remember that humiliating moments will happen, but that doesn’t mean we should love our child any less. In fact, we should love our child more because we are privileged to have those experiences. We are some of the lucky ones who get to have children and enjoy all their actions and words, no matter the consequences.
Courtnie Erickson is a Utah State University graduate and a technology guru.