Embarrassing Your Children

Oh, I am so all for it! Not often, but I do contemplate ways to embarrass my kid for my own personal entertainment! Sad but true.

I find that giving your kids a small dose of embarrassment will help them later in life. I did not say “scar” them, but a little “dabble “of not taking yourself “so seriously” works wonders. We have gotten so “politically correct” that we have lost our sense of humor. We have forgotten playful banter.

Now, I am not a fan of practical jokes. I have never understood that term because most of the jokes do not seem practical to me. How is scarring the crap out of someone practical? Or, how is humiliating someone practical? This is not what I mean when I say embarrass.

I am talking about silliness and “joking up.” Joking up means to lift someone up metaphorically in a humorous and playful way.

For example, each day I drive my daughter to her “tree hugger” school in a carpool. As she gets out of the car, I roll down my window as she exists. As she waves goodbye, I holler out to her that I love her in a silly voice. Her response usually sounds like, “mom, roll up your window” or I get a serious eye roll with a hand wave off. Success, in my opinion.

There is so much seriousness in our lives today. We have become “reactionary” in the ways we communicate. We are quick to blame and ever so painfully slow to forgive. No wonder our kids are having all sorts of social problems.

We need to lighten up and not take ourselves and others so seriously. My mama always said, “just because someone says something to you does not need you need to react to them.” Hum?

We need to teach our kids and ourselves that being embarrassed is not a sin! Being able to laugh at yourself increases self-confidence and maturity. So, when someone else says crappy things to you, you don’t have to believe it or take it to heart.

Example. I am pretty OCD about a lot of things. I already know this about myself. However, from time to time, someone I know decides that I need to be reminded, as if I had forgotten for a nanosecond. It usually involves cleaning. Now, when someone has something to say about my cleaning habits, I just look at them and say, “you are right.” How can anyone argue further if you tell them they are right?

I say be a bit silly or gently poke fun with your kids. Help them learn to laugh at themselves a little. Start with the small things and “joke up.”

My daughter is forever coming home with odds and ends of trinkets she finds when we are out. It could be a figurine, piece of broken clay pot or a bottle cap. I can never comprehend where she finds all this stuff! So, each time she finds something, we joke that she has “eagle eyes.” She thinks this is funny and swells with pride. This is what I mean about “joking up.” I know some parents would not agree with me. Oh, well. Most of them are wound so tight that a sense of humor is equal to a felony charge! I cannot help you with this problem.

Teach your kids that getting embarrassed is an integral part of life. It teaches us about ourselves. Once your kids understand this, they can “arm” themselves in real life situations. Then, just maybe, it won’t hurt so much when someone is ugly to them.

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