As parents, we know that we'll someday embarrass our kids. No big deal. But what kids fail to recognize is that they've been an embarrassment since they were born.
If you haven't already created a mental laundry list of all the times your kids have embarrassed you, we asked a few moms for their real-life experiences. We heard a couple themes:
Unfortunately, the embarrassment you feel as a parent is a bit of a tricky emotion. It's normal to feel your face flush when your children do something weird or crazy. As a parent, though, you need to check your embarrassment if you sense that it's turning into humiliation. Constant feelings of humiliation aren't good for you or your kid.
You can think of the difference between embarrassment and humiliation as the difference between a breeze and a tornado — they are different levels of the same emotion.
Let's take the classic example of a kid freaking out in the grocery store line because he wants a candy bar. An embarrassed mom feels self-conscious and awkward as other parents watch how the meltdown is managed. The mom in this scenario is usually thinking something along the lines of, "Heh, this is uncomfortable, I wonder what I should do to contain this situation?"
A humiliated mom, however, will approach the meltdown very differently because the emotional stakes are higher. The underlying emotions of awkwardness are similar, but the embarrassment is felt so strongly that it's experienced as anger, blaming and shaming. A humiliated mom is often thinking, "I can't believe this kid is doing this to me again!"
Humiliation can prove dangerous to the parent-child relationship because it takes mom or dad out of the driver's seat. Quite often, humiliated parents find themselves more committed to banishing their own shame than they are to parenting their children properly during those embarrassing, teachable moments.
There's no getting away from the fact that your kids will occasionally do things that cause embarrassment. However, you do have the choice to respond differently during those moments. Consider turning down the volume on your emotions so that your embarrassment doesn't morph into humiliation:
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!