Editor’s Note: This list was excerpted from an article, It’s My Life — But My Parents Won’t Butt Out! that appeared in Washington Parent magazine in September 2019. After you finish chuckling, read the article to learn how to help your tween or teen navigate their social life!
Are you looking for the fastest way to build a wedge as large as a crater between you and your child? If so, follow these tips and rest assured your tween/teen will loathe being in your company.
- Forbid it. That’s right – forbid your child to do anything and everything that her peers are doing. Don’t ask questions. Don’t discuss options. Just forbid it! The louder, the better.
- Kiss & go. Require your child to kiss you whenever you drop your child off anywhere. A requisite hug, blown kiss, enthusiastic hand wave or verbal phrase, “I love you, too, Mom!” will have the same result.
- Lick & wipe. Lick your thumb and use it to wipe the remnants of breakfast off the corner of your child’s mouth.
- While driving carpool, sing along to current pop songs. This is especially effective if you don’t quite know all the lyrics and/or can’t carry a tune.
- Use text slang. When holding a conversation with your child and her friend, use words like LOL, OMG and ROFL. It’ll make your tween post “KMN.”
- Write lunchbox notes. What was fine in elementary school will be dreaded in middle school, so make sure you tuck a little note in their lunch every day.
- Use pet names. If you called her “Smoochie” or “Baby Cakes” when she was a baby, keep doing it – especially in front of friends and potential boyfriends.
- Display baby pictures. Your child will love it when friends see naked pictures in the bathtub, bunny costumes at Halloween and eating Cheerios in the highchair.
- Make your life all about your child. Everything should revolve around your tween or teen. Your email address should indicate your motherhood (email@example.com) and your social networks should use names like EmilysMommy” or “ILoveMyBabyLilly”.
- Volunteer for everything – absolutely everything, including (but not limited to) field trips, school career day, church outings, Boy Scouts, classroom mom, lunch monitor, school fundraisers and, most importantly, dance chaperone.
Lynne Ticknor is PEP’s Director of Education.
Visit PEP’s upcoming programs, including online master classes and the Noted Parenting Author Series at www.PEPparent.org.