Children are embarrassing; it's in their nature. I believe that many adults are often jealous of children's social "pass" in getting to say whatever is on their minds at any time: "That woman is fat!" or "I can see your underwear and it's blue!" or "The food you cook tastes like poopy!" are all things that can be yelled by children at the decibel level of a jackhammer with little immediate repercussions beyond a parent saying, "please use your inside voice."
Parents with thin skins will leave a store when their child throws a tantrum in the middle of a toy aisle because Mom or Dad isn't buying them everything on the bottom two shelves; parents with thicker skins will continue their shopping and let their child wail throughout the store while saying quietly, "I know; it's a shame, but we don't always get everything we want in life."
I root for the parents in the latter situation every time.
And all of these childish behaviors lead me to wonder how I will embarrass my child in the future when the tables are turned and I become the most bothersome thing in my son's life. Because - and let there be no mistake about this - I am looking forward to embarrassing my son. I have thought of lots of mortifying scenarios I will put him through, including kissing him good-bye in front of his friends, displaying dorky-but-adorable photos of him from his childhood around our home, and even - gasp! - friending him and then commenting on the social media outlet of his choice.
It seems that the last item on that list may already be contributing to the exodus of teens from Facebook.
In this British study verifying that parents are just as embarrassing online as they are in real life, researchers have indicated that European teens aged 16-18 are leaving Facebook because of all the adults on it - especially family members. There are some other interesting findings in the study - namely that Dad is more embarrassing than Mom, even though Mom is more adept at using modern slang.
So, no matter what social media my son ends up on, I'm sure I will be there as well - helping him make smart choices about his privacy and posting the occasional cringe-worthy comment.
Because I'm his Mom. And that's just part of my job.
What was the most embarrassing thing your parents ever did to you (either online or in real life)? Share the horror of it all with me in the comments.