10 of the most embarrassing things children do in public.

Those times when you just have to ask, where did I go wrong?

I don’t have children, but for a few exhausting months I was a nanny to someone else’s. And it was rough.

I had pimples and my young charge repeatedly asked “Do you have chicken pox?”. I gave her a withering look and then died inside a little.

Recently someone posed the question on Reddit, ‘What is the most embarrassing thing your kid has ever said/done in public?’, and my god some of the responses were cringe-worthy.

The upside is YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Here are just a few of the all-to-familiar scenarios people shared.

Rule #1: Never take your child to the supermarket. Image via @assholeparents.

1. When your child insists on talking about their genitals, or your genitals or their siblings genitals or the-person-you-just-met-in-the-supermarket’s genitals.

“My daughter, four at the time, was riding her balance bike down a hill and was unable to stop at the bottom. She ran into a small wall and began to scream, “OW MY NUTSACK, I HIT MY NUTSACK”. She had heard it from her older brother,” one man writes. “This was during a local kite festival were plenty of parents and children around to give us the stink eye.”

Another women was forced to explain the ins and out of puberty to her daughter after taking her into the change room at the local swimming pool:

“One of the older women was walking around totally nude. My daughter had never really noticed nudity before. I actually don’t really care if she sees it in that context, it just had never come up before. She stared at the woman’s vagina, and asked me in a horrified voice, “Mum, why is that woman so hairy right there?” And pointed right at her bush.”

2. When your kid almost gets you arrested.

“On our way to watch my daughter play soccer, my son was asking me about how babies were made. So I told him all about the sperm and they egg and so on. He seemed to reflect deeply about what I had said. Get to soccer and we sit among all the other parents and he blurts out “Dad, is your sperm still inside me?” I almost fucking died.”

3. When you realise you’ve made a fatal error while toilet training them.

“My daughter had diarrhoea once and freaked out,” a concerned mother wrote. “I told her what it was but she misunderstood and started calling it gorilla poops, no matter how many times I corrected her. For about a year when we went to any bathroom private or public she would ask, “Is it regular poops or gorilla poops?”

4. When your child fat shames you or worse, a stranger.


This was one of the most universal experiences that parents reported. One women laments her own behaviour as a child, saying that her mother used to look in the mirror, sigh and say, “I’m the fattest woman in the world. So, naturally, when she went to the shopping centre and saw an even larger woman in a mum she she freaked out, pointing and yelling, “LOOK MUMMY! YOU’RE NOT THE FATTEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD, SHE IS!!”

Sigh. One young son simply pointed directly at an overweight women and said, “”Uh oh! Too many noodles!””Uh oh!”.


Certainly don’t take them to the shopping centre, you idiot. Image via @assholeparents.

One of my favourite anecdotes involved a man, also on the heavier side, who was enjoying a quiet snack in the kitchen during his younger cousin’s birthday party. When his cousin came into the room, the little boy stared at him with wide-eyed terror, screamed, cried and made a run for it.

“I was like, ‘what?'”, the man said. “I later learned that his Dad had jokingly told him that if you interrupt a fat person’s meal, they’ll fly into a rage and try to eat YOU. I laughed so fucking hard when my Aunt explained this to me I nearly burst a blood vessel somewhere.”

5. When you worry maybe you’ve accidentally raised a racist.

“I had a dear friend who was Muslim and dressed traditionally; meaning abaya, hijab and niqab,” one woman write. “She’d go to schools and talk to the kids at different times. She said she’s been asked if she was a witch, a Batman, and other things. Said her favourite was the little boy who said she looked like a Ninja Turtle.”

6. When you can’t get mad because they are literally just copying you. 

“When I was four my mum almost got in an accident on the freeway. She slammed on the horn and screamed “jackass” out the window all while flipping them the bird.

“Fast Forward a couple weeks. We are leaving my grandparents house and my mom honks the horn as to say goodbye. I proceed to roll down my window and give them the finger, yelling ‘jackass’ as we drove away.”

You only have yourself to blame.

7. When you just can’t even.

“My younger brother was told by his mom that he couldn’t get the cereal he wanted, so he proceeded to scream “RAPE” at the top of his lungs.”

Oof. No.

8. When make an internal memo to remind them of the importance of secret keeping.

A man and his 6-year-old daughter were in a service station in what he describes as a “rough neighbourhood”.


“Britney Spears’ “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” came on the radio behind the counter,” the man recalls. “My daughter blurted out “Dad! It’s your song!” All I could do was look at everyone staring at me like “no, it’s really not.” I laughed about it so fucking hard once we got in the car….with the doors locked.

And maybe Britney…

9. And the mandatory public pooing incident that every parent knows…

“When my son was about two-years-old he was dancing his heart out to the music in a clothing store. Everyone thought he was so cute and he didn’t want to leave. Then he stopped suddenly and grabbed his bum. I knew he had to go to the bathroom so I went to pick him and he pulls away and kind of squats. He’s potty trained by now, but he must have waited too long because of the dancing. I grab him as fast as I can and start to run to the store across the other side of shopping centre with the nearest bathroom. He starts wiggling and pooping and its plopping on the floor. I bend down to try to wipe it up and it just keeps coming down his pants. I run as fast as I can leaving a trail of runny poop behind us. We get to the bathroom and it’s everywhere on both of us. I have to strip him naked and throw out everything including his shoes. He’s wiggling off the counter and smearing it around. Customers are coming in and out and I’m crying with poop everywhere and a naked baby. I had to tell the people in the store that I left poop everywhere. He’s naked, I smell like poop, and I’m worried he’s not done with this impossibly huge shit so I just point to the trail and leave as fast as I can. Years later and I still drive further to go to any other shopping centre.”

10.  And then there’s those times when you secretly agree with them…

Sometimes you want to chide your child for being disrespectful, but secretly you think, they’ve got a damn point. Like this father:

“I was in line at the bank holding my 4-year-old daughter. She attempted to whisper in my ear, but was too young to really know much about how to do it quietly,” he writes.

“First I got an earful of her hot breath, then she whisper-shouted into my ear, ‘Dad! The lady behind us has creepy eyes!’

“Clearly, the woman heard this, so I turned to say ‘Sorry!’ but I lost my train of thought when I turned, because this woman’s gaze was so terrifying that I almost dropped my kid. I just kept turning right around until I was facing forward again. And I never did apologise.”

You can read the rest of the stories here. And commiserate, obviously.

What’s the most embarrassing thing your child has done in public?

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