parent opinion

'I thought I was a "cool mum", but with six words my 6yo daughter made clear I was not.'

I might sound a bit full of myself here but I think I am a cool person (that makes me sound super un-cool doesn’t it?)

As per everything in life there are levels. With coolness this is no different.

For the visual people out there, I like to envision a bar graph, ‘The Bar Graph of Coolness’. Now on this graph at the maximum of ten are the few ‘uber cool’ individuals, the select few that achieve this level of ‘cool greatness’. Sitting at around the eight mark are the ‘super cool’, then at around seven is the ‘pretty cool’ group, anything from five to six fit into the ‘sort of cool’ category, then anything four and under, well let’s just say that they need improvement in the coolness area.

Upon self-reflection, I’d say that I am about a seven on ‘The Bar Graph of Coolness’, I’m ‘pretty cool’.

via GIPHY

I dress alright – I know what matches and what doesn’t, I am up with general trends (again I am sounding super un-cool here), I am relatively kind and nice to others, I like to think I’m thoughtful and loyal, somewhat funny and smart, and I adhere to most social norms and expectations.

Being a ‘pretty cool’ person I thought would transfer over into the ‘pretty cool’ mum group too, but apparently it doesn’t work like that. Well at least not after a certain stage.

In fact, according to my daughter (who I would like to add, is in Prep), I am “embarrassing.” That’s right, “embarrassing”. And when I think about being ‘pretty cool’, embarrassing is not a word I would consider descriptive of someone’s position within this category.

via GIPHY

At the beginning of the year I would walk my daughter, Addi, into school. “Come to my classroom mum,” she’d ask and for about six months, every day I took her to school I obliged. We would walk in together, sometimes holding hands and she would walk with a proud strut like she was so ecstatic that I was her mum and everyone could see. When we went into her classroom sometimes she would tell her other classmates, “this is my mum,” normally they couldn’t care less but it made her smile. Then one day it all changed.

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As my hand automatically reached to unbuckle my seat belt from months of school drop off habit, Addi said, “I’ll go in by myself today.” For a moment I thought I’d misheard her but before I had even had the opportunity to form a verbal reply, she had kissed me and said goodbye and off she went.

The next day this sequence of events repeated itself, so as she was walking toward the school gate and I was driving past, I wound down the car window and yelled out, “I love you Addi, have a great day!” Well let’s just say her facial expression was not what I had expected, she just looked at me with a reaction of WTF, combined with annoyance.

That afternoon as I picked her up from school she told me, “You embarrassed me this morning mum, don’t yell out like that again. Don’t be embarrassing.”

“Embarrassed”, “Embarrassing”. The words were like daggers to my ‘pretty cool’ heart.

That night I Googled. It turns out this feeling of embarrassment towards parents is completely normal, in fact it is like a rite of passage for most kids. BUT, yes BUT, it is usually displayed when they are pre-teens. My daughter is six.

From research (Google) I read that this stage has to be had on the way toward adulthood, it makes them an ‘individual’. As parents, the general advice was to “buckle up” (yep thanks for that) and to try and “not take it personally”.

Because that advice is really unhelpful, I will take on the only bit that was, “talk about it to other parents”. So, for those of you who have had the joy of experiencing this ‘necessary life stage’, what did you do? When did it start? How to you not take it personally? My “embarrassing”, ‘pretty cool’ ears are listening.

Has your child ever outed you for being ’embarrassing’? Group therapy is open in the comments.

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