No matter what my kids say, they have the coolest mom, ever. You're looking at the mom who, 10 years ago, sat through High School Musical On Stage, even after learning that Zac Efron wouldn't be in attendance. Over the years, I've taken my kids to see One Direction, Panic! At The Disco, and even British YouTubers, Dan & Phil. This woman right here is a cool mom. At least, I thought I was. Apparently, even the totally awesomest moms ever have habits that make your kids think you're not cool.
If your kids are little, you're probably still the apple of their eyes. And I advise you to relish this feeling, because once they start approaching double-digits, your child may suddenly cringe at the same behaviors they found hilarious or heartwarming the week before. As child and family therapist Rekha Chagarlamudi told Today's Parent, kids become concerned with what their friends thing at 7 years old. There's another shift around age 10 or 11, and then again at around age 13.
Often moms react by forcing extra hugs and kisses on their kids, or they just stop being affectionate altogether. The key is finding balance. Set some guidelines so that you can respect your children's wishes. It's also important that they respect you back and are sensitive to your feelings.
Here are some of the parenting habits that kids notoriously find uncool.
1. You Dance In Public
There used to be a time when my kid would cut the rug with me anytime there was music playing. Today, however, I hear the all-encompassing whisper-yell "Mommy!" any time I bust a move in public. I mean, I get it, since "in public" may mean in line at Hot Topic or sitting in my car at pick-up line. But come on kid, you aren't going to cramp my style at your aunt's wedding. I will juju on that beat in front of everyone.
2. You Sing Or Rap Along To Popular Music
What kids today don't understand is that their parents are one of the first generations that grew up with rap and hip hop. In the late '80s and '90s, parents rocked out to the rock or disco that was popular in their teen years, but was very different than the music on the radio. The kind of music parents today grew up with is very similar to what kids are currently listening to, so they can't help but to sing along. Loudly.
3. You Follow Their Friends On Social Media
In case you didn't know this, your kids hate when you send friend requests to their friends. Many of their friends hate it, too. So much so, that a lot kids start up "secret" secondary social media accounts. Although not always as dark and deceptive as described, The Huffington Post noted that these Finsta (fake-insta) accounts are created so that kids can post freely without worrying about what their mom followers will think.
4. You Constantly Post Snapchat Selfies
Your social media friends are not the only ones who are over your daily flower crown selfies. Yes, those crown filters are like the Photoshop of Instagram, but keep your cool points by not overwhelming your kids' feed with pics of their starry-eyed, flower-headed, duck-lipped mama.
5. You Dress Like A Teenager
Just because your 12-year-old daughter is rocking the same Doc Martens, concert tee, and choker necklace that you did in high school, it doesn't mean she wants to be twins with you on your next trip to the mall. I recently had to pry a crushed velvet, open-shoulder, mock turtleneck body suit (identical to one I had when I was 15) out of my own hands in order not to be "that mom." I still might go back and get it.
6. You Post Embarrassing Pics Of Your Kids
Social media has been around long enough that those pics you posted of your toddler on the potty eight years ago are now the bane of your tween's existence. Respect your child's current and future self-esteem by not posting anything they would consider embarrassing. Except on their birthday, then all bets are off.
7. You Constantly Check On Them
The other day, my daughter was at the mall with her friends for three hours, and I texted her every 20 minutes to make sure she was OK. I also tracked her phone using the Find My Friends app. She won't tell me outright that this bugs her (because she doesn't want to lose mall privileges), but I am sure she thinks it's totally uncool to have to text your mom three times an hour. As for me, I'd rather be uncool than unaware.
8. You Cheer Too Loud At Their Game
Not only do you wear a jersey that says "Cooper's Mama" on the back, but you are the loudest parent in the bleachers. Although some kids love the energy, there are those that find it distracting and a little embarrassing. Talk to your child and come up with a sideline compromise. Warning: This compromise does not apply in the event of a touchdown, goal, or home run.