How to Embarrass Your Children

Posted On February 24, 2023

Embarrassing your children is a parent’s obligation. It happened to me. I’m doing it to my kids. It’s part of the contract.


Here’s a guaranteed way to embarrass your teenaged child. In a restaurant, say loudly where other diners are close enough to hear: “Your mother and I are going to a clothing optional resort in the Bahamas next week. It will be nice for us to get back in touch with each other.” My fifteen-year-old favorite youngest daughter flushed red, buried her face in her hands, and said over and over again “Please stop, Dad. Please stop.” Which is, for me, a big win.

Please know my wife and I are NOT going to a clothing optional resort in the Bahamas next week. I am giving a speech at a banking conference in the Bahamas next week, but it is not at a clothing optional place nor is that the type of place I would ever go. In fact, when I take off my shirt at the beach, people usually shield the eyes from the glare and then run to splash water on me and say to each other “make sure his blowhole is clear.”

Embarrassing your children is a right of every parent. I’m sure some woke parents out there disagree but they’re simply wrong. It’s a right. It’s our duty.

I remember a summer day when my mother encouraged my friends and me – all of us teenagers at the time – to start a car washing business in the neighborhood. We were skeptical. She made up a jingle and suggested we go door to door singing it. “You’ll kill it,” she said, “The jingle alone will get you tons of business.” She then made up a dance and sang and danced in front of my friends. I flushed red, got angry, and quickly pushed my friends into my bedroom. Then a knock on my bedroom window. I pulled back the shade and my mother was now in the front yard dancing and singing the jingle. My friends laughing. Me an angry and embarrassed wreck.

On our twins last day of grade school years ago, my wife and I threw the car in park in the carpool line and began dancing. Grade school carpool was over forever and this deserved celebration. Our twins stood watching in horror on the curb.

Parents dancing seems to always do the trick. Watching middle aged people try to dance is typically very difficult to stomach. Children watching their middle-aged parents try to dance like cool kids and imitate the dances of the day puts their children into a spiral of embarrassment. And when the parents notice this, they double down and really go for it. Tik Toc is made up of such videos.

I’m fairly certain the ancient Greeks found way to embarrass their children. So much of our Western society today is made up of early Greek philosophies and concepts that one must imagine some part ancient Greek culture included embarrassing their children. It can’t be new.

Anyway, back to my favorite youngest daughter who is fifty percent of my twins. Embarrassing her in the restaurant last night was a big treat. Her face flushing red. Her head in her hands begging me to stop. A big win.

At least, sweetie, I didn’t mention how you wake up at night talking sweet to movie star Tom Holland and kissing your pillow with his picture on it.

I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep It Real.

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Categories: Libsyn2