Thank you for all the great ideas about what embarrasses kids today. My brain is going 900mph. When I can’t sleep tonight because I am playing with plot ideas it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!
carriejones brought up a few interesting questions that I didn’t want to leave buried in the comments. She wondered, “In a different light, it might be interest to turn this around and ask what are kids proud of? About themselves? About their parents?”
What makes kids today proud?
Same things as days of yore…winning a game, a contest, an award, going somewhere cool, birthdays on which they get something really good that everyone envies…getting the best grade on something.
And then there are the kids who are proud of outsider achievements–getting away with something being tops.
They are just on the edge of gender stuff–like being liked by the coolest boy or girl.
My son was proud of me for getting the job at the airlines . . .
(or maybe he was just thinking about all the flying we’ll be doing! 😉
Kids like having parents who are quietly but definitely aware of the trends. That is, they know what kind of music/fashion/technical toy is selling, but they don’t make a big deal of listening to/wearing/playing with it themselves.
Conversely, they’re horrified by parents who try to hard to be cool.
Funny story: When my older son was in junior high, I took him to a video store. A friend of his that I’d never met came up and introduced himself, then later told my son, “Dude, your mom is hot!” I don’t know who was more embarrassed by this, my son or me (when he eventually got up the courage, years later, to tell me).
They may not admit it, but kids are proud when their parents show they care. Kids are proud when they do well at what other kids want to do well in–a cool Myspace profile, clothes and makeup, socializing with others, projects… Popularity makes a kid proud. Excelling in sports. Earning praise from peers. Playing a cool instrument really well. Meeting self-goals….
Working things out or through for themselves seems to be a biggie. Addressing a problem head on and finding out they can fix it that way is another.
I think kids actually want to be different and distinctive–just not in embarrassing ways, and what’s embarrassing is a shifting target.
Doing things that are real (not just busywork), and doing them themselves. Feeling like they’re making a difference in the world.
Winning things is always good. But mostly, I think kids want to make a mark on the world, just like adults.
Love this question!!
One thing that makes kids feel proud–having someone else notice …that they’ve done something, won something, drawn something neat, had a good idea, or accomplished something on their own. Being recognized for what they’ve done.