9 Mortifying Things My Parents Did (That I Will Do To My Kids Too)


1. Embarrassing signature dance move. My mom has her move, I’ll have mine. It looks like this, but with a lot more flailing (if you can imagine).

dancing gif girls hbo

2. Use of the middle name as punishment. I will take this one step further and give my kids embarrassing middle names. How about a strong family name like Elmira? Dead serious.

3. Anytime we were at an asian restaurant, my step-dad would stick the chopsticks either A. up his nose or B. in his mouth, walrus style. This was hilarious until I was about 12. Then it was embarrassing (and yet he kept doing it). Add this to the list, I’ll certainly do it too.

walrus chopsticks

4. When dropping me off somewhere, occasionally my Mom would roll down the window and yell “Make good decisions!” I’m fairly certain she stole this from somewhere but it works well on high school age kids. Doing it.

5. My Mom was also delighted in rolling down the windows and singing Carly Simon at the top of her lungs. But what if someone in the car next to us at a red light knows me!? Kill me. Swap out the Carly Simon for some 90’s Mariah Carey and I’ll be good to go.

6. Straight up steal Bill Cosby lines and, right when something sassy would slip out of my mouth, my Mom would respond with “I brought you in to this world, I can take you out!” Solid threat. Yup, using that one.

7. On the note of punishment and life lessons, I was a big fan of the meltdown and screeching “But that’s not fair!” to which my Dad would reply “LIFE ISN’T FAIR.” So. True. Thanks for the real world prep, Dad.

8. My mom answers the phone, without fail, with “Nay, are you there?” You answered after two rings. Where else would I be? You know you slid the green button and answered the phone, right? Love you Mom. Yes, I’m here.

9. Displaying affection in front of each other. Ever. Ohhh my gawwdd staahhpppp. You like each other? Oh yes, we’ll do this too. Lots of this.

Now, those of you who are parents and those of you who have parents, got anything to add to this list? Let’s hear ’em.

  • These are great. I seem to remember “make good choices!” from Almost Famous, one of my favorite movies.

    Sometimes my mom replies to texts with, “True dat.”

    • Maybe that’s where my Mom got it? And I think we can go ahead and add “true dat” to the list because that completely sounds like something I would do to my kids.

  • Middle name as punishment to this day – “Kelly ANNN…..” haha

  • When my dad learned to text (in like 2010), he thought it was cool to use phrases like “C U L8R” and “kewl.” I quickly broke him of the habit. My mother-in-law still thinks email is only used for short hand, so her emails generally go something like this…”Tonight. Dinner. 7 pm. Bring s/thing and a mag.” It’s always cryptic.

    • Oh my gosh. Your mother-in-law! I’d worry she was always mad at me! But hey, at least she gets straight to the point.

  • My roommate’s mom always yells “MAKE GOOD CHOICES!” to her whenever she drives away, so my roommate and I have started doing that too! It’s the most fun to yell it in public when lots of people are around. DEFINITELY planning on embarrassing my future kids.

    • Such a quality parenting technique lol. I do it to my brother now too and we are both adults. OH WELL.

  • My mom used to threaten to name me Mud whenever I was acting up, I still to this day am not sure why but it scared me enough that I would be good.

    • I’ve also heard – and this may be Bill Cosby too – parents say “i’m changing my name to shit and YOU CAN’T SAY THAT”. LOL

  • My mom a whole gaggle of embarrassing things to me. When I was 8 years old, though, I played soccer and wasn’t very great at scoring goals. She said that if I ever scored a goal that she would ring a cowbell. Well, she was prepared the day I scored that first goal.

    Then she rang that damn cowbell every time I scored a goal until I graduated high school.

    • This comment made me laugh out loud. Seriously. I think when my kid starts soccer tots, I’ll need to get a cowbell. I too wasn’t very good at soccer but I quit, probably never having scored a goal.

  • HA HA! This is was funny little read. When I was younger, I actually thought my Mother invented the phrase “I brought you in to this world, I can take you out!” because she said it so often, but now I know where she got it from! Well played, Mom. Well Played. 🙂

    • I totally thought that my Mom invented it also until my late teens when she finally spilled the beans that she stole it from Bill Cosby.

  • Kelsey

    When I was in middle school and embarrassed to be seen in public with my dad he would walk 5 feet behind me and have his arm up as if it was around me but he was far enough away that I wouldn’t notice it for a while. It always used to make me so mad so I definitely plan on doing that to my kids.

    • Hahaha oh gosh that sounds like something from a tv show. Well played, Dad. Well played.

  • My “name” IS my middle name but when my mom brought out the first name, I totally knew I was in deep!


    • Opposite! Too funny. N doesn’t have a middle name at all and I’m like “what did your parents call you when you were in trouble!?”

  • JC

    My dad was always a fan of picking me up from school in the worst looking contraption he could find, full on smoke billowing out of it and everything. I mean we had good cars, he was a mechanic on the side though and thought it was hilarious to pick me up in whatever he was working one.

    Also my fiances mom still tells us to make good choices when she drops us off/we leave to go out for the night. We are in our late twenties. . .

    • That’s pretty funny! My best friend in middle school’s dad had a Porsche. In a Porsche, because the engine is in the back, the trunk is actually under the hood of the car. My friend was mortified every time we had to open the HOOD to take our backpacks out when he’d drop us off to school. Now I’m like, wow, we were brats.

  • Oh yeah, the middle name thing is a gem. You KNOW you’re in trouble when you get middle named. And as for #4, it must be from something that I can’t remember either because I have always had a tendency to yell that to my little brother from the driver’s seat after dropping him off anywhere or from the doorway as he went out with friends! I like to think it helped to keep him grounded 🙂

    • Someone mentioned that it was from Almost Famous but I’m pretty sure my mom was saying it before it came out. I pretty much do it to anyone I’m dropping of anywhere. Hey, it’s practice for the future.

  • My parents always have displayed affection. Not anything gross and they did it around me so frequently that I it never bothered me. On the flip side, my husband’s parents NEVER show affection. Even little gestures like holding open a door are a no go. For me, seeing a couple have no affection at all is worse than seeing someone with affection.

    • Oh 100%. You are absolutely right. But my parents would show affection sometimes just to embarrass us. I definitely think it’s better for the kids to see two parents who love each other though. You’re right about that.

  • oh gosh…the walrus chopsticks!

  • My partner and I have taken to very obnoxiously saying “You mad bro?” when our six month old has a meltdown. I think we’ll continue doing this until waaaay past it’s cultural relevance.

    • Oh yes. PLEASE DO. Love it.

  • Haha, every time we go out, my friend always says “Make bad choices!” But she’s the most prim and proper person ever, so it’s hilarious 🙂

    • I like her take on things 😉

  • I seriously LOVE that Bill Cosby line! So using that. My mom used/uses the “Life isn’t fair” line a lot. Annoys the living crap out of me. She’ll also speed talk through a phone conversation then go, “Okaythanksbye!” and hang up without you ever saying a word. Dad sings. Loudly. And not always very well…

    • I’m definitely the singer too. I should have added that, although my parents didn’t do that so much. I make up jingles for the people/dogs in my life. Archie’s theme songs are horrendous.

  • AA

    Oh my god, I’m the embarrassing older sister that used to yell “make good choices!” at my little brother when I’d drop him off places!

    I’ll be an even more humiliating parent.

    • And your kid will be better for it 😉

  • I plan on lovingly embarrassing my kids at every opportunity.

  • please do all that to your children. you would be the coolest mom ever

    • I mean, my parents did this stuff to me and LOOK I have good blog material. Solid.

  • THE WALRUS PICTURE. We are soul sisters. I PROMISE

    • Let’s also point out the double chin in that photo. Glorious.

  • I really love this! I have a 4 year old and have already done some mom-isms. I totally have my own dance to which she is already embarrassed of – so score one for me! My mom would always lick her thumb then use it to get something off our faces. I hated it. Now I do it! Haha.

  • My mom and one of my uncles called me Lisa Lisa. Like the hip hop group. And my father to this day calls dinner “din din.” Imagine hearing him say that in front of your friends in middle school.

    • I had a friend whose parents called each other Mommy and Daddy WAY after the kids were grown up. Then it just sounded dirty.

  • This cracked me up mostly because I could so relate to it, funny how we grow up and turn into our parents

    • Funny or terrifying? Both haha.

  • Omg brilliant list but please don’t give that second name to your child! I have a second name which my parents never use. I actually think it was given to me for fun more than anything else… lol

    • Too funny. It’s my grandmothers middle name and she hates it but I always tell her I’m going to use it for my kid.

  • I hope I manage to embarrass the crap out of my kids by being TOO loving/affectionate in front of them. I mean, that must mean we’re doing something right…. right?!

    • It definitely means you’re doing something right! Too much affection, and they’re embarrassed. Zero affection and you might actually screw them up a bit. I’m excited for you to be a mama!

  • My parents were SO this level of embarrassing & maybe even a little more. I didn’t realize until 3rd grade that my mom was dropping me off at school, kissing me on the forehead, & leaving a LIPSTICK print that lasted until LUNCH… i was super popular, let me tell you!

  • I have to follow up that comment with – so what, I wasn’t the most poplar kid, but I WAS the most loved. And I would take that any day of the week.

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