Of all the ways to deal with teenage rebellion, I think the best I've heard so far is President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's strategy, revealed on the Today show this morning:
"What we’ve said to the girls is, 'If you guys ever decided you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo.' And our thinking is that might dissuade them from thinking that somehow that’s a good way to rebel."
Brilliant! Every teen's worst fear is being embarrassed, especially by his or her parents (my daughter's almost 12 and already I'm getting the panicked tugs on my sleeve and death glare when she thinks I'm about to say something reputation-damaging in front of her friends). The Obamas' genius idea got us thinking ... what other forms of teenage rebellion could potentially be curbed by the threat of parental humiliation?
1. Wearing risque and/or ridiculous clothing.
Imagine how horrified your daughter would be if you went out and bought a short shorts and bandeau top ensemble identical to the one she thinks she can wear to school! Or the look on your son's face when his dad starts wearing his pants super-low with his boxers sticking out the top!
2. Speaking exclusively in slang.
For maximum embarrassment, use this tactic when your teen's boyfriend/girlfriend comes to the door: "What up, Jessica? You heard the thunderstorm last night? That sh*t cray! Oh well, YOLO."
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3. Getting multiple piercings.
As with tattoos, this threat works best BEFORE the actual body modification takes place. "Don't you think Grandma will love my nipple rings?"
4. Using drugs and/or alcohol.
Can you think of a bigger buzzkill than your mom and dad joining the party uninvited? "Hey kids, we brought the rolling papers!"
5. Having sex.
Guaranteed turn-off: Your parents making out at the dinner table. In the car. On the couch. With any luck, your kid will be grossed out all through college!
Have you ever tried to embarrass your teen?
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