My ‘cool’ dad is an embarassment
‘‘This is your Dad, and so you are the one who has to decide how to deal with him.’’
Q: My dad feels like he always has to try to show he’s cool enough to hang out with my guy mates and me. When I have people over he’s constantly hovering, serving drinks and making terrible jokes.
At first it was funny and kind of novel, but now I’m worried they think he’s weird. How do I tell him, without hurting his feelings, that he needs to act his age and stop hanging around when I’ve got people over?
A: It can be tough being the parent, you know. We’re all just expired teenagers and sometimes when we get a few laughs, it’s tempting to hang around and try for a few more.
Wise indeed is the parent who can deliver a couple of witty lines along with a plate of hot savouries and then retire while everyone’s still enjoying their company.
You ask how to break the news to your dad that’s he’s too much, not cool and not funny? Your poor dad – he’ll have no idea. I wonder what your mates really think?
Perhaps you’re being oversensitive and it’s not too bad. It’s quite possible that your friends are shrugging their shoulders and thinking, oh, that’s just so-and-so’s old man. Ask yourself how much notice you take of your friends’ parents?
It seems to me that groups of guys are often very accepting if someone is constantly too much. They have a laugh, give that person a brutally honest nickname and then leave them to carry on as they were.
But this is your Dad, and so you are the one who has to decide how to deal with him.
I would offer you two pieces of advice. One is, if you do say something, be kind to him. Perhaps something like, ‘‘The guys like having you around but sometimes we need to talk about stuff that we can’t talk about in front of you.’’
The option is to consider saying nothing at all. The world is full of dads who don’t care and don’t make an effort or encourage their children to socialise.
You can get away from your father by going to your mates’ houses, so what’s the harm in letting him hang around when the gathering is at your place?
❚ Mary-anne Scott has raised four boys and written two novels for young adults including Coming Home to Roost. As one of seven sisters, there aren’t many parenting problems she hasn’t talked over. To send her a question email life.style@fairfaxmedia. co.nz with Dear Mary-anne in the subject line. Your anonymity is assured.
This is Dad, he’s ready with a joke and he’s hanging around...