My ‘cool’ dad is an em­barass­ment

North Taranaki Midweek - - GARDENING -

‘‘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.

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This is Dad, he’s ready with a joke and he’s hang­ing around...

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