14 Ways to Embarrass Your Teenager … AKA Happy 14th Birthday to My Daughter!

In honor of my darling daughter’s 14th birthday, I wanted to give her gift from my heart. But, because anyone with a wallet can purchase worthless tchotchkes or paltry trinkets from a common store, I wanted to dig deeper … to showcase my intrinsic talents to create something truly meaningful for her. So I got to thinking. And right away, my personalities began fighting.

Optimistic Me: I could bake her a cake!

Realistic Me: Nah, I’ll just wind up summoning the fire department. A third time. 

Optimist: I could put together a scrapbook!

Realist: Then spend the rest of her birthday trying to get my fingers unglued.

Optimist: I could make a piece of jewelry … a patchwork quilt … or even a memory trunk!

Realist: Choking hazards, needles, hammer. Honestly, it’s like you’re not even trying, Michele. Plus we haven’t met our annual deductible yet. 

Then it hit me.

What has she told me again and again? Especially in these last few years. The answer was right under my nose. Apparently, as adults “adults” go, I am positively gifted … in the art of …

Mother-On-Daughter Humiliation.


Naturally, I turned to social media for ideas. After all, who among us can’t use some new approaches and fresh methodology in this specialized field? My process was simple. I would pose the question across my various social platforms and let the answers just roll in. Then I could embarrass her in original, innovative ways I’d only thought, talked, or dreamed about .. until now.

So without further ado, my darling daughter, I give you the results of my project.

14 Ways To Embarrass Your Teenage Daughter

  1. “Friend” her people on Snapchat, Instagram and wherever else she spends time ignoring you.
  2. Chaperone every school dance. Bonus: Break out “The Elaine” on the dance floor.
  3. Hug or kiss her in front of her friends at school, the mall or anyplace where two or more teenagers are congregated.
  4. Bust a move to an old school dance tune at the fast food drive-thru. (Obvious song choice: Bust a Move) Bonus: Say to the cashier, “This is my jam!”
  5. Post about her and her adorable milestones (first periods, etc.) on your social media accounts and tag her so it shows up on hers.
  6. Use hashtags in all of your correspondence. Bonus: Also, use it in your oral speech. #DinnerIsReady #IsThatAPimple
  7. Breathe in and out. In public.
  8. Blow the horn in the carpool pick-up line and shout her name out of the window. Bonus: Use her babyhood nicknames.
  9. Comment on her social media posts. Be sure to use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. The lengthier and more personal, the better.
  10. Call out her name specifically when cheering at the ball field, piano recital, chess tournament, etc. Bonus: Use her first AND middle names.
  11. Rap.
  12. Wear matching outfits and go shopping together. Bonus: Call yourselves “twinsies” to everyone you encounter.
  13. Cry unapologetically about your “baby” getting older as often as possible. Example: Make a scene at the DMV when she gets her driver’s permit. Bring balloons and cake.
  14. Use expressions like “YOLO, “On Fleek, “Yasssss!” or “Goals.” Bonus: Use them incorrectly.

Once I compiled my list, I could hardly wait to get started. Then, just as I planned to pull the trigger on my master plan, my girl went and did something completely unexpected.

Recently, I took a car full of girls to go see a friend in a school play. Not surprisingly, both the energy level and the stereo volume in the car were through the roof. Showtunes, popular music, movie soundtracks … you name it, they screamed it. And it nearly killed me when they “reminisced” about the music of their “childhood” singing all the songs from High School Musical (it’s like my people’s Grease) as I know every … single … word.

But I kept my mouth shut. Because that’s what a good mom does.

Then I heard it. I couldn’t believe I heard it. But I did actually hear it. The girls had moved on to Pitch Perfect and I heard Vivien say to her friends, “Wait … you guys … you HAVE to hear my mom sing the duet from the semi-finals with me.” Then, turning to me, she said, “Mom, you take Beca’s part. Okay?”

I. Was. Speechless.

But, of course, I had to sing … like, immediately. So I didn’t ruin it. I held back the pathetic mom tears and just went for it. With my proud daughter sitting (and singing) shotgun right next to me.

She never ceases to amaze me.

I love you, Viv.Viv14BdayCollegeHappy 14th Birthday!

Love your biggest fan,


6 responses to “14 Ways to Embarrass Your Teenager … AKA Happy 14th Birthday to My Daughter!

  1. I want to hear it. Today!!

  2. I want to hear it. Today.

  3. You are an absolute beauty, Viv, inside and out. Sending you lots of love! Also…Mags would like to request a recording of your duet. 🙂

  4. Happy birthday Viv!
    Keep on surprising your mom,and everyone else.

  5. This is so funny! My daughter is turning 14 tomorrow at her softball tournament. I can’t wait to do #10 and to yell her full name cheering for her at her games! YOLO!

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