Embarrassing parents 父母会让你难为情吗?

Vocabulary: shame 詞匯:羞愧

Image caption Is this girl too young to be embarrassed by her mother?

When your mum tries to use slang do you blush? Do you cringe when she calls you by your childhood nickname in front of your friends? And how about searching for the nearest exit when your father engages in a dad dancing routine? Loving them dearly doesn't prevent you from feeling uncomfortable around them.

And parents have to accept that. Adam Gopnick, a writer for the New Yorker magazine, said in an article published by the BBC: ''The one thing that is written into the human genome is that exactly at the age of 13, your child… will discover that you are now the most embarrassing, ridiculous and annoying person on the planet.''

A survey by the site YoungPoll.com in 2010 suggested that one in three youngsters is so disconcerted by their parents they refuse to be seen with them in public; and seven in ten children are humiliated by their mum and dad's behavior, like kissing them in front of friends and holding their hands.

Part of going through adolescence is a sudden feeling that we are wise and self-sufficient and we are shown up when treated like vulnerable minors. But we are bound to lose this chip on our shoulder when we reach our 20s.

Gopnick reminds us of writer and visionary William Blake's comment: ''When I was 14 my dad was so ignorant I wouldn't even walk down the street with him. By the time I was 21 I was amazed how much he'd learnt.''

In any case, resentful parents might find solace in the thought that their grandchildren are likely to end up enjoying their company. Then the uncool ones will be the grandchildren's parents!