Who doesn't love a good dad joke?

It’s no secret that parenting can be hard on parents. Between the physical and emotional effects as well as the 24–7 business hours caring for people who literally depend on you for everything, it’s easy to see that the deficit of time, money and energy can be staggering. But how do we give back to these little people who want so much from us? How can we repay them for the long nights or the incessant questions that demand immediate attention?

We can repay them with embarrassment!

Let’s take a look at a few fun ways we can show our kids we love them through mild embarrassment or good-hearted humiliation.

1. Public Kisses

If we made a graph, the rate of embarrassment from public displays of affection would skyrocket with each passing year. A big kiss or hug, followed by a childhood nickname, is a surefire way to hit the high note of parenting.


2. Blackmail Stories

The key to solid embarrassing childhood stories is timing. When your child’s friends are all gathered around or they’re looking their coolest, that’s when you jump in with an embarrassing “poopy in the bathtub” story or a quip about their favorite stuffed animal with the ears eaten off.


3. Photos Forever

You need lots of photographic evidence, so start early and continue taking photos all the time for the rest of their lives. The earlier pictures will show your children in their most awkward phases, but then the act of taking pictures can be just as annoying and awkward the older your kids get!


4. Visible Enthusiasm

God forbid you should show anyone or anything that you’re excited about something. Well, guess what, honey? IT’S TEAM (insert kid's name here) FOREVER AND EVER. Get t-shirts printed, hats, foam fingers and bullhorns. It’s all aboard the Embarrassingly Excited Parent Express.


5. Singing Auditions

If a celebrity can audition on American Idol, then every parent has the right to sing like they’re auditioning for a musical off-off-off-off-off Broadway, like in the alley in an adjacent neighborhood.


6. Dance Parties

Early dance party shows on television taught us that no matter how badly you dance, you can appear on television. In a similar way, parents should always be showing off their dance moves at school functions and events. Volunteering for the PTA? Chaperoning a dance? Time to shake your moneymaker and show everyone what you’re working with. Especially your kids.


7. Dad Jokes

Nothing clears a room faster than a perfectly placed dad jokes. Oh, you’re hungry? Nice to meet you hungry, I’m Dad. Hi, Dad. I’m dying of embarrassment.


8. Blog About Them

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like making your kid internet famous for doing something cute, annoying or otherwise. If you really want to level up your embarrassment of your children start a blog dedicated to them, then send the link, when they’re old enough to care, to their friends. Post it on a social media site — wherever these little hooligans go these days.


9. Simply Existing

Finally, the simplicity is just the act of existing (breathing, standing, looking, listening, etc.) makes kids embarrassed. So, there’s no real way to win this war if you’re trying to avoid making your kids turn red. All you can do is keep a stiff upper lip and tell your little babies who are growing up too fast that it builds character. Embarrassing them is how you show them you love them.


How to Be a Dad is a paid contributor to Clorox’s SpinCycle helping you navigate the messiness of parenthood.