Five excruciatingly embarrassing ways to be a cool parent

NOT ready to accept your role as uncool? Think your kids like it when you talk about your love of Drake in front of their mates? They don’t. Nor do they like these things: 

Drinking alcohol with you

Smug middle-class parents like to give their children a small amount of Shiraz at dinner, like French people do. What you don’t know is that your kids refuse it and say ‘wine’s horrible’ while you chuckle smugly because they’re chugging a litre of WKD Blue with their mates later instead.

Pretending you like their music

Popping on a bit of Roddy Ricch or Chief Keef when you’re giving your kids and their mates a lift to town will make them shudder with embarrassment, especially when you attempt to rap along. And they’re well aware you put The Joshua Tree back on the second they get out of the car.

Talking about drugs

Hey, kids need to know about drugs, and coincidentally casually chatting about the time you took an E at Glastonbury in 1998 makes you sound incredibly cool. However, this will make your teenager at first abstain from drugs so as not to end up like you, then get into pure MDMA from the darknet to outpace you.

Encouraging their girlfriend or boyfriend to stay over

While it’s good to be happy that your child has met someone they like, actively encouraging them to stay the night is a bit weird. You’re kind of encouraging them to have sex which is weird and uncomfortable for everyone. Bonus: it’s actually no less creepy if they’re gay! That’s equality and acceptance for you.

Telling them exams don’t matter

Claiming you dropped out of school with no O-levels and learned everything you know at the university of life might sound good to your ears, but have you met kids these days? They’ve already monetised their Twitch stream, planned out their post-grad qualifications and career progression, expect to retire at 50 and think you’re a massive loser.

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Carrie Symonds's guide to your horrible little house

AS THE prime ministerial concubine, I have exquisite taste in home furnishings. No I will not show you my flat, but I will tell you what’s wrong with yours. 

Cheap, mass-produced furniture

One glance and I can tell it’s not bespoke. Did you get this from the high street? Ugh. Everything about it just screams ‘stamped out for identical suburban rabbit hutches’. God, please don’t tell me it was self-assembly. It was self-assembly, wasn’t it. That hurts me.

Beige painted walls

Painted walls are municipal. I feel like I’m at a meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council. And the endless beige; why? What’s wrong with hand-painted wallpaper with a bit of gold leaf? Brighten up your dull lives a little? Farrow & Ball? That’s for second homes.

Reproduction artworks

I’m sorry, are you trying to fool people that’s a Picasso? You know that’s illegal? Oh, I see, you got it from the Tate shop. It’s a print. Give me strength. So you’re actually advertising that you don’t own this picture. You like how it looks? Do you know absolutely nothing about art?

No patterns

Your sofa appears to be a single block colour, while hand-embroidery is far more expensive. I presume you know this? I wouldn’t even have something as plain as that in a doll’s house. For Christ’s sake have the simple self-respect to cover everything in fleur-de-lis.

Paperback books

Books do furnish a room. That’s what they’re for. So rather than vulgarly keeping books you’ve actually read cluttering up the place, as if you’re boasting about being functionally literate, get a designer in who can provide you with the right worn leatherbound spines.

Nasty electric lighting

Harsh, isn’t it? I suppose that soft lighting is a waste when you’re as physically disadvantaged as you are already, but we could make the effort, couldn’t we? Good candles start at as little as £400, so treat yourself. Don’t worry, someone else will pay for it. Not your job to care who.