Why are my parents only fun when other people are around?

By May 13, 2018Uncategorized
parents fun

Can you recall the moment?

When you were staring at your parents in disbelief?

The moment when, despite being in a state of misery only ten minutes prior, they’d suddenly perked up at the sight of guests?

They’re laughing and joking and being … really rather fun – a state you’d never witnessed when it was just the family.

So the disbelief is two-fold:

  1. Your parents crack jokes and seem (dare we attest) cool
  2. Why aren’t they like that when they’re with you?

With you, it’s all: Why haven’t you cleaned your room? Is your homework done? What did that boy want and why were you talking to him? The chappatis won’t make themselves.

And with the guest it’s all smiles and laughs and you’d never guess what happened

This phenomenon (which we’ll lovingly call The Pointless Transformation), isn’t just limited to brown parents.

It certainly isn’t a cultural thing more than it’s a dysfunctional parent thing.

And you know it when you see it.

Most of us with parents suffering from The Pointless Transformation will resort to asking:


Why do my parents do this? Why do they yell at me while being really nice to other kids? Why is it that I get the worst of them and others get the best? Why are they putting up this front? Why aren’t they able to show me their fun side? Why do I get the crappy end of the deal?

Well, my friends. Why isn’t the question you should ask.

Here’s the real question:


What can I do to take advantage of this state? What do I most want? What can I ask for that they’ll give me right now?

Because the beauty of The Pointless Transformation in brown parents is that they’ll do anything to keep up appearances in front of guests.

Now that they’re showing they’re fun, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the parade going. They don’t want to be judged badly. They want to be shining beacons of pleasant parenting.

So instead of feeling dejected at the sight of your parents experiencing TPT, take advantage of it.

Ask for what you want. They’re fun! They’ll say yes!

But proceed with caution. Because TPT only lasts until the guests leave the house and the door closes.

After that? You’re on your own.

For those who’re wondering … this piece was written with tongue firmly in cheek (and glass of Merlot firmly in hand)