"A child who can't take "no" for an answer always has parents who can't say it and mean it. "

The Struggle is Real

Question

We have struggled with our child being ashamed to be seen with either of us (her parents) in public, to the point that she acts in a way that hurts us. She is now in middle school (7th grade); but this has been going on since elementary school. For instance, once when it was raining, my husband went to school with an umbrella to pick her up so she wouldn't have to walk home in the rain - when she saw him, she just ran past him without even acknowledging him (4th or 5th grade). More recently, when she and I were riding bikes 'together', she rode so fast ahead of me and left me behind - she was at least a 1/3 of a mile ahead of me, lest she be seen with me. We try to make it clear to her how hurtful it is each time she does this; but evidently to no avail. This morning as I dropped her off at school (which I do everyday, as well as pick her up), her hands were completely full - it was clear she would need helping getting into school, at least someone to open the door for her. She even questioned out loud to herself how she was going to get into school. As I got out of the car to help her (no one was around to open the door for her), she very rudely said 'bye...bye' (i.e. 'get lost and get back in the car'). There weren't even many kids at that time getting dropped off as it was super early, but still enough for her to be ashamed to be seen with me.

It is extremely hurtful when she does this; and nothing is changing. We are not sure what to do. I want to tell her if that's how she feels (ashamed of us), then she can get to/from school on her own (walk); but the school is 1.5 miles away, it will be very cold soon, and along with her heavy backpack, she will have to carry a cello. Then I worry that if I threaten or even impose such consequences, she will 'change' only because she fears the consequences - not that she understands how wrong or hurtful it is to treat parents that way.

Desperately need some advice...!

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