The Parents’ Guide to So Not Cool

The days of Mom taking pictures in class on the first day of school are over - SO NOT COOL

Momservation: Potential embarrassment is a powerful bargaining tool.

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My son just started junior high this week. I have volunteered in my kids’ classrooms since kindergarten. So I was planning to keep on truckin’ and see where my services could be used at the middle school level.

Before I could ask for a sign-up sheet the school counselor informed an entire multi-purpose room of helicopter parents: working in the classroom – so not cool.

Before we could go buy a new lunch box for this year we were told by a veteran middle schooler: lunch boxes? So not cool.

Apparently, everyone’s having hot and smashed food in brown bags in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Obviously, so much cooler.

When my friends went to drop their daughter off on the first day of junior high there was a waving, cheering contingent of student leaders welcoming new students.

Getting ready to wave and honk back their daughter hissed, “Don’t even do it! That’s so not cool!”

Welcome to the junior high years parents. Be prepared to walk through a minefield of so not cool. Suddenly the rules have changed and what once was normal and okay has instantly become so not cool.

Below find an initial list, certain to grow, of things that have become so not cool for preteens. If you choose to use it to save embarrassment or have a little fun, good or evil is your choice…

The Parent’s Guide to So Not Cool.


  • Being seen in the classroom, bringing a forgotten lunch or assignment, being on campus or out of your car – so not cool.
  • Bringing anything other than a plain, brown paper bag for your lunch – so not cool.
  • Showing any sort of affection or that you actually like them– so not cool.

    Days of helping your kids look good for first day of school are done - SO NOT COOL


  • Acknowledging or waving to your children’s friends – so not cool.
  • Offering any sort of help or suggestion in front of friends – so not cool.
  • Complimenting friends’ outfits and asking where they got them – so not cool.
  • Jumping in on a conversation with their friends or sharing in a piece of gossip – so not cool.
  • Basically doing anything other than breathing in front of their friends – so not cool.
  • Trying to touch their hair, adjust their clothes, or point out a potential problem with their appearance – so not cool.
  • Waking them up in the morning with the traditional gentle touch, hug, or kiss – so not cool.
  • Asking about the opposite sex or if they think anyone is cute – so not cool.
  • Accidentally catching them naked, dancing or singing in front of a mirror, applying deodorant or body spray, or checking their face out for zits/hair – so not cool.
  • Leaving any sort of note in lunch, locker, or binder – so not cool.
  • Being seen in an uncool car at drop-off and pick-up – so not cool.
  • Trying to be funny, make jokes, or make conversation in carpool – so not cool.

Next time the kids talk back I’m hitting all these in one day…






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