iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Adam Gopnik: Embarrassing Parents: The Thirteen-Year-Old Truth

Listen now 10 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Adam Gopnik: Embarrassing Parents: The Thirteen-Year-Old Truth

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 08 June 2012

"One thing that is written into the human genome" says Adam Gopnik, "is that exactly at the age of thirteen, your child - in a minute, and no matter how close or sympathetic the two of you have been before - will discover that you are now the most ridiculous, embarrassing and annoying person on the planet".

Ridiculous "because of your pretensions to be cool...in spite of the obvious truth that you are barely sentient, with one foot rooted in the dim, ancient past while with the other your toes are already tickling eternity"; embarrassing because, "in spite of being ridiculous, you are not content to keep your absurdity decently to yourself" and annoying because "in the face of the wild obvious public embarrassment you cause, you still actually think that you can give advice and counsel".

He takes us on a generational analysis of the plight of the parent - and offers some light-hearted consolation!

Adele Armstrong.


The Best of A Point of View

The Best of A Point of View

Explore highlights from the A Point of View archive.


  1. Image for A Point of View

    A Point of View

    Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors including historian Lisa Jardine,…

  2. Image for A Point of View: Clive James

    A Point of View: Clive James

    Clive James presents reflections on topical issues ranging from politics to pop culture in this…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss