Cool parents

What is it like having cool parents?

My parents are great, and I owe them a lot, but they're definitely not cool, which is fine. I've gotten so used to thinking of all parents as uncool though. The clear counterexample is that many people on this forum are cool, and some of you are parents, so cool parents certainly exist. And if they exist now, then they must have existed 30-40 years ago, right?

Specifically what I'm curious about is parents with impeccable taste, who like weird avant-garde stuff, who'd be their generation's equiavlent of a person who posts on insert credit, etc.

So for those of you with cool parents, tell me what it's like. Are your parents cooler than you? Do you live everyday wishing you could be as cool as them? Or this can just be a thread for talking about parents in general.

I don‘t have cool parents (in a media taste sense) but in highschool I had a friend who did. This person’s dad owned the famous and old cool underground record store in my city and her mom was a an online book distributor. Her parents where like the stereotypical punks who got old.

I wouldn't say they fit this description

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Specifically what I’m curious about is parents with impeccable taste, who like weird avant-garde stuff, who’d be their generation’s equiavlent of a person who posts on insert credit, etc.

but they are cooler than avarage parents.

Her house was full of books and records but she didn't care much about them. For her it was just was what her parents did and she didn't see it as something cool. To this day she's my friend and i don't mean any offense to her but despite her parents she just has a very normie taste in things.

What I'm getting at is that most kids just don't care about the cool things their cool parents like.

edit: I just remembered that I runned into my friend with her mom and her aunt at a Stereolab show last year and going to a Stereolab show with your mom and your aunt is really cool imo

Growing up, I definitely did not encounter any cool parents. My sister is someone who, eight years ago, I would have described as a cool parent, but she's gone down some deep, dark paths that have led her to be a hyper conservative religious zealot who homeschools her kids and thinks vaccinations are causing autism but are also some kind of super bioweapon built by Bill Gates for…some…purpose…?

My wife's grandfather, though, was a very cool person. Imagine if Noam Chomsky was born dirt poor in rural Virginia. He was the first person in his family to get any kind of education and spent his career as the director of a National Lab. After he retired, he started a web development company and built websites for people (yes, a man in his 70s was building sites for people in their 20s/30s/40s). Just an endlessly curious man who tirelessly advocated for education and infrastructure. One of his other retirement hobbies was developing a national plan for high speed rail that was fully funded with existing taxes. He presented this to people in Congress multiple times and, Congress being what it is, nothing happened with it.
I only got to know him for his last handful of years, but he made a large impression on me. Like, I still remember when, in his mid-80s, he told my wife and me that he was in therapy for depression because he wanted to get better (he was depressed because his wife of 60+ years had been suffering from Alzheimer's for the previous eight years). I mean, maybe other people know normal adults, but I don't think I've ever met someone over 50 who has ever even considered getting therapy.

I‘m having a real tough time thinking of people who hit your description. There were cool parents who were cool with rules and would be relaxed about everything or who were funny so you felt at ease. I heard lots of cool stories from my grandparents generation about when they were young. Maybe boomers weren’t that cool with regards to taste. Or it could be that even with good taste, their kids just kinda go against that unless its actively curated in their family so it goes unseen? When my bros and I pulled out all my dad‘s old albums from the attic those were cool as heck, but he hadn’t really mentioned them in 30 years!

Perhaps if we find cool people of the generation you're thinking of, and then see if they have children we can reverse engineer this process.

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@“穴”#p99541 What I’m getting at is that some kids just don’t care about the cool things their cool parents like.

I would submit that it's very unlikely for kids to think stuff their parents do is cool, and the instances where I do see that it's like in bad culty ways. Most folks I know with musician or artist parents just don't have anything to do with that, or only under duress or necessity. George Lucas's daughter had no interest in movies when we were in highschool, and went into MMA instead (not sure what she does now though). My friend whose dad is a famous large-scale photographer (did the first ipad background even) never took a photo and didn't like going to his studio. I think once your parents do it it's kind of like... boring or exhausting or you're tired of hearing about it, and also you want to differentiate yourself from it.

But I might be using examples where the parent is TOO cool, and them getting recognition makes you want to push away from it even more. I wouldn't say my parents are cool, but they both introduced me to things which informed my taste and were foundationally useful, which I recognize, even if I wasn't like "wow, they're cool" at any point, including now. Like my dad was big into what he called "chinese fighting movies" and that sort of resulted in me watching the generic "asian" channel we had on TV and catching like... Bullet in the Head on broadcast TV with subs. I think it also left me more open to exploring other cultures. My mom is super into folk music, playing guitar and singing, etc - while I didn't pick any of that up I had a pretty sophisticated ear for things by the time I was in highschool, enough to be an elitist jerk about just about everything lol.

So yeah I think having parents who enjoy and share a niche interest with you is good and helps inform you later in life, it doesn't reflect on the coolness for the child, probably? Like I don't listen to or enjoy folk music in the genre my mom does, but I can understand and appreciate it, which is an unusual thing. Something like that! I do watch lots of HK films though......

@“exodus”#p99550

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George Lucas’s daughter had no interest in movies when we were in highschool, and went into MMA instead

The casualness of this statement is reminding me of when my friend told me about how he was friends with Robin Williams' daughter and Robin Williams would play Mario Kart with them.

ummmm…one time I was at Ralph's and I saw Mickey Rourke in the parking lot.

My mom used to work for a radio station in Detroit when she was younger and saw The J Geils band enough that they recognized her, but even cooler is that she saw Blue Oyster Cult for free many times and she didn‘t even like them, she only went because her friend liked them. I think growing up in a tiny town outside of Detroit in the 70’s and working at a rock radio station and seeing shows for a huge band that you don‘t enjoy just cause you like hanging out with your friends is pretty cool.

My dad grew up in Panama and used to ride four wheelers and stuff through the jungle as part of his normal life. He also worked for Fox at one point, (doing what I’m not sure. Nothing on-screen) met Geraldo Rivera on multiple occasions and told me he was a jackass, which is pretty cool.

I didn't know any of this till late high school. They were extremely normal when I was growing up. Church every Sunday as well as most Wednesdays, only music ever on was on the radio, moved to a suburb of a mid-sized city because the local high school had high SAT scores, etc.

One of my best friends has a very cool dad though. The kind of a guy I'll run into at shows even when my friend isn't there. When we see each other, we talk about music we've been listening to lately and whatnot. Now that he's retired, he's playing in a cover band and having a good time. Cool guy.

when I was in HS, the “cool parents” belonged to a baseball teammate, and they were “cool” because they let their kid drink and have parties which now from my perspective is incredibly bad parenting lol.

My father exposed me to a lot of cool music and film and television, but it kinda turned into a canon of what is objectively good and anything I discovered for myself was judged based on whether he liked it lol and if he didn‘t then I was discouraged, like a lot. I feel like I wasn’t allowed to get into hip hop or electronic music until I was away for university, to give some examples.

I would rather have compassionate emotionally healthy parents who were unstylish dweebs, personally.

When you‘re a parent none of the criteria by which we judge individuals as “cool” apply anymore; as a parent what makes you cool is how good of a parent you are, how you encourage your child to grow and think and be themself. Not trying to give an anti-answer just for the sake of it, but for e.g. I know some parents who seem to have “cool taste” or whatever and it seemed to translate into neglecting their kids in some way in order to stay engaged in culture. When you sublimate your self to becoming a parent I should hope your ability to keep up with culture is hampered somewhat because it’s not really important anymore (not that there aren‘t parents who do it successfully, this is very anecdotal; I’m not disagreeing with the question saddleblasters, I just wanted to put it out there)

@“connrrr”#p99568

I‘ve been thinking about this lately for related reasons, but my parents never really showed any interest in my interests. Which didn’t seem weird at the time but feels fucking deranged now.

I mean, I have no interest in Paw Patrol. I just...I'm not four years old. But when my son (non-cat) wants to play Paw Patrol with him, I play some Paw Patrol. I'll even be Rubble, even though he sucks, because one day, just maybe, he'll let _me_ be Marshall.

@“edward”#p99570 which one's the cop???

@“connrrr”#p99575

Chase. He's a good pup, even if he is a cop.

I’ll make sure to ask my future kids. :v:

On a more serious note, I’ll echo the general thread sentiment that "cool parents" are typically only cool to people other than their own kids. Distanciation and a form of limited access / superficial barrier of entry are necessary to coolness, which do not match the confrontational intimacy of parenthood. Hence why you typically have a cool uncle or cousin instead, or possibly a distant sibling with a significant age gap, when reflecting on your own family. (also see: [the beekeeping dad](https://youtu.be/Zp0N5PJxamE) meme)

There is also probably a subtextual class privilege in what "cool" parents can allow their kids to access in terms of media, locations and people. In general, based on the examples around me, I’d agree a universal sign of parenting coolness is rather a tendency to let the kid express themselves and provide them with the tools to find their own tastes, rather than a reflection on whatever the parents themselves are into.

i really can‘t accept the concept of a cool parent. if your taste in things is very cool and out there to your contempararies it won’t be to anyone else, it certainly won‘t be cool to your kids, not because kids actively reject what their parents like, (though they do that sometimes), but because their parents’ taste is the background radiation of their own taste. they‘re too acculturated in it to think it’s cool.

my dad was an avid rock climber. rock climbing is pretty cool, a pretty wild and unusual sport, but, like, i knew my dad and his rock climbing buddies and-- i guess "cool" needs a certain degree of mystique that i can't imagine can exist between a parent and a child. or, at least, it shouldn't.

it makes me think of [this poem](https://ramblingatthebridgehead.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/misty-rain-on-mount-lu-by-su-tungpo/):

### Misty Rain on Mount Lu by Su Tungpo

Misty Rain on Mount Lu,
and waves surging in Che-chiang.
When you have not yet been there,
many a regret surely you have;
but once there and heading homeward,
how matter-of-fact everything looks!
Misty rain on Mount Lu,
and waves surging in Che-chiang.

– by Su Tungpo (a.k.a. Su Shi a.k.a. Su Dongpo a.k.a. Zizhan a.k.a. Dongpo Jushi)

there's no "going there" for a child with a parent, they're born there. obviously there're exceptions to that, but i doubt any of them is cool.

I post here and have kids so that makes me cool and a parent.

But like… that absolutely does not mean I consider myself a “cool parent”. It’s pretty orthogonal and it’s not what kids need to develop in a healthy environment.

Honestly I’d be suspicious if someone was like “you’re a cool dad”. They probably don’t know me very well.

@“captain”#p99569 I think I generally agree with you, but I also have to say existing solely as a parent to your child and denying your existence as an individual isn't beneficial to your child either.

@“thebryanjzx90”#p99589 Of course, sorry didn't mean to imply that. I meant it must be difficult to be continually/actively in tune with the kind of stuff the next generation will think is cool

@“connrrr”#p99568

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compassionate emotionally healthy parents who were unstylish dweebs

Thank you for providing this alternative definition of what a good parent is like, to which I can much more comfortably aspire.