From "hip dad" Phil Dunphy on new episodes of Modern Family to Regina George's "not like, a regular mom, a cool mom" in Mean Girls, this whole parents-acting-way-younger-than-they-are thing has become a Real Thing. And it's a Real Thing that is now encroaching into our daily lives. Here are a few ways to tell if your parents are acting too young (or too hip, or too cool, or too much like anything but parents). If they exhibit two or more of these symptoms, please seek help.
1. They use text speak.
Whether they do this IRL or just via iMessage, it's just plain wrong. Give them a list of acronyms they are not allowed to say, including but not limited to: LOL, OMG, WTF, and ILY.
2. They take selfies.
Even if they're just sending these to you, but ESPECIALLY if they're posting them publicly, selfies are the sole property of the Millennial generation. They got bell bottoms and hippie skirts; we get selfies. Fair is fair.
3. They wear your clothes.
Or if they aren't wearing your clothes specifically, they wear clothes that you would wear. Tight jeans, UGGs, NorthFaces, yoga pants, and anything from Forever21 fall in this category. Please offer them Mom jeans and sensible walking shoes immediately.
4. They're on social media.
And not just LinkedIn. They have a Tumblr, which they use to keep up with your fave stuff and to comment on your recent activity. They even have a Twitter, where they attempt to be witty 140 characters at a time. DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT THEY ARE EMBARRASSING YOU!? No one needed to see that picture of you in the bathtub when you were 3! No one wants to know that you reenacted Wicked with your cat last night! WHO GAVE THESE PEOPLE INTERNET ACCESS?!
5. They know what's going on in celebrities' lives.
It's fair for them to want to keep up with celebs who were popular when they were young, but when your dad knows more about Miley Cyrus's love life than you do, it's gone too far.
6. They say "hashtag" out loud. Or ever.
As in, you're driving and you hit a red light, and they sigh and say "hashtag buzz kill!" or something of the like. They should really not even know what a hashtag is. And if they're not saying it out loud, you should still make sure they aren't using it on Facebook or in texts. Face palm.
7. They dance.
This is the worst of the worst, the creme-de-la-awful of youthful crimes that your parents can commit. If you're at a family function, by all means, let them do The Sprinkler or Disco the night away. But if you're at a party of your own, or if they're chaperoning a school dance, and they start getting jiggy with it? Then you should find a hose.
To combat Parents Acting Too Young Syndrome (PATYS), you should purchase an Oldifying Kit with the following items: walking shoes, stretchy loose high-waisted jeans, Touch of Grey, baggy sweaters, glasses that automatically turn into sunglasses when the sun comes out, and prune juice. The world will thank you.
Do your parents act too young?