16 ways to annoy your kids

embarrassed son with mother

Children seem to be able to turn being irritating into an art form – so why not get your own back? There are so many ways to do it that you need never run out of opportunities. Here's a selection of Mumsnetters' favourite ways to make their darlings squirm…

Feign ignorance of, well, everything

grumpy child

“Child: 'You know granny?' Me: 'No. Who is granny?' Pause, repeat.”

Employ your cringiest, most annoying singing voice

boy saying shut up

“I sing the Peter Rabbit theme tune in an excessively croony fashion. My kids all hate it, which naturally gives me the impulse to do it more.”

Do the robot dance. Or any dance at all, really

peter crouch robot dance

“My husband once threatened to collect our daughter doing his special 'robot dance', à la Peter Crouch. She burst into tears.”

Remind him just how much you wuv him

cheek squeezes

“I make a big fuss of 'Mummy's little soldier' when his friends come over – complete with cheek squeezes. He's 17.”

Mortify them on social media

laughing woman

“Posting 'Is this the Harry Styles calendar you wanted for your birthday?' on my son's wall.”

Make this unusual request

woman wearing bra

“I've hurt my wrist, so I ask which one wants to help me put my bra on. That gets them off to school sharpish.”

Check they've got what they need

eye roll

“I love asking my stepson if he has enough pairs of clean knickers. The look of disgust is immensely satisfying.”

More dancing – there can never be enough dancing

the office

“I often treat my children to an interpretive dance version of current hits. My eldest son was so traumatised after seeing me shake it to Moves Like Jagger that he spent the rest of the day upstairs.”

Skip (in public)

woman skipping

“Skipping when I am walking anywhere with my daughter always results in lots of 'Mum, stop it. Really Mum, please, stop it'.”

Do silly voices – in any context

woman hat gloves

“I love to wind my daughter up by doing The Voice – think shades of Lady Bracknell – lots of 'I say!', 'Well, I never!', and referring to myself as 'one'.”

Dance around in your favourite onesie. Noticing a theme here?

miranda hart

“I put my onesie on and dance Miranda-style while singing The Onesie Song which goes, 'I'm having funzee in my onesie'. Oh how I laugh as the teenage sons run off screaming.”

Gross them out


“When they ask what's for dinner, I say the scrapings from the sole of my foot. They scream 'Eurrgh!'”

Demand praise and adoration

mummy rules

“I ask mine for three acts of worship if they want anything. The quality of the worshipping determines whether or not they get whatever they are after.”

Mix up the words to songs


“Changing the words to Frozen songs: 'I'm never going back, the pasta's in the pan!'”

Yup, more dancing

morecambe and wise

“The Morecambe and Wise dance through the wine aisle. I witnessed a dad doing this with his teenage daughter, and it was a thing of beauty in the embarrassment stakes.”

Play them at their own game and pretend to be embarrassed by any hint of affection

annoy kids ew

“When they tell me they love me, occasionally I screw my face up and say 'Ewww gross'.”