Feeding kids can be far more tedious than we ever imagined. I remember the excitement I felt when it was finally time for my first baby to begin eating solids- until the reality set in.
Feeding a young child can be time-consuming, and that’s if the child is even willing to eat at all. Some kids are picky eaters & every spoonful of baby food can feel like a battle.
That’s where the internet comes in. On its best days, it’s a great source of advice, humor, & support for fellow parents. On its worst days, however, you almost lose faith in humanity when you see the crazy shit that some parents think is appropriate.
The newest “WTF??” parent-related video trend to go viral -for all the wrong reasons, mind you- are those that feature a child’s beloved stuffed animal being abused in order to threaten a child into eating.
If you haven’t had the misfortune to actually see any of these clips online already, I’ll break it down for you.
They typically feature a baby or toddler being fed by a parent. The child keeps his mouth closed against the spoonful being offered. The parent then displays a stuffed animal (likely a favorite) and attempts to “feed” the stuffed animal. When the stuffed animal refuses to “eat” the bite, as the child previously did, the parent then aggressively attacks the toy, beating the crap out of it.
No, seriously. Parents are doing this, people. And recording it for others to watch. For fun.
The video clip then usually pans to the parent offering another bite of food to the confused, alarmed child, who OF COURSE accepts the spoonful, because what the hell does he/she think will happen now if they refuse??
Did you catch the recent short-lived trend when parents were filming themselves flinging a slice of cheese at their young child? While I didn’t “get” that, at least I felt that no major trauma was occurring. It was weird, & perhaps unnecessary, but didn’t seem harmful in the long run.
This new trend, however, is not only bizarre, but abusive. While I’m typically against the whole sanctimommy/judgy-parent thing, I find this idea of filming your “trick” to get your kid to eat too disturbing to take lightly.
If you haven’t yet seen this concept on social media, here’s a look:
— wild cherry ? (@rudyhernandez_) June 20, 2019
If you’re a healthy, warm-blooded parent, all it takes is one look at that poor child’s face to see that this is a really, really, screwed-up thing to do to your kid. Period.
But all it takes is one parent to share a video featuring this “negative reinforcement” to their child- then others jump on the bandwagon.
It then becomes a trend…
I had to try this…. ????????OMG IM DEADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD???????????????
Posted by Vet Fikes on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Now I’m the first to admit that I often love the sarcastic parent humor that is widespread on social media. Parenting can be painfully tough sometimes, and I appreciate the occasional dark humor about the grittier aspects of the task, believe me.
We wanted to try out that stuffed animal truck that made babies eat their food. ???? pic.twitter.com/pL5InFiLVH
— Sehnya ?? (@Sehnyaa) June 19, 2019
While getting kids to comply with what you’re requesting can be daunting, scaring them with extreme physical punishment just isn’t.
Some parents will watch these videos & think, “Come on, it’s just a JOKE!”. Here’s the thing, though: while we, the adult internet, may believe that you are definitely not planning to actually beat your child the way you are that stuffed animal, your child doesn’t know that.
While these parents are recording a video in jest, their child is too young to know the difference.
Watch any of the videos included above from the imagined viewpoint of the child & consider the thoughts that are going through his or her mind as they watch their parent seemingly lose control & inflict violence on a toy.
THEY don’t know it’s a tongue-in-cheek prank. That child doesn’t know that their parent is joking.
All this technique does is terrify your child into behaving. And while that may seem the end goal in the immediate, the damage it can do in the long run just isn’t worth it. Your kid needs to be able to trust you, & to know that he or she is safe with you.
While there may be consequences for your kid willfully not eating his/her meal, there shouldn’t be the threat of you losing control & pounding him/her into submission to get the job done.
Your kids need to be able to trust you; you are their safety & their security.
Don’t blow it by pretending to lose all self-control for the purposes of entertaining people on social media. While it may “entertain” a select few of your followers, the damage it does to your child’s trust in you simply isn’t worth it.
If all else fails, resort to POSITIVE influence. It’s really quite simple, & can attract just as many social media users. This dad’s video of feeding his own kid has earned over 25K likes, with no beatings required! Thanks for the redeeming our faith in responsible parenting, Christopher Duett!
Hey dumb fuckers using stuffed animals to exhibit negative reinforcement to get your kids to do something, watch this… pic.twitter.com/sLmL5NM5qS
— Christopher Duett (@BethuneTheory) June 23, 2019