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Self-Proclaimed "Meanest Mom in the World" Throws away Kids' Ice Cream

(Photo: Calgary Reviews)

Jaime Primak Sullivan wants her three young children to learn good manners. So when they didn't thank a Dairy Queen server for giving them ice cream, she threw it in the trash. She writes on Facebook:

The young lady (maybe 17) handed each child their ice cream. Not one looked her in the eye. Not one said thank you. Not to her, not to me... So I waited. I counted to 10

in my head as they dug into their ice cream and the young lady just looked at me (probably because she thought I was hearing voices) and I watched as my children strolled out the door. I followed them outside where I calmly collected their ice creams and my kids watched in horror as I deposited them into the nearby garbage can. All 3 launched into mass hysteria. I waited. Quiet. Calm. When they realized I had something to say, they quieted down.

I explained that one day, if they were lucky, they would work a job like that young lady. And I would hope that people would see them. Really see them. Look them in the eye and say thank you. We are too old at 8/7/5 to move through our days without exercising manners and honestly basic human decency.

So today, I am the meanest mom in the world.

Sullivan's post has gone viral, gaining 49,000 shares so far. Some commenters think that she did exactly the right thing, giving her kids some tough love about being polite. But Ronda Robinson at PJ Media disagrees:

Good parenting does not include setting your children up to fail or engaging in public humiliation. Punishment should be reserved for crimes. It shouldn't be a punishable offense to not say "thank you" or to fail "see" a teenager behind the ice cream counter. These are traits of childish behavior at best, or failed parenting skills at worst, depending on the children.

What do you think?

-via Ed Driscoll

Did Sullivan respond appropriately to her children's discourtesy?

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

"Way to set high goals".

Where do your teenage children work? Somewhere making six-figures per year?
Get off your high-horse and consider that she may be expecting her children to do like the 17 year-old DQ worker: Get a part-time job to buy things they want, instead of getting it from their parents.
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I like to think people can do whatever they want, as long as they're willing to accept the consequences of their action. Or course, for that to work they have to be aware of the consequences.

If the Mom told them to say thank you and they didn't, throw out the ice cream. But if she was just standing there expecting the kids to read her mind, she went to far.

I agree with the Miss Robinson, this was a teaching moment, not an occasion to embarrass children, including the girl behind the counter.
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The biggest problem with kids, teens and young adults is no consequences for their actions. Whether it be basic manners or trying to do something beyond their capabilities we have helmeted and padded every sharp edge for them. I'm sure this mother had discussed the basics of please and thank you. When people wonder why, when and where we have gone wrong with "kids these days", we can trace it right back to time outs, trophies for everyone, and convincing kids they are special. Actions have consequences. Good or bad. And let them skin a knee or split a lip. They'll be more careful next time.
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