Daughter Mocks Mom

Danielle, age 7, thought it was cute to mock people. She often repeated back what her friends said in a mocking tone and they at times did it back to her. One day Mom and step-dad took Danielle to a nearby fast food restaurant. Her parents ordered sandwiches and Danielle got a fun meal. First, Danielle fidgeted in her seat and then ate a few fries. Next, she couldn’t get her toy to open and kept bugging Mom to open it for her. Mom in an impatient voice said, “Stop” several times. Danielle mocked her by repeating, “Stop” in a sassy tone. “Danielle, don’t do that,” stated Mom. “Danielle, don’t do that,” repeated Danielle, once again in a mocking tone. “Don’t you mock me young lady,” continued Mom. Danielle once again repeated “Don’t you mock me young lady.” Step-dad watched with increasing anger as Danielle and Mom engaged in this word battle right there in the restaurant.

What would you do? How would you respond?

After a deep breath and a moment to collect her feelings, Mom looked calmly and clearly in Danielle’s eyes, while taking her daughter’s hands in her own and said, “If you continue to mock me you will not be allowed to eat any further.” Before Mom could finish her sentence Danielle continued with an impish grin on her face. “If you continue to mock me…”. With that, Mom gathered Danielle’s food and drink to the trash container. She removed her daughter from the booth and proceeded with her to the car. At the car Mom said, “When your step-dad finishes eating he will come out to be with you and I’ll return to finish eating. There will be no meal and no snacks until supper.” Danielle appeared wide-eyed and remorseful. She even protested that she wouldn’t mock anymore. Mom stated, “I’m glad you understand but you’ve put yourself in a position of not handling restaurant time. I love you and believe you. We will see how the afternoon goes, if you can manage your time with me.” No further discussion took place. Mom, step-dad and daughter enjoyed each other throughout the afternoon.

Comment: How does your answer compare to this Mom? The key elements were: Mom acted in support of what she said. As Danielle responded well, Mom didn’t let her own feelings be the focus. She focused on the child’s response changing through Mom’s actions. There was no shame presented beyond her daughter’s remorse. The child still received consequences but the relationship was restored as the child became acceptable.

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