Being a parent is a hard job–we all know that. One of the reasons why it’s difficult, however, is the fact that it can be tough standing firm with your kids. Self-titled “Meanest Mom Ever” Jamie Primak Sullivan opened up this weekend about how hard it is to discipline your kids, especially when it’s a holiday.
Sullivan, the former star of Bravo’s “Jersey Belle” shared an incident from the long holiday weekend on her Facebook page that stresses why she thinks it’s important to stand up to your kids–and not let them get whatever they want. As of now, the video has been viewed over 20,000 times–in it, she talks about how her 8-year-old daughter, Olivia, has started to act manipulative–and how she wants to nip this behavior in the bud:
“She’s not malicious in her manipulation, but habits are starting.”
So what exactly happened? Apparently, at a party this past weekend, her daughter wanted to have yogurt with M&M’s like some of the other kids. Sullivan does allow her kids to indulge in sugar on holidays, but still draws a line at excess. She gave her daughter a caveat:
“You are welcome to have the yogurt with the M&M’s, but just know there’s going to be cake after dinner and you’re not going to have both.”
While her daughter ultimately chose the cake, she also told her mom that “dad said” she could have the yogurt. Because of this, Sullivan saw this moment as an opportunity for a parenting lesson. Clearly, Olivia is clever enough to go with the old “ask the other parent” trick, and while it’s innocuous at her age, it may not always be as she gets older.
This is when Sullivan pulled her daughter aside to explain why she was wrong–which some parents disagreed with and felt she should relent. For Sullivan, it’s not about the yogurt:
“She wasn’t in any trouble, but she had to own her manipulation and for a lot of people that is very difficult.
It isn’t about the the yogurt, it’s about the manipulation and the bad habits that are starting now. You see, when they’re eight and an half, it’s easy to just let them have the yogurt and overlook the manipulation. But an 8-year-old who manipulates, even from not a malicious place becomes a 12-year-old who does it, becomes a 17-year-old who does it, becomes a 21-year-old who does it, becomes a 30-year-old who does it.”
Of course, parents need to decide which battles are worth fighting over–and every family and child is different. However, Primak Sullivan’s sentiment is so right, as it’s easy to let bad behavior go if it’s not “hurting anyone.”
In the end, though, Sullivan bent her own rules, as she did let her daughter have a tiny bit of yogurt, proving she’s not actually the meanest mom of them all.
Watch her full video below:
That Time I Threatened to Throw My Son into the Toilet
I Have a LOT of Feelings About Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
The One Part of Parenting I Still Need to Master
Joanna Valente is the former Staff Writer at Kveller. Joanna is the author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, Xenos, and Marys of the Sea, and received an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow @joannasaid on Twitter and @joannacvalente on Instagram.