Her daughter is eight years old and has a friend named Jane. She allowed Jane to come for a sleepover and prepared activities for her daughter and friend to have some fun. In the morning, her daughter and friend Jane insisted on making breakfast which she was okay with. The girls made the toast while she made the eggs and smoothies for them. A problem arose, and she is asking the online community if she had made a mistake.
She believes that the girls may have accidentally changed the settings on the toaster because the bread turned out a little burnt. Jane expressed disgust and said, ‘ew,’ and before she could say or do anything about it, Jane picked up the toast and threw it in the trash. She says she was “shocked and appalled” to see Jane throw the slice of toast away. Since she didn’t grow up with much money, tossing food in the garbage was something they never did in her family.
Although she understands Jane is just a child, she explained that throwing out food isn’t okay, and people work hard to afford it. She says her own daughter was embarrassed by her reaction and her lecture. However, she says Jane seemed to take it well. But she did go home and tell her mother about the incident. She says what’s crazy is that Jane’s mother called her and was angry. Jane’s mom said her behavior was unacceptable. She had no right to call out her daughter for such a minor incident, and her daughter was probably traumatized by it. She is surprised that Jane’s mom took no accountability for Jane’s actions.
She says now her daughter, Jane, and Jane’s mom are upset with her. She explains that it wasn’t the loss of a slice of toast that bothered her. It was the disregard for wasting food that bothered her. But she wonders if she was wrong since Jane must have been upset enough to tell her mother.
She claims she didn’t yell, however, many readers believe her reaction wasn’t appropriate.
“We know she described herself as being shocked and appalled, which is not a proportionate response.”
“We know it was enough to embarrass her own daughter.”
“While I agree, it’s also necessary to call this behavior out . If you’re food insecurities are still bad enough, you get mad at other people for throwing away a piece of burnt toast, you need therapy. It’s not healthy to live that way, especially when it culminates in telling another person’s kid off for something so minor.”
Many say she didn’t have a right to scold somebody else’s child for something so minor.
“No adult should scold someone else’s child over an incident that didn’t cause or have the potential to cause any real harm to the child or another person.”
“Correct, at most calmly saying “oh hey, I would have eaten that, next time give it to me k?” That is all that was needed.”
She could also have made a teachable moment by showing her how to scrap burnt toast.
“Or take it out of the garbage can. Show her that you can scrape toast like that to take the little bit of burnt off. Then toss the toast again and say, “and now you know.”
Some say perhaps Jane wasn’t used to getting told she did something wrong, so she was over-sensitive about the situation.
“Or the kid never gets any sort of punishment, so this small interaction was big to her.”
“Or she’s one of those kids whose parents never say “no” to her or tell her that she has done something she shouldn’t have, and so it was a total shock to her to find that not everyone thinks she’s perfect.”
Some people say that growing up in low-income households can have lasting effects, so throwing out a piece of toast may feel like nothing to some and a big deal to others.
“I grew up in poverty, and it has taken years to get to the point where I can throw away burnt food.”
Some readers defended her response and said Jane needed to learn better manners.
“I am not defending a stranger taking over the parental role and telling someone else’s child why they shouldn’t do a thing in this situation, but it’s very impolite to be wasteful at someone else’s house. You don’t know how much food they do or don’t have, and it’s not their business to tell you. Whether OP has food insecurities that are no longer a reflection of reality or not is irrelevant. The 8-year-old should be taught better.”
What do you think? Did an 8-year-old throwing out a slice of burnt toast warrant the mom’s reaction and lecture on food waste? Do you agree with Jane’s mom’s response to the incident?
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