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What Do You Do When Your Child Does Something That Horrifies You?

I’m about to share a story about my child that kept me up for days. For some of you, it could be nothing at all and for others, it could be funny, while worth some raised eyebrows.

parenting horrors

A few days ago, I asked my son to write on a birthday card I bought for his little bestie. He and this little girl are great friends. They have known each other since Preschool and are now in the same Kindergarten class. They have activities together and are often at each other’s houses.

As he was writing, my 6 year old refused to show my husband and I what he’d written, but since we couldn’t fight the urge to be nosy, we waited until he went to bed. What we read blew our minds! Here, take a look …

kids writes mean letter

Then the back of the card …

my kid is mean

Now I’m not writing this to give anybody any kind of advice, because I’m going to admit right now that I’m not an expert in parenting. In fact, I really don’t know how anyone could be since kids are so unpredictable. So if you’re going through a similar situation and hope to find some expert info from this post, I’m here to tell you that I’m just a parent who’s worried about the “mean gene” that’s suddenly developed in her kid.

That letter kept me awake the entire night. Of course it didn’t help that I spent half of it googling for advice on how and what to do next.

So far Google has helped me find that my child is mean because of all the electronics time he gets and that he’s maybe not hugged enough. Perhaps he’s hungry, tired, and not spiritual enough. He might also be lacking more social engagements. Perhaps I spoil him more than I realize or maybe I yell much more than I should … The suggestions and possibilities all hit me, making me feel like a horrible parent.

I know mom guilt is natural. My child, my one and only child has a mean streak and I feel like I’m to blame significantly for it.

I was raised with an iron fist and if I did something wrong, I got in big trouble for it. My parents never messed around, but they also didn’t parent the way most of us do today. There was no hugging and and positive encouraging talks of any sort. There was just a lot of yelling, disappointed looks and weird punishments. Yet, I think I turned out alright and just like many kids, find behavioral problems to blame on my parents.

when your child is mean

Despite the way I was raised, I have no intentions of parenting the way my parents did. In fact, because my mom guilt barometer is always at an all time high, I don’t think my child should get anything less than a hugging, loving, caring relationship from me. All the more reason I can’t figure out why in the world he’s had such an attitude adjustment.

The next day, I sat him down and with the softest voice I could possibly have, I talked to him about what it means when we give cards to someone. “Cards are meant to make the other person feel special,” I said. I went on to explain how hurt she would feel if she was told that she wasn’t his favorite person.

After sitting with him for about half an hour and going through the talk, which I thought would help him understand, I asked him if he could make her another card. His response was, “well, I already spent a long time making that one.”


What else would you have done? Any suggestions?

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.


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  • I’m loving the honesty in this post. So many parents say that kids are just being kids, and that they will grow out of it. The truth is, they need to be told what’s acceptable and unacceptable. And, you should explain why for both. This allows the child to better understand why things work and why they don’t.

  • This is a great post and it will help lots of mothers….. I just want to mention few things which I have in my mind….. We all are kids and I don’t think anyone can learn anything without making any mistakes and if you are making lots of mistakes then defiantly you don’t have a good guide.

  • Rather than telling him to think how hurt his friend might feel, tell him that you don’t like what was written on the card. Because that is your truth. I think children need us, over and over, to let them know what we like and what we don’t like. That is how they learn our values, and that is how we can help shape their values.

  • I don’t like the quote saying kids will be kids either. We can’t just let them act a certain way because that’s how kids are. It’s up to us to tell them otherwise. I think you did the best that you could.

  • I think it’s nice how you handled the whole thing. It’s important to make our kids understand in such a way that they also won’t be offended themselves.

  • Oh man, I’ve been there. I have a daughter, and sometimes she can get mean. I have to remind her that we need to be kind. I will NOT raise a mean girl, let me tell you.

  • LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT is the best quote ever: Bad Parenting = Assholes. Which is so very true. My husband and I (and I am sure everyone) sees those asshole kids on a daily basis. My husband always says: OUR KIDS WILL NOT BE LIKE THAT… Ha! Except my gut tells me they might! LOL! I was an asshole kid, so I mean, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? Oh gosh, I HOPE IT DOES!

  • Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve never heard any stories like this before. I’m sure you are a wonderful mom, and I hope that he will learn kindness. Thank you for sharing!

  • If this was my kid and trust me it has been with almost all five kids, I would first talk to them to understand why they wrote this. Then I would talk about how that would hurt the person if they read it. I would then make them make a new card with markers and paper. Parenting is a learning thing.