If you are a parent with a YouTube account, I have a resolution for you for 2012. It's time to vow you will stop being mean to your kids in exchange for 15 minutes of Internet fame. You think it makes you look hilarious. But it just makes you look like a jerk.
And these days, you're not even an original jerk! Just check out the video that showed up this week of a mom giving her Chicago White Sox loving 6-year-old daughter a gift bag full of Chicago Cubs stuff. She tricked her on purpose, and not surprisingly, got a pretty sad result:
I don't know about you, but my first reaction was to be feel like this little girl got a raw deal. If someone gave me Red Sox crap, I'd probably cry too. Gift giving -- to me -- is about making someone's face light up with joy, not breaking their heart, young or old. The second? It feels like something I've seen a dozen times before. And I had -- more or less. It always goes something like this:
Parent gets devious idea of way to make child upset. Parent sets up the video camera and puts plan in action. Kid cries. Parent laughs maniacally. Parent begins YouTube upload while rubbing hands together with glee. Internet guffaws at kid's expense.
But it's kind of like laughing when someone falls down: the fact that it tickled your funnybone doesn't mean the person didn't get hurt. And at least when someone falls down, they generally weren't set up to do so. These parents, on the other hand, purposely set their kids up to be hurt.
Think about that for a second. Hurting a child on purpose. It doesn't seem so funny anymore, does it? Mom and Dad just became the ultimate bullies.
This isn't to say that all YouTube videos involving kids are bad. Things caught on the fly fill me with glee on a weekly basis; and I often write about them here on The Stir. But there's a fine line between sharing some of the wacky moments of parenting and purposely trying to turn your kid into the butt of everyone's jokes.
Do these type of videos make you laugh or make you uncomfortable?
Image via YouTube
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside