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Mom Wonders If She Went 'Too Far' By Sending Daughter To Bed Without Dinner

Many parents have different ways in which they decide to discipline and punish their children when they don't like or agree with behaviors. For some parents, they like to lay the hammer down pretty hard. Other times, parents try to use "talk" methods to explain why they are upset with their children in hopes of teaching them to be better in the future.

Recently, one mother wrote into Reddit asking if her punishment for her daughter was "too harsh" after her husband questioned it.

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The mother wrote into the popular r/AmItheAsshole subreddit, asking if she was wrong for sending her daughter to bed without dinner as a punishment. According to the post, the Reddit user's husband thinks she went too far.

The mom said recently, their nine-year-old daughter has been extremely rude.

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"Lately she has begun saying rude, insulting things out of the blue. These comments range from critiques on clothing to criticisms of weight or other physical features. Absolutely rude statements that my husband and I would never say about anyone, ever," she wrote.

They have been trying to discuss with her the importance of thinking before you speak.

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"Whenever she has made these sorts of comments, we have had serious discussions with her about how inappropriate and hurtful they are, and we urge her to think before she speaks next time," the mom wrote.

The mom said that on the particular night in question, she had been working hard to make beef stew from scratch.

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Everyone in the family had said it smelled great. But, when they sat down to eat, her daughter had another take.

The nine-year-old criticized the meal and called the stew "bitter."

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"Evelyn chimed in. 'No offense Mom, but this stew is really bitter. Maybe next time only use half a bay leaf.' I stared at her for a good 10 seconds, my jaw on the floor. I had just worked a 12-hour shift at the hospital and come home to cook her dinner from scratch, only to have her insult my cooking. I honestly wasn’t sure how to react," she wrote.

The mom said she had just come home from a long shift at the hospital and was incredibly angry by her daughter's comment.

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"When I was finally able to respond, I quietly said, 'If you don’t like the stew, you don’t have to eat it. Please take your bowl to the kitchen and get in the bath. You may eat breakfast in the morning,'" the mom told her daughter.

Apparently, her daughter went to her room and was extremely upset, crying.

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"Now she’s sobbing in her room about how unfair I am, and my husband thinks maybe I went too far. I was hoping that maybe the discomfort of going hungry for one night will remind her to watch her words in the future," the mom said.

She wondered if she had gone too far.

Many people on Reddit said that this was too far for a child, especially a nine-year-old.

People were in agreement that food should not be used for a reward or punishment since it's a nutritional need.

"She hurt your feelings by calling your stew bitter. At this point, you should have communicated with her that your feelings were hurt and you put in the effort to make a homemade dinner after working 12 hours. Instead, you sent your kid to bed hungry without explaining yourself to the fullest," one person said.

Others said that they should be pushing their daughter to have an opinion and not be punished for it.

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"Evelyn shared an opinion. People have different tastes. She was not overly critical. An example of an inappropriate comment would have been 'Mom, this tastes like garbage. Lay off the bay leaf. I am going barf,'" another added.

One user explained that the daughter's comment was common for her age and her immature tastebuds.

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"This is actually biology at work. From 9 to roughly 13, kids' tastebuds are changing, and they often become more sensitive to certain things, one of which is bitterness. On top of that, girls are even more likely to prefer sweeter flavors and dislike bitter notes. You have roughly 1/3 of the working tastebuds she has, so it is entirely possible she tasted something bitter — and even if it's a little bit, it would appear amplified to her," one user explained.

The majority of people seemed to be angry that the mom deprived her daughter of food.

Dozens of people wrote on the thread that depriving a child of food is not an acceptable punishment and can be seen as a form of abuse, even if it is for one night.

After this post went viral, the mom shared a few updates with the Reddit community.

Unsplash | Henrikke Due

"I had a long talk with Evelyn when I got home tonight. I told her I shouldn’t have sent her to bed without dinner, and I apologized and asked for her forgiveness," the mom said.

Apparently, the situation was a bit of a misunderstanding. The little girl said she meant her comment as a joke.

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This made the mom realize that perhaps her daughter's attitude was connected to something else.

"After a very long and loving, gentle conversation, I think the real root of the problem is that she’s having trouble adjusting to my long hours while I’m working double shifts and finishing up school. I think she was trying to get my attention, one way or another," the mom said.

The mom thanked people who responded online to her story.

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"I appreciate all of your comments, even the ones that weren’t so kind. I tried to keep my heart and my mind open to see how I could learn and grow, but now that I have resolved the issue with my daughter, I won’t be responding any further on this post. Thank you all for your time and opinions," she said.

Do you agree with how this mom handled the situation? It sounds like she and her daughter were able to work things out in a positive way after getting some help online.