Jaime Primak Sullivan urges parents to act on kids’ bad habits from the start
4th of July weekend is all about fireworks, food and fun. But self-titled Meanest Mom Ever Jaime Primak Sullivan reminds us parenting is a 24/7 job, even if it’s a holiday. The former star of Bravo’s Jersey Belle shared an incident from this weekend on her Facebook page that highlights the importance of standing firm with your children, even on special occasions.
In the video that’s been viewed over 20,000 times and counting, Primak Sullivan talks about how her eight-year-old daughter, Olivia, has started to act manipulative. “She’s not malicious in her manipulation,” she says, “but habits are starting.” She’s trying to stop the habit from becoming part of her daughter’s personality.
If you see something, say something…. Teachable parenting moments have the ability to teach us as well. #cawfeetawk
Posted by Jaime Primak Sullivan on Monday, July 4, 2016
While at a gathering this weekend some of the kids were having yogurts with M&M’s in them, and Primak Sullivan’s daughter wanted one. Mom said she could have one, but there was a catch. Primak Sullivan allows her kids to indulge on special occasions, “but we’re not just going to consume sugar, sugar, sugar just because it’s a holiday.”
She told her daughter, “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.” Her daughter (wisely) chose the cake.
Of course, soon after she had the cake she came back to her mom and asked, “Dad said I could have the yogurt, so is it okay if I have it?” Kids think they’re clever with the, “go ask dad when mom says no trick”, but we’re obviously on to them. And she knew her mom would be pissed if she saw her with the yogurt, which is probably why she asked instead of just eating it after dad said yes.
Still, it’s a holiday, you’re at a party, all your friends are around — a lot of moms would have let this one slide or decided to talk about it with their child later, but not Primak Sullivan. She saw the opportunity for a parenting lesson and took it, then and there. She pulled her daughter into a bedroom to explain to her why she was wrong. “She wasn’t in any trouble,” she says, “but she had to own her manipulation and for a lot of people that is very difficult. ”
When they returned to the party her daughter was still visibly upset and people started to come to little Olivia’s defense, saying Primak Sullivan should just relent and give her a yogurt. But the yogurt isn’t the point.
“It isn’t about the the yogurt, it’s about the manipulation and the bad habits that are starting now,” she explains. “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 eight-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.”
Being a parent sucks sometimes. As much as our kids might think otherwise, we’re not out to ruin their good time. Especially on a holiday when the kids are finally entertaining themselves and you’re having an adult conversation, the very last thing you want to do is switch into mom mode. But Primak Sullivan is so right, it’s easy to let bad behaviors slide especially when your kids are young. If we don’t act on it when it first starts, it can snowball into a bigger issues down the line. And besides, pitting one parent against the other — that’s never cool, and when it happens parents need to shut that shit down ASAP.
In the end Primak Sullivan encouraged her daughter to ask her next time before going being mom’s back. And she let her have a little bit of the yogurt because after all, she’s not really the meanest mom ever.