Right or Wrong? Mum’s Punishment for Son’s Messy Room Sparks Debate

The internet is up in arms after a fed-up mum took action when her five-year-old son refused to clean his messy room.

TikTok user and mum tabathamarie uploaded a video of herself in her son’s messy room. And we’re talking MESSY, mums. Like, can’t-see-the-floor-there-are-so-many-toys messy.

When you ask your child for two days in a row to clean his room — and his response is, ‘No, you clean it, Mommy,'” Tabatha says in the clip.

So. Clean it she does.

“OK,” Tabatha says, “I will do that. Gladly”. 

One by one, she picks up her son’s toys and chucks them directly into a rubbish bag. By the time she finished “cleaning”, the room was nearly entirely empty. All toys, gone. Nothing but a small toy kitchen and a bed.

Tabatha ain’t messing around. As she wanders around the empty room, she adds the video caption:

Momma is not raising no disrespectful men. It is not a ‘mommy’s’ job or a ‘woman’s’ job to do anything. You make the mess, clean it up.”

Amen, girl. Preach. I mean, I’m sure we ALL can relate to wanting to do the exact same thing. I certainly have. I haven’t gone so far as to actually throw my kids’ toys away, but I have thought about it…

@tabathamarieI hated seeing the look on his face when he seen his room. It hurt me just as much but my babies will not be disrespectful ##parenting ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ original sound – Tabatha Marie

‘So sad’

Plenty of people commented on the now-viral video. Some applauded Tabatha’s tough love approach while others thought the punishment was way too harsh for a five-year-old.

Good job, Mom! People that don’t agree also have the kids that don’t respect anyone, including their parents.”

Good. Literally no parent ever follows through. Hope that teaches them.”

And then there were the haters:

Uhhh that’s a child, not a grown man. Honestly, this looks like neglect and bad parenting. You can’t expect a kid to come out having learned everything.”

Based on his toys, I don’t think he’s old enough to have gender biases like you’re thinking, Mom?” 

This mentality is so sad. And I really feel for the children with parents like this. Just because your parent did it, doesn’t mean you continue the cycle.”

Should a five-year-old be forced to clean his room? 

Well, yes. Five-year-olds are fully capable of ‘helping’ to clean up and it’s important to teach them that if they make a mess, they need to clean it up. According to the Little Savers Chore Chart below, kids as young as two or three should be able to pack up their own toys.Age-Appropriate-Chores

However, it’s often a tough thing to teach, especially as kids do get overwhelmed with such a large task.

TikTok users had a few helpful suggestions though:

If you want it clean, start by helping him and then work up to him doing it alone.”

You could have just helped him and showed him how to. Make it fun, put music on.”

Another user suggested she keep the toys and return them for gifts or as special rewards. Now that’s not bad thinking!

What do you think? Was this mum’s punishment too harsh or acceptable?

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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