When a video goes viral, it does so for a reason. It usually means the video content is so thought-provoking that we can't stop thinking about it or sharing it. This is definitely the case with the latest viral video posted by Linda Beltran, the mother of 3-year-old Mateo, who passionately and maturely pleads his case for why he should have a cupcake.
The 3-year-old's position—as he explains to his mother why he went behind her back and asked his grandmother for a cookie—is solid. With all of the gusto of a future attorney, he explains to her that they are at grandma's house and there are different rules. He also explains that at mommy's house there is no touching anything, and at grandma's house he can touch things. He believes that if there are different rules at grandma's house, it is OK for him to ask grandma for a cupcake.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
Well, to the legions of opinionated Internet commenters, Mateo's reasoning and Linda's decision to listen to her son plead his case is despicable. They cite that fact that he calls his mother by her first name and seems openly frustrated by her responses to his rationale for why he went behind her back as indicative of improper parenting.
I don't know if I'm way too relaxed, but I thought it was super funny. This 3-year-old child squints his eyes and calls his mom by her first name, interrupting her speech and says, "Listen, Linda. Linda. Linda. Listen." At one point he says, "Listen. Honey. Honey."
Should moms allow their 3-year-old children to argue with them?
He has every mannerism of a grown man, and you can't help but infer that when Mateo's mommy and daddy argue, their arguments are similar to this one—with his dad becoming frustrated, squinting his eyes and trying to explain his side of the story.
Mateo does such an amazing job of imitating an adult having a grown-up debate that this video is comical and unforgettable. But the question is, should moms allow their 3-year-old children to argue with them?
It does not appear that Linda was going to allow Mateo to have his way, so this was a debate that would only have one winner: mom. She was simply confronting him about his actions and explaining to him why he was wrong. He tried his best to explain why he did what he did, and he did an excellent job of articulating it, even if his demeanor was a bit mature. Can he be judged because that is how he has learned to communicate?
How is talking and sharing feelings a bad thing? Are we supposed to immediately silence 3-year-olds who are clearly intelligent enough to eloquently express their opinions?
In our quest to be in charge, in our desire to prove we know what's best, let us not forget that these are not little soldiers we are raising. They are not here to march to our commands and be our puppets. They are watching us, they are learning from us, and if we dare show them that we are important and our opinions matter, they will believe their opinions matter, too. Yes, his opinion does matter, and he can squint and plead and rationalize all he wants to. He's still not getting a cupcake, because mommy said so.