As a parent, you can sometimes do foolish things when it comes to your child. Their reaction to new experiences can be downright adorable, even if it's a more upsetting moment. There's this mixture of wonder, confusion, and need for comfort that your child shows that ends up melting your heart. But the situation doesn't always go over well, even if it's by all means harmless. Take this, for example: People are accusing a mom of child abuse after she fed her kid wasabi. I will say, I do consider the mom's decision foolish, but I do believe the outrage over the act is misplaced.
A video started making the social media rounds earlier this month that shows a mom, off camera, ask her little daughter, "You wanna try wasabi?," according to The Stir. Right away, the toddler says "No," leading into that all-too-common back-and-forth between a parent and their child over food. As The Stir described it, the mom eventually puts her chopsticks to her daughter's lip, and the little girl takes a tiny bite of the wasabi on the tips.
At the end of the video, the little girl looks at the camera and says "help." She doesn't look particularly disturbed by the taste, though. There were no tears or pained facial expressions. Still, people have very, very strong feelings about the entire thing.
Romper tried to track down the mom who filmed the video for comment, but had no luck at the time of publication.
Personally, I am of two minds over this video, which has now gone viral, raking up more than 14.5 million views on Facebook. On one hand, wasabi is hot and not particularly appealing, even for my adult taste buds. It's not exactly a condiment you should give a kid. On the other hand, the heat from wasabi only lasts for a few seconds, according to the podcast Science Updated. As The Stir pointed out, the toddler probably most likely didn't feel any lingering pain in her mouth.
On top of that, calling this abuse is an extreme accusation, considering all of the other incidences of child abuse and neglect that make the news. There are kids being routinely beaten and molested in homes across the country, that a toddler eating a tiny piece of wasabi should pale in comparison for everyone.
Never mind the reports on fatal violence between siblings, like this 9-year-old boy who killed his older sister over a video game controller, according to CNN. He took the handgun from his parents' nightstand in their bedroom, and shot the 13-year-old girl in the back of her head.
Here are just three examples of recent child abuse cases covered by the media:
- On Monday, a former deputy in Southern Florida pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated child abuse for molesting a 20-year-old woman when she was between the ages of 14 and 17, according to TCPalm.com.
- On Friday, a man from Oklahoma was charged with three counts of child sexual abuse and three counts of child abuse by injury for "hitting, choking, and stomping" a 12-year-old boy, and molesting three children, according to The Muskogee Phoenix
- On Thursday, a couple from New Mexico was found guilty of child abuse for allowing their six children to live in filthy, unsanitary conditions with spoiled food and limited water, inside a recreational vehicle, according to The Alamogordo Daily News.
Of course, I am not saying that people shouldn't feel some type of way about this video. After all, you know the saying about opinions. But there is no reason to cry "child abuse," especially when there are so many abused kids ignored by Child Protective Services in the first place. How about we advocate for them instead?
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.