A ‘Cheap’ Mom’s Controversial Parenting Hack Has Gone Viral on TikTok & The Internet is Fiercely Divided

One mom on TikTok shared a parenting hack that has viewers feeling all kinds of ways. Every Friday night, her family goes to a restaurant together. While she and the others order meals, her son eats a meal she made for him.

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“Call me cheap, call me whatever, but if we’re going out to a restaurant, I’m packing my kid a meal,” she said in her now-viral video. “I do this for many reasons … For one, you want me to pay $6.99 for chicken tenders and fries that my son is going to throw half of it on the floor? You’re crazy. Also, whatever I pack is probably going to be healthier than what the restaurant has anyways.”

She then showed off the lunchbox she packed which included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a cut-up banana, cheese cubes, and a chocolate Lara bar. This mom went on to explain that at a restaurant, her son will not wait for the server to come around. He wants to eat, and he wants to eat now. And honestly, we know the pain of bringing a kid to a restaurant and them getting restless and hangry as they wait to order and get their food. So yes, it’s not uncommon for parents to bring a little snack or order a kid’s meal as soon as they’re seated.

But bringing an entire dinner?! Well, an entire dinner minus the chocolate milk this mom usually orders her son as “his little takeout treat.” Nearly 2,000 people commented on this video, and boy do they have thoughts.

  • Team Purchase

    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

    A lot of the people who had problems with this plan thought it was unfair that this child wouldn’t be getting the restaurant experience.

    “I just bring a snack for the wait but I think going out to eat is special for everyone not just the adults. 🤷🏼‍♀️,” one person said. “I tried doing this once and I felt so much mom guilt. Like I was leaving her out or something 😭,” another wrote.

    Others agreed this was rude to the restaurants — think about how many don’t allow outside food! — and awful for servers. They encouraged mom to still tip as if she had ordered a meal for her son.

    “I guess you expect the server to clean up the mess from the floor that isn’t on the bill to be tipped on,” one user said.

    “We bring a meal and buy one too,” another wrote. “If they don’t like the one they got, we give them the one we brought, and if they do like it, snack for later 🤷‍♀️.”

  • Team Pack

    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

    A lot of people called this a “brilliant” idea, especially for kids with allergies or sensory and/or texture issues. You could also say it’s along the same lines as bringing breast milk or baby food. Although, the difference is that restaurants don’t serve either of those things so it’s not like they’re losing out on a sale.

    “I do this too!” one person wrote. “Smartest and most financially sound choice I’ve ever made!”

    “This is actually genius,” another said. “My son is so picky and I always end up paying for something he doesn’t eat 😂.”

  • More Viral Restaurant Stories

    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

    Another parent recently posted a restaurant-related video that went viral because she went off on her son and his poor tipping etiquette. On a $104 check, the teen left his server $10.

    “ARE YOU KIDDING ME, JOHNNY?!” the mom yelled. “…You need to go grab a 20 [dollar bill] and drive your ass back to that restaurant because [that] is a sh*tty tip.”

    People quickly jumped in the comments to thank this mom for teaching her son this important lesson. “OMG 33 years in the food service industry… THANK YOU FOR THISSSSSS😭😭😭😭😭😭😭,” one commenter said.

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