It's been a tough year, and with parents and kids learning and working from home for large periods throughout the year, tensions are running high in some households.
One mother was having difficulty disciplining her nine-year-old daughter, and after a long day a work sent her to bed without dinner after she insulted her cooking. Explaining the situation on Reddit, the mother said Evelyn has been 'testing boundaries' lately, although her husband didn't agree with her latest method of punishment.
"My husband and I do not spank, we do time outs, take away privileges, and talk things through," she wrote. "Lately she has begun saying rude, insulting things out of the blue. These comments range from critiques on clothing to criticisms of weight or other physical features."
"We have had serious discussions with her about how inappropriate and hurtful they are, and we urge her to think before she speaks next time," she said, although admitted that it hasn't been helping.
However, after a coming home after long day at work and cooking a meal from scratch, the woman snapped after Evelyn criticised it.
"It was good, tasted just like always. My husband complimented it," she said. "Then Evelyn chimed in. 'No offence Mom, but this stew is really bitter. Maybe next time only use half a bay leaf.'"
Saying her 'jaw dropped to the floor', the mum said she didn't know how to react.
The girl went to bed with no dinner after she insulted her mum's cooking. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
"I had just worked a 12-hour shift at the hospital and come home to cook her dinner from scratch, only to have her insult my cooking," the upset woman wrote, admitting she was 'hurt and angry'.
"But I don't like to raise my voice, and just talking to her about these statements in the past hasn't changed her behaviour," she agonised.
"When I was finally able to respond, I quietly said, "If you don't like the stew, you don't have to eat it. Please take your bowl to the kitchen and get in the bath. You may eat breakfast in the morning."
However, her husband thinks she took the punishment too far.
"Now she's sobbing in her room about how unfair I am," she said. "I was hoping that maybe the discomfort of going hungry for one night will remind her to watch her words in the future."
"What if she had said this to my elderly mother instead of me? What if she had said something cruel to one of her peers and destroyed their friendship?" she pointed out. "I don't know how else to get through to her that words can cut deeper than any hunger pangs. Taking away the meal she insulted seemed like a fitting way to help her understand, but did I go too far?"
Most redditers agreed with the woman's husband, arguing the punishment wasn't appropriate.
"Do 👏 not 👏 use 👏 food 👏 as 👏 punishment 👏 or 👏 reward. 👏," one person replied. "Sustenance is a requirement [not] a privilege."
"She hurt your feelings by calling your stew bitter," one user wrote. "At this point you should have communicated with her that your feelings were hurt and you put in the effort to make a home made dinner after working 12 hours. Instead you sent your kid to bed hungry without explaining yourself to the fullest."
"Just want to add that words do not cut anywhere near as deeply as hunger pangs. You clearly never struggled for food in your life if you have such a ridiculous attitude towards it," said another.
The woman later edited the post to say she's since talked to her daughter and although her daughter didn't go hungry (because she had some food in her room), she admitted she was wrong.
"I see now that I should not have used food as a punishment. I will ask for her forgiveness when I get home today and try to have a talk with her about why she said what she did and how we can move forward together," she said.