Mom Calls Her 4-Year-Old A 'Master Manipulator' & Says Other Parents Should Not Accept ‘Fake Apologies’ From Their Kids

Are moms supposed to just accept their child's apology no matter what?

Frustrated mom listening to crying toddler. Antonio Guillem via Shutterstock

Mom-life influencer Amanda Leigh posted a TikTok discussing an incident that occurred recently with her 4-year-old daughter.

In her video, she talked about how parents should stop accepting apologies from their children when the child doesn’t mean it.

Leigh argued that her daughter is a master manipulator who knows how to be fake when she wants something.

Trying to wake a toddler up for school or daycare is hard, plain and simple, and Leigh is all too familiar with these morning antics. She took to TikTok to describe a particularly difficult morning with her 4-year-old, Reagan.


The little girl was having a very hard time waking up. So, when her mom left the room to grab something, she slammed the door, locked it, and climbed back into bed. 



RELATED: Mom Wonders If She Should Make Her 6-Year-Old Apologize For Being Rude To A Woman Who Talked To Her 'Like A Baby'


After finally getting back into the room, Leigh told her never to lock the door on her again, and it was time to get up. 

She picked her up and was moving to get her dressed when she felt something warm down her leg. Reagan, who had been potty trained for two years, had peed on her. Leigh said, “She’s 4 years old; she knows not to pee on me.” 

As 'punishment,' Leigh told Reagan she couldn't wear a princess dress.

Leigh dressed her daughter in a plain T-shirt and shorts and told her that was what she would wear for the day; she would not get to wear one of her princess dresses. 

Five minutes later, she miraculously felt guilty for her tantrum and tried to apologize. The catch was that she was holding onto one of her princess dresses. Knowing that if she apologized, she might get what she wanted, she came ready with a dress in hand. 


Sticking to her guns, Leigh asked, “What are you sorry for?” She told her daughter that she would be allowed to apologize again later, but she would not be wearing her special dress. Reagan did not like that answer and was no longer remorseful but, again, angry.



RELATED: Mom Of A Toddler Who Has Bitten 5 Different Kids Is Told To Bite Him Back

Apologies are made for many reasons and are not always as genuine as they should be.

Leigh said she knew her daughter was only apologizing so that she could wear the dress and did not feel bad at all — and she was right.


According to Harvard Health, in order for an apology to be effective, it must be genuine. The four apology elements explained by Dr. Aaron Lazare include:

  1. an acknowledgment of the offense, 
  2. an explanation of what happened, 
  3. the expression of remorse, and 
  4. an offer to make amends or fix what you have done. 

Reagan showed the first when she said, “I’m sorry for peepee on you.” However, there was no real expression of remorse or offer to fix what she had done. 

Yes, her age plays into the equation, but as Leigh pointed out, she knew peeing on her mother was wrong and that it had consequences.

Regardless of age, apologies only hold value when they are accompanied by true remorse. Parents need to teach children that lesson, and as PBS noted, it is directly tied to empathy. 


Empathy can be a difficult concept for children to grasp, but the outlet noted that asking what they called "wondering" questions about the feelings of people in their inner circle can help them understand. Simple questions like "I wonder how we let someone know we are really sorry for our mistake?" can take a child out of their selfish moment and make them think about the incident from a different angle.

RELATED: Dad Refuses To Talk To His Child Days After She Said She Wished He Was The Man Who Takes Care Of Her At Daycare

Madison Piering is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team, specializing in human interest and pop culture topics.