A Mom Was Frustrated After Her Son Destroyed Her Home With A Sharpie But People Are Saying She Reacted All Wrong

The toilet looks happy to me.

Child with marker TikTok TikTok

Picture this: you leave your kid alone for a couple of minutes, they manage to find a Sharpie and next thing you know your home is riddled with smiley faces that are going to be a nuisance to clean. How do you react?

If your instinct is to insult your child's artwork, don't post a video of that reaction on TikTok because users on the app will not take your side. 

When Ashley Tayla (@mamasheets) posted a video on TikTok showing her confronting her son, the app weighed in with some helpful parenting advice. Sharpie on his face and permanent markings on the ground, it’s safe to say the little boy was caught red-handed.


The frustrated mom was not happy with her son's Sharpie mural, but viewers had some advice on how to react.

Upon discovering the masterpiece, mom was not all smiles as she took in the damage her son had done with the markers. “What?” her son whispers, confused as to his mommy’s reaction. “I just, I have no words,” she responds. “Like, what?”

The short, 20-second clip is just Ashley documenting the crime her son committed of using the Sharpie to mark the floor in front of the bathroom as well as inside of the bathroom. There’s Sharpie all over the cabinets, the wall, the door, and even the toilet which got some special treatment — a smiley face instead of some scribbles.


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In response to her noticing the toilet, the young child says “the toilet is happy,” smiling as he says it, clearly proud of his work. Not even Da Vinci could master such a smile. Just like the Mona Lisa, however, Ashley did not have a smile on her face and turned to the toddler, saying “No, we’re not happy. No one is happy.”

Of course, Ashley is worried about how, and even if, she’ll be able to clean up the mess that her son has now caused. Judging by her reaction, it seems like cleaning up the marker will be quite the endeavor, but people are more concerned with how her son reacted to her stern remark.


After she says that they’re not happy, his face immediately drops from the smile and he looks down, clearly understanding that he’s in trouble and feeling ashamed.

Other parents on TikTok believe that she handled the situation all wrong.

Many of the comments consisted of people feeling bad for the child after his mom said that they weren’t happy. They were saddened to see how his face dropped after he was so clearly proud of his penmanship.

“The toilet is happy! He was so proud but then….not! I get it, it’s a disaster, but he was genuinely proud,” one commenter wrote.

The video received the attention of one woman named Mary (@mary_says) who frequently provides advice to her 267,000 followers on TikTok. She stitched the video, explaining that Ashley was not the one that asked for advice, but that her followers had asked what they should do in the same situation.


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Mary believes that the first step should have been to “Validate that we understood what they said/meant,” and pretended to be the mother in that situation.

“You drew a smiley face on the toilet so it looks happy,” she said, going into the reason why she is upset. “I am looking at all of this and I am worried. I don’t know if I’ll be able to clean the marker off of all these things.”


Mary is incorporating gentle parenting into the way that she is reacting to the child, and believes that she should explain why she was reacting in the way that she was.

It’s important to tell him that she isn’t mad at how much fun he was having and how creative his artwork was, but that next time, he needs to do it on paper so that there isn’t a mess to clean up after.

Mary also said it’s important to include the child in the cleaning up of all the markings — “if they’re feeling sad and embarrassed, they’re not gonna clean.”

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Commenters shared that this was the right way to respond to the kid.

“I know it’s hard but it’s so important to remember that children are here for the first time ever and they literally don’t know until we tell them,” one commenter wrote on Mary’s post.

“Gentle parenting is not just ‘letting your kids get away with things’ it’s just not crushing their spirit,” another commenter wrote.

However, everyone made sure to try and have some compassion and understanding for the mother as well. No one is perfect, and the mother shouldn’t be harassed because she had a moment of weakness. “I think a lot of people are forgetting this mom is a human. She isn’t perfect,” one user wrote.


It’s hard not to immediately respond with strong emotions, but modeling to your children that you’re able to regulate your emotions and control them is equally as important as treating them with care. It’s not about suppressing your emotions but being able to convey them in an effective manner.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.