Mom's Video Of Her Husband Jumping In To Yell At Their Toddler When Her 'Gentle' Approach Didn't Work Sparks Debate

It looks like the dad ran out of patience and did nothing but made the toddler cry.

Dad yelling at toddler to get out of freezer TikTok TikTok

When her toddler decided to go play in their family’s fridge, one mom tried to deal with it by talking to the child. She tells the toddler to get out, but she isn’t listening.

Over on Parenting TikTok, “gentle parenting” is all anyone can talk about and finding ways to treat your child with patience, understanding, and compassion, many people were surprised to hear the way the toddler’s dad reacted when his daughter wouldn’t get out of the fridge.


Gentle parenting, an evidence-based parenting approach, shifts away from traditional authoritative parenting and aims to raise happy kids without using shame, blame or fear. 

The toddler’s dad yells and swears at her for not getting out of the freezer.

“Audrey? What are you doing?” Kristina asks her daughter, who looks like she’s playing in the freezer. The toddler looks over to address her mother’s inquiry, and after offering some unintelligible toddler-speak, returns to her business with the freezer section of the fridge.

“Can you close that please?” Kristina asks. “No.” “Close it.” “No.” Audrey is a stubborn girl and something about the freezer seems to have really caught her attention — that, or she was just a little warm and wanted to cool off after a hard day of being a toddler.


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As a relatively new approach (at least one that has now been officially coined), the data and research behind “gentle parenting” are scarce. However, a 2016 study in the London Journal Of Medical Care argues that positive bonding between a parent and their child can lead them to become happy, independent, and resilient adults.

According to the study, 90% of a person's adult brain is formed by the age of three. This means these early years are crucial for cultivating a positive outlook in children.


"The experiences a baby has with her caregivers are crucial to this early wiring and pruning and enable millions and millions of new connections in the brain to be made. Repeated interactions and communication lead to pathways being laid down that help memories and relationships form and learning and logic to develop," the study reads.

"If positive experiences do not happen, the pathways needed for normal human experiences may be lost."

So, needless to say, what happened next in Kristina's video is generating quite a bit of debate among parents who are concerned that her daughter is not being raised with positive reinforcement. 

“Hey, get out of the fridge. Come on,” Kristina asks once again, this time eliciting a whined “no” from her daughter and repeating the process a couple of times over. Audrey is adamant about remaining in between the fridge’s loving arms (the two doors).


When Kristina decided that enough had been enough, she grabs Audrey’s arm and leads her away from the fridge, but not before her husband yells from across the kitchen and says “Get the f--k out of the freezer!”

According to multiple studies, there are both negative short-term effects and long-term effects that come about after yelling at your child.

Short-term effects like aggression, anxiety, and withdrawal are likely to occur, while the longer-term effects like low self-esteem, depression, and even becoming a bully themselves can stick with them throughout their entire lives.

The mom laughed when her husband yelled and swore at their baby, likely due to how over-the-top it seemed, and he even laughed back.


Audrey, however, started crying almost immediately after being pulled away from the fridge.

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A preschool therapist broke down the video and explained where they went wrong.

Ryan Allen, who is an early childhood mental health therapist, explains that while the mom could have employed some more gentle parenting tools here, she was doing just fine overall.

“She’s not being permissive, she’s not being authoritarian, she’s just parenting in her own way and managing a toddler…who’s being a toddler. This is what toddlers do.”


Allen suggested that she could have turned closing the fridge door into a game, tried to tackle the reason Audrey was playing in the fridge in the first place, or offered her a choice of who would close the fridge, her or the mom.



This, however, isn’t the main problem in the story of course. The problem arises when “dad perceives all of this normal toddler as [disrespectful] and then proceeds to be disrespectful to the child by screaming and cussing at them.”

Allen points out that the toddler immediately shuts down and says that there were other ways to have gone about this situation. Of course, there’s nothing good about yelling and cursing at your toddler, but that’s not the only problem that Allen wants to address.


“It removes any authority from that other parent,” Allen says of the dad jumping in while Kristina is trying to get Audrey to do something.

Not only could Kristina feel powerless because she couldn’t get Audrey to listen to her, but Audrey may see it as a sign that mom is no longer the authority figure and doesn’t have to listen to her — unless she starts doing what he does.

There is no reason to be reacting this way to a toddler who is just being a toddler, and if that’s how you were raised and disciplined, then you should want better for your own children.

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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.