I recently came across a video from mrbrown, or in this case, his alter ego Kim Huat. He spoke about when he was younger and got scolded for not doing well on his exams, but that at least his mum didn’t film his disappointment when he got his results. 

@sarahxmiracle

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This stems from a recent video that has been gaining notoriety when a mother filmed her daughter being upset while collecting her ‘O’ level results. Caveat: I haven’t seen the video myself. When mrbrown offered to send me the link to have a look, I politely declined and said that I could live without that in my life. I have unfollowed more than one person because I felt they did this too often for my liking. 

My daughter was born right when Facebook and Instagram were gaining popularity, so it wasn’t unusual to share pictures about our children. But I could never find it in myself to post pictures of her mid-tantrum or when she was upset about anything. And trust me, she got upset about a lot of things at that age. 

If we were out and a tantrum happened, my daughter would be calmly removed and brought to a quiet corner, where I’d talk to her to find out what was happening and why this behaviour was not acceptable at that moment. At no point did I ever think to whip out my phone and stick it in her face to record her being upset. Isn’t the point to try and calm them as soon as you can so it’s less traumatic for everyone all around? 

I imagine that if it was reversed and I was upset, crying and just completely losing it, I don’t think having someone filming me would make me feel any better. I wonder – do these parents just want evidence of what they’ve had to go through (which is fine but there’s really no need to publish it) or are they really just doing it for more attention. 

Credit: TikTok / sarahxmiracle

The girl in the video says she wasn’t being used by her mother, but has also said that people should mind their own business. Unfortunately, when you put your business out on social media for all to see, you’re also extending an invitation for people to form their opinions on your action. The better thing would have just been to leave it as a private issue. I’m also not sure how I would feel if my child had inadvertently become part of that video since it also showed other girls waiting to get the results. They should be entitled to their own privacy in a moment like that. 

My daughter features quite a bit in my social media but I use it to celebrate milestones or just moments I’ve had with her – I’d much rather remember these times later when I look back on the photos than relive a tantrum or difficult moment for them. 

That’s my point of view though, and I was curious to find out what my daughter had to say about it. I asked if she’d seen the video and she said, ‘It’s so bad, imagine being upset and someone is filming saying ‘I’m so disappointed with you but I’m sure you’re disappointed too’ but they’re holding a phone and looking at it while filming.’ 

But I think she put it fairly succinctly when she said, ‘It’s like she just had kids to get more clout’. If my teen can think that, I can only hope that no child ever feels like their parents are just using them just to get more popularity. 

Dee Lim is a widow and spends her days working in communications. Her second job is being a mum-boss to a precocious teen with ADHD, which makes life very interesting. She is constantly learning how to be a better mother, thinking about why being a stoic is not a bad thing in this chaotic world, and looking for new crochet patterns to work on.