Mom criticized for viral TikTok about Christmas 'parenting fail' – Insider

In a tearful TikTok video that’s gone viral, a woman said her 5-year-old daughter opened the family’s presents while they slept on Christmas morning.
The clip, posted December 25, has received over 15.9 million views. It shows the 42-year-old Jessica Ciraulo from New Jersey addressing the camera while standing in front of a Christmas tree and saying her daughter “woke up and opened every single present in the house,” including “her sister’s, my husband’s, and mine.”
“You want to talk about a major parenting fail,” Ciraulo, who appeared upset, says in the video before showing a pile of torn paper and boxes on the floor that she says she woke up to.
“I was so looking forward to, like, a magical Christmas morning. I spent three hours wrapping these presents,” Ciraulo says in the video. “We didn’t get to watch her open a single present.”
Ciraulo told Insider she posted the video on TikTok because she was frustrated with her daughter for opening her gifts without telling anyone, adding: “I thought some other parents would be able to relate.”
In the video caption, Ciraulo asked, “What are we doing wrong here that our daughter would think this is okay??” She added that she was “open to suggestions.” 
With over 45,000 comments, the video received mixed feedback. Some comforted Ciraulo and left advice on how to address the situation, while others said it put them off having children altogether.
“This is so not a parenting fail. You cannot control your kids actions even if you try. You’re likely a good momma with all that effort. Don’t sweat it,” a comment with over 24,700 likes said.
“Honestly mama, sit her down, and then explain what she did, why you’re hurt by it and ask her why she did it,” a comment with over 24,200 likes said.
“Every day this app confirms my decision to never have kids,” a comment that received 13,000 likes said. 
After the video went viral, Ciraulo received her fair share of negative comments, she told Insider.
“I had people write me privately on Instagram calling me a narcissist for exploiting my children for views and comments,” she said.
Ciraulo acknowledged that including children in social-media content was a controversial topic but told Insider: “I wasn’t ‘shaming’ her in my video, though, and I would never do that publicly or privately. That is just not the way we parent.”
In a follow-up video posted on December 26, which received over 2.5 million views, Ciraulo said her daughter was aware she was supposed to wake them up in the morning. She said they didn’t “punish” her by taking away all the toys but did decide to donate some of them.
Ciraulo added that her daughter was not a “bad kid” but “lacks impulse control” and said she thought the “root of the issue” was the “amount of time that she spends on her tablet and some of the things she’s learning there.”
She told Insider she took the tablet away from her daughter on Christmas Day, as she was spending five hours a day on average playing games.
“It was teaching her to be competitive and materialistic in an unhealthy way,” she said. “She would also watch a lot of YouTube videos of other kids playing those games, and that was reinforcing those concepts.”
Ciraulo has over 66,000 followers on her TikTok account, where she regularly posts videos about motherhood, including day-in-the-life videos and parenting vlogs.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.
Correction: December 28, 2022 — An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the post Jessica Ciraulo was criticized for. She said her daughter “lacks impulse control” in a follow-up video to her controversial post, not in the original video.
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