Is Cheerios’ Gracie Entitled?

Super Bowl commercials always get people talking (if they are successful). I tried to closely watch them in between cringing at the slow execution playing out on live TV that was called a “football game” last weekend.

Oh, Denver. Bless. Your. Heart.

But I missed the Cheerios commercial. I knew it would be one of the most talked about commercials, based on the conversations started by the first Cheerios commercial with Gracie’s family last year. When I finally tracked it down on social media yesterday, I expected to see the typical racist comments among the mounds of praise for Cheerios representing interracial families.

What I did not expect were the handful of comments here and there from people who thought that Gracie was “entitled” and “bratty” for negotiating for a puppy.

Let me stop and say that these comments were a tiny percentage of the (largely positive) chatter I saw. I hardly think it’s enough to call controversy. Still, it’s something I wanted to touch on because I am currently living with a negotiator that could take down Jack Bauer #JackIsBack… or at least make him slightly crazy.

A few of these comments made mention that this was the kind of behavior they just would not tolerate from a kid. How dare she not be happy with a baby brother. How dare she see this as an opportunity to ask for something more.

There was chatter that this is what’s wrong with kids these days and of course with parents these days. As if along with the invention of Facebook came the invention of children testing boundaries and pushing their parents to see what they can get and how. And all of the sudden, parents are just rolling over and taking it.

And then that’s leading to too many selfies, and kids texting in all emojis, loss of the English language, and so on. Right?

I laugh because, for real, I was one of those people before I had kids.

Nuh-uh. You don’t talk to ME that way. I will shut you down because I AM THE MOTHER.

In my head, before kids, that’s exactly how that would go. Because obviously I would be the first mother to ever think of trying such a simple tactic with her child.

And now Karma laughs as she kicks my ass out of bed every morning. The negotiating starts before 7 am, and doesn’t stop until the final deal has been hashed before he passes out.

But I did eat almost all of my food for dinner, mom, so how about I have just a little bit of candy. Not all of it. Just a little. Okay, some chocolate milk, then. Ugh. Okay. Just regular milk. Okay, fine! Just a glass of water! And an orange?

And if you’re one of those people who just would not tolerate this kind of behavior,  you have far more energy reserves than I do. Oh, and if you don’t currently have children? Well, I wish you all the best and hope Karma doesn’t track you down like she did me if/when that time ever comes.

Now, I’m not saying all kids are born with this urge to negotiate and dictate every moment of their life, every decision they can try to eek themselves into. It’s entirely possible you have that child that listens to you and doesn’t test boundaries. I mean, you might have also birthed a unicorn, so you should see if you can make some money off of that.

But my kid? It’s in him. It always has been. I could say I’m just “not going to tolerate it” and then I would spend my days actually going crazy. Like, not enough medication in the world for either of us for me to try to shut that thing down.

Or, I can let him feel safe to try out these negotiation skills with me, and I can still be the mom, and still make most of the decisions.

I can still say things to him like, “Stop trying to extort me. You are about to lose your bean and cheese tacos.”

Because surprise, me-before-kids! You will bribe your children with fast-food TexMex.

One of these comments was from a woman on a Facebook page all about empowering girls and women. And I thought, if Gracie can’t feel safe to test out negotiating for stuff with her parents, if they’re expected to tell her to knock it off every time she tries to ask for something in addition to that thing she’s already been given, then how is Gracie supposed to learn how to ask for things?

When she gets to the workforce, and she feels like she IS entitled to that pay raise her male counterpart just received for the same level of work, is she going to have the confidence to walk in and ask for it?

This is a far jump from asking for a puppy, I get it, but I just have to step in and say that I’m not letting my kids “run all over me” when I allow them to negotiate with me. Do they get what they want? Often times, no. Do I take the time to listen to them, and talk to them about some ways they can get what they want? Most of the time, yes.

And are there some days when I’m like, “OMG. Stop. Just stop. I said go to sleep. GO TO SLEEP”? Basically every day.

Now, if my kids asked for a puppy when I was expecting a baby, I would pat their sweet little heads and try to buy their love with anything that doesn’t poop.

Sweetie, I see your puppy, and raise you a brand new iPad. 

On which they would probably learn how to converse in only emoji and take 50 selfies a day…. so maybe I see where this is going.


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  1. I don’t have kids yet, but this post made me laugh, smile, and nod all the same. Pick your battles! 🙂
    With that said, whew… puppies. They’re more work than babies!

  2. I think it’s sad that people need to nit-pick at every little thing. I know I for one don’t give in to my kids every demands … but I think this is just another example of something that people feel the need to speak out about just to be heard. It’s so silly, and half the time it’s non-parents commenting too!

  3. I just want to say this was the only commercial I actually found funny. The Super Bowl and the commercials were pretty disappointing this year. There will always be people who want to start drama anywhere they can. Good post, keep ’em coming because I’m about to be a first time mom. I have a background in ECE so I have experienced some of the negotiating but I’m sure it’s going to hit me when it’s with my own kid day after day after day. I’m with you, I’d rather them practice these skills with me and their dad then out in the world where they’ll most likely get screwed if they don’t know what they are negotiating for.

  4. ha ha… I was the same before I became a parent and ended up with a incredibly spirited negotiator. There are many days when I say things like “I will not be blackmailed”…and shake my head in disbelief of what life as a parent is for me. 🙂 I think you’re right on the money though about being able to negotiate, ask for things, learn to be critical thinkers… if they don’t get the practice at home where will they get it? And just because kids ask for things, and negotiate… doesn’t mean they get 100% of the things they ask for. 🙂

  5. Courage Lightflow on

    I’m the mother of a little girl who, when we talk about going to Disneyland/world, I point out the youngest in the family should be old enough to remember, and would she rather go to Disneyland/world like in 5 years and have no more babies in the family… or another baby. And another baby always wins out. Yes, even after her brother and baby sister and all the grief they give her, she chooses another baby over the idea of Disneyworld/land. So, my daughter would have been like “OH YES! YAY!” and making a bed next to hers out of a shoebox or something. 😛 However, as the mom I’d be like “fine, you’re potty training both of them” and leave the room. 😀

  6. As the mom of a past 2 year old lawyer at 2 he first word out of his mouth were always “how about” then at 3 came the “I want” both got shut down so fast your head would spin. Every I want was answered with an “I want gets you nothing” and in fact it did he had to learn to ask for things polietly and to this day at 18 when an I want come iut from his sister he immediately replies ‘I want gets you nithing’ even though from her it was a request and not a demand. Yes there was yelling on his side and the he was sent tk his baren room – things lost due to misbehaving add up over time when you cant earn things back because you wont follow the rules. We had to be extra strick with Matt or he would run our house and im sorry no 4year old is going to run my house. Now with Emmy we have different issues but didn’t have to go to this extreme. But I would do it again….. respect and honesty are the 2 top things in our house. And when you argue and talk back you are not respecting me…. now making sure I respect him in dealing with this wasnt always easy and I made mistakes but I tried…. and my way was so much better than the spankings his dad wanted to deal out. Now at 18 he’s learened when to voice an opinion and how to do so respectively…… now to make sure my 8 year old will talk with her friends parents when hey go to the Lego movie with his little sisyer. She tends to be very non communicative when arou d new people

  7. Renee Bergeron on

    Oh pu-lease, to everyone who thinks Gracie is entitled. It’s a COMMERCIAL, it’s cute, she’s cute. It’s not real life people, get over it! Entitled is the Dortios commercial where the kid doesn’t want to help until he knows he’s getting some chips.

  8. I didn’t catch it before. Nor the flack. I see this, and I dont think this really is negotiating. There’s no back and forth. It’s her saying “hey, how about this” and then he said “ok” But ha ha. is he gonna regret THAT in a few months!

  9. Melissa Marie Slater on

    I think people will find anything to criticize and complain about. It. was. a. commercial. It was supposed to be funny. Gracie isn’t entitled, because ya know, she isn’t really Gracie and those were lines she was given to say. It was cute, it isn’t what’s “wrong with kids these days”. Constantly critiquing other people’s parenting isn’t helping raise our children any better. I think people have been saying, “that’s whats wrong with kids these days” since there were “kids” and “days”. Every generation thinks they were better, more well behaved, harder workers, etc. I think little Gracie will probably grow up into a fine, fully functioning adult, despite that one time when her parents got her a puppy.

  10. Janae Astill Ku on

    It doesn’t bother me that she asks for a puppy but I’m super bugged that the dad just says yes without talking it over with the mom first! Why aren’t people complaining about that? My husband and I don’t buy the kids a bike without discussing it let alone a living creature.

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