Mom teaches daughter a lesson in gratitude after her mini meltdown, parents are applauding

Haley Hassell of Pensacola had a daughter named Presleigh who was about to start first grade.

Like many kids her age, 6-year-old Presleigh was a fan of the L.O.L Surprise! dolls and had been wishing for a pencil case with them on it. Haley wanted to surprise her daughter with it before school starts, and ended up going to three different stores before finding one.

Haley holding a sign

Haley couldn’t wait to see her daughter’s reaction once she receives the cute pink pencil case that she had been wishing for. But as it turns out, the mom wouldn’t be seeing the kind of response she was expecting.

Instead of an excited shriek, Presleigh received the surprise with one that is quite the contrary – the child was mad!

Upon seeing her present, Presleigh “stared at it and threw it in the trash and slammed the bedroom door. She yelled, ‘That’s stupid, everyone in my class has that… I don’t want it anymore!’”

Haley throws gift in her trash.

Needless to say, Haley was upset by her daughter’s ungrateful reaction. However, she maintained her cool and came up with an idea that could teach Presleigh a life lesson.

“Okay that’s fine, let me go get the one you’re going to use,” she told her daughter. When she came back, she handed Presleigh her new pencil box – a ziplock bag. The child lost her mind!

Haley wrote Presleigh’s name across the front of the ziplock bag and said that it will be the one she would using from now on. She told Presleigh to take the L.O.L Surprise! pencil box out of the trash so they could give it to a child who truly needed it.

Haley's pencil bag

“She’s had her moments but never anything like that. I was trying to be calm,” Haley told Good Morning America. “She’s only 6 so I have to be flexible in how to handle it. I don’t want to break her heart, but also don’t want her to think she can act like that. It’s not how I was raised.”

“I sat down and told her, ‘There’s people whose mommies and daddies [can’t afford] to buy them school supplies,'” she added. “‘You have to think about these things before you talk and act like that, so for now, this is what you’re going to use and we are going to find someone who will be grateful for it.'”


She posted about the story on her Facebook and as of writing, it has already garnered 132,000 reactions and 60,000 shares. The comments she received from those who read it were a mix of positive and negative.

“I’m down for this. Yes it’d be easier to give in, but sometimes you gotta teach them the principle of the matter,” one user commented.

However, other parents were criticizing Haley, saying that sharing the whole story on Facebook and posting a crying a picture of her daughter was uncalled for.

“I got personal messages in my inbox saying that I was a monster mother … they were saying I was a bad parent and bad parents raise bad children,” she said. “I was just on a rant when I wrote it. I didn’t think people were going to share it. People were saying I was publicly shaming my daughter, which I don’t really agree with.”

Haley with mom at Disney.

Haley said that she and her daughter decided to mail the pencil case along with a few other school supplies to a 5-year-old girl in Utah. She shared that Presleigh thought that it was really cool and added that it gave the little girl “perspective”.

Sometimes, parents need to take a tough-love approach to teach their children valuable lessons in life. And that is exactly the route Haley chose when Presleigh showed her an attitude that wasn’t ideal.

Would you have done something similar if it was your child? Share your thoughts in the comments!