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Mom pranked 8 yr old son with making him think he accidentally bought a car online......Do you think it is good parenting on her part?

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM
  • 12 Replies

When a South Dakota mom tricked her 8-year-old son into believing he accidentally purchased a $50,000 car on eBay, she couldn’t resist filming the prank.

And then, like so many before her, she posted it online.

Paula Papen, 35, addressed the flack she's gotten on YouTube for the clip, which features her son, Kenyon, bursting into tears and has received over 70,000 views.

“I heard a lot of things about my parenting,’’ Papen told Erica Hill on TODAY Thursday. “I think I caught more flack for a vertical video than even my parenting, but you kind of just have to let it roll off your back. I think, honestly, teaching your kids to have a sense of humor is pretty important, and teaching them to take a joke is a good deal, too.’’

The family had been stuck in their home in Hot Springs, S.D., for a few days around Christmas with the flu. Papen’s husband is planning to buy a fix-up car as a father-son project with Kenyon, so Kenyon was browsing cars on his mom's iPad. He found a Ford Mustang on eBay that he thought was $500 and believed he accidentally pushed the “purchase’’ button, so he shut down the iPad. Papen picked up the iPad, noted that the car was actually $50,000, and that the boy had not actually purchased it.

She then decided to have some fun. While filming with her iPhone, she asked him, “Why did you buy that $50,000 car on eBay today?”

Kenyon begins to cry.

“We’re going to have to sell everything!’’ he says tearfully in the video. “This is horrible!’’

In the background, Kenyon’s 6-year-old sister, Emily, says, “I’ll use my money to buy you a Hot Wheels!’’

Papen then tells her son, “Hey Bub. You didn’t buy it.” He goes from crying to relieved laughter.

“He has some emotional responses sometimes, and I thought it would be pretty comical,’’ Papen told Hill. “So I thought I would just record it mostly for him to watch, but it turned out to be a lot funnier than I’d anticipated.”

“I was like, ‘Oh, that was just a funny little prank,’’’ Kenyon told Hill. “I wasn’t worried.’’

Several YouTube commenters took issue with Papen's posting the clip.

“Joking around as a family is one thing, as a family we have always joked around and we love to wind each other up,’’ one commenter wrote. “But what you did to your son was cruel. When he burst into tears, that was the point where you should have put your camera down and let him know that you were joking. Instead of continuing to video him when he was upset so you could upload it to YouTube and humiliate him.”

“This is a classic example of how to teach our children not to trust anyone,’’ another wrote.

Papen doesn’t worry about lasting effects on Kenyon, who was surprised with a toy Mustang and another one for his sister at the end of the TODAY appearance.

“I think he’s just fine,’’ she said. “I don’t think it’s going to cause trust issues.”

by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
christina0607
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM
1 mom liked this
I can't be live that this is news....or even that other people have opinions on this. Anyone who takes the time to insert themselves into these peoples lives over this, is in serious need of a hobby.
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JulyBabies
by Platinum Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

It's one thing to play a joke on her son but when you post it online, your good intentions of teaching a lesson go out the window with me. I could understand her using this as an example to not just put the computer away if you think you did something wrong and come to an adult.

kdgord
by Silver Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM
The boy to me didn't seem like it bothered him now. My family completely jokes around like that and would have done the same thing. Maybe it's a South Dakota thing as I only live and grew up about 35-45 minutes from them.
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bellaamore
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM
We pranced my stepson at eight to think that we were actually 200+ years old and survive by sacrificing eight year olds.
We told him he was our 31st child and were very convincing. He cried and seriously thought he was bleeding to death when we 'cut' him with a plastic knife coated in gel food coloring.
Immediately adterward, he was laughing so hard he peed, and still to this day talks about how it was epic and he wishes we had done more things like that.
It was a Halloween prank because he was always saying how nothing was ever really scary and was 'for babies' on Halloween.
I wish we had filmed it. I'd love to show it to his kids one day and crack them up.
Pranks are a big thing between us in our family. They are fun.
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3boysmommaNY
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Its FINE! sheesh...I don't understand why its on the news! People need to get over it. Its a joke. Is there a parent that really has never played a joke on their kids? We mess around with our kids all the time, and they seem to have such a good sense of humor. 

bmw29
by Buttcrackncornchips on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:50 PM
I agree

Quoting christina0607:

I can't be live that this is news....or even that other people have opinions on this. Anyone who takes the time to insert themselves into these peoples lives over this, is in serious need of a hobby.
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ColieO
by I Rock on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Lmao. I think it's funny.
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MissTacoBell
by Taco Bell Princess on Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM
1 mom liked this
That's an awesome prank.


Quoting bellaamore:

We pranced my stepson at eight to think that we were actually 200+ years old and survive by sacrificing eight year olds.

We told him he was our 31st child and were very convincing. He cried and seriously thought he was bleeding to death when we 'cut' him with a plastic knife coated in gel food coloring.

Immediately adterward, he was laughing so hard he peed, and still to this day talks about how it was epic and he wishes we had done more things like that.

It was a Halloween prank because he was always saying how nothing was ever really scary and was 'for babies' on Halloween.

I wish we had filmed it. I'd love to show it to his kids one day and crack them up.

Pranks are a big thing between us in our family. They are fun.

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sarah824
by Silver Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

It is funny as HE** and I see nothing wrong with it!

Cherish77
by Cherish on Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:17 PM
I think its plain mean. I would never do that to my kid.. One time I actually did make an accidental bid on a purse I wanted. I bid $2500, instead of $25.00. I was absolutely horrified and angry with myself, thank God the person voided it, but Omg I nearly had a heart attach.
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