Teaching kids to speak their minds and be honest while not offending someone is quite a thin line for parents.
Kids in a lot of cultures are known to be the embodiment of God himself, mostly because they are immensely honest and innocent. They say things like they see it and that can be refreshing or offensive. In a story posted on Reddit by u/TillResponsible4038, they mention how their 4-year-old daughter pointed out something that ended up offending an adult. However, they chose an unconventional way to deal with it.
Their main reason for posting the story online was to understand if what they did was correct or wrong. The woman, who is a 25-year-old mother to a 4-year-old girl, was with family on Thanksgiving. The mother writes,"My daughter L was sitting with me her dad and her baby brother on the couch this was on thanksgiving my sister in law came over with her kids and husband. L was sitting with her parents and little brother on the couch when the mother's sister-in-law (SIL) entered along with her husband and kids." The aunt asked her niece L to go and hug her. As L walked towards her aunt and hugged her, she paused and said, "You smell." Her mother immediately asked her to apologize and told L that saying such a thing wasn't nice. However, L argued and said, "But Mommy, she smells like fish." Now, anyone in their right mind would get offended by this, and so was the SIL. However, L was just a little girl.
Before the mother could interfere, the SIL started yelling at the little girl. She got upset and said how disrespectful L was being. Just as L was about to start crying, her mother intervened and yelled at the SIL, telling her that she had no right to yell at her kids and that she should have taken it up to her instead. However, the SIL proceeded to say how L should be punished for what she said. However, the mother clarified one thing: that she would not be punishing her child for saying what she felt. Instead, she would rather talk to her about her actions. The SIL, upset about this interaction, left with her kids and called the mother crazy for not wanting to punish her child.
u/ccl-now said, "If someone smells of fish, there isn't a 4-year-old in the world that won't point it out. At least with what went down Smelly Fish Lady wasn't in your house long enough to stink the place up." u/arp-Sense-8505 said, "NTA. Sounds like she got embarrassed because she smells like fish." To that, u/CaptainMarv3l said, "If a kid told me I smelt like fish I would pray that I simply ceased to exist. Just a hole appears beneath my feet and I'm gone. How mortifying."
While the mother's side of the family understood and agreed with her, the SIL's side strongly shared the opinion that the poster was wrong not to punish her child - especially after she showcased such disrespectful behavior. However, like a lot of people from the comments section, the mother believed that kids shouldn't be penalized for telling the truth as it can demotivate them from being honest. Instead, they should be taught to be able to read the room and know what to say when and how.