3 Things to Learn From Mateo’s Mom

Have you seen the video yet of Mateo, the three year old who loves to debate? My friend Arnebya shared it, and I laughed and laughed, and I felt a little bit sorry for Mateo’s mom, Linda. We know that’s her name because throughout the video he says, “Linda, Linda, Honey, listen, listen to me…” You can tell at three he is already an old pro at trying to talk his way out of trouble.

I read an article yesterday about how the video has gone viral. Mateo and his mom have been on the Ellen show and the internet is all a buzz about the (maybe) future litigator. Of course as it goes with anything that concerns being a mom, people are on two sides of the fence about how Linda parents her son.

I saw it as a cute video of a little boy trying to talk his way out of trouble. Some people see it as a little brat being disrespectful. You can watch the video and decide for yourself, but here are three things that I think we can learn from Mateo’s Mom.

Cute or disrespectful? Here are three things I think we can learn from Mateo's Mom.

1. She lets her child be who he is. I believe there are certain things we can do to shape who our kids are going to be, but a huge part of their personality is something with which they are born. Mateo was born to debate. Sometimes this can be hard to do as a mom, especially when you have a child with a big personality.

2. She stays firm. I think from the video it is pretty obvious that this is not Linda’s first rodeo with Mateo. I love that she is unwavering during the entire encounter. She said no cupcakes and she means no cupcakes. She’s not giving in. I can’t say that is something I always do.

3. She never loses her patience. We only see two and half minutes of this encounter, but through the entire video she never loses her cool with him. She listens (Linda, Honey, listen, listen) to him and the case he builds for himself and his brother to have cupcakes, and she never yells at him or is short with him. I know that is something I can’t say that I would do in the same situation.

I know some people think Mateo is disrespectful. I think he’s three. I think he was born with a huge personality and the fight to go after what he believes is right. And I think that he was born to the exact mother he needed. Kudos to Linda.

If her parenting is not enough to make you love her, Mateo’s mom and dad have also launched a website, Mateo Wants a Cupcake. They are selling shirts with his tagline, “Linda, Honey, Honey, Listen”. The money raised will go into a college fund for Mateo and a portion of all sales will benefit the Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary.

Something I’ve said before is that we can learn a lot from moms that parent differently than we do. I believe that, and I believe there is a lot we can learn from Mateo’s mom. What do you think?


  1. says

    I freakin’ LOVE Mateo. I completely agree with you. And yes, she is a pillar of patience! I wonder though, if that may be the case because she is on video… Can she really be that calm with him all the time? I’m not so sure. She is only human after all. 😉 Either way, I do commend her and obviously she knows his ways. He’s a cute little stinker. 😀
    Elaine A. recently posted…Oh, This Kid!My Profile

  2. says

    I watched it and manage to laugh AND cringe. I definitely would’ve lost my patience, and I have at least one child with a big personality. I could probably take some cues from Linda!

  3. says

    First time on your blog, it was shared on FB! I agree with your 3 points and I never even considered that the 3 times I watched the video (and laughed my butt off)!

    Great reminders and Great points! I’m not a mom but Kudos to Linda!

  4. says

    My first thought, after I stopped laughing, was all of that and he still didn’t get a cupcake. Good for her. In some cultures, calling a parent by his/her first name is disrespectful, as though child/parent are on the “same level.” I can’t even imagine Mateo, after two minutes of listening to him, saying Mommy. Maybe he does. I have no idea. What I do know is that there will always be someone who thinks differently from us regarding parenting. The key, though, is listening to what’s being said, especially differing opinions, and adapting what we need to parent better IN OUR OWN HOMES.
    Arnebya recently posted…Saying Thank You for Not Killing Me Might Keep an Otherwise Murderous Person from Murdering. Or, How Not to Die When Visiting a Craigslist SellerMy Profile

  5. says

    I agree with you, Jennifer! She is so calm and patient with him and just lets him tell his side of the story.
    I giggled when I watched it – he was not going to give up that cupcake without a good, solid argument. :)
    Kim recently posted…LayersMy Profile

  6. says

    I think Mateo’s approach is refreshing. A mom who criticized Linda’s parenting couldn’t handle a Mateo.

    This is classic three year-old. “I can eat with a fork. I can use the toilet. I can put on my clothes. I have all the skills I need. What do I need from you, Mommy?”

    I didn’t find it all that entertaining, but felt that there is a lot of similarity between a 3yo and a 16yo.

    Linda has clearly taught Mateo that we can work out our differences if we listen to each other. Now he just needs to refine his skills. When he does, Linda’s screwed. 😉

    I sincerely wish I had some of my daughters’ shenanigans on video, but then, I wouldn’t be commenting. I would be getting a massage on a beach somewhere.
    Maggie S. recently posted…The Child God Gave YouMy Profile

  7. says

    This video cracked me up :)
    Obviously Linda has things under control. The kid just has one of those personalities that is going to take him places and some will love it and some won’t.

    Personally, I was laughing the whole time and I’m not even that fond of 3 year olds :) (both of mine were horrible at the age of three!!)

  8. says

    I love your take on this. Mostly because I feel the same way as you. I “shared” it with Mommy Shorts and she was hesitant to post it because she thought people would go crazy about the spanking that was mentioned. In the end, she posted it, and people went crazy about how she was mothering wrong because she let him be so disrespectful. Ugh. People. I find it humorous and entertaining. If my kid were that good at debating at that age, I’d record it too!!
    Kmama recently posted…TYVM: 3/24/14My Profile

  9. says

    I agree with all of your points, Jennifer. Good for her for letting him be him, and for not giving in. Obviously she loves her son, and she lets him talk and she is STILL parenting. He is cute but that repetition would grate on my nerves. It’s too much talking for me. I can’t wait to see what Mateo grows up to be like!
    Andrea recently posted…Getting AheadMy Profile