10 Problems with “The Burnt Toast” Story
What a sweet story with a lovely message… NOT!!
Allow me to have a not-too-serious rant about the 10 big problems with this video.
- Firstly, if the mum had had had such a â€œlong and stressful day at workâ€ and she was so exhausted that all she could put together for dinner was jam and burnt toast, why didnâ€™t dad get off his butt and help her out? Presumably they both are working. Why is mum making dinner while dad sits at the table waiting to be fed? In the end, as I will show, his laziness led to guilt, lies and possibly even cancer.
- When the toast is brought out to dad, he doesnâ€™t say anything to his wife or acknowledge that clearly she wasnâ€™t coping. The child even says they were waiting to see dadâ€™s reaction, but even the child is surprised that he ignores her completely and simply talks to them about theirÂ day.
- Prompted by his coldness, or maybe out of fear of his judgment, or maybe just as a cry for help, the mum then apologizes for the toast being burnt. Why is she apologizing? I guess, maybe she is just acknowledging that burnt toast is horrible and she wishes she had more energy to serve him the three course dinner he is obviously accustomed to.
- The child â€œwill never forget my dadâ€™s replyâ€, and I wonâ€™t either. He straight up lies to his wife. He says, â€œHoney, I love burnt toast!â€ What is that going to do?? Either it will come across as some sort of sarcastic joke, again not really acknowledging her exhaustion, or worse still, it will come across as 100% truth. This will just leave the mum wondering what kind of weirdo has she married that actually loves burnt toast and if she accepts that, she may get the impression that in future she SHOULD burn his toast, as that is his strange preference.
- The child clearly sees through his lies and that night they decide to ask their dad if he was telling the truth or lying. Dad unapologetically says that yes he was lying but that he just did it to not hurt mumâ€™s feelings. What sort of lesson is THAT teaching his child? I can see inside their mind, Honesty Island crumbling like in the Pixar movie â€œInside Outâ€! He makes out that lying was his only option, but there were so many things he could have said to his wife. How about, â€œI forgive youâ€ or â€œNo need to apologize, I understand youâ€™ve had a hard day.â€ Or even, â€œI should be the one apologizing. We both worked today and you clearly deserve a rest more than me. How about I order takeout?â€ But no. He goes with a lie and tells his child that thatâ€™s the best way to love people.
- Not only does he admit to lying to his wife, he then goes on to lie to his child â€“ or at least tell he says something that is incorrect. He says â€œBurnt toast doesnâ€™t hurt anyone, but words do.â€ Wrong dad. Check your facts. A quick Google search would show you that the burnt bits of toast contain an alarming high level of the chemical acrylamide – a cancer-causing toxin. His lies and misinformation does nothing to warn both his wife and child of the carcinogenic dangers of burnt food and may actually lead them to eat more of it! Good one dad!
- Also, are words really that bad? They definitely donâ€™t cause cancer, thatâ€™s for sure! But even if they can sting some times, do we really want our kids to lie rather than say words that might â€œhurtâ€ people? Sure we want to teach our kids that hate speech, bullying and cruel mockery is unacceptable, but in this â€œsafe spaceâ€, politically-correct, hyper-sensitive culture that our kids are growing up in, do we really want to teach them that any words that might hurt are forbidden and lying to someoneâ€™s face is preferable? We used to try to teach our kids resilience to words. Rather than the unscientific theory that â€œBurnt toast doesnâ€™t hurt anyone, but words doâ€, maybe dad should have remembered the old saying â€œsticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.â€ Words may hurt someoneâ€™s feelings sometimes, but they wonâ€™t do permanent damage like break your bones or give you cancer!
- The video ends with this moral: â€œTo accept your mistakes and appreciate your differences â€“ that is the key for a healthy and long-lasting relationship.â€ A nice enough message, but is that really the moral of this story? Who accepts their mistakes? Does the dad? No, he is oblivious to his lack of helpfulness, he justifies his lies and he spreads misinformation about cancer. Lotsa mistakes there that donâ€™t get accepted. And even if we conceded that poor mum made a â€œmistakeâ€ by serving the Master of the House toast that was burnt, does she accept it? Well, she tries to with her apology, but her lying husband tells her that it wasnâ€™t a mistake at all because he loves burnt toast. Very unhelpful.
- And where does anyone learn to â€œappreciate your differencesâ€? Whoâ€™s differences? The differences between a lazy, dishonest dad and a mum who works hard all day and then has to make dinner for her family? Those are definite differences, but I for one hope the child doesnâ€™t learn to â€œappreciateâ€ them!
- Lastly, I have a problem with the claim that â€œaccepting mistakes and appreciating differencesâ€ isÂ actually â€œthe key for a healthy and long-lasting relationshipâ€. As most people know, honest and gracious COMMUNICATION is actually the key -and that is what this story seriously lacks. If the mum can be critiqued for anything, she maybe should have communicated that she needed help, although it seems the dad already knew what sort of day she had had. The dad should have communicated truth rather than lies, to both his wife and his child. And if he was so sacred of communicating hurtful words, he could have just shut his mouth, got off his chair and communicated love by actually making HER dinner!
The only good communicator in this story is the child, who didnâ€™t sit on their doubts about their dadâ€™s claim to love toast. The child asked for the truth. Those questions may have hurt the dad as they suggested that he was a liar, but like the child in the story of the Emperorâ€™s New Clothes, this child decided to speak up. It is sad that her good communication was answered with bad communication, dodgy justifications, unscientific information and terrible life lessons.
End of rant.
Don’t take it too seriously. 🙂