Parenting can be difficult for anyone. It's reasonable to think that a parent or guardian tries to prepare for every single possible situation when taking care of a kid, but in reality, one has to expect the unexpected.
In the past, parenting was more of a private affair where folks had to care for their children with few lifelines, save for some thick books on raising children and the occasional assist from a visiting relative. Social media changed everything.
Influencers and content creators who become parents tend to roll their new children into their regular posts and streams. That invites plenty of public comments and scrutiny from the internet, which can be an issue if one's parenting style is especially problematic.
In recent news, users on TikTok are engaged in a relatively heated discussion about "toxic boy moms" and how harmful that method of parenting can be. Here's what you should know about this disturbing trend.
What is a "toxic boy mom"? TikTok has plenty of issues with these parents.
For context, a "boy mom" typically refers to a mother who raises children who identify as boys. A boy mom doesn't need to only raise sons to classify herself as such, but mothers who lean more toward raising their sons than their daughters may label themselves as a boy mom.
The "toxic" part is almost immediately apparent by that definition. Mothers who explicitly favor raising their sons over raising their daughters already evoke a sense of favoritism among their children.
It can be especially concerning when that boy-mom toxicity is put on display on social media.
Folks on TikTok have expressed their distaste for videos posted by @annasaccone. In one of them, this mother explicitly "[gets] rid of her girls for the weekend" by packing their things and sending them away so she can have "the fave child" — i.e., her son — all to herself.
The comments section is filled with people dissecting her disturbing behavior with her kids.
"I'm dating a boy whose mom is exactly like you and he plans on going no contact with his mom after our wedding," one person commented.
Another person admitted, "I have a mom like this. We don't talk anymore."
People have also responded with their own TikToks. @manic.panic suggested that the boy won't be emotionally mature enough to care for her when she grows old.
Unfortunately, the mother in question appears to have doubled down on her overt favoritism.
Anna Saccone Joly proudly tags herself as a "#toxicmom" in her videos.
The OP of the toxic boy mom TikTok, Anna Saccone Joly, is a popular influencer with millions of followers across her many social media profiles.
Having previously received backlash for her content, she posted a follow-up where she openly admits that while she loves her four kids equally, "that last little boy just hits different." She even refers to herself as a toxic boy mom.
She ends the video by claiming to know that "[she is] the problem" for treating her children like this on social media.
However, she would go on to post several more TikToks in which she openly favors her son over her three daughters, accepting her role as a toxic boy mom all the while. She even calls herself "the new villain of TikTok," showing no remorse or self-reflection for her behavior.
Needless to say, her content continues to draw ire from other TikTokers. @alexfdamour suggests that angry comments are "[feeding] her ego" and firmly believes that "parents [like Anna] are exploiting their children."
When a mother like Anna combines that exploitative content with toxic parenting, that's a recipe for disaster.