“Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”

When Dayna Motycka’s daughter faced bullying over a $10 Walmart water bottle instead of the pricier $45 Stanley, Dayna shared her frustration on TikTok.

The video sparked a heated debate about societal values and parenting.

Despite Dayna acknowledging her privilege, the question lingers: Is fitting in by buying the expensive bottle the right solution?

Her Daughter Was Bullied for Shopping at Walmart

For Christmas, all the other girls in her class had gotten brand label “Stanley Quencher” water bottles. The trendy mug is all the rage and retails for upwards of $45.

When Dayna’s daughter returned home from school after the winter break, she was devastated to learn her little girl had been bullied for buying her bottle at a discount store.

This Ohio mom wasted no time. She took to TikTok to share with her followers the “short and sweet” lesson she learned — and audiences were divided.

In the video Dayna holds up the $10 Walmart tumbler in question:

“This is the cup we got our daughter for Christmas. This isn’t the Stanley. This is a $9.98 Walmart Cup that she said she thought was cute.”

@dayna_motycka

I in fact did not keep it short and sweet 🤦🏼‍♀️ apparently needed to get this off my chest! 🤷‍♀️ #stanleycups #valentinestanley #targetstanley #parentsteachingkids #parentingtips101

♬ original sound – Dayna Motycka

Even though there isn’t a noticeable difference in quality — especially for a young girl — it didn’t stop the kids from calling her daughter a “fake.”

“And they made sure to let her know that this is not a real Stanley, that this is fake, and it’s not as cool.”

Dayna Motycka

The Shocking Part? Her Daughter Is Only 9 Years Old!

At such a young age, these kids are already tuned into putting others down for displaying signs of being in a “lower” class. But Dayna doesn’t necessarily blame the kids for not knowing any better — it’s the parents she has a reminder for.

The mother believes this sort of bullying starts at home with the parents. “This doesn’t start with the kids. This starts with us, with parents, with moms. What are we teaching our kids?”

Her message was clear: What are we teaching our children about the importance of labels?

It’s About Time to Break the Cycle

Dayna’s simple story grabbed the attention of TikTokers everywhere. Her video quickly received nearly 4 million views and over 18,000 comments.

“You’d better believe that if our nine-year-old daughter came home and, somehow, we found out that she had made fun of another girl at school for not having something name-brand… we would be calling the family,” Dayna shared. “We would be making her write a note to apologize, we would make her apologize in person because that’s not what we do in this household.”

One commentator was quick to draw the parallels between past and present…and her sentiment hit home for many:

“The girls who made fun of others in the 2000s for not having Uggs/Abercrombie are the moms of the girls making fun of others for not having Stanleys.”

@_stephanie_v_

Her “Quick Fix” Only Made Matters Worse

Dayna ended the video with admitting that even though she knew better, she ultimately decided to get her daughter the Stanley mug so she could fit in with the other girls.

Her response drew a mix of some positive praise and some raised eyebrows from users who were unclear as to what her message was.

comment on social media

Is It Fair for Her to Say One Thing — Then Do Another?

In her video, Dayna is quick to acknowledge her privilege. She discloses to her viewers that yes, she has a one Stanley Tumbler for herself and that yes, she can afford to buy her daughter the pricey water bottle as well — but that’s not the point.

On one hand its important that Dayna is contributing to the conversation and grabbing headlines with her wise words on the subject matter.

But on the other hand, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of parents who aren’t in Dayna’s position and wouldn’t be able to afford buying the $45 bottle. So what is the solution for them?

It Starts With you…so You Decide!

While is totally relatable that Dayna caved to the pressure and got her daughter the trendy water bottle to “stop the bleeding” (so to speak), making the immediate problem go away is just a temporary solution — and in some cases can even make matters worse.

screenshot of comment

The long con is helping her daughter build up her confidence and sense of self, so in the future, those kinds of comments won’t get her down. But the hope for tomorrow doesn’t have to be the reality for today!

Every day we face new situations and there’s rarely one right or wrong answer.

The fact of the matter is, we don’t need to die on every hill. For some of us, that can be a really hard lesson to learn.

Ultimately, it’s OK for Dayna to share her frustrations with her daughter’s experience of bullying and then still try and put an end to that bullying by helping her fit in. There’s times to fit in and times to stand out.

For this mom, she weighed the pros and cons and cut her losses. Despite certain convictions we may have…we should always work to judge others less. Take the good, leave the bad, and just try to do the next right thing.

And if that’s not enough, there’s always this Reddit mom, who’s fighting the system!