Good-natured prank or bad parenting?

11:26 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Paula Papen says she never thought her YouTube video showing her eight-year-old son Kenyon bursting into tears after she conned him into believing he'd accidentally bought an expensive car on Ebay would elicit such intense reactions.

"He gets upset sometimes," Papen said. "But he usually bounces back pretty quickly."

Papen says she was trying to teach her son a lesson about fooling around on her iPad and visiting internet sites without her permission.

But reaction to the video has been intense and intensely divided. Some say the video is just a good-natured prank. But others say it's bad parenting, blasting Papen and the video as mean-spirited and embarrassing.

"To me, it's cruel," Bob Leonard said after viewing the video. "Her son is visibly upset and crying."

Papen says her son Kenyon recovered quickly after she let him in on the joke.

"It was just a prank. It's OK. I got a little payback at the end," Kenyon said.

The family flew to New York Wednesday to discuss the video on the Today Show.

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