For parents with teenage kids, asking their adolescents to tidy up their messy rooms often turns into an ignored request. After making numerous attempts, most parents just take it upon themselves to clean it for them. However, one mother from Indiana, who was done telling her then-teenage daughter to clean her room, found a creative solution.
In March 2016, Alice Velasquez thought enough was enough and decided to teach her kids a lesson on tidying up. “What do you do when you are DONE telling your teenage daughters to stop letting their room look like homeless people,” Alice began in a Facebook post.
What do you do when you are DONE telling your teenage daughters to stop letting their room look like homeless people…
Posted by Alice Velásquez on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
After numerous attempts to get her daughter to clean the room, Alice decided maybe it was time for some hefty dose of tough love, so she came up with an out-of-the-box idea.
So what did she do?
“You put everything (YES EVERYTHING) into plastic bags and you sell it back to them for $25 a bag (and they have to earn the money doing chores),” Alice wrote. “The best part? The bags were collected as they were found in the room-random!”
Appearing on The Doctors, an Emmy award-winning show, in September 2016, Alice revealed that as she picked up the stuff at random and put them in trash bags, this meant one bag might have had clean clothes mixed in with some dirty clothes.
Alice then left a note for her children on their bedroom door to let them know where their stuff was and that they could buy their things back from her at $25 a bag if they needed them.
Additionally, the rule of the punishment was that the money couldn’t come from what they had saved; instead, it “could only come from the chores that they were supposed to already be doing.”
Unsurprisingly, the kids weren’t as amused with their mom’s idea; instead, her solution was met with a lot of “protest.”
However, Alice’s post with a picture of piles of trash bags became a viral hit, amassing over 12,000 shares. The mother did earn some praise from social media users who considered her idea “great,” whilst others started to regale their own experiences in disciplining their teen kids.
“I did something like that to Josh. It worked for a while. The next time, I threw away some of his stuff. He got better….. Don’t give up,” one social media user wrote. “They say to pick your battles, this is a good one.”
Another person was curious to know if her daughter, Tahlia, had earned all of her bags back, to which Alice replied with a “yes” and added that her siblings also helped with extra chores to help her earn the bags faster.
Responding to the viral fame, Alice told The Epoch Times: “I was truly shocked when the post first went viral, but I am glad it has helped so many moms realize you do not have to be mean, heavy-handed or demeaning- you just have to think outside the box.”
She added, “When you respect your children, you teach them in kind to respect.”
However, Alice did face some backlash with someone even calling the Child Protective Services (CPS). Shortly after she had posted the then-viral picture, Alice took to Facebook to share the message she had received from one of the social media users stating, “I reported you to a social worker. Your neglect towards an obvious adolescent is child abuse.”
But for Alice, it was completely different, because what started off as a creative solution to get her daughter to tidy up the room actually went way beyond that. The idea taught the kids some important life lessons and also became an activity for the siblings to bond together.
On another Facebook post, Alice detailed all that the family learned, which is responsibility, organization, respect, and integrity.
The most touching part, which was also her “favorite,” was when her two younger boys, then aged 8 and 11, wanted to help their elder sister. “Her siblings asked if they could also earn money for their chores, and of course fair is fair, so I agreed- what did they do?” she wrote, “plot how they would spend their loot?? nope! they donated it all, 100% to their sister to help her get her stuff back.”
We would love to hear your stories! You can share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org