When a young teen walked out of the room after getting into an argument with his mom, she knew she had to teach him a lesson. So, she wrote a tough-love note to her son and posted it on Facebook, but she didn’t expect that it would go viral and spark a heated parenting debate online!
Raising a teenager can be challenging for many parents. The teen hormones are raging; they believe they are “adults” already, and some might exhibit a rebellious side.
Regardless, parents strive to teach their children responsibility, manners, and good morals. But what do you do when your children don’t listen? It happens all the time, and each parent has to navigate this path based on their own circumstances.
This mother took an interesting approach to teach her son about responsibility and the value of money.
"I don't believe in regrets. If you have learned something from an experience that helps you to become a better person, there is nothing to regret."
Back in 2015, Heidi Johnson caught her son, Aaron, in a lie about his homework. As a consequence of that lie, she placed a restriction on his internet access. But like many teens, his reply back was that she couldn’t control him and that he was free to do what he wanted.
Aaron walked out of the room—an act all too familiar to some parents—while telling his mother that he was earning his own money now.
So Heidi wrote Aaron a tough-love note, which she then posted on Facebook. She intended it for only her friends and family but accidentally marked it as “public.” The next thing she knew, the post went viral. To date, the post has garnered more than 103,000 reactions, over 166,000 shares, and some 21,000 comments online.
Hey Folks! If you are even the least bit curious about the background of this letter, here is a link to what lead up to…
Here’s what she wrote in her tough-love note to her son:
Since you seem to have forgotten you are only 13, and I’m the parent, and that you won’t be controlled, I guess you will need a lesson in independence. Also, as you threw in my face that you are making money now, it will be easier to buy back all the items I bought for you in the past. If you would like your lamp / lightbulbs or access to the internet, you will need to pay your share of the costs.
Rent – $130
Electricity – $116
Internet – $21
Food – $150 …
… Also, you will need to empty the trash Mon, Wed, + Friday, as well as sweep + vacuum those days. You will need to keep your bathroom clean weekly, prepare your own meals, and clean up after yourself. If you fail to do so, I will charge you a $30 maid fee for every day I have to do it. If you decide you would rather be my child again, instead of roommate, we can renegotiate terms
Reactions to the post varied, though most were positive:
Heidi later took to Facebook once again—after the thousands of comments—to explain what happened so people could understand the context better. This post also went viral, racking up 25,000 reactions and over 1,500 shares.
Weeks later, Heidi uploaded photos showing “Aaron & Mom’s Contract” on Facebook, writing: “My son does better when things are written and he can see what his expectations are, as well as the consequence for each item.”
Hey folks! Just thought I would share something we have used at home the last few years (though it was a little more…
“This is a contract that we use to hold each other accountable in our mother/ son relationship. If you notice the lines off to the side, we sit and discuss each one of the expectations. If he has questions, he can ask. When he fully understands it, he initials on the line,” she added.
Nevertheless, most parents would agree that parenting is hard work. What works for one family may not work for another. And Heidi, like most parents out there, is doing the best she can. That’s what we ask of our kids too.