Mom's 'tough love' letter to her 13-year-old son is causing controversy and people are torn
If you asked a hundred different parents for their opinions on the best way to raise a child, you'd almost certainly get around a hundred different answers. But that's not surprising, really, considering that there is no tried-and-tested "right" way to bring up a kid, and everyone who does take on the task will almost certainly have adapted their methods according to what worked for them and their offspring.
Despite this, some parents' techniques often come under fire for being incorrect somehow - especially those who are perceived to treat their kids with "tough love".
Take Heidi Johnson, for instance, who wrote her 13-year-old son a rather blunt letter after he told her that he "didn't want to be controlled" anymore. She posted the letter to Facebook, where it very quickly amassed thousands of shares... and a lot of negative reactions.
Here is the note in question:
"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 own share of costs.
Rent – $430
Electricity – $116
Internet – $21
Food – $150
"Also, you will need to empty the trash Mon, Wed, and Friday, as well as sweep and 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’d rather be my child again, instead of roommate, we can renegotiate terms.
Many people reacted positively to the letter, with one person commenting, "I think that's a great way to give some pointers to an unruly teen. Probably found out now that karma has a habit of coming and biting your ass. Well done to the mama, it's a better method than shouting and falling out."
Others, however, were not as impressed.
"If the child can read the letter, get ready for a lesson in the law and how it's not the minor's responsibility to be an equal partner in the household," wrote another. "Of course, if you'd like a lesson in responsibility, there are a number of family attorneys who could walk you through the process."
So Johnson wrote another post clarifying exactly what she meant, saying that, "Sometimes, you have to lose it all to realize how well you really had it."
"It's out there; and I am not ashamed of what I wrote... I am not going to put my 13-year-old on the street if he can't pay his half of the rent. I am not wanting him to pay anything. I want him to take pride in his home, his space, and appreciate the gifts and blessings we have."
The letter was obviously intended as a hyperbole to begin with, but the message resonated with a lot of other parents - and apparently with Aaron, too. So, in this case at least, "tough love" did the trick.