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Mom Writes Tough-Love Letter to Son, Gets Fame-Bombed, Stays Calm

A mom dealt with her 13 years son’s adolescence “issues” in a strict but fruitful manner.

Heidi Johnson thought that he was a “big boy now.” Because he earns his own money now so he really should not have to follow the house rules and has every right to be independent. His mom responded with a strict but loving “Mom’s not a fool” letter.

Heidi Johnson

She posted about her son’s reaction to her Facebook post.

“He came home, saw the note, crumpled it on the floor, and stormed out of the apartment. I have always encouraged him to take a walk when he is upset so that he can collect his thoughts so when we try to talk, we can talk, and not just yell at each other. I do the same thing—sometimes, I just need to walk away and collect myself. I am not above admitting that. He was still livid when he got home. He decided to stage a ‘sit in’ in my room, where he did laugh at me and repeat, ‘Really? What are you going to do? You can’t take my stuff,’ etc.’He was asked to leave my room, and when he could be respectful, and I was calmer, we would discuss it further. He went to his room, and after about an hour, he had removed some electronics and items I missed that he felt he should have to earn back for his behaviour. He apologised and asked what could he do to make things better and start earning items back. He earned his comforter and some clothes right back. I did leave him some clothes, to begin with, just not the ones he would want to wear every day. He also had some pillows and sheets, just not his favourite ones.”

\While sharing this post, she neglected to make it private, and the internet’s response started flowing in form of comments and shares. Some of them included admonishments from strangers who thought she was not a good parent.

Now she had to deal with the adolescence of internet, which quite frankly is much ruthless. However, she kept her cool and decided to do another Facebook post to explain the rationale and goodwill cause behind that strict letter.

“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 do not want him to pay anything. I want him to take pride in his home, his space, and appreciate the gifts and blessings we have.”

She explained the positive effects this letter had on her son, how he earned back the things with integrity and a little bit of were not. She also shared her very realise and concise house rules:

1 – Do your best in school! I don’t expect a perfect 100%, but I do expect that you do your best and ask for help when you don’t understand something.

2 – Homework and jobs need to be done before you can have screen time.

3 – Jobs are emptying the trash, unloading the dishwasher, throwing away trash you make in the kitchen, rinsing dirty dishes, making your bed daily, pick up bedroom nightly, and cleaning your bathroom once a week.

4 – You must complete 2 chores a day. Each day of the week except for Sunday has a room that we work on cleaning. He has to pick two tasks for that room. For example, if it is the living room he can choose two of the following options: dust, vacuum, polish furniture, clean windows, mop the floor.  

5 – Be respectful and kind with your words—no back talking, no cussing at me.

6 – Keep good hygiene.

7 – Make eye contact when being spoken to, and be an active listener.

8 – Use proper manners.

The new order has strengthened their relationship. “You know what … this hasn’t hurt our relationship. He and I still talk as openly as ever. He has apologised multiple times … And … he is trying harder.” Her son has learnt a valuable life lesson, to earn a respectable way in life while appreciating the things he already has.

“This came down to a 13-year-old telling his mother she had no right to enforce certain rules and had no place to ‘control’ him. I made the point to show what life would look like if I was not his ‘parent,’ but rather a ‘roommate.’ It was a lesson about gratitude and respect from the very beginning. Sometimes, you have to lose it all to realize how well you really had it.”

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