It’s important as a parent to set rules early and never flinch when it comes to enforcing them. I can vividly remember during my childhood that I would try to take a mile if my mom gave me an inch, and it’s much the same for many children the world over.
The simple fact of the matter is that kids will push boundaries where they can, and sometimes it takes a hard stance to let them know what is and isn’t acceptable before it’s too late.
That was certainly the case when one mom decided to pen a letter to her 13-year-old boy. Estella Havisham – as she’s known on Facebook – felt her son needed a lesson on independence, since he deemed himself old enough to make his own rules. Little did she know her efforts would see her go viral …
In the beginning, Estella’s letter was only intended to be read by friends. Unbeknownst to her, however, the “public” viewing button was still active on her Facebook account, meaning that the “adulting ain’t easy” letter was shared around the world.
In the letter, Estella tells her son, identified as “Aaron”, that he faces “greater consequences” for treating her like a “doormat”. She proceeded to inform him that if he didn’t start acting like the 13-year-old boy he was she would soon begin heaping responsibilities on him, including footing the bill for his share of the rent and the food, as well as any “maid services” she provided.
Read below for an excerpt of the mom’s letter:
Since you seem to have forgotten that you are only 13 and I’m the parent, and that you won’t be controlled, I guess you will need to learn 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 costs: Rent: $430, Electricity: $116, Internet: $21, Food: $150.
Also you will need to empty the trash Mon, Wed & 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 would rather be MY CHILD again instead of a roommate, we can negotiate terms.”
Unsurprisingly, Estella’s letter soon found viral fame on social media. It garnered more than 85,000 likes on Facebook, as well as over 160,000 shares. It was debated to such an extent, in fact, that Estella decided to write a follow-up post explaining why she had wrote the note in the first place.
“Why publicly shame him? I’m not. It was an accident. I meant to post to just family and friends; and yesterday I couldn’t figure out why I had over 100 friend request. I actually thought maybe my account got hacked or something. Yes, I could take it down, but so many people have already read and seen it at this point.”
It looks like Estella’s approach certainly worked. Her and Aaron now have a contract, one with rules Aaron follows!
It might have caused widespread debate, but who are we to tell Estella how to raise her child?
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