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Disciplining a child can be a tough thing. A mother puts up a Facebook post for her 13-year-old son to be a roommate, now that he thinks he is all grown up.
There is love, and then there is Tough Love. While absolute love is the common denominator between the two, tough love goes an extra mile to save any eventual heartache. It is of paramount importance to assist others in understanding the consequences of their actions and to take responsibility. It goes without saying that for a parent, tough love is a necessity in today’s world where kids have access to everything at the touch of a button. We live in a world which upholds the idea of freedom as a holy grail, but it is unfortunate that everyone has their own definition of freedom to suit their own requirements.
So while kids are getting influenced by the ideals of freedom and liberty in an impressionable age, more and more parents are facing challenges to make their children understand that freedom comes with a whole barrage of responsibilities. Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to put their foot down and say ‘no’ to their kids. A hectic lifestyle and immense love for their children have become the two nagging factors which are contributing to this phenomenon. With a thousand things to be done in a day, many of us notice parents complaining about situation at home going out of control. One Mother after having it all mustered up took the courage to confront her 13 year old son. She put things down in black and white, posted it on her Facebook page and from then on got dragged into the eye of the storm.
Heidi Johnson was busy teaching her child life’s valuable lessons in her own creative ways when her post on the social networking website started trending.
Heidi Johnson was busy teaching her child life’s valuable lessons in her own creative ways when her post on the social networking website started trending. Her hand written message to her son came under public scrutiny. She suggested to him that she is ready to start living with him as a roommate as he doesn’t want to be “controlled”. She went on to teach him a lesson on independence in the letter by asking him to start paying for all the things that he was easily getting provided with.
Since everyone could easily access her profile, she found herself being the centre of a heated debate. She always had a different approach to help her son grow up to be a responsible, grateful and humble human being. It was an arrangement which helped both of them and nurtured their bond. Aaron, the 13 year old had to earn points to lay his hands on electronic gadgets to access the net. The first thumb rule was to get the homework done and then to earn ‘screen time’ and also points for other luxuries. The other rule was not to keep the gadgets post the time window otherwise the access will be denied for some time. So starting from clothes to comforter and the net access everything came at a price. A lot of people had very strong reactions to the letter. Though most of the mothers supported Heidi, there were a few who felt that public shaming is the worst decisions a parent can make and called her a horrible mother. Not really paying heed to the fact that she didn’t know that her letter would go viral. The post was only meant to be viewed by family and friends.
If I look at the whole turn of events from the perspective of a child I might get tempted to think that Aaron is living a hard life.
If I look at the whole turn of events from the perspective of a child I might get tempted to think that Aaron is living a hard life. But isn’t it also a great and disciplined life. Aaron is already getting trained to live an exceptional life as discipline is the corner stone to a happy, healthy and successful life. Once he starts his career and really get out in the open without any support he would not be in for a shock. All of us know it is a slug fest out there and everyday you have to deliver your best performance, more so if you are in the creative field; which seems to be Aaron’s area of interest. (He is already a Youtuber)
I reckon at no point all this is ever easy for a parent. Heidi shared that she went to her room and cried after her son barged of the house as soon as he read the letter. She felt an incontrollable urge to succumb and give in to love, however she held her guard for the larger good for her son.
It is ultimately a great training to treat the one who unconditionally loves you (the parent) with respect. Many mothers are treated as door mats and Heidi by standing by her decision set an example for them. It is easy to empathise with the child but what about the care-giver and nurturer. This woman is a single parent with chronic health issues and even then she always has discussions with her child to make him an active participant in his own growth.
I don’t think it is a very exciting experience to slowly start pulling away the support system.
For me this story has shed more light on the definition of tough love. All mothers love their children. I don’t think it is a very exciting experience to slowly start pulling away the support system. To watch your children fail at times and to get it right at other times. In my opinion any mother who is teaching her child the lesson of valuing what you have, not taking anything for granted and to persevere is doing a fabulous job. In retrospect I can say in all honesty stay that I wouldn’t have mind some of this tough love. My sweet mother had to put up with a lot and eventually I got royally shocked without the comfort of her presence.
Since the day the post got famous Heidi is getting messages from parents for parenting tips. This is proof enough that she is doing something right.
In conclusion I’d like to share my favourite quotes of all time.
“The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.” – Nido Quebein
All you mothers out there; do share your opinion and views on what to you feel about Heidi’s tough love. Do you use and/or would like to use some of her innovative ways?
Cover image via Shutterstock
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