The argument over parenting and how children should be raised has raged on for decades. As the times change, so do the ideals and beliefs about what is and is not acceptable.
Throughout it all, though, I believe that some ideas must be upheld.
The subject of respect and how to punish your children elicits strong feelings. As a result, it’s reasonable that Heidi Johnson’s 2015 note still has an impact.
Six years ago, the irritated mother scribbled a few words to her “independent” son that went viral. Some people were offended by Heidi’s letter, while others thought it was priceless. Continue reading to pick which side of the fence you want to be on.
We do everything we can as parents to keep our children in line and assure good behavior. It’s up to you to discipline and call out your children when they misbehave, when they’re small and always in your sight.
When Heidi Johnson, a 33-year-old single mother, found that her son Aaron had been lying to her in 2015, she felt compelled to take serious measures.
Aaron, who was 13 years old at the time, had started posting videos on his own YouTube account. Things appeared to have swiftly gone to his head.
When Heidi asked Aaron if he had finished his homework, he claimed he had already completed it. However, Heidi discovered that her son had not told the whole truth when she delved a little deeper.
Aaron explained that he had a job to accomplish and that it was more important to him than his schoolwork. In the case of Heidi, though, he was stating unequivocally that he did not accept her authority as his mom.
The mother recognized she needed to take extraordinary measures to help her kid grasp what was best for him. So she took a risk and wrote him a letter to make sure he had his act straight.
Heidi wrote the following:
Since you appear to have forgotten that you are only 13 years old, that I am your parent, and that you will not be controlled, I suppose you will need to learn to be self-sufficient. Also, now that you’ve thrown it in my face that you’re making money, it’ll be easier to repurchase all of the stuff I’ve purchased for you in the past.
If you want your lamp/lightbulbs or internet access, you must pay your fair portion of the costs:
$430 per month in rent
$116 for electricity
$21 for the internet
$150 for food
You’ll also have to empty the garbage on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as well as sweep and vacuum those days. You’ll have to clean your bathroom once a week, cook your meals, and clean up after yourself. If you do not comply, I will charge you a $30 maid fee for each day I am required to do so.
We can work out terms if you decide you’d prefer to be my child than a roommate again.
Heidi snapped a picture of the letter once she finished it and put it on her Facebook page. The intention was to only show it to friends and family, but Heidi made a mistake and made her post public, allowing anyone to see it.
Heidi had over 100 new friend requests when she woke up the next day. Naturally, she was perplexed as to what had occurred. The photo of her handwritten message, it turned out, had gone viral overnight, with people sharing it all over the world.
Over 160,000 people have shared this.
The post had been shared 160,000 times after only three weeks. Furthermore, it already has 100,000 likes and 15,000 comments. Many parents received Heidi’s harsh love letter well received, and some even contacted her for parenting advice.
In 2015, Heidi told Today, “I had one mom approach me about her 7-year-old who was having some behaviour issues, so I spent several hours one evening assembling some tools and ideas that she could utilise.”
Many individuals sided with Heidi in the comments section.
“I really like your letter and the reasons for him being disrespectful to you!! I practise the same thing with my 13practiced son, and it appears to be the most effective parenting strategy I’ve discovered!!” one mother wrote.
“These kids believe they have a right to everything.” Another person said, “I happen to appreciate this small note.”
On the other hand, others were harshly critical of Heidi’s letter. Some Facebook users thought it was inappropriate to embarrass their little son publicly.
“You are a terrible mother and you should have your child forcefully removed from your home,” one user remarked, adding, “You are embarrassing your child and doing something to him that will last for the rest of his life.”
Aaron, her son, had a solid reaction to the letter, and he was displeased.
Heidi said how he crumpled the letter, tossed it to the floor, and stormed out of the flat.
The letter was effective.
Heidi expected a response from her son, but she had no idea her letter would garner so much attention. She wasn’t prepared for the negative feedback from her parents, however.
“It makes me sad at times that mothers are so ready to criticise the actions of other mothers [but] I can’t let other people’s bad comments hurt me or take them too personally,” Heidi told Today.
“I appreciate it when other mothers stand up for me. They’re the ones who have either been there before or are able to put themselves in my shoes for a moment.”
The letter, however, appears to have worked, and Heidi and Aaron have developed a contract with guidelines that Aaron appears to be adhering to.
Heidi’s famous note continues to show in people’s Facebook feeds, and parents continue to comment on it. Even though it’s been six years, Heidi’s message is still pertinent; otherwise, why would the note be circulated in 2021?
One hundred sixty-five thousand individuals have decided to share Heidi’s post as of Today. Many people are curious about the mother and son’s current relationship. Unfortunately, we can’t pretend to be up to date on any developments in the tale, but we hope Heidi and her kid are doing well!
Do you believe Heidi was being too harsh on her kid or was she correct in posting her letter online?
And would you like to share this story on social media?