Every parent can identify with the amount of care and attention it takes to ensure their child grows up with the right morals and guiding principles. Some days actually accomplishing that is too much to ask (especially the younger the children are), but on other days, there might be a particular reason to zone in on what principals are most important.
For this New England mom, this exact moment arrived and when she took action, it not only left some shockwaves in the family but throughout the internet because of a post on Reddit . In this post, this thirty-four-year-old mom explains the reason why she was able to develop a keen sense of empathy throughout her life.
This mother’s backstory was simply put, but incredibly powerful.Pexels Source: Pexels
Their dad died when I was pregnant with Jess, and I had to work hard. We hit rock bottom, and I was barely making paycheque to paycheque but I managed to get a degree, become successful and we live well. Point is, I know how [expletive] hard it is to be at the bottom of society, and my daughters know this, which is why I was livid at my daughter’s actions.
And this experience has stayed with this mother throughout her whole life. The most important thing is that she wanted to impart this hard-earned experience to her daughters. But then she saw footage of her youngest daughter Jessica’s interaction with a homeless man, and what she discovered left her shocked.Pexels Source: Pexels
“Fury was an understatement for what I felt, as I thought I had raised an empathetic daughter,” she said.
Pexels Source: Pexels
Yesterday, Jasmine showed me a video of Jessica cussing a homeless man out and telling him, ‘Stop asking me for money, you’d earn it yourself if you weren’t so [expletive] lazy and spending what you earned on substances.’ When the homeless man complained about the cold (we live in NE England), Jessica responded ‘Yeah people camp for fun, even in December, you can’t complain, you’re living someone’s holiday.’
For this mother, this was clearly unacceptable. And parents know that you can give all the instruction you want through words, but sometimes only actions will speak loudly enough. First, she made Jessica later find the same homeless man and give him some money to help pay for a hotel stay during the unbearably cold weather. Then she signed her up to volunteer at a local foodbank. But even with the extra effort, even that wasn’t quite enough to change Jessica’s mind about her actions.Pexels Source: Pexels
So instead of giving Jessica traditional punishment, this mother thought outside the box.
Pexels Source: Pexels
I decided to take her up on her offer of sleeping outside. I locked her bedroom door so she couldn’t go in, put a sign on it saying, ‘Closed for the holidays’, pitched a tent in the garden and filled it with blankets and the sleeping bag I used when I was camping in Norway on a family holiday as a teen…
And the outcome the next morning was a lesson that this teenager will never forget. According to this mom, “It struck a chord with her and she was crying over her actions.” Because of the importance, her mother placed on this incident, Jessica even undertook cooking meals for the homeless on her own time. The mother’s question to the internet was whether she had gone too far, or whether she had done the right thing. But you might agree that when anyone is caused to see life from a different perspective and learn to have a little more empathy, it’s always the right thing.
We count this as a parenting win!
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