Parenting is always challenging, but the difficulty escalates when kids turn into teens.
Teens are explore their identity and test limits for more independence — and in the process, they often defy moms and dads. Even the closest families face challenges during this time as relationships shift and change.
Heidi Johnson found herself in a tricky situation when she confronted her son Aaron about not completing his homework. He lied to her about it, saying that making money he made from his YouTube videos was more important.
Heidi decided to deal Aaron a lesson in gratitude. Since Aaron was so independent now, Heidi decided to treat Aaron more like a roommate than a parent. She wrote him a letter detailing how this new relationship would look like, and it went viral for hilariously taking Aaron’s declaration to a literal extreme:
Beyond charging him rent, utilities and Internet, taking away the basic objects she bought for him, she also decided he was independent enough to prepare his own meals, clean up his own space and would charge him a ‘maid fee’ for failing to pull his own weight around the home.
Aaron at first didn’t react well to the letter, storming out of the house. But later, when her son came home, he apologized to his mother and asked what he could do to make it up.
Together, Heidi and her son came up with a detailed contract that laid out guidelines and expectations. It also ironed out specifics around chores, homework and other points of contention. As a result, communication was clear, no resentments simmered and mother and child understood where one another stood.
And more importantly, Aaron had a clear idea of just how much his mother brought to his life and home — and had a little more gratitude for it.