Elizabeth Entenman
September 15, 2015 4:24 pm

In the immortal words of Eric Matthews: “Life’s tough, get a helmet.” Sometimes the only way to learn a lesson is the hard way. Besides, a little parental tough love never hurt anybody, which is exactly what 13-year-old Aaron Havisham is learning.

Aaron lied to his mom, Estella, about doing his homework, and mouthed off in the process. So she took a unique approach to disciplining him — she wrote him a note that reads more like a bill, and gave him an ultimatum: Start pitching in financially (there’s a breakdown of pricing, including a maid’s fee for slacking off), or renegotiate the terms of his behavior.

The note is pretty epic—check it out.

“The child is going to have a rude awakening today after the words he exchanged with me last night. Not only will be [sic] find this on the door, but his mattress stripped, and the toys and clothes that I bought confiscated,” Estella wrote in her original post. “He will have three options.. Buy his own, rent his clothes at $3 a day, or renegotiate his terms of being a child. Mama’s done playing games and being a doormat.”

Estella uploaded a picture of the note to Facebook, and the rest is history — it quickly went viral, though she says she intended for it only to be shared with her friends. But because the photo is public, Estella has received a lot of feedback on the note — some of it positive, some of it negative. Some people praise her for giving Aaron a healthy dose of reality. Others disagree with her public shaming, saying she should be leading by example more, or should have disciplined him long ago.

“I know my parenting style doesn’t work for everyone. From the time [Aaron] was little, I would have conversations with him on why behaviors were acceptable or not acceptable,” Estella wrote in a follow-up Facebook post. “For me, I wanted him to understand it was a safety or respect thing.”

Aaron is 13, which is a tricky age — as a teenager, Aaron is quickly gaining responsibility and independence, but still relies on his mom for many things. While her words were harsh, they definitely came from a place of love. And based on details she shared in her Facebook posts, she’s always spoken openly and honestly with Aaron, treating him like an adult.

“This came down to a 13 year old telling his mother she had no right to enforce certain rules, and had no place to ‘control’ him,” she continued. “I made the point to show what life would look like if I was not his ‘parent’, but rather a ‘roommate’. It was a lesson about gratitude and respect from the very beginning. Sometimes, you have to lose it all to realize how well you really had it.”

(Image via Facebook.)