Tough Love: Mom’s Letter Teaches Teenage Son About Growing Up

by Greg Campbell | September 24, 2015 6:45 pm

Too many parents believe that validating the feelings of their children is more important than teaching responsibility. One mother, however, laid-down the law with her son[1] and the letter she wrote it going viral.


Heidi Johnson posted a letter on Facebook to her son to teach him a lesson about tough love and growing up.

“Since you seem to have forgotten you are only 13 and I’m the parent, and that you won’t be controlled, I guess you will need a lesson in independence,” Johnson wrote.

In the letter, she says since her son is “making money now” he can buy back the items she bought him growing up and begin paying bills. In the letter she also says he must take out the trash three times a week, vacuum and sweep, clean his bathroom weekly and prepare his own meals, otherwise she’ll charge him a $30 maid daily maid fee to do it.

“If you decide you would rather be my child again instead of my roommate, we can renegotiate terms,” she writes.

Johnson writes that her son “threw in my face that you are making money now.”

In a follow-up to her letter, Johnson said her son earns money through YouTube.

Under Johnson’s new terms, that money will go to:

– Rent: $430

– Electricity: $116

– Internet: $21

– Food: $150

At the end of the tough-love letter, Johnson signs off, “Love, Mom.”

Johnson said when her son crumbled the note on the floor and stormed out of the apartment. She said he later collected items from his room that she had missed and gave them to her and asked what he could do to start earning them back.

This is seldom seen, but what we refer to as the “mother burn.”


  1. laid-down the law with her son:
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