"What do you do when you are DONE telling your teenage daughters to stop letting their room look like homeless people live there?" Mum, Alice Velásquez wrote in a post to her Facebook page. "You put everything (YES EVERYTHING) into plastic bags and you sell it back to them for $25 a bag (and they have to earn the money doing chores)."
"The best part?" her post continues, "The bags were collected as they were found in the room – random! So their $25 could buy a bag of dirty clothes, it could buy a bag of trash or it could buy their soccer gear. #MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavor."
The post has since gone viral, attracting comments both in support of, and against her actions. In an update on 12 March, Velásquez addressed some of the criticism she'd received, including a Facebook message advising that she'd been reported to a social worker.
"I guess the downside of posting my parenting choices and having it go "viral" is all the haters... I do not know when I last received such hateful messages!!" Velásquez argued that her parenting choices are "...just that, mine. None of you nasty people know me or my children or a single thing about our situation. She explained that her children are loved, well cared for and participate in a number of school, church and family activities.
"... so before you JUDGE ME, come spend a day with children who have been raised with respect, who have chores and responsibilities and who have parents that take an ACTIVE role in parenting and then formed your INFORMED OPINION," she wrote.
Velásquez justified her approach stating, "When I asked her (repeatedly) to clean her room, I expect to be respected in my request. If her teacher or boss asks her to complete a task and she refuses, there will be consequences. That is life, and that is how we all contribute to society."
Along with the criticism, however, Velásquez has also received messages of support, other parents praising her "tough love". "Is it wrong of me to laugh this hard at your solution??? Genius!!" said one comment. "I think what you did is very smart," read another. "I could have used that idea when I was raising my 2 teenage girls."
So, has her daughter earned any of the bags back yet? In a further update, Velásquez posted "YES! She has, and her super siblings all volunteered for extra chores to help her earn faster too. SO not only was this a lesson for my oldest daughter, but a great family building exercise too."
"... judge me all you will, but I personally am very proud of the AMAZING, TALENTED, GENEROUS, RESPONSIBLE, CLEVER, GENUINE, LOVING, GIVING kids I am RAISING- *note* I said raising, not throwing to the wolves to fend for themselves or left to figure the world out alone. The reason this has garnished over 100k shares and easily 10x that views/likes is because there are a lot of parents out there just like me who do not think that corporal punishment is the correct solution- there is a difference between fear and respect; so we look for solutions that do not provoke a fight or breed animosity, a creative solution that can later be looked back at and laughed at by all parties, but yet instills lessons that will stay with both parties and hopefully be a memory, learning opportunity and bonding experience all rolled into one. I stood by it when I posted it and I stand even taller by it now that I have seen the results in my children."
What do you think? Would you try this method with your own kids?