After seeing the video of her daughter and the homeless man, the mother locked up her daughter's bedroom and put a sign that said, "Closed for the holidays."
A single mother went into a fit of rage when she saw the way her teenage daughter treated a homeless man she had encountered on the street. As the 34-year-old mother shared the story, she said she knew what it was like to be "at the bottom of society" after the father of her children passed away. "I was barely making paycheque to paycheque but I managed to get a degree, become successful and we live well," said the mother, now living a comfortable life with her two daughters, 16-year-old Jasmine and 14-year-old Jessica.
"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 f--king lazy and spending what you earned on substances,'" the mother wrote on Reddit. "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.'"
The mother thought she raised an empathetic daughter but seeing the video made her furious. She decided to dole out an extreme punishment to teach Jessica an important lesson.
"Along with finding the homeless man and making her apologise and help pay for a hotel room for a night for him (she paid £20), as well as signing her up to volunteer at a food bank - I decided to take her up on her offer of sleeping outside," the mother explained. "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..."
While her daughter slept in the tent, the mother slept in the room closest to the garden so she could step in if anything went wrong. "In the morning, she was crying about how horrible it was to wake up on a cold mat and get disrupted sleep due to birds," the mother shared. "After comforting her, I asked her would she like to do that everyday like the homeless man. It struck a cord with her and she was crying over her actions..."
Going a step further, Jessica decided to make a big meal and donate it to homeless people nearby. And the mother was "proud of how she turned over a new leaf."
However, when the woman's sister heard about the incident, she spoke to the mother and said she went too far by making Jessica sleep in a tent for a whole night. That's when the mother decided to ask Reddit users whether she was an a**hole for putting her daughter through a punishment like that.
Several people in the comments section agreed that the mother did the right thing. "Sounds like the apology and £20 wasn’t enough," said deed42. "Walking a mile in their shoes taught her empathy."
scnutt17 also commented and said the punishment "woke up some empathy in her. Good on Mom. Her kid was never in danger and had a luxury of learning a lesson in safety and from a place of love."
On the other hand, a few comments disagreed with the mother's method of teaching her child. "If you need to communicate with your kids via such a harsh punishment, something is terribly wrong with your relationship, and you should ask yourself how and why did it happen," wrote alteredxenon. "Also, the extreme reaction of the daughter to a homeless man sounds like a perfect reflection of her mother's general attitude."
ExistentialAmbiguity said it was "a little bit of a militaristic reaction, I would have tried more to dissect why she did that, rather than the immediate punishment, by the sound of it she is still young and not to mention by putting a young daughter out in the cold at night you are putting her in unnecessary danger. They were other options such as giving her chores, or putting her on restriction, but the punishment you chose seemed to be a bit of a mildly sadistic choice, in my opinion."
Cover image: Representational (Source: Getty Images | Photo by dragana991)