Most middle-class Americans these days, myself included, can struggle with feeling entitled. But as an adult, I can see it for what it is and SQUASH it, by giving myself a healthy reality check. When our kids start to act entitled, sometimes they just need a really good, concrete object lesson: in my own son’s case, I’ve had him serve putting brand new shoes on the feet of kids in need, and that definitely helped. But one Georgia mom came up with a plan to teach her entitled thirteen-year-old son a lesson that is resounding with parents everywhere—and going viral on Facebook.
Cierra Forney wrote on Facebook that her teen was “Acting like he’s too good to shop at Wal-Mart or making snarky comments about kids at school who shop at the goodwill and quite a few other things. I don’t tolerate that.” Forney told TODAY Parents that this entitled attitude actually started a while back, when she noticed her son acted embarrassed about riding around in her husband’s older car.
“It really all started because my husband drives an older car to work,” she said. “It’s a 20-year-old Honda and he wanted (my son) Anthony to go with him somewhere. And Anthony didn’t want to be seen driving around in the car. That was sort of the last straw.”
Fed up with the entitled kiddo, Forney came up with a plan, and then posted this photo of her son on Facebook, saying:
“So lately, my 13 year old son had been acting a little… entitled. Acting like he’s too good to shop at Wal-Mart or making snarky comments about kids at school who shop at the goodwill and quite a few other things. I don’t tolerate that. Today, he took his own 20.00 to the goodwill to buy clothes to wear the entire week to school. Whatever he found is what he would have to wear. He isn’t happy and shed a few tears but I firmly believe in 15 years he will look back and laugh at the day his Mom made him shop at goodwill. I want to teach my kids that money isn’t everything and if you have to degrade other people because of where they shop, then you too will shop there. Side note, I love the goodwill!!”
Forney’s Facebook post about her son’s shopping trip soon went viral; it’s been shared on Facebook over 279,000 times! She said she went to such extremes because she felt she needed to “nip it in the bud,” she told TODAY. “…he’s 13, imagine the things he would be saying or doing at 16,” she said.
Forney also said she explained to her son her reasoning for the Goodwill trip. “I sat with him and tried to explain that I wasn’t punishing him, but that he can get nice clothes from anywhere,” she added.
So…how did the trip go? Turns out her teen didn’t fare too badly with $20 at Goodwill.
“He got a really nice plaid button-down shirt, some Old Navy shorts, another Old Navy shirt,” Forney said. “I mean, everything he got was all name-brand. One of the shirts even had a tag on it! It was like a $30 shirt.”
She also said that although Anthony was “annoyed” at first, he was a “good sport” about the shopping trip and she believes her point is starting to sink in. Here’s to hoping when Anthony strolls down the halls of his school with his new threads, he’ll remember where they came from, and that it’s not where you shop or how much money you have that matters.
I think Forney’s lesson to her son was spot on, and making him take his own cash to the store was no doubt a great economics lesson as well. Great job, Mama — and thanks for sharing. I am so very glad you did!