Later, the mom questioned if her punishment was too harsh.
Sometimes one's own kids can say hurtful things and it's up to the parents to set a good example. But how far is too far when it comes to punishing your child? Reddit user and mom Coolestthrowaway4 recently caught her 14-year-old daughter "cussing out a homeless man." The shocked mother decided to teach her daughter a lesson in empathy and understanding the struggles of others who are less fortunate. So she sent her daughter out to spend a night in a tent out in the cold. Later, she took to Reddit to ask if she was in the wrong.
After Daughter Mocks the Homeless, Livid Mom Makes Her Sleep in a Tent as Punishment https://t.co/bX3avIfhK2— CafeMom (@cafemom) December 11, 2020
In a post uploaded to the group "Am I the As*hole?" the mother described herself as a hard-working single mom. She had her first baby, "Jasmine" at just 18 and her second daughter, "Jessica," was born two years later. The woman ended up being a single parent, raising two daughters on her own after their father died while she was pregnant with Jessica. She was only 20 years old. "We hit rock bottom, and I was barely making paycheck to paycheck," she recalled in her post. "But I managed to get a degree, become successful and we live well." What she meant to say was that she knew what life was like when one was struggling so she expected her daughter to react with empathy. Elaborating the incident, she wrote: Yesterday, 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 fucking lazy and spending what you earned on substances.' 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.' Fury was an understatement for what I felt, as I thought I had raised an empathetic daughter.
The livid mother wanted her teen to experience what one night in this man's life might feel like. But first, they found the homeless man, and the daughter was made to apologize to him. She also helped pay (£20) for a hotel room for a night for him and was made to sign up at a food bank. Later the mom "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 I used when I was camping in Norway on a family holiday as a teen (aka really bloody thermal). I slept in the room closest to the garden for that night so I was nearby if anything was to go wrong. She was reluctant to do it, but chose it over the option of not having access to her phone until the Christmas holidays are over. 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. After comforting her, I asked her would she like to do that everyday like the homeless man." It looks like the 14-year-old learned her lesson.
"This afternoon, I came home from work to Jessica making a big meal to donate to the homeless people who live on the road near our house," the mom went on. "I was proud of how she turned over a new leaf, and after taking the food to the people, my sister came over." The mom continued: My sister said that my punishment was too harsh, and just the £20 and the food bank would have done the trick, and I was acting irrationally due to my past. Now I'm second guessing myself. AITA? Several fellow Reddit users in the comments said that she was, in fact, "not the as*hole" and had done the right thing. One user wrote: NTA. Sounds like the apology and £20 wasn’t enough. Walking a mile in their shoes taught her empathy. Another added: OP had the right idea and is NTA. But OP’s daughter seems to think that homelessness is due to a person being lazy. That should be addressed. Do you agree?