An Unprecedented Reaction
As she stood there seething, she couldn’t quite believe what she had just witnessed her daughter do. This was not the kind of behavior she had expected – especially after she had taken care in picking out something that she thought her daughter would love. She took a deep breath and held her tongue, not wanting to say something she’d regret.
But then, she had a better idea. An idea that would teach her daughter a lesson she’d never forget.
There aren’t many jobs that are more difficult than being a parent – just ask Haley Hassell. While she found being a mother to Presleigh extremely rewarding and fulfilling, there were times when she wondered what had gone wrong. She sometimes felt like a failure as a parent.
Little did she know, her daughter was about to push her into doing something that would have everyone questioning her parenting skills, too.
Raising a child as a single parent, as Haley soon found out, also puts a lot of strain on your finances. Apart from feeding, clothing, and educating her daughter, she also had to find the right balance between catering to Presleigh’s needs and wants.
She tried to treat her daughter on the odd occasion, and she felt guilty that she couldn’t keep up with what all of Presleigh’s friends were flaunting at school. But one day, she did try. And it blew up in her face.
Materialism In School
There was always a new and trendy item that Presleigh’s peers had that she didn’t – the latest doll playset, light-up sneakers, and a theme-of-the-week lunchbox and stationery. It seemed as if Haley could never keep up. So, instead, she tried to instill other values in young Presleigh.
She didn’t want her impressionable daughter to feel inferior because she didn’t own the hottest fad item that week. But there was one particular item that Presleigh had become obsessed with.
The Newest Fad
The item that Presleigh had been begging for over the entire month of December was a pencil box. It wasn’t just any pencil box, though. It was a “L.O.L. Surprise!” pencil box.
Haley didn’t see what all the fuss was about — there was nothing special about it. A few of her daughter’s friends owned the revered pencil case, so naturally, Presleigh wanted one too. Would Haley cave?
At the beginning of the school year, Haley bought all the necessities that her child would need for school. A new colored pencil set, a new bookbag, textbooks, exercise books – she threw them all into the cart with a slight cringe and checked the items off her list.
She couldn’t believe how much school stationery had gone up in price this year. Then, she remembered something.
The Beginning Of Her Woes
Haley paused at the pencil cases. After all, Presleigh’s current one was a little ragged. But she hadn’t budgeted for one and money was a little tight. She was a little relieved when she noticed that the prestigious “L.O.L. Surprise!” pencil case was nowhere to be found anyway. But then, she remembered little Presleigh’s face.
Presleigh hadn’t been herself lately, maybe she was nervous to start the new school year. Haley decided to look in another store, unaware that she was about to start a chain of events that could never be undone.
Excited To Treat Her Daughter
After two other visits to two separate stores, she finally found it: a “L.O.L. Surprise!” pencil case. She noted the price and her heart sank for a second, but then she snatched it up and paid for it. After all, at least it was a practical gift.
She was so excited to see Presleigh’s face when she gave it to her! She was sure she would be ecstatic. And who could blame her for thinking that she had done the right thing by getting her daughter a little treat?
An Unexpected Reaction
Haley called Presleigh when she arrived home, excited to hand the gift over. Presleigh took it excitedly, but when she saw what it was, her face fell. Haley watched in confusion. Had she done something wrong? Why didn’t she look happy?
Presleigh looked it over carefully, and then did something that left her mother absolutely floored.
Presleigh walked over to the trash can in the kitchen and unceremoniously threw the “L.O.L. Surprise!” pencil case in. Then, she stormed up to her bedroom. Haley, concerned and baffled, followed her. But Presleigh slammed her bedroom door in her mother’s face, yelling: “That’s stupid! Everyone in my class has that… I don’t want it anymore!”
Haley couldn’t believe what she was hearing! How could her daughter be so ungrateful? Seething, she knew she had to do something.
Hatching A Plan
What was even worse than her daughter’s attitude was that it hurt. All the effort and money spent trying to bring a smile to her daughter’s face had been trashed – literally and figuratively! She had always worked hard so that she could cater to Presleigh’s needs, and this is what she got for it. It felt like a slap in the face.
She was about to yell something back on an impulse, but then she thought of a much better punishment for her ungrateful daughter.
Presenting An Alternative
Haley calmly said, through gritted teeth: “Okay, that’s fine. Let me go get the one you’re going to use.” She strode purposefully back to the kitchen and pulled open the drawer where she kept her food storage items.
Then, she wrote Presleigh’s name on something and went back to her unhappy daughter. But when Presleigh saw the alternative pencil case her mother had provided, she went ballistic.
Presleigh’s New Pencil Case
What Haley had proposed as an alternative to the “L.O.L. Surprise!” pencil case was none other than a transparent Ziploc bag. As a nice touch, she’d even written “Presleigh’s pencil bag” on the plastic.
Haley recalls the reaction she received in a Facebook post she wrote about her daughter’s punishment: “She lost her mind! Suddenly the LOL Box she just trashed was good enough and the Ziploc bag was horrible… but it’s too late for all that.”
A Facebook Rant
“I told her to get the LOL out of the trash and we would be finding a child to give it to tomorrow… one whose mommy and daddies don’t have money for any school supplies or someone who may not even have a mommy or daddy.”
Haley continued: “I explained to her she’s not entitled to anything special and she is taking for granted how lucky she is… So, for now, she will be using a Ziploc bag and will personally be delivering the nice box to a child that could benefit from it.”
A Controversial Post
Haley ended her post with: “Maybe I overreact sometimes but I would’ve done anything to have all the things she does as a child. I truly believe changing your perception and just being grateful can turn around any situation in life.”
But what Haley never expected when she wrote her Facebook “rant” was all the backlash she was about to receive.
It wasn’t long before Haley’s post had over 130,000 reactions, 59,000 shares, and over 500 comments on Facebook. Parents who had read her post had their own opinion about the way she handled the situation with her daughter.
Messages of disapproval began to flood her inbox, and most branded her a “monster mother.” But that wasn’t all they said.
A “Bad Parent”
In an interview, Haley revealed that many people told her that she was a “bad parent and bad parents raise bad children.” Some accused her of publicly shaming her daughter on a public social network.
One user wrote: “I would venture to say it’s not over her making her use a Ziploc. But more over her blasting her child on Facebook, posting a picture of her upset and crying, embarrassing her. That situation should have been handled in private.” However, Haley stands firm in her decision.
Haley Stands Her Ground
Haley explained that she wasn’t trying to publicly shame her daughter; she just wanted to teach her a valuable lesson. And she had written her Facebook “rant” to let off some steam – not to attract attention.
But among the haters, there were many mothers who had read Haley’s post and praised her actions. They agreed that her ingenious punishment was entirely appropriate.
Countless users said that Haley had done a “great job.” One user wrote: “Pat yourself on the back, mama. She’ll turn out better in the future, mark my words.”
And another wrote: “sometimes you gotta teach them the principle of the matter.” But Haley’s way of handling her daughter’s entitled attitude wasn’t all her fans praised her for.
Above And Beyond
Haley remained true to her word, and she gave the “L.O.L.Surprise!” pencil case to someone less fortunate. But that wasn’t all she did. She looked up the school supply list for the school the recipient attended and bought a few more things that the child would need.
She carefully packaged them, along with the pencil case, and sent it all to a family in Utah who were down on their luck.