This mom decided to show her six-year-old some tough love when she threw a brand-new pencil case in the trash.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 20, 2019. It has since been updated.
Ungrateful children become selfish adults. This is simply a fact. Luckily for us, there are parents out there who fix these troublesome behavior patterns with tough love and important life lessons rather than letting their children grow up to become unbearable individuals. Haley Hassell is one of those parents. When her six-year-old daughter threw a tantrum after receiving a brand new pencil case that her mother had gone to three different stores to find, ultimately throwing it in the trash, the shocked mother decided to use the incident as a learning opportunity. She took to the social media platform Facebook to explain how she was able to control her anger and teach her daughter a valuable lesson.
In what she considered a "long mom rant," she wrote, posting a photo of the pencil case: Mrs. Presleigh [her daughter] learned a tough-love lesson today. I went to three different stores to get that LOL pencil box you see in the trash there. When I surprised her with it this afternoon (just knowing she would be ecstatic), she stared at it and threw it in the trash and slammed the bedroom door. She yelled, “That’s stupid, everyone in my class has that... I don’t want it anymore!” WHAT, STOP, COME AGAIN? Of course, Haley was angry. Not only did she spend her time and effort finding the gift, but she also thought she had raised her daughter to be more grateful than that.
The mother continued: OK. So by this time, there was probably smoke coming out of my ears and I’m trying real hard not to completely lose it on this kid that I have worked so hard to completely take care of financially on my own and make sure she always gets what she needs and then some. But I thought I had always taught her to be grateful and know how lucky she was but apparently sis needed a small wake-up call! So before completely going mad at my child, I check myself and say, “Okay that’s fine, let me go get the one you’re going to use." This is when Haley's awesome parenting skills kicked in.
She explained her ingenious plan: [I] came back with her new pencil box, which is the Ziploc bag [pictured]. 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. I told her to get the LOL [box] out of the trash and we would be finding a child to give it to tomorrow. One whose mommies and daddies don’t have money for any school supplies or someone who may not even have a mommy or daddy. 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. 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.
You go, Mom! What a great example of good parenting. However, not everyone agreed with her mode of instruction. She said in an interview with Good Morning America, "I got personal messages in my inbox saying that I was a monster mother... They were saying I was a bad parent and bad parents raise bad children. I was just on a rant when I wrote it. I didn't think people were going to share it. People were saying I was publicly shaming my daughter, which I don't really agree with." Well, haters gonna hate. At least her daughter learned an important and valuable lesson. After the mommy-daughter duo mailed the pencil case and other school supplies to a five-year-old girl in another state, Haley said her daughter understood the situation and gained "perspective." "Having a positive outlook can make or break you in life - I want her to know that," she shared in conclusion. "Nothing is going to be easy, but when something is given to you, you've got to be grateful."