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Mom devises brilliant family rules for turning up thermostat

It's a saga that dates back decades. A struggle that pits parents against their own children. It's...the annual thermostat war.

Kids get cold feet and decide that instead of putting socks on, they'll simply punch the temperature up a dozen degrees or so to a balmy 82. Mom and dad glance at the thermostat to find out that their hard-earned cash is flowing through the floor vents so Junior can keep wearing his gym shorts and flip-flops well into January. Chaos ensues.

But one family may have found the trick to stopping this battle before it begins. Autumn Brandon from Clarkston, Michigan, posted a photo to Facebook of the new rules everyone in the five-person household must follow before touching the thermostat.

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Before adjusting the temperature, the individual must first answer yes to three simple questions:

1. Are you wearing a hoodie, pants, socks?

2. Is it November?

3. Do you pay the gas bill?

Simple enough!

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Autumn Brandon
Autumn Brandon with her husband and three sons

The mother of three boys hung the new house rules and posted the photo to Facebook on Monday afternoon. The response was overwhelming, with nearly 6,000 shares and more than 70,000 reactions — a shock to the Brandons.

"First and foremost, it was meant as a joke between myself and my kids," Brandon told TODAY.

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After her teenage son heard about the reaction online he jokingly told his mom, "Mom, that's just 33,000 people that see how much you nag us."

Some responses have been less than kind, with Facebook users questioning her parenting, but Brandon is taking it all in stride.

Autumn Brandon
"Mom, that's just 33,000 people that see how much you nag us," said one of Brandon's sons.

"My only regret was my spelling error. There is no autocorrect with a pencil," she told TODAY.

Despite the few negative comments, Brandon is amazed by the support she's gotten.

"I'm a humbled mom here in Clarkston just trying to keep energy costs low."

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