There are times for second chances, even thirds, or fourths. And there are times to call your kid's bluff, to let them know that "mama don't play."
It seems that a friend of Jen's had an 11-year-old son who not only was treating his younger siblings poorly, but told his parents he wanted to be their boss. The parents showed him that "mama (and papa!) don't play" by promptly pulling the newly made "adult" out of summer camp and making him go to work every day with his dad instead.
"He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone," Hatmaker reported. "He has to kiss the (younger siblings) before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid. Want to be an adult? Fine."
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Hatmaker then asked her readers to share their own "mama don't play" stories, whether they were the parent or the child. Since then, 67,000 people have liked or otherwise reacted to the post and nearly 8,000 have left comments. Since reading through all 8,000 might take a while, here are eight favorites.
1. Keep in touch
"I told my dad I was leaving, so he packed my suitcase and put it by the curb and said, 'Keep in touch.' I was maybe 8. I hauled that baby around the block until I decided to try to live in the playhouse in the backyard. Then I got hungry. Then I said I was sorry." —Megan Clabbers
"I lied to my parents a few times and when grounding wasn't working, they decided that embarrassment would. I was a cheerleader and thought I was soooo cool. My dad is an Episcopal Priest and one day he picked me up from a game with his collar on and he walked me up to a group of older boys and said 'Tabitha, which one of these boys did you say you liked?'" —Tabby Zgabay
3. I'm with the band
"My sister was snotty to my Mom and called her and pretty much demanded her by saying, 'Bring my band uniform to the high school' (the one SHE forgot) and then told my mom, 'Do not come in the school ... that would be so EMBARRASSING, so just wait for me and stand by my car." So my Mom did just that ... she stood by my sister's car ... in the Texas heat ... WEARING my sister's band uniform. All the kids walking out for the day saw it." —Jill VanLoh Duff
4. Do the math
"This isn't a parent-win, but I'm a teacher and it's a teacher-win. Students have access to iPads at school, but aren't allowed to bring their own devices (obviously, we have a little more trouble monitoring those ) Anyway, a 6th grade student brought his own iPad. I took it and handed it back like this:" —Michelle Watson
5. Winnie the Who?
"A good friend was getting phone calls every day from the school to bring an outfit because her daughter was out of dress code. I suggested she go buy a week's worth of the worst teen outfits she could find from Goodwill and leave them in the school office as the change of clothes when needed. The next day her daughter came home wearing a long, pleated denim jumper with Winnie the Pooh embroidery. That was the last day she was out of dress code. Ever." —Carly Dixon
6. Leggo my leggings
"After weeks of — ahem — vocal disagreement concerning shirt lengths and the tight nature of leggings, I offered to be the cool mom who would match her 11 year-old's style on a Sunday morning piece-for-piece in front of God and everyone. Maybe it was the hips that bore 3 children into this world, or the thighs that prefer chocolate over kale, but I only got down the steps to the front door before she maturely suggested that we both should change. Hubby was the only one disappointed I didn't have to go through with the thing." —Heather Donmoyer
7. You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit
" My adopted child was 12 at the time. He had only been a part of our family for a few months so he was still honeymooning and thought I was not who I am, apparently. He decided to throw a fit at the mall because he couldn't get what he wanted. I proceeded to throw a fit with him. I got ON THE FLOOR of a nasty public mall, arms flailing, feet kicking, screaming how life wasn't fair. He hasn't thrown a fit in public since. I win." —Elizabeth House
8. Mom screams for ice cream
"Last summer, I picked the kids up from daycare and had promised ice cream if they were good all week. Well, they were not super-great (demanding, disobedient, snotty to each other), so I said no ice cream for them. My 8 year old's brilliant response was, 'FINE, but that means YOU don't get ice cream either!' Want to bet, darling? I drove through Culver's and ordered ONE cement mixer (paid for double toppings, too), and ate that whole damn thing in front of my crying, screaming, hysterical sobbing children. It was delicious." —Lauren Nicole
You can read more "mama don't play" moments on Jen Hatmaker's Facebook page.