Back in 2015, a single mom named Heidi Johnson knew she had to do something drastic to get her son to obey her and respect her. At the time, Aaron was 13 years old. He didn’t think he had to respect his mother’s rules, and he ignored requests to do his chores and homework before using his electronic devices.

Aaron is a YouTuber, and he threw the fact that he was making money in his mom’s face as if the little bit of money he made from his videos meant that he did not need to respect her as his parent. That’s when Heidi had enough. She needed to teach him a tough love lesson about life.

While Aaron was at school, Heidi wrote a letter to her son. She wrote, “Since you seem to have forgotten that you are only 13, and I’m the parent, and that you won’t be controlled, I guess you will need a lesson in independence.” She went on to explain that since he is making money, he can pay her back for the things she bought for him, basic necessities like lightbulbs and clothing. She also gave him a list of expenses he owes her, such as rent and electricity.

Heidi went on to give her son several chores he needed to do in order to avoid a maid fee. She ended the letter by writing, “If you decide you would rather be my child again, instead of roommate, we can renegotiate terms.”

After writing the note, Heidi took a picture of it, posted it on Facebook and then taped it to her son’s bedroom door. She thought she had set the Facebook post to only make it visible to friends and family. She had accidentally make her post public instead. She only realized that when she had 100 new Facebook requests the next day. Her post about her note to her son had gone viral.

Not everyone was a fan of Heidi’s tough love, but she explained in an update to her original post that she was never trying to get her son to pay her for anything.

“I am not trying to make a buck off my kid; otherwise I would have sold him to the circus a long time ago ;) This came down to a 13 year old telling his mother she had no right to enforce certain rules, and had no place to “control” him. I made the point to show what life would look like if I was not his “parent”, but rather a “roommate”. It was a lesson about gratitude and respect from the very beginning.”

Initially, Aaron was upset by the note, which is completely understandable. “He crumpled the letter, threw it to the floor and stormed out of the apartment.” When he returned, he sat in his mom’s room and basically told her that she couldn’t enforce anything she had written in the letter; however, an hour after he returned to his room, he seemed to have a change of heart. He actually removed his TV and a few other things he thought he should have to earn back. Then he said he was sorry and asked his mom what he could do to help.

It has been six years since Heidi wrote this letter to her son, but the message still resonates. People are still reacting to, commenting on and sharing Heidi’s letter.

Have you ever had to send your child a tough love message like Heidi did? How do you think your teenagers would react if they came home to find a note taped to their door listing chores and expenses?