When a hard-working Florida mom went out of her way to find the perfect gift for her daughter, she never imagined the surprise would send her child spiraling into a meltdown. After the 6-year-old threw the present in the trash, her fed-up mother used a plastic bag and “tough-love” to teach her daughter a lesson in gratitude. Did she go too far?
Haley Hassell has worked hard as a single mom to take care of her daughter Presleigh all on her own, making sure her child “gets what she needs and then some.” Although she was a young mom and single, Haley never let that hold her back. She went to school and studied hard to become a registered nurse so she could give her daughter all the best in life.
A chain of events that took place shortly after her little girl started first grade, however, forced the hard-working Florida mom to make a tough realization. Her daughter wasn’t very grateful for all of the things she had, which her mom worked incredibly hard to give her. So, Haley decided Presleigh needed to be taught a lesson.
It all began after Haley went on a mission, visiting three different stores to find the perfect pencil box for Presleigh. She found one she thought her daughter would love, but when she handed it to her child, she was met with a much different reaction than what she had anticipated.
Although Haley expected her daughter to be “ecstatic,” she was far from it. “She stared at it and threw it in the trash and slammed the bedroom door,” Haley recalled, describing Presleigh’s unexpected reaction. Haley said Presleigh then yelled at her, screaming, “That’s stupid, everyone in my class has that. I don’t want it anymore!”
That’s when Haley Hassell decided it was time for her precious Presleigh to learn a lesson, tough-love style. “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,” Haley admitted in a Facebook post about the incident.
“I thought I had always taught her to be grateful & know how lucky she was but apparently sis needed a small wake up call!” Haley added. “So, before completely going Madea mad on my child, I check myself and say, ‘Okay, that’s fine, let me go get the one you’re going to use.'” The fed-up mom came back with a replacement for Presleigh, which was nothing more than a Ziploc bag with her name written on it. Of course, the little girl was not very happy.
“She lost her mind!” Haley wrote, describing Presleigh’s reaction to the little lesson in gratitude. Suddenly, Presleigh wanted the box she had just thrown in the trash since the bag was horrible by comparison, but Haley wasn’t about to budge. “It’s too late for all that,” the fed-up Florida mom said.
Although she did tell Presleigh to get the pencil box out of the trash, it wasn’t going to be for her to use. “We would be finding a child to give it to tomorrow,” Haley furthered, explaining they would choose one whose mommy and daddy “didn’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,” Haley wrote. “So, for now, she will be using a Ziploc bag & will personally be delivering the nice box to a child that could benefit from it,” she added.
“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 & just being grateful can turn around any situation in life,” Haley concluded, adding the hashtag #UngratefulnessDONTflyOverHere to end the post.
While discipline is a controversial subject and some believe any punishment that shames or embarrasses a child crosses a line, Haley Hassell was met with praise for her parenting. Yes, Presleigh will likely be embarrassed by the bag and feel humiliated among her peers, but perhaps that’s what she needs so she will appreciate what she gets in the future.
Sometimes, a child needs to be made uncomfortable to build character and instill values. By definition, punishment is a penalty. It’s not supposed to be pleasant. When a child’s attitude and behavior warrants such intervention and the parent steps up to that difficult task, they should be applauded. So, let’s hear it for Haley Hassell. We think she’s doing a great job, and other parents need to be reminded to do the same. Making your kids happy, regardless of their actions isn’t love. Correcting their poor choices is.