Should parents go on strike to teach their kids a lesson?
When Calgary working mom Jessica Stilwell got fed up with cleaning up after her three very messy daughters, she did what most parents wish they could do - she went on strike.
Stilwell, who is a social worker, went on strike on Oct. 1, not just out of frustration, but with the aim of instilling in her daughters, Olivia, Quinn and Peyton, the importance of hard work.
"I was setting them up for failure," she wrote on her blog called Crazy Working Mom. Jessica Stilwell speaks about her "strike" on the Today show. (Today show/NBC) "I fear we are raising a generation of young people whose attitudes will be 'What are you going to do for me?' Well dude, it's called a paycheck, get your ass to work. I want to end this parenting race with employable, successful, well-rounded happy adults with real life skills."
As the dishes piled up, crusted with dried remnants of dinner, and dirty clothes lined the hallways of her normally pristine home, Stilwell documented the resulting domestic chaos on Facebook and her blog. "Olivia held a glass of 'milk' UPSIDE DOWN and announced 'Look mom, we made cheese!!' I laughed and laughed and laughed. No I didn't. But I sure as hell giggled when she was dry heaving over the sink as she tried to clean it," she wrote.
Her children were exasperated and complaining that they were not able to have their friends over, out of embarrassment, Stilwell wrote.
"Olivia told me this was the 'Dumbest thing ever!! Kids have parents for a reason, to clean up after them'. I almost spit my wine out at that one," she blogged.
Stillwell's "strike" struck a chord with parents globally, many of whom praised her as their hero. The glass of upside-down congealed milk. (strikingmom.blogspot.ca)
Her blog has attracted international attention, and she is making the rounds on the U.S. talk show circuit. She has already appeared on the Today show and is scheduled to speak with Katie Couric on Friday.
And, perhaps the best result of all, it seems to have worked.
By day six, Stilwell's children turned on each other, and then caved, she wrote.
"The Strike is over ... All three of them apologized and did thank me for what I do," she said.
What do you think of Stilwell's "strike"? Should parents go on strike to teach their kids a lesson? Why or why not? Take our online poll, or add your comments in the field below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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