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Pop Culture

6-year-old girl absolutely slays as a tiny Viola Davis, Sha'Carri Richardson and more

little girl dresses up as viola davia

Rosie White, as Viola Davis, as Annalise Keating.

One mommy-daughter duo is winning hearts by taking dress-up to a whole new level.

Six-year-old Rosie White is going viral and making headlines for sharing the inspiring stories of Black entertainers, leaders and history makers—using spot-on costumes made by her mother Kenya White, along with her own special dash of Black girl magic.

You might have recently seen Rosie (@go_rosie_grow) boldly channeling multiaward-winning actress Viola Davis, complete with that meme-worthy “grabbing of the purse stare down” we all know and love from “How to Get Away With Murder.”

I mean, where does Davis end and White begin?! Someone give this child an Emmy!

Even Davis saw the video and reposted it. So I’m sure that’s award enough for now.


As Kenya recalls in a Scary Mommy interview, the idea behind this treasure trove of uncanny impressions came when Rosie was just 3 years old. After her daughter was given a printout about Rosa Parks in preschool, Kenya discovered that little Rosie completely memorized all of the information and could recite back what she had just read.

Inspired, Kenya grabbed a makeshift Rosa Parks costume and grabbed her phone, telling her daughter to “do it again!” And from there, a blend of history, creativity and pure joy ensued.

Since then, Rosie has created hundreds (yes, hundreds) of videos featuring prominent Black figures, and received lots of love for her fun personality and God-given talent. Scary Mommy reported that Whoopi Goldberg sent a box of books and Erykah Badu started following her.

Some of my personal favorites are when Rosie pretends to be male figures. Cause, well … little kids in fake mustaches. That’s a level of adorable that can’t be beat.

Her pop star and diva ones are quite amazing too.

*standing ovation*

For Black History Month, Rosie and Kenya are doubling down and releasing a video every Monday and Thursday. Thursdays honor Black inventors, like Sarah Boone, who improved the ironing board, George Crum, creator of the potato chip, Garret Morgan, inventor of the traffic light.

Seriously, if this child doesn’t become an actress, I hope she becomes a history teacher because I am learning so much. And having fun while doing so.

A lot of inspiration also comes from current events, like track star Sha’Carri Richardson following her unfair disqualification from the Olympic Games.

Her tiny tattoos! I can't even...

And though occasionally Rosie will delve into more serious stories, like Breonna Taylor, Kenya says that the tone is consciously celebratory.

“When I was six years old I learned about the negativity of Black history,” Kenya told Scary Mommy. “I didn’t want to teach her such darkness about Black history. Right now it’s all positivity.”

Positivity, yes. But also inspiration. Especially to young Black girls. Kenya told Good Morning America, the message behind these videos is that “you can do anything you want. You can be Kamala Harris, you can be Michelle Obama, you can be beyond those ladies. Whatever your heart desires, whatever you want to do, whether you're an artist or dancer, into politics, just be the best you you can be."

That includes GMA co-anchor Robin Robertson, who now has a “mini-me,” thanks to Rosie.

Next month is Women’s History Month, and we are all very excited to see what Rosie and Kenya come up with. Perhaps Biden’s Supreme Court nominee? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, sifting through these videos is more than enough to make you, to quote The Lovin' Spoonful, “believe in magic in a young girl’s heart.”

Way to go Rosie. Following your bliss reminds us all to do the same.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.




Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?


If all of earth's land ice melted, it would be nothing short of disastrous.

And that's putting it lightly.

This video by Business Insider Science (seen below) depicts exactly what our coastlines would look like if all the land ice melted. And spoiler alert: It isn't great.

Lots of European cities like, Brussels and Venice, would be basically underwater.

In Africa and the Middle East? Dakar, Accra, Jeddah — gone.

Millions of people in Asia, in cities like Mumbai, Beijing, and Tokyo, would be uprooted and have to move inland.

South America would say goodbye to cities like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

And in the U.S., we'd watch places like Houston, San Francisco, and New York City — not to mention the entire state of Florida — slowly disappear into the sea.

All GIFs via Business Insider Science/YouTube.

Business Insider based these visuals off National Geographic's estimation that sea levels will rise 216 feet (!) if all of earth's land ice melted into our oceans.

There's even a tool where you can take a detailed look at how your community could be affected by rising seas, for better or worse.

Although ... looking at these maps, it's hard to imagine "for better" is a likely outcome for many of us.

Much of America's most populated regions would be severely affected by rising sea levels, as you'll notice exploring the map, created by Alex Tingle using data provided by NASA.

Take, for instance, the West Coast. (Goodbye, San Fran!)

Or the East Coast. (See ya, Philly!)

And the Gulf Coast. (RIP, Bourbon Street!)

I bring up the topic not just for funsies, of course, but because the maps above are real possibilities.

How? Climate change.

As we continue to burn fossil fuels for energy and emit carbon into our atmosphere, the planet gets warmer and warmer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, means melted ice.

A study published this past September by researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany found that if we don't change our ways, there's definitely enough fossil fuel resources available for us to completely melt the Antarctic ice sheet.

Basically, the self-inflicted disaster you see above is certainly within the realm of possibility.

"This would not happen overnight, but the mind-boggling point is that our actions today are changing the face of planet Earth as we know it and will continue to do so for tens of thousands of years to come," said lead author of the study Ricarda Winkelmann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

If we want to stop this from happening," she says, "we need to keep coal, gas, and oil in the ground."

The good news? Most of our coastlines are still intact! And they can stay that way, too — if we act now.

World leaders are finallystarting to treat climate change like the global crisis that it is — and you can help get the point across to them, too.

Check out Business Insider's video below:

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Jimmy Kimmel Live!/Youtube

They're our favorite famous friend duo.

Selena Gomez appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”last night—not to chat with Kimmel himself, who was off, but her “Only Murders in the Buildingco-star Martin Short filling in as guest host. And the interview was a 13 minute glimpse into quite the endearing cross-generational friendship…complete with an adorable mini makeover.

Discussion topics were abound—everything from the “Wizards of Waverly Place” reboot to Molly Shannon farting in Meryl Streep’s face while filming “Only Murders” season four. Yes, really.

But one of the many highlights of the segment was when Short reflected on their very first meeting, which happened to be their first day working together.


Short recalled being worried that Gomez, with her early fame and millions of followers, might be a “nightmare” on set, but was “already in love” with her from their first hello, and called her “the biggest pro” he had ever worked with.

In turn, Gomez shared how nervous she was to be working with “two icons” (Martin Short and Steven Martin, that is), and one day mustered up the courage to ask if she could sit next to them during a break to feel less “lonely.”

“Ever since then, my chair has always been in the middle of theirs,” Gomez said.

This moment happens around the 2:20 mark. Check it out below.

Then Gomez gives Short some contouring with her makeup line, Rare Beauty. Gomez giggling while instructing Short to give a “kissy face” is everything.

Honestly the whole thing is just filled with so much mutual adoration, that fans couldn’t help but gush.

“This was unbelievably sweet.”

“One of the best things about this show is that Selena’s involvement has introduced so many young people to the genius of Steve Martin and Marty Short and given them this huge late-career revival.”

“Idk what it is, but this interview was just so…pleasant. Like it was thoroughly enjoyable and it went by so quickly.”

“The bond between her and Steve/Martin is real.”

“Martin making her laugh constantly makes me happy. Everybody deserves a good laugh .”

OMG, this has got to be one of the most heartwarming interactions between host and guest I have ever seen on a talk show.

And perhaps this was the best comment of all:

“This friendship of theirs is profound and adorable, and proof that it doesn't matter what our differences are, we can all be better to each other, and for each other. Age is just a number, and it shouldn't be a cause for societal separation. People like to call this strange crew weird, and it's great for jokes, but there's nothing weird about mutual admiration, love, and respect. We would all be much better off with more of those things in our lives.”

via Pixabay

A middle-aged woman holding a baby.

A story that recently went viral on Reddit’s AITA forum asks an important question: What is a parent’s role in taking care of their grandchildren? The story is even further complicated because the woman at the center of the controversy is a stepparent.

The woman, 38, met her husband Sam, 47, ten years ago, when his daughter, Leah, 25, was 15. Five years ago, the couple got married after Leah had moved out to go to college.

Leah’s mom passed away when she was 10.

Last year, Leah became pregnant, and she wanted to keep the baby, but her boyfriend didn’t. After the disagreement, the boyfriend broke up with her. This forced Leah to move back home because she couldn’t afford to be a single parent and live alone on a teacher’s salary.


Leah’s story is experienced by many young mothers who are facing difficulties. The father isn’t involved in the baby’s life as a caretaker or financially. Sadly, 33% of all children in the U.S. are born without their biological fathers living in the home.

babies, young mother, moms

via Alexander Grey/Unsplash

The new mother is a teacher and can’t afford to live on her own with a child. A recent study found that out of the top 50 U.S. cities, Pittsburgh is the only one where a new teacher could afford rent.

The stressors of taking care of the baby made Leah realize she needed help.

“But once she had the baby around 4 months back, Leah seemed to realize having a baby is not the sunshine and rainbows she thought it was,” the woman wrote on Reddit. “She barely got any sleep during the last four months. All the while Sam was helping her with the baby while I did almost all chores myself.”

“Now her leave is ending. She did not want to leave the baby at daycare or with a nanny,” the woman continued. “Sam and I both work as well.”

Leah asked her stepmother if she would stay home with the baby. The stepmother said no because she never wanted to have a baby and she has a job. “I asked why Leah can't stay home with the baby herself,” the woman wrote. “She said how she was young and had to build a career. I said many people take breaks to raise kids, and she broke down crying about how she was so tired all the time being a mom and needed something else in her life too.”

babies, stemoms, reddit

​A middle-aged woman with a baby. 

via Pixabay

After the woman told her stepdaughter no, her husband pressured her to stay home with the baby. But she refused to give up her job to raise her stepdaughter’s child. “Leah said yesterday how she wished her mom was alive since she would have had her back. She said I didn't love her, and my husband is also mad at me,” the woman wrote. The woman asked the Reddit community if she was in the wrong for “refusing to help my stepdaughter with the baby,” and the community responded with rapturous support.

"[The woman] should tell her husband to knock it off and stop trying to pressure her into raising his daughter’s baby. If he wants a family member to look after her baby while she works, then he can do it," Heavy_Sand5228 wrote.

"This is Leah's baby that she alone chose to have. That doesn't obligate you to change YOUR life to suit her desires. The whole business of saying you don't love her because you won't quit your job to watch her baby is manipulative and messed up, and I'm shocked your husband is siding with her," SupremeCourtJust-a** added.

Leah and many women like her are in this situation because, in many places, teachers are underpaid, rent is high, and not all dads pay child support, even those required by law.

Another commenter noted that the baby is much more the father’s responsibility than the stepmother's. "To add, Leah should consider seeking child support from her ex. Her kid should be getting that money," Obiterdicta wrote.

This article originally appeared on 10.3.23

Some of the best TV isn't even on TV

Traditional television might have once been the predominant way to escape into a simpler world, but more and more folks are finding the same type of comfort on Youtube.

After all, Youtube was essentially the first platform that enabled people to both create and consume content specifically keened into their unique interests, and it remains an entertainment powerhouse because of that, yucky monetization stuff aside.

On Youtube you can learn new things, see spectacular sights, laugh at funny sketches, go on a deep dive into your favorite bits of pop culture, and more. Sure, you can basically do these things on its social media predecessors like TikTok and Instagram, but in bite-sized versions. For those who still appreciate long form content, i.e. old folks, it’s nice to have something that feels a bit like a comfort tv show, with the candidness of a home video. And for that, Youtube is king.

Odds are your Youtube algorithm is well set with creators you enjoy, but if you’re looking to add something new, we’ve got a curated list of options brought to you by our sponsors. Aka Reddit.


Someone by the user name of ThatsMrMuckToYou asked: “What is your comfort Youtube channel?” and people responded with all kinds of different answers. But overall what people really seemed to find comfort in was helpful information (travel videos, history, science, etc.) combined with a host who was down-to-earth, warm and didn’t promote an agenda.

Take a look at some of the best contributions below.

1. Tasting History with Max Miller

Uncover the origins of the world famous PB&J, discover what makes deviled eggs so devilish, find out why the heck the Michelin tire company is the authority on good food, and more with host Max Miller. In each episode, Miller recreates ancient or historical recipes while explaining the very human stories behind them. After each video you’ll feel a little smarter, and a whole lot hungrier.

2. Defunctland

Defunctland got its claim to fame with documentary style videos exploring the history of extinct theme parks and amusement park attractions. Unsurprisingly Disneyland relics make up a bulk of the content.

Nowadays, the Defunct canon also consists of television shows deeply buried within every millennials subconscious, like “Zooboomafoo” and “Between the Lions.”

3. Wolter's World

This channel promises "HONEST travel advice without all the extra fluff" and definitely delivers. Wolter's World primarily focuses on do's and don't of different cities, but will also go off the beaten path every once in a while, like with his "travel scams" video. It's no wonder that folks find comfort in seeing beautiful places around the world, or that they love the charming way Wolter helps them learn about these gems.

4. Steve1989MREInfo

You’ve probably never thought to yourself, “you know what I’d really like to see today? A guy eating vintage military rations.” But still, Steven Thomas quells that curiosity before it happens. Some of Thomas’ most notable reviews are of a 61-year-old peanut butter from a Korean War-era C-ration.as well as an American Civil War-era hardtack from 1863. Besides the obviously unique content, folks really love Thomas’ calm delivery and catchphrases, such as "nice hiss"—referring to the oh-so satisfying sound that can be made when opening hermetically sealed packages.

“Actually really fascinating to see how food preservation has evolved over the decades!” one fan noted.

5. Camping With Steve

Dubbed the “modern day Bob Ross” by some viewers, Steve Wallis doesn’t consider himself a survivalist, but seems to be able to camp anywhere—from mountain terrains to more unusual spots like Walmart parking lots. On his channel, you can learn about all sorts of camping styles, including "boondocking", "urban stealth", “gold mining,” "bushcraft", and yard camping. It’s all in an effort to, as Wallis puts it, to "take back camping for the people."

6. History Tea Time with Lindsay Holiday

As perfectly suggested in the name, Holiday’s 20-ish minute history documentaries feel as fun, warm and refreshing as a nice cuppa tea. Her knowledge is also pleasantly wide spread, allowing her to be able to delve into a variety of topics. But one thing remains the same now matter what—here passion.

As one viewer put it, “the way she breaks down people’s lives really humanizes them and actually makes me interested in learning history.”

7. Food Wishes

In an internet teeming with recipe videos, this one is petty special

John Armand Mitzewich, more commonly known as "Chef John” might never been seen in his videos, save for his hand holding utensils, but his narrations have a lovely singsong tone, and one can always expect some kind of rhyming wordplay joke. For example: "You are, after all, the law man of your slaw, man."

Plus, Chef Jon frequently spices up his recipe with some cayenne pepper, since in his opinion it gives the extra touch of the heat being out “the unique tastes of the dishes forward.”

8.Urban Rescue Ranch

Videos of baby coyotes, vultures, beavers, armadillos, raccoons, kangaroos, capybaras…need I go on?

The Urban Rescue Ranch was originally a “crackhouse,” and turned into a Certified wildlife rehabilitation facility and farm sanctuary for exotic livestock in central Texas that are often hunted. Despite a lot of the cheeky titles (like “How to Catch and Cook a Baby Deer”), these wholesome videos just show reduced animals living their best lives.

9. Smarter Every Day

For the more left-brained folks out there, engineer and science communicator Destin Wilson Sandlin strikes a perfect balance between education and entertainment as he “explores the world through science.

Check out what one viewers had to say:

“Destin is contagiously upbeat, seems to be very passionate about everything he approaches and does an excellent job of explaining whatever the subject matter is. His giddiness about some of the same things I would get excited about is a nice mood boost when I need it sometimes. His appreciation for the workers that make things happen is nice to see too. The guys a legit rocket scientist, but relates to mechanics, farmers, machinists, and a whole bunch of other tradesmen as equals, not in a demeaning way that some presenters can do sometimes.”

10. Kitboga

Being a “great example of chaotic good,” Kitboga records himself getting back at phone scammers. It’s not just some satisfying schadenfreude, either. Kitboga tries to educate people by walking them through common scammer lies, and reports them when able.

11. Primitive Technology

Just as the name suggests, host John Plant demonstrates thow to make tools, traps and forms of shelter using only materials found in the wild.

Though you’ll see a lot of stones axes and woven bark fiber items, there’s “no talking, no cringe intro, no 'like comment subscribe', no flashy editing, no sound effects, no viral thumbnails, no giveaways, no drama, no sob stories, no clickbait, no sponsors, no fakery”…which at least one viewer really appreciates.

12. Adam Savage’s: Tested

If you’re jonesing for more “Mythbusters” vibes, this is the channel for you. Join Adam Whitney Savage, former “MythBusters” host, as he goes behind the scenes of popular movies to dissect how iconic props are made, or as he infuses some wonder into everyday objects like USB cables. The possibilities are endless.

13. Girl With The Dogs

Vanessa De Prophetis has been a professional pet groomer for 12 years, and can attest that “it’s never a dull moment.” So it’s no wonder that she was able to rack up a huge following with her comedic and informative content (which, by the way, goes to help local dog rescues).

De Prophetis shares both her “best” and “worst” canine and feline clients, but it’s clear that she loves them all in the way she interacts with them.

One fan wrote, “It’s great when a really aggressive dog tries to take her head off and she’s just like, “sir.”

Photo from Heidi Johnson Facebook page.

Tough love.

Heidi Johnson's son was 13, deeply in adolescence, and in that stage where he lashes out.

He told her he shouldn't have to deal with her rules and should be independent.


So she wrote a strict but loving "Mom's not a fool" letter.

roommates, motherhood, life lessons

Love, Mom.

Photo from Heidi Johnson Facebook page.

She wrote on Facebook how her son reacted to the letter:

"He came home, saw the note, crumpled it on the floor, and stormed out of the apartment. I have always encouraged him to take a walk when he is upset so that he can collect his thoughts so when we try to talk, we are able to talk, and not just yell at each other. I do the same thing — sometimes, I just need to walk away and collect myself. I am not above admitting that. He was still livid when he got home. He decided to stage a 'sit in' in my room, where he did laugh at me and repeat, 'Really? What are you going to do? You can't take my stuff,' etc. He was asked to leave my room, and when he could be respectful, and I was more calm, we would discuss it further. He went to his room, and after about an hour, he had removed some electronics and items I missed that he felt he should have to earn back for his behavior. He apologized, and asked what could he do to make things better and start earning items back. He earned his comforter and some clothes right back. I did leave him some clothes to begin with, just not the ones he would want to wear every day. He also had some pillows and sheets, just not his favorite ones.”

She decided to post it on Facebook, the way one does to friends for a laugh and connection. She neglected to make it "private," and soon comments and shares proliferated, including admonishments from strangers who thought she was a bad parent.Now she had to deal with a bigger teenager: the internet and its commentariat. But Johnson remained level-headed and wrote another Facebook post, clarifying.

"It's out there; and I am not ashamed of what I wrote... I am not going to put my 13-year-old on the street if he can't pay his half of the rent. I am not wanting him to pay anything. I want him to take pride in his home, his space, and appreciate the gifts and blessings we have.” She explains that he is more grateful because of it, and also that he has slowly earned back things and dealt with sacrificing others. Then she lists her very organized and succinct rules of the house:

1 – Do your best in school! I don't expect a perfect 100%, but I do expect that you do your best and ask for help when you don't understand something.

2 – Homework and jobs need to be done before you can have screen time.

3 – Jobs are emptying the trash, unloading the dishwasher, throwing away trash you make in the kitchen, rinsing dirty dishes, making your bed daily, pick up bedroom nightly, and cleaning your bathroom once a week.

4 – You must complete two chores a day. Each day of the week with the exception of Sunday has a room that we work on cleaning. He has to pick two chores for that room. For example, if it is the living room he can choose two of the following options: dust, vacuum, polish furniture, clean windows, mop the floor.

5 – Be respectful and kind with your words — no back talking, no cussing at me.

6 – Keep good hygiene.

7 – Make eye contact when being spoken to, and be an active listener.

8 – Use proper manners.

"You know what.. this hasn't hurt our relationship. He and I still talk as openly as ever. He has apologized multiple times... And… he is trying harder." Her son is earning things back little by little, and appreciating it more than he did before.

"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. Sometimes, you have to lose it all to realize how well you really had it."


This article originally appeared on 8.16.21