What’s worse than getting into trouble at school and having to serve detention? Having to go home and tell your parents. It’s not the detention itself that is painful, it’s disappointing your parents and the resulting second punishment for your bad behavior. The punishment usually consists of some form of grounding, but for one mom she chose to do things much differently.
Donna Cooper herself admitted that school “doesn’t agree” with her 16-year-old son, Nick, but it was no excuse for his misconduct.
When he was put on a “restricted timetable” by his school to limit the days a week he was allowed to attend school, Donna knew she had to take a stand with her son’s behavior. So what did this mom do?
Well, she had the idea to take her issue to Facebook. She explained that her 16-year-old son, Nick, was a good-hearted and polite young man and that he was available to start working right away, for anyone, for free. She put out this advertisement and changed her son’s life.
Donna’s open and honest post sparked the interest of a nearby cafe owner. The owner contacted Donna and said that Nick could start immediately if it worked out for her and her son.
“I walked in from work and told him (Nick) he had a shift at a café the next day,” Donna recalls. “I was so angry with him I knew I had to find him something to do.” Nick wasn’t happy with working for free at a cafe, but it turns out he got along well with the owner.
During is work Nick procured some shifts at the beach cafe and was even offered a trial apprenticeship at a Joinery firm. Donna’s disappointment in Nick turned into her being proud of him and his efforts. She boasted about her son, saying, “He managed to organize an interview for himself while at work, and now he has a trial doing a job he has always wanted to do.”
“Some kids expect jobs to fall on their laps. Nick complained about the café work at first but he went on to do a brilliant job. He now has a great reference to be able to find other work,” Donna explains.
— Milo Camacho (@milo5714900) March 5, 2017
During the “free work” experience Nick not only learned some valuable work ethic, but he is also being credited with saving someone’s life. Someone wrote that Nick “helped” them and saved their life! “This young lad picked me up and took me home,” a woman said. “I had had a horrific fall and if it hadn’t been for Nick I probably would have died so thank you. A lovely young man.”
It’s clear that Donna chose the right “punishment” for her way word son. Her creativity allowed for Nick to be challenged in a different way, she gave him a way to change and find pride in himself. Giving Nick the opportunity to fill his time with helping others has changed his future.
Donna, in the end, was able to teach Nick the importance of actions and consequences, and he will be a better young man because of it.
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