You may have seen the story on the Georgia mom who was mad at her son for making rude comments about other kids’ attire, saying their clothes look as if they came from Walmart or Goodwill.
So she took him to shop at Goodwill, made him spend $20 of his own money on clothes, and had him wear said clothing at school for a week.
In detailing this episode on Facebook, she added at the end, “I love the goodwill!!”
But do you really “love the goodwill?”
Of course you do, which is why you employed Goodwill as punishment.
Look at the thrift store’s website. Know what you won’t find? Anything that says, “Choose from among thousands of items guaranteed to bring entitled kids to their knees.”
Nor does Goodwill ask for gently used shirts, pants and jackets that will draw ridicule, particularly in the mean halls of middle school.
This mother firmly believed she was doing the right thing, and that it worked.
More power to her.
What I would have done as a parent
Faced with the same dilemma, I might have had my son go through his closet and fill up a few boxes for Goodwill. Maybe throw in a couple cherished possessions like that Bluetooth speaker.
Explain to him the importance of character.
I was lucky in that I grew up solidly middle class, but when I left home for my first real job, my apartment in the attic of a historic home quickly took on the look of mid-century Goodwill.
Goodwill helped me build a life when I was young and broke
My couch and a nearly matching chair (same general area of the color spectrum) were steals. I specifically remember a $3 toaster that served me well many years. And I plunked down $2 on a blender only because it was $2. I may have used it once and to this day, I don’t regret the purchase.
More importantly, Goodwill supplied my first set of winter clothing (having moved to Colorado from California), including a comfy and warm down jacket. You could say Goodwill saved my life, as long as you didn’t discount hyperbole.
Never thought my donations would be a form of punishment
There eventually came a time I was able to donate to Goodwill. While gathering the laundered, stain-free clothing I wore infrequently or not at all, it never occurred to me someone would buy them as a form of punishment.
It’s true Goodwill carries various styles suggesting the donor may not have been in a sober state when the original purchase was made. Other items offer proof of very eclectic tastes.
Yet shoppers of all income levels appreciate the great deals whether they need them or not.
Forcing a child to shop at Goodwill and wear the purchases as a punishment only reinforces the very stigma you’re trying to erase.
Like All the Moms?