After Teen Son Banned from School for Behavior, Mom Offers 'Free Labor' as Punishment


Most people can attest to serving a detention or two in school. Looking back, the detention itself was the least of your worries.

The hardest part about getting into trouble at school was telling your parents you, in fact, got into trouble at school.

Donna Cooper has said before that her son Nick was “not one for school” but that didn’t excuse his conduct.

When Nick was put on a “restricted timetable” to limit the days per week he could attend school, Donna knew she needed to take a stand. So what did she do?

Well, she took to Facebook explaining that her 16-year-old son Nick was polite and good-hearted and that he was available to work for anyone, for free. These were her words, not his. 

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Credit: Facebook

Donna’s post sparked the interest of a nearby cafe owner and she was soon contacted by them.

The owner told Donna that Nick could start immediately and that was good enough for her. 

“I walked in from work and told him 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 the arrangement, but it turns out he really got along with the owner.

He procured some shifts at the beach cafe and was even offered a trial apprenticeship at a joinery firm.

Donna proudly boasted about Nick’s efforts, saying, “He managed to organize an interview for himself while we were 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.  

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This wasn’t the only good thing to come out of this mom’s Facebook post. Someone else wrote that Nick not only “helped” them but 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.”

With a recommendation like that, it’s clear that Nick will have his pick of jobs to fill his time. He may also decide that he isn’t ready for the world of work, and change his ways so that he can return to daily school.

In the end, Donna was able to teach Nick the importance of actions and consequences and he will be a better man because of it.

In the words of one complimentary Facebook user who applauded the way Donna handled the situation, “Hats off to you.”

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Emily Rokke is a former contributor to Liftable, a publication of the Western Journal.