Mom Selling Son's Bed Because He Refuses to Tidy Room Sparks Outrage

A strict mother has provoked concern and criticism online after taking extreme steps to curb her son's messy habits.

Arguments over untidy rooms are nothing new when it comes to family dynamics.

However, one mom appears to have responded to the problem in the most extreme way possible: by selling her son's bed and other furniture in his room.

In what is purported to be a Facebook marketplace post shared to Reddit, the young man's double Ikea Malm bed is listed for sale.

Writing alongside several photographs of the bed, his mother explains that the sale is an act of "tough love" on her part.

"Our son refuses to put clothes away so we sold his dresser," she states. "He won't make his bed? Getting rid of the bed."

Preempting any criticism of their approach, she adds: "Please don't message me about how cruel I am—this is called tough love."

The concept of tough love, whereby parents implement harsh or stern measures designed to help their child in the long run, has proven a consistently controversial approach.

A 1992 research paper, published by Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper in the peer-reviewed journal Child Welfare, argued that the approach simply "does not work."

"Externally imposed behavioral sanctions are no better at changing teens than they are at regulating the behavior of citizens of repressive governments," they said."At best, sanctions produce a fragile truce in the form of shallow cooperation or a smoldering, dissembling compliance, and, at worst, they result in open rebellion and defiance."

While the Reddit post indicates that "tough love" remains a go-to tactic for some parents, the majority appeared shocked at the approach.

At the time of writing, the posting had garnered over 12,900 upvotes with people flocking to condemn the mother's actions. Blu_Razz was particularly scathing of the approach, writing: "Funny thing about all these instances of 'tough love' is that they very seldom remember to add the 'love' part."

Strain_of_thought argued that, if anything, "tough love" represented something of a cop-out when it came to parenting. "Very often the choices parents make in the name of 'tough love' are suspiciously indistinguishable from the choices that require the least amount of actual work and parenting," they said. "If you just throw out all of a child's possessions, you don't have to waste your precious time and energy actually talking to them and trying to understand what's wrong."

"This parent has turned themselves into a warden," Togocann49 added. "All the lessons they're trying to teach this kid are lost, cause the kid just learns just one thing, that said parent is their roadblock in life."

CreamPuff97, meanwhile, suggested the woman's son may be acting out because of deeper underlying issues. "You know I'd be willing to guess her kid is probably depressed, which isn't going to help the situation," they wrote. Either-Coconut agreed: "If the kid wasn't depressed BEFORE his own parents started selling his things online as a punishment, he surely is depressed NOW."

Though they may not know the full intricacies of the situation at hand there is some weight to this assessment.

According to Embark Behavioral Health, a network of therapy centers for adolescents and young adults across the U.S: "Disorganization and a messy room can be a sign of depression." More importantly, a parent reacting angrily to untidiness can often worsen the situation. "If a parent is hounding their kid to clean their room, that could also add to the stress and make it worse because it may start to feel even more overwhelming than it is, especially if they're experiencing depression," warns the website.

In a follow-up message shared by the original poster, B1narypwny, the mom revealed that the bed had apparently been sold to a "local pastor" who promised to "pray" for her. "As amusing as this has been, please retract your claws and refrain from calling 911," she added. "This was written tongue-in-cheek." The mom went on to insist that her son, who is apparently 21, is her "best friend" and "likes sleeping on a mattress with no bed frame."

Newsweek has contacted B1narypwny for comment.

The incident comes just a few weeks after a teenager was forced to fill her parents' bed with cockroaches after they failed to heed her warnings about an infestation in her bedroom.

Elsewhere, a mom earned the scorn of the internet after attempting to veto her daughter's choice of baby name.

An untidy bed and an online auction.
Stock images of an untidy bed and an online auction. An online listing in which a couple explained they were selling their son's bed because he refuses to make it sparked fury and concern on Reddit. denozy/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Getty