Vanessa is a local Treasure Valley mother raising three boys: two 17-year-olds and a 14-year old. It's tough to raise three kids, especially in their teenage years. When I was that age I was a mess and no-one could tell me anything. As a new parent, I'm learning very quickly that there are many different ways to parent and to discipline. So when I saw on Facebook a picture of a young man holding a sign that read "Took Mom's Car Without Permission NOW Have To Sell Mine" it got my attention.

Apparently, the two 17-year-old brothers took their mom's car (which she was in the process of fixing up for them) for a joyride one night. She was having trouble selling the vehicle and had made the arrangement with the boys that if it didn't sell, they would have the opportunity to make payments to purchase. Vanessa had left in her truck to run some evening errands and by the time she returned the boys and the car was gone. As any parent would, Vanessa frantically started trying to find the boys with no luck. They had turned their phones off and did not return until 12:45 a.m. later that night. Vanessa told me that the boys were being disrespectful all month and therefore she wanted to use this as a learning opportunity for the boys to understand the severity of what they had done.


The boy's had the option to turn themselves into Canyon County or be on house arrest mom style. Vanessa told me included:

1. Child 1: Apologized and had his cell phone taken away.

2. Child 2: Taken to Ada County Jail before realizing what he could have been dealing with. The son quickly changed his opinion of being on house arrest and is now cooperating.

3. Respect- child 1 was to mow the front yard, do his laundry, clean up the kitchen. Child 2 was to mow the backyard, clean bathrooms and fold laundry.

4. Responsibility- they have both destroyed my garage working on their cars. They are organizing all of my tools and clean up all of their car parts.

5. There will be a shakedown of their room, everything out of place or order will be put in a pile anything not put in the correct place, will be discarded after a 15 min window of time.

6. Humility they will be standing on the corner of the Blvd. Holding a sign that states we took mom's car without permission we now have to sell our car (Honda). Being humble and humiliated will teach them to appreciate the life they are blessed to have.

7. Compassion- both will be volunteering at the local men's shelter serving those less fortunate dinners.

8. Integrity- they will be tested on whether they can honor themselves, their values and their morals in front of others as well as when no one is looking.

Wow, I've seen many reactions on social media but I have to applaud for this mother. This is what kids need. Not just a slap on the wrist or to be yelled at or ignored. She nailed it and I'll let her tell you the result of the punishment.

Both of the boys have truly been impacted by this experience actually thanking me and realizing the life they are blessed with. I have never seen two teenage boys cry and be so compassionate for a punishment. They have not once argued. I have many troubled youths that come to my home and feel safe valued and loved. I believed in my heart these children have so much potential that I refuse to let them fail and have the prison system teach them hard knocks so I do it. Not to be mean but to show them love. People have been so mean and shown pure hate for the humiliation of my boys but I can tell you my boys are home safe and not sitting in a prison cell wasting their tax dollars.


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