Lockdown has been a testing time on all families. With the kids unexpectedly away from school and many local attractions temporarily closed, figuring out what to do with the family is a challenge.
Many parents have felt the pressure of being a “good mom” or a “good dad” during lockdown, but when it comes to teenagers, there’s not much that can be done to persuade them to do something productive.
One mom from Kingston, who has a teenage son, could relate to this feeling all too well.
Sharon Collins was keen for son Thomas to do something practical during his time off work, so she took to Facebook and posted that he was looking for a job. She was pretty blunt about it, too – the mark of a mom at the end of her tether!
Speaking to WBN, Sharon said,
“I made up this big story about how lazy he was and people just started calling me.”
Sharon, who added that Thomas had been “eating me out of the snack cabinet, being lazy on the couch and playing video games”, hashtagged her post with #campaigngetthomasoffthecouch. In the post, she begged for someone to let the 16-year-old do their yard work.
It didn’t take long for the responses to come in thick and fast, and before Sharon knew it, she had a whole host of jobs lined up for her son.
And, perhaps to Sharon’s surprise, Thomas took on his jobs with enthusiasm. He got stuck into his work, and said that he enjoyed being outside and getting “in the zone”.
Thomas’ job sees him mowing lawns, as well as weeding, stacking firewood, and helping out in any other way that he’s asked. His customers loved his efforts, but he realized that they loved seeing him even more.
“A lot of them seem like they’re enjoying more talking to me, me eating with them, then me actually doing the work. They just want the interaction.”
We all know what a lonely time lockdown has been, for some people more than others. Many of Thomas’ customers are older people, like Mary Powers, of Pembroke, who has been a customer since May. Adhering to social distancing rules, she has been speaking to Thomas out of her second-storey window as he carries out his gardening duties.
“Sometimes, I think he’s probably bored stiff talking to an old lady, but he never indicates that in any way. He’s a good listener, too, so it’s been nice.”
Nobody was more impressed with Thomas’ work than his mom. Sharon had never imagined that Thomas would take to his work as he has, not only doing a great job mowing lawns, but also taking the time to chat to his customers.
She expressed how pleased she was to see him working, saying:
”He’s gone out and he’s proven to me that he’s kind and empathetic, and you don’t always see that in a teenage boy that’s 16 years old. I am proud of him because I don’t think I taught him that, but somehow, he knows how to do it. I can’t take any credit for this. He just came the way he is, and he’s certainly not an angel, please god, but he’s shown his true colors, and I hope he’ll always be his true colors.”
The video below tells Thomas’ story in more detail. And if you live in Kingston, Halifax, Plympton, Plymouth or Duxbury, Sharon says her popular son is still available for work!
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