A mother’s Facebook apology for her daughters’ “rude and obnoxious” behavior toward another mother at a movie theater has gone viral.
When Birmingham, Alabama, mom Rebecca Boyd took her 12-year-old daughter Ashley to seeCinderella on Friday night, she was hoping for a quiet movie night. But what followed was an incredibly frustrating evening.
At the theater two teenage girls took a seat behind Boyd and her daughter. “It started out with giggling, talking too loud, and kicking my seat,” Boyd tells Yahoo Parenting. “At one point I turned around and told them that we paid for the movie just like they did. They just giggled at me and continued with the same behavior.”
After the movie ended, Boyd sent Ashley to the car and approached the two misbehaving teens outside the theater. “I told them they needed to realize that their behavior affects others and they never know what other people around them are going through,” she says. “For instance my husband was just laid off from his job and this would be the last movie I could take my daughter to for awhile, and they had ruined that.”
Boyd says she was aggravated by the way the evening played out but never placed any blame on the girls’ parents. “Kids will be kids,” she says. “They are not bad kids. They just made bad choices.”
But one woman was furious at the girls’ behavior — their mother. The sisters were at the movie with their brother, who let their mom, Kyesha Smith Wood, know what happened. That night, Wood, whose daughter and stepdaughter were the girls in question, posted a note to Facebook. “This is a long shot, but I’m looking for a woman that was at Tannehill Premier tonight seeing Cinderella at 7 pm,” she wrote. Wood recalled the evening as her son explained it —the bad behavior, the confrontation — and said she was humiliated by the girls’ behavior. “If you are this woman, please message me. I can assure you that these girls are being strongly dealt with and appropriately punished. This rude, disrespectful, and awful behavior is unacceptable and they owe you an apology. My husband and I are having them write your apology letter tonight and we would like to pay for your next movie and snacks out of their allowance. Please message me if this is you. I apologize profusely for their disrespect.”
The post was quickly shared around social media. The local Jefferson County Sheriff’s office posted the status, and from there it was shared nearly 47,000 times and got nearly 10,000 comments and more than 246,000 likes.
The comments were overwhelmingly positive, commending Wood for holding her children responsible for their actions.
“She is a truly good parent. Hands down. To outright admit her children were in the wrong and want to do something about it, is good parenting. Parents who make excuses for their children are what is wrong with society. Good job mom!” wrote Kristin Nemeth. Added Christy Harris Parker, “This world needs more parents like this lady and her husband. If parents would parent their children, the way this lady is, our world would be a better place.” And from Lauren Carmichael, “Way to go Mom! Too often teenagers get away with things like this not realizing that it affects the parents. If you act [like] a nutcase in public people question what kind of parenting is going on. This confirms there is good parenting just terrible decisions on the kids part. Bravo Mom!!!”
The post did eventually make it to Boyd. “I was very touched that Kyesha was not offended that I approached her girls,” Boyd says. “Her kind letter brought tears to my eyes.”
Boyd sent Wood a message over Facebook and when the two moms connected, they hit it off immediately. “I thanked her for correcting my girls in my absence and letting them know that they were wrong,” Wood told AL.com. “A lot of times people get nervous about saying something to a stranger’s kids. But it takes a village to raise our kids. We as a community need to hear this, that there are parents out there who still believe in old-fashioned methods.” And she told ABC 33/40that she has the utmost respect for Boyd. “She is the most gracious and kind and forgiving woman and I’m so humbled by that,” she said.
Boyd returned the sentiments. “Everyone has had the experience I had at the movies, but it is rare to see parents respond like the Wood family has,” she says. “I have so much respect for them, and no hard feelings toward their beautiful girls.”
As for the misbehaving teens? They’re mortified, Wood said. “They’re humiliated, but that’s ok,” she told ABC 33/40. “I told them, ‘you know what? You’re never going to do that again.’”
Boyd says she thinks the post resonated with parents because there aren’t enough examples of parents helping each other out. Facebook posts between parents who don’t know each other are so often judgmental or negative. “Parents need to stick together and watch after each other’s kids,” she says. “As parents we can’t be there all the time.”