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Mum's tough love lesson divides parents

Cierra Brittany Forney with her childrenImage copyright Cierra Britanny Forney
Image caption Cierra Brittany Forney with her son Anthony (right), daughter and youngest son

What should you do if your child has become a bit, let's say, accustomed to the finer things in life?

It's an issue that one mum in Georgia, US tried to resolve when she realised her 13-year-old son was acting "a little entitled".

Anthony was "acting like he's too good to shop at Walmart, or making snarky comments about kids at school who shop at the Goodwill [a second-hand shop]. I don't tolerate that," Cierra Brittany Forney, 28, wrote in a Facebook post.

She decided to teach him a lesson. "It's the first time I've ever done anything like this," Cierra, an entrepreneur, told the BBC.

She decided that Anthony should wear second-hand clothes to school for a week and took him to charity shop Goodwill with $20 (£14).

"Whatever he found is what he would have to wear. He isn't happy and shed a few tears but I firmly believe in 15 years he will look back and laugh at the day his Mom made him shop at Goodwill.

"I want to teach my kids that money isn't everything and if you have to degrade other people because of where they shop, then you too will shop there.

"We have had multiple discussions about how having nice things is a privilege, not a right, and he can have it all taken away in a second," Cierra explained.

Anthony is wearing the clothes to school this week.

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Her story struck a chord with thousands around the world. Her Facebook post has been shared more than half a million times and liked by almost 700,000 people, many applauding her actions.

Some people shared their strategies for educating their children.

"I grew up on beans and rice, in a trailer, no heat except for the oven and never allowed TV," one woman, Karista Harris, wrote, explaining that her childhood made her want to give her son "every opportunity".

But when he "started acting like everything was a need, a necessity," she enrolled him in a volunteering programme providing meals for children living in poverty.

Many agreed that it is important to teach children to be thankful.

"The price of what they wear doesn't matter. It's who you help them become. Your son will look back on this, hopefully valuing the lesson you taught him. Great job, Mama!" Dawn Kimbley replied.

"I loved your story and if more parents would do this type of lesson to their children this world would be better," Soyana Escott wrote.

However some people criticised her decision to showcase the lesson on social media.

"I'm concerned that you shamed your child to teach him a lesson in taking him to the store and in sharing his story so publicly," commented Jamie Bryant.

Others responded that Cierra behaved as though shopping in charity shops is a punishment, pointing out that they routinely buy second-hand clothes for their families.

On Tuesday Cierra posted a response to some of the criticism, clarifying that her son had given permission to share the story.

She told the BBC she was shocked that she received death threats from some people, but she also felt overwhelmed by the support many gave her:

"I didn't do this to punish him. My son learned a valuable lesson and I believe it is just another story we can add to our memories to look back on."

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