An Indiana mom has been criticized nationally for making her 14-year-old son wear a sign proclaiming, "I lie, I steal, I sell drug, I don't follow the law." But the woman, Dynesha Lax, said she resents the accusations that she is a bad mother.
"I've done therapy with my son. I've done positive reinforcement. I've done negative reinforcement. I've done mommy-and-me days. I've even called the police on him," Lax said. "But everything seems to be taken lightly. Nobody is taking seriously that these are serious offenses."
She said he has been acting up since a young age and that while none of her responses have worked, she refused to give up. "He's already lying, stealing, trying to sell drugs. We've got three-and-a-half years until I don't have control anymore," Lax said. "I'm not going to let the streets have my son."
Lax also has a 16-year-old son with a 3.9 GPA who plays football, basketball and runs track. She said he has never been in trouble or even to the principal's office.
"Those are hard shoes to fill but we went through so much to let him know he doesn't have to be the same," Lax said. "But he has to follow the rules and follow the law."
When Lax sent her son from the family's Fort Wayne, Ind., home to spend a few hours wearing the sign outside, someone called the police. When they arrived, she said, they told her that although her tactic was unconventional, it was not illegal.
"It was meant to be a simple punishment. It was done on our own property," Lax said. "I'm really disappointed that people would think I'm a bad mom for what I've done."
Her son showed no emotion or remorse while standing roadside with the sign strapped on, Lax said, but has told her that he's going to try harder to change.
"One of the main things that today's teens are doing is they're trying to fit in socially," Lax said. "Maybe he's doing this to impress other kids because he's not doing this to impress anyone at home. I figured if I knock him off his high horse, it would give him a reality check."