Craig Schlichenmeyer was fed up with having to tell his teenage daughter, Haley Sullivan, to clean up her messy room, so he took drastic action.
Schlichenmeyer, a soldier from Long County, Ga., Monday moved all of his 17-year-old daughter’s belongings to the driveway of the family’s home, along with a plywood sign that read, “Haley, room moved to driveway/clean it next time.”
“I put everything outside to say we’re tired of being ignored,” Schlichenmeyer told ABC News.
Sullivan got the news from her dad via a text message while she was on the bus home from school. “I thought he was kidding at first, so when I arrived home I was completely in shock,” she said.
After the initial shock, Sullivan says she and her dad resolved the issue, with her admitting that she should listen to her father but also pointing out that, though her dad is a soldier, their home is not the Army.
“We ended up talking and working through it and deciding that I would take better initiative to clean my room,” Sullivan said.
ABC News was there Wednesday when Sullivan and her father moved her things back inside her room, which also received a fresh coat of paint, at Sullivan’s request. The family insists everything is okay and there are no hurt feelings, and Sullivan has promised to keep her room tidy.
Schlichenmeyer says he is proud of his daughter, an honor student, and wasn’t trying to embarrass her.
“She’s a regular teenager,” Schlichenmeyer said. “[She] does her homework and then just wants to go out with her friends.”
Schlichenmeyer’s photo of his daughter’s temporary, outdoor bedroom generated attention online after it was reported on by local media and posted to Facebook. Thousands of parents weighed in, either in support of Schlichenmeyer or saying he’d gone too far.
“Mission accomplished, if your mission was to humiliate your daughter in front of thousands of people,” poster Carl G. Godbee wrote.
But Melanie Pittman Giles felt differently, writing: “Do not judge this parent! When one has exhausted seemingly sane and conventional methods of parenting you will do whatever it takes! Giving up or giving in is not an option when your child’s welfare is at stake!!
Schlichenmeyer says, no matter the opinions, he believes his form of “punishment” for his daughter’s messy room was effective.
“Overall, it kind of ended up being a good thing,” he said. “I’m pretty sure she knows where I’m coming from if I tell her to clean her room.”