Parenting is a rocky journey; sometimes, we make errors. It's important to apologize to our kids when we realize our mistakes.
Many dads and daughters have complicated relationships and that might be because fathers don't always know how to express their emotions and thoughts with their little girl. All men may not know how to handle sensitive situations with their growing girls. Sometimes, they hit the right parenting goals, and sometimes, it's a failure. While it is important to be kind to ourselves as parents, we must also be highly self-aware to ensure our parenting techniques do not cause unrepairable harm to our kids.
Matt Cox, a dad from Ohio, wanted to teach his 10-year-old daughter Kirsten a lesson for bullying others. He wanted her to stop treating her classmates horribly. She had been repeatedly bullying other students at her elementary school. After she was suspended from her bus for bullying others, Matt wanted her to know that her behavior was unacceptable.
He told her to walk to her school, which was five miles away while it was cold outside. He trailed his daughter as she carried her backpack down a narrow two-way street. "Bullying is unacceptable," he said while he filmed his daughter from inside his comfortable car. "This is my small way of trying to stop it in my household," he added in the video. He uploaded it on Facebook after the incident occurred and the video became viral.
It also sparked a debate about parenting and bullying, according to the Independent. "Still has all her extremities intact is happy and healthy and seems to have a new outlook on bullying as well as a new appreciation for some of the simple things in life she used to take for granted," said he, who was also told that he was being too hard on his child.
Not only did he teach a lesson by showing how not everyone has to easy, but he also humiliated her by posting the video online. This way, she understands how others might feel humiliated by her bullying. Knowing that not everyone would agree with his method, he wrote, "I know a lot of you parents are not going to agree with this and that's alright. I am doing what I feel is right to teach my daughter a lesson and to stop her from bullying."
Unfortunately, he didn't look at why his daughter was behaving the way she did. He didn't try to figure out what or who had hurt her to act out like this. According to Stompoutbullying, a non-profit, children bully because "he/she lacks attention from a parent at home and lashes out at others for attention. This can include neglected children, children of divorced parents, or children with parents under the regular influence of drugs/alcohol."
This is one of the reasons why people felt that the situation should have been dealt with more sensitively. This story is likely going to be on the internet for the rest of her life and beyond that. Instead of understanding his child's needs, he chose to broadcast all the ways in which he enforced fear in her.
"Parents need to hold their kids accountable. That was me showing how I hold my kid accountable," Matt defended himself to 13 ABC. "I'm not going to be another parent that's just going to brush things under the rug and say kids will be kids." Kirsten told the news outlet that she learned her lesson and knows that it doesn't feel nice when others are being mean. "I was bullied many times by kids bigger than me," she said.
The non-profit also said that when children have been bullied, "they are more apt to bully a younger sibling to feel more secure or empower themselves." They also added that when they are bullied by a role model like parents, teachers, coaches, etc. they could act that way. "Very often parents are bullies, are angry, or don't handle conflict well," the non-profit said on its website.
The 10-year-old girl probably needed to hear words of assurance from her parents as well, but from what he had said, none of that seemed to work on her. Do you think this dad was right in how he addressed the bullying behavior?