The father of the 10-year-old chose a harsh way to teach his child a lesson instead of being sensitive to her.
There are parents who like to use unusual methods when they are trying to teach their child a lesson. It works sometimes; it fails sometimes; it creates trauma that lasts well into the child's adult years. Many folks would even defend their parents who were harsh that they turned out fine and continue behaving the same way with their kids in the future.
However, it's important to ask ourselves the right questions like are we able to express ourselves well? Are we able to trust others? Are we able to be vulnerable? Many adults land up in therapy because of their parents' toxic behavior in the past. A dad from Ohio used an unconventional method to teach his then 10-year-old daughter, Kirsten, a lesson for bullying other kids. However, he may have gone overboard in trying to get his point across.
Matt Cox filmed his daughter while she performed her punishment and posted the video online. His daughter was suspended from her bus for bullying other kids and the dad wanted her to know that it's not okay to bully anyone.
"Bullying is unacceptable," Matt said while filming his daughter, who walked five miles in the frigid cold while he sat inside his car trailing her, according to Independent. The girl carried her backpack while walking down a narrow two-way street. "This is my small way of trying to stop it in my household," he added.
While people can try to punish bullying out of someone, understanding why kids bully others might be more useful. As per the non-profit, Stomp Out Bullying, kids 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." It is also possible that they suffered from bullying themselves. Sometimes, the bully is an adult role model like a parent, teachers, coaches, etc. "Very often parents are bullies, are angry, or don't handle conflict well," the non-profit said.
The video Matt uploaded was viewed millions of times and started an online conversation about bullying. Cox didn't deter from his point of view and captioned the video, "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."
He was aware that his actions are going to create a controversy but may not have gauged the scale of the debate it started. "I know a lot of you(sic) parents are not going to agree with this and that's alright," he said, as per Independent. "I am doing what I feel is right to teach my daughter a lesson and to stop her from bullying," he added.
Many people noted the irony of teaching a child about bullying while his actions seemed that of a bully. "Humiliate her by putting her on Facebook being punished. Irony," one user wrote. Cox hopes that the video he shared will cause parents to "start holding their kids accountable". "That was me showing how I hold my kid accountable," Cox told 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," he added.
His daughter, Kirsten, told 13 ABC that she learned her lesson since she knows now how it feels when people aren't nice. However, she confirmed one of the issues pointed by the non-profit. "I was bullied many times by kids bigger than me," she said. It is likely that nobody helped her process those feelings and heal from them.
Meanwhile, the dad remained adamant that his method was the right one. "I just want the kids to know that words truly do hurt. They cut very deep and have lasting effects. I hope that parents hold their kids accountable," he said.