Bullying a bully won't help them to change
A father in Virginia, USA made international headlines last week when he shared his unusual punishment for his 10 year old son who was suspended from school for alleged bullying.
The public was divided on his alternative approach which saw him make his son run for a mile in the rain, as he drove behind and filmed him.
I can understand how this man was disappointed in his son and how, as a parent it is upsetting to think your child would be bullying others, but how on earth could he think that this is a suitable punishment?
He was in fact humiliating his own son publicly, and many would say this in itself constitutes bullying.
The boy in question was just 10 years of age, so probably needed a more effective way of being taught the error of his ways.
Parents have a responsibility to teach and guide their children and bullying is a major problem faced by many these days, even more so with the growth of social media.
However, surely bullying a child to teach them that they should not bully others is a futile exercise which can only result in more misery for everyone involved?
This man must have thought this was the best way to drive the message home to his son, but my heart went out to the boy, who is just a young child.
He is also quoted online as saying that the boy has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which adds another complication to the circumstances and surely requires even more careful management of a situation such as this.
The father is right in his belief that an incident of bullying cannot be ignored, and parents need to step up and actually parent their children.
Even his decision to have the child walk to school, as he was kicked off the bus where the bullying is alleged to have taken place might have some merit, but filming it and sharing it online is questionable.
Was his aim to offer advice to other parents, or to show that he was taking the situation seriously or was it to add to the punishment?
Parents must be role models to their children and teach them how to behave. Even at the age of 10, children are still learning and need guidance and if parents humiliate them to teach them a lesson, how will they, in turn treat others?