An Ohio dad found out that his daughter was bullying children at school and thought he had the perfect punishment. But, when it went viral, parenting experts were furious. He’s standing firm, however, firing back at the naysayers. You decide. Did this dad go too far?
Although we would like to believe that our children are angels, unfortunately we often find out that this isn’t always the case.
If you have just found out or suspect your child has been bullying others, it may be a shock and you may be at a loss on what steps to take.
At some point, sooner rather than later, you will need to take action and have a chat with your child about this.
Matt Cox, a 39-year-old father from Swanton, Ohio, was unhappy with his 10-year-old daughter Kirsten when she got kicked off the bus for the second time in a just a few months.
He found out that his ten-year-old daughter had been bullying another student and that bullying was so bad she was suspended from the school bus for three days.
Her excuse only made matters worse – that’s when the dad decided to teach his daughter a lesson.
Kirsten was kicked off the bus for namecalling and blocking another student from getting off the bus, according to Daily Mail.
That was the second time his daughter had gotten in trouble for bullying students on the bus.
When Kirsten got home and handed her dad the bus suspension, Matt quickly realized she had an entitlement issue in addition to being a bully.
Kirsten nonchalantly told her dad that he would have to take her to school while she was suspended from the bus.
“I realized she viewed the privilege of riding the bus and or car rides to and from school as a right and not a privilege,” Matt said, according to News 5 Cleveland.
But, instead Matt decided that he would make his daughter walk the five miles to school, for three days.
Dad Matt sat in the car and drove slowly behind his daughter to make sure she was safe.
”Today, my beautiful daughter is going to walk 5 miles to school in 36-degree weather,” Matt Cox, says from behind the camera.
”I know a lot of you parents are not going to agree with this, but that is all right. Because I am doing what I feel is right to teach my daughter a lesson and stop her from bullying.”
But since the video emerged, parenting experts have weighed in on Cox’s punishment.
Many weren’t impressed with his punishment at all, calling it ‘public humiliation’.
While Matt received a fair share of support from other parents, many believed he went too far.
Parenting advocate, Sue Scheff, told ABC News:
‘The internet can be so unforgiving, and your child will watch it over and over again online. It’s like salt in an emotional wound, and the sting can take a long time to heal – especially when it’s a parent that did the shaming.”
“What are you trying to prove?”
Parents on Facebook condemned the father and accused him of being the bully:
“Matt, do yourself and your daughter a big favor, seek counseling from a qualified family psychologist/psychiatrist who understands bullying as well as the adverse impact/implications when one goes ‘public’ on social media in a big way about their child,” one Facebook user wrote.
“What are you trying to prove?” Dr. Laura Markham, a parenting expert and the author of “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids,” asked.
But, Matt Cox is still standing firm, adamant that parents should hold their children accountable for their actions.
And if he had to do it all over again Cox says he ‘wouldn’t do one thing differently’.
In a Facebook post, Cox wrote:
”Am I a bully for making my daughter walk to school? No me holding my child accountable for her own actions and giving her a punishment does not mean I am a bully.
”It means I am a being a parent, a father trying to teach his daughter that life has consequences for our actions and that we have to be accountable for them.
”Im a dad trying to teacher his daughter it’s not ok to be mean to others because words and actions can have life long effects and sometimes life-ending effects on others.
”Lastly I’m a father trying to teach his daughter not everything is just a right there are a lot of privileges in life and that we need to be grateful for them. None of that makes me a bully,’ he added.
In the end, Kirsten didn’t walk all 5 miles in one morning.
After completing about a mile and a half, Matt realized she would be late for school if they continued, so he had her get in his truck.
The next morning, they picked up where they left off. In all, the 5-mile trip was divided into the three days Kirsten was suspended.
Matt is now hoping that other parents will do the same since, according to the dad, the punishment had the desired effect.
Kirsten now picks up on bad behavior she sees on TV and tells her dad:
“That’s bullying that’s going to hurt somebody’s feelings,” Matt revealed.
Kirsten also apologized to the other student involved.
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