As blogger Leslie Blanchard attests to in her viral article “My Worst Nightmare: Raising the Bully”, it has become a common fear among 21st-century parents to rear a child that terrorizes others.
With skyrocketing suicide rates perpetuated by bullying online and in schools, teachers and parents alike are more serious than ever about putting an end to this cycle.
One Virginia father, Bryan Thornhill, is a testament to that with his unique parenting lesson that has taken the Internet by storm. After he discovered his 10-year-old son had been relentlessly taunting other kids on the school bus, Thornhill decided to take matters into his own hands.
“My son has finally got in trouble on the bus enough to where he was kicked off the bus for three days because he was being a little bully which I do not tolerate, can’t stand,” he said. “Therefore, he has to now run to school. We’re right about one mile from the school so all week he’s got the experience of running.”
As Thornhill followed his son in his car, he still managed to find some light humor in his out-of-the-ordinary disciplinary action.
“The good news is guys he keeps up a pretty good mile pace, 6 miles an hour so far,” he joked. “Yesterday he was apparently a little rude for Michelle in the morning, so even though it’s raining this morning he still gets to run.”
And it seems the punishment has paid off with positive results, as the Virginia dad reported his son has not been in trouble all week since his lesson in tough love.
“This right here is called parenting,” said Thornhill, who believes kids need to be held accountable for their actions.
“Teach your kids,” he challenges parents. “Don’t be a friend, be a parent. That’s what children need these days.”
Since it was posted on March 1, Thornhill’s video has amassed over 22 million views and Internet-wide attention.
Feedback has been largely positive with parents commending the father for his creative means of challenging and changing his son’s behavior.
“My hat’s off to you, Brother!! Good parenting!” wrote one pleased Facebook commenter. Still, a handful of others criticized Thornhill for going “too far.”
What do you think of this dad’s unusual punishment? Totally genius parenting or crossing the line by ‘bullying the bully’?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!