A fourth grade girl living in Utah was caught bullying a female classmate about her clothing. When her stepmom found out, she decided it was time for her step-daughter to walk a mile in the other girl’s shoes and learn to have a little empathy for others in difficult situations.
So she took the girl to a thrift store and told her to find the ugliest clothes she could. Acting like they were just joking around, the stepmom, Ally Olsen, told her adopted fourth grader to put the hideous clothes in the cart. What she didn’t tell her, was that the clothes that they jokingly bought, would be the ones that the girl would have to wear to school over the next couple of days.
The bully, Kaylee Lyndstrom, who is a “self-proclaimed 4th grade fashionista”, spent the next several days being teased by her classmates for her clothes, in the same way that she had teased the other girl. After being forced to wear the ugly clothes and having to endure bullying herself, Kaylee decided of her own accord to go and apologize to the girl that she had called ugly and sleazy only a few days prior.
Now, the two are best friends and Kaylee says she understands that people are the same person underneath their clothes, no matter what they wear.
But some people are criticizing her stepmom, Ally Olsen, saying that her creative punishment was a cruel form of shaming. Reporters from ABC News called in Olsen, her stepdaughter and two psychology experts to ask them all what they thought. Both the stepmom and her stepdaughter agree that the punishment was deserved and are glad that it happened, which speaks volumes about how much little Kaylee learned in the process, but PhD psychologist, Edward Hallowell disagrees. She says it is horrible that Olsen chose this method of educating her daughter and says he doesn’t think such methods are the best way of teaching empathy.
PhD psychologist Karen Gordon, who was also invited to give her opinion about Olsen’s punishment doesn’t think so. She says that not only did the consequence have the desired effect on the girl, but it was hardly unreasonable. She says parents these days are giving away too much power to their children when they are afraid to implement consequences.
What do you think?
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