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Parents Thought Their Punishment Was Fitting, But Some People Thought It Was Cruel

When one stepmom found out that her daughter was bullying another little girl, she was horrified. She and her husband wanted to teach their daughter that bullying isn't okay, and wanted to do something to help her understand why.

They think the creative punishment they came up with was genius, and it seems to have worked. They're getting a lot of criticism, though, from people who believe they went too far.

Kaylee Lindstrom is a fourth grader who is showing an early passion for fashion. The young girl is very careful about the clothing she selects when she goes to school.

But then her parents got a call saying that Kaylee was teasing another little girl about her clothes.

"We were just shocked," Kaylee's stepmom Allie said. "She needed to know how inappropriate she was behaving."

Allie, with the blessing of her husband, took Kaylee to a thrift shop. She told the young girl to run around and find the ugliest dresses she could.

Kaylee thought it was a game and ran from rack to rack, pulling old-fashioned, out-of-style garments off the shelf. Kaylee was then shocked when she was told that these were the clothes she'd be wearing to school for the next couple of weeks.

When Kaylee showed up to school in the ugly clothes, her classmates began teasing her. She quickly learned how bad it felt to be bullied, and it changed Kaylee's attitude.

She apologized to the girl she'd been teasing, and they have since become very close friends.

The parents explained that this was the intention: "We really think if you felt how this little girl feels, you might have a little empathy for her."

Kaylee says that wearing the clothes to school made her feel 'terrible'. She thought it was wrong for people to bully her for the clothes she wore because she was 'still the same person'.

She concluded, "It doesn't matter what you wear."

The parents are pleased that the message got through. Some are criticizing their parenting methods, though, claiming that making her wear the ugly clothes to school is humiliation and psychologically damaging.

Edward Hallowell, Ph.D., talked to ABC News and said, "Through humiliation, the child learns that they're 'less than'."

A lot of commenters on the internet disagree and thought it was a brilliant punishment.

"Honestly, I think this is the perfect punishment. Half the time I hear stories of parents doing nothing when their kids do something wrong, and I’m glad these parents had the wherewithal to do this to and for their child."

"I know if my kid was bullying someone I’d be VERY disappointed because I know what it feels like to be bullied," said one commenter.

“This was surely a fit punishment. They could have beat her, they could have REALLY humiliated her," said another.

"It’s not like she was forced to wear these for a year. She stood in the other girl’s shoes."

"There was no real harm."

Some are more concerned that the critics are calling wearing second-hand clothes a 'humiliation tactic'. Lots of people wear second-hand clothes, and for some kids, thrift shops are the only affordable place to buy new outfits.

Kaylee herself agrees with the punishment, and says she wouldn't have had her parents do it any other way. She doesn't think she'd have gotten the message from the usual punishments.

“For us, we really feel like this was the best idea and the best solution for Kaylee to be the best person she could be," said Kaylee's dad.

Source: SF Globe, AWM
Photo: YouTube

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