So, being the parent of a bully can be a confusing path — one that is apparent in this Reddit thread I came across. Redditor u/ventura4433 is a dad who is currently facing the reality that his daughter was part of a group of students who bullied a girl so badly, she had to switch schools. "There was a racial aspect to the bullying, which came as a complete shock, since my wife and I truly did our best to raise our three kids to be kind and honest individuals," he shared.
He doesn't believe a punishment of grounding or confiscating electronics is harsh enough. So he decided to ban his daughter from homecoming and senior prom, in addition to other punishments. "I also told her that she won’t be getting a car for her 18th birthday, either. Finally, I told her that she’ll have to delete all of her social media accounts with either me or her mother watching," he said on Reddit.
His daughter begged him to let her keep her Instagram and was especially sad about not being able to go to prom, stating that it was a "once-in-a-lifetime event."
"My parents are temporarily staying with us ... and they agree that what [my daughter] did was completely out of line and must be punished, but they think that making her miss homecoming and senior prom and forcing her to delete her social media is too harsh," concluded u/ventura4433, who asked Reddit users if he was an asshole for his punishment.
Right away, people came forward to say that they did not think his punishment was too harsh — nor did they think the dad was an asshole for enforcing it. "The person she bullied has also missed lifetime events — having a trauma-free school life, for one. That trumps going to prom or homecoming for me," said u/RevRos.
"Racially bullying someone to the point where they're so traumatized that they have to move schools is extreme. Racial bullying in and of itself needs severe consequences because it's never, ever acceptable, but the fact that this went on to the point the kid had to leave — whoa, no. This needs some serious consequences. You're doing the difficult bit of parenting here, and I think you're doing it really well," said u/Spirit_Sky7.
"Putting her through these things is going to be rough for you, as you're going to have to deal with her reaction and also her disappointment (which is never nice as a parent, even if it is a just consequence, as we don't want to see our kids upset), but you're doing what needs to be done to teach her vital life lessons, and hopefully helping her move into adulthood as a kinder, more tolerant, and respectful person. Well done. It's hard, it's horrible, and it's shocking to find out your kid did that, but you're dealing with it well."
"Prom isn't a right, it's a privilege. She lost that privilege. ACTIONS = CONSEQUENCES!! You're not the asshole," added u/believebs.
Redditor u/North_Badger6101 thinks the punishment is actually fairly mild, stating, "Just LET my daughter get caught doing shit like that...if anything, your punishment is rather lenient."
Reddit user u/amish__ suggested that the dad actually have his daughter use her socials to apologize for her actions: "Taking shit away doesn't really teach her anything. Already she's more focused on bargaining down instead of focusing on the fact that she forced a person to change schools to escape her toxicity."
A few others suggested getting in contact with the other kids' parents. "Bullying like this usually comes from one person, and that ringleader would likely get it from their own parents. Get this whole group and their parents together and tell them exactly what’s happened. See which parents/family crack first," said u/MoonMelodicStation.
"I'd make sure the other parents of this group know. You'll soon find out which parent allows this sort of thing," added u/Acrobatic_Medium_722.