Dad Shaves Daughter's Head as Punishment for Bullying a Teen With Cancer
This Dad turned to Reddit to ask if he made the right parenting decision. It's safe to say he doesn't have a fan club on the internet right now.
The Internet seems to always be angry about something. From rude, mom-shaming flight attendants to teachers crashing birthday parties before they even start, there's just a lot to rage about, apparently.
Well, here's something else: A Reddit Dad recently punished his daughter—by shaving her head. The teen's mom, his ex-wife, was extremely upset about it, but he thinks he had a good reason. He asked Reddit to settle the score.
"My ex-wife and I have a 16-year-old daughter," u/MasterOfGamepipoca posted in the AITA subreddit. "I have the guard. I mention this because what I did and what I will report here, I did without consulting my ex."
It's worth pointing out that experts suggest parents get and stay on the same page about discipline after a divorce, so a child has consistency. Back to the specific problem at hand, though. Recently, the 16-year-old had an issue with another teen girl at school.
"She bullied a student who had lost her hair because of cancer treatment," Dad continued. "My daughter even removed the wig from another girl."
Honestly, that sounds heartbreaking and terrible. Apparently, it was over a fight about a boy, which isn't an excuse for the daughter's behavior. But is there an excuse for what happened next, either?
"I didn't raise my daughter to treat people the way she did, and I was disgusted by her attitude," Dad said. "To make matters worse, my daughter showed no remorse about what she did and stated that the girl in question deserved it….So, I gave my daughter two options as punishment: I would [take] all her electronics, including her cell phone, and she would never have others again, or she would go to a hairdresser and have her head shaved."
Judging from the title, "AITA for shaving my daughter's hair for bullying a girl with cancer?," it appears the teen chose the latter. Dad wants to know if he was right. The post received 165 comments. TL;DR: Most of them were not there to tell Dad what he wanted to hear.
"Not good parenting, and that's for sure," one top—and rather blunt—Redditor responded. "Kids don't become cancer patient bullies out of thin air. Think about your past role as a father as well," another said.
"She screwed up, and you can't think of any other way to parent than to physically humiliate her?" said someone else.
But one Redditor did have a potentially better idea for how Dad could have handled the situation, and it's considerably more constructive and less humiliating.
"Why don't you get her [to] volunteer at a cancer ward, especially the children's ward? This may help her empathize," they commented.
We often focus on how to help your child if they are the ones being bullied, but what if they're doing the bullying? Experts have some ideas, and they don't involve head shaving.
- Acknowledge what's going on. If you've learned your child is bullying, either from a school official or another parent, take the time to hear your kid out. Ask them what happened and why, and let them tell their story. Make sure they know they can feel safe owning up to their mistake.
- Ask questions. Ask your child whether they think what they did was respectful, if they think they hurt the other person, and whether they would want the same done to them. These questions can help them think about the situation from someone else's perspective and empathize.
- Find lessons. People make mistakes, and it's important for your child to recognize the harms of bullying. But it's also essential they learn from it and move forward. Help them develop solutions for how they can handle certain situations better in the future.
YES YES YES YOU DID THE RIGHT THING! You Even Gave Her A Choice & THAT'S WHAT SHE CHOSE!! You are a wonderful parent, yes you did the right thing, what she did was very wrong. Any Of These People Sayng Different Have Obviously Never Been Truly Bullied!!!! Parents Now A Days Don't PUNISH THERE KIDS, NOT THE RIGHT WAY. It Is Very Hard Being A Patent BUT YOUR DOING GREAT. LIKE I SAID, YOU EVEN HAVE HER A CHOICE. IT'S NOT LIKE YOU!! JUST WENT ON THERE AND SHAVED HER HEAD YOURSELF, RIGHT!!!Read More
I LOVE IT! We teach our kids not to judge until they walk a mile in someone else's shoes; this will teach her what it is like to walk in that other girl's shoes!
Now, I will say, if I had given the option and my daughter chose the head shaving and losing her electronics, and she chose shaving her head, I'd probably take her electronics because her choice tells me which one is really more important to her.Read More
Honestly, punishment fits the crime. Now I would also have her go volunteer at a pediatric cancer ward.
I have absolutely NO tolerance for bullies. There's no room for mean kid behavior in my family. You will choose empathy or you'll be forced to have empathy by at least trying a shoe on.
I think it was a bit too harsh, but he genuinely met well. I would have made her publicly apologize and I would have had her volunteer at hospice facility or simply a facility for cancer patients. I would’ve had her help the nursing attendance make their beds, clean them, and all the other type of care. I understand what dad was doing!Read More
I think dad made a great decision
Letting her choose. Having her hair shaved will bring her behavior down a notch and hopefully bring out some humanity in her heart.
So everyone must of bypass the part where he said the daughter had NO remorse for what she was doing and she would do it again. She now know what’s it’s like be embarrassed, humiliated, and a target. The girl with cancer is fighting for her life and as a side effect she lost her hair. It is not ok for this young lady to humiliate and embarrass the cancer girl because of her emotions. She got what she deserve that girl has family as well besides her being hurt her family is also affected by that. Bullying is not ok never, and you guys should not be applauding disgusting behavior. I also hope race wasn’t involved.Read More
To be fair here, the girl's shaved hair will grow back. The teen that she bullied has frickin' cancer, and could *DIE*. The girl had no remorse for her actions, going so far as to say after the fact that she even "deserved it". It was not a mistake, it was a willful act of someone showing a shameful lack of empathy.
So while I can sort of see the argument that this kind of punishment is unusually harsh, it's honestly one that feels to me like it fits the crime. Being made to walk in someone else's shoes for a while after having shown no due consideration for someone else's condition that may be different from one's own is about the most constructive thing that could be done here. Forcing her to volunteer at a cancer clinic won't necessarily teach her any empathy - she didn't have any for the girl she bullied - she could easily just go through the motions of doing the volunteer job and not really caring about the people she is supposedly there to help.
Her hair will grow back. Hopefully, by the time it does, she will have developed at least a little bit of compassion.Read More
She chose to have her head shaved over losing her electronics. Could the father have handled the situation better? Absolutely, however nobody’s perfect.Read More