A father of three girls learned that his eldest daughter, Callie, was involved in harassing overweight children in her school.
The #storyoftheday throws light on how to deal with erring children and debates the punishment meted out to them.
One single father learned something about his daughter, he would rather not know about. He decided to punish his child who was bullying her peers for being overweight.
The father knew his oldest child as ‘one of the sweetest people’ he knew. She was good with her studies, had good friends, and was also a good daughter.
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In fact, she was never grounded in high school, and had never given him reason to believe she was ‘acting out.’
The life was tough for the father of three girls, but he was under the impression he was doing just fine.
However, one day he received a call from a crying woman who claimed that her daughter was harassed by Callie and her friends. They took photos of the girl in ‘funny’ poses, such as bending over when she was picking something up.
The girl was over-weight and the photographs had to do with fat shaming. The girl felt humiliated and tried to slit her wrists and was taken to the hospital. The father was upset.
That same day, Callie was out at the beach with her friends. The man was expecting her to return in a few hours.
In the meanwhile, he did not know what he would do. Though he had always taught her to be kind and respectful to others, she had turned out to be a different person.
He was thinking of the punishment he should give her and the consequences she should face. She wondered the type of apology she should need to do. The girl had driven another student to commit suicide.
The father went through his daughter’s computer and found a folder labeled ‘fatty.’ It contained all the pictures of the over-weight girl.
Callie had created an anonymous Facebook account where she would upload photographs of the girl.
She was to come home at 8:30 that evening, however, he received a call 15 minutes before her scheduled arrival. She said she was going to stay at one of her friend’s house overnight.
The father said, ‘No, I need you to come home right now.’ However, Callie hung up saying she was already over at her friend’s place.
He did not want to continue arguing with her over the phone and decided to go over to her friend’s house. To his surprise, it was empty.
He began calling her friend’s parents and after several calls, someone picked up the phone and said they were at the park.
He went to the park to find about 30 children around a fire pit, while Callie was standing alone next to a beer keg.
He went up to her and asked her to get back in his car to go back home. Callie did not wish to return and said that her father was embarrassing her.
Eventually, she agreed when he expressed his disappointment in her and told her about the girl who was in the hospital because of what she did.
When they returned home, the father decided to take away all her electronics, such as the laptop, cell phone, and TV privileges. He asked her to go to the anonymous Facebook account and confess that it was her posting about another person.
He made it clear that all her plans were to be canceled for the rest of the summer and that she could only use the landline phone if she needs to but in his presence.
He also shared the list of consequences he enforced on her:
Mandatory therapy once a week
Community service (though he was still researching about it)
Apologizing to the girl and her family once she is out of the hospital
No privacy for a while – he took the door of her room off its hinges
All her luxuries were taken away, including the ‘expensive chemicals for skins and hair.’ She would instead use a simple shampoo, condition, body wash, and lotion.
She only had books and her keyboard piano in her bedroom and he wanted her to catch up on reading and try practicing the piano.
He also advised her to take the night to think things over and that she could fight with him the next morning if she wanted to, which would lead to more restrictions.
He had made up his mind – he would consider how long the duration of the punishment should be if she agreed to his terms.