How would you punish your child if you knew he or she was bullying others? One family got creative with their punishment after discovering that their daughter was bullying a girl for the way she dressed. When 10-year-old Kaylee Lindstrom’s stepmother found out that Kaylee had been bullying another girl at school, she dealt out a punishment that she believed fit the crime: walking a mile in the other girl’s shoes. Was her punishment the right choice though?
Kaylee, described as a “self-proclaimed 4th grade fashionista,” teased another girl’s clothing choices. Her stepmother was told about the bullying at school and decided to take Kaylee to a thrift store to pick out the “ugliest” outfits she could find. Little did Kaylee know she’d have to wear the clothes to school.
The punishment taught Kaylee a lesson about how to treat others as she was now on the receiving end of teasing. Her stepmother, Ally Olsen told Good Morning America: “She needed to know how inappropriate she was behaving.” She explained that Kaylee told the other girl: “’You’re ugly, you dress sleazy, you’re mean.'”
Olsen explained the shopping experience, saying:
“She would pick out stuff and say, ‘Mom, this is the ugliest thing I have ever seen,’ and I would say, ‘Oh yeah, put that in the cart.'” Imagine Kaylee’s surprise when she had to wear the clothes. Kaylee described the experience as “terrible,” noting that when her classmate’s teased her she wondered: “I [was] like, why would they do that to me. I’m still a normal person. It doesn’t matter what you wear.”
Kaylee definitely believed she learned her lesson and calls the girl she originally bullied a sister to her now. Olsen explained: “We really think if you felt how this little girl feels, you might have a little empathy for her. She learned exactly what we wanted her to learn. We couldn’t be happier.”
Her dad added:
“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.”
Many people weighed in with their opinions about the girl’s punishment, with many believing it was fair. One commenter noted on the YouTube video:
“This was surely a fit punishment. They could have beat her, they could have REALLY humiliated her. 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.”
Another commenter noted:
“Not to mention she fully agrees with her parents; sure her esteem was a tiny bit chipped, but she fully understood what they were getting at and accepts it. She learned from it, is now able to gain a wider perspective on situations, and just maybe, she’ll learn the importance of awesome unique clothing that can only be found at thrift stores, for under $10.”
One person added:
“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.”