Zoey Napierala

“Back in my day…” is a common phrase told by parents or grandparents when they are telling a story about their childhood. They usually tell stories of how they walked to school uphill both ways or how they had a wooden spoon for childhood punishments. The times and the way children are punished for bad behavior has changed drastically since then.

Every once in awhile a controversial parenting technique is brought into the light. Recently a story has popped up in Ohio about a young girl being suspended for three days from the school bus because she was bullying another child. Her father then made her walk the five miles to school while following behind her in the car.

The father had recorded the walk to school and posted the video on facebook and the post has spiked many arguments that range from praising how the father handled the situation to teach his child that bullying is not tolerated to accusing him of bullying his own child.

The argument seems to mainly focus on the gray area of the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of raising and punishing your child. While it may have been a different story if the father wasn’t following her to school, I might have to agree with the punishment. No parent should ignore their child’s actions, good or bad, but when the child misbehaves a punishment of some sort must follow. Since the girl was suspended from the school bus, the walking to school would be a sensible punishment based on the inconvenience on the father for having to either drive her to school, or in this case, follow behind her as she walks to school.

The punishments you give a child should depend on the age and severity of the action and these are for the parents to decide. Unless there are clear signs of abuse or negligence, anyone outside the family should not take part in punishing a child. We may not know the ‘behind the scenes’ of what else may have been included in the punishment but from what we saw through the video, we can concur that the father had good intentions with the punishment. There didn’t seem to be any harmful intentions, he just wanted to teach his daughter right from wrong with the circumstances he was given.

Overall, parents should not be afraid to punish their children, it is the only way that the child will learn right from wrong.