Parenting experts believe an Ohio father ‘publicly humiliated’ his 10-year-old daughter by forcing her to walk five miles to school after she was kicked off a bus for bullying.
Matt Cox, 39, of Swanton said in a Facebook post that his daughter, Kirsten, was suspended from the school bus.
That was the second time his daughter had gotten in trouble for namecalling and blocking another student from getting off the bus, Cox told DailyMail.com.
‘Today, my beautiful daughter is going to walk 5 miles to school in 36-degree weather,’ Matt Cox, says from behind the camera. ‘I know a lot of you parents are not going to agree with this, but that is all right. Because I am doing what I feel is right to teach my daughter a lesson and stop her from bullying.’
From inside his car, Cox says she told him he would have to take her to school while she is suspended from the bus. ‘As you see this morning,’ he adds, ‘she is learning otherwise’.
And since the video emerged, parenting experts have weighed in on Cox’s punishment.
Parenting experts believe Matt Cox (left) ‘publicly humiliated’ his 10-year-old daughter by forcing her to walk five miles to school after she was kicked off a bus for bullying
Parenting advocate, Sue Scheff, called the punishment ‘public humiliation’.
Scheff told ABC News: ‘The internet can be so unforgiving, and your child will watch it over and over again online.
‘It’s like salt in an emotional wound, and the sting can take a long time to heal — especially when it’s a parent that did the shaming.’
Dr Krystine Batcho, a professor of psychology at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, also shared the same sentiments.
But Cox believes that parents should hold their children accountable for their actions.
In a Facebook post shared on Saturday, Cox wrote: ‘Am I a bully for making my daughter walk to school? No me holding my child accountable for her own actions and giving her a punishment does not mean I am a bully.
‘It means I am a being a parent, a father trying to teach his daughter that life has consequences for our actions and that we have to be accountable for them.
‘Im a dad trying to teacher his daughter it’s not ok to be mean to others because words and actions can have life long effects and sometimes life-ending effects on others.
‘Lastly im a father trying to teach his daughter not everything is just a right there are a lot of privileges in life and that we need to be grateful for them. None of that makes me a bully,’ he added.
And if he had to do it all over again Cox says he ‘wouldn’t do one thing differently’.
Matt said that his daughter was suspended from the bus, and it was the second time that she had gotten into trouble for bullying
Batcho told ABC that ‘shaming that is done by a parent or some other adult who is loved by and admired by a child, is, in a way, even worse than shaming by other children or someone a child doesn’t care about’.
‘When a parent shames a child, that has a much more powerful emotional impact, and it’s very often remembered for life,’ she added.
Some parents also agree that Cox went too far with his punishment.
‘Matt, do yourself and your daughter a big favor, seek counseling from a qualified family psychologist/psychiatrist who understands bullying as well as the adverse impact/implications when one goes “public” on social media in a big way about their child,’ one Facebook user wrote.
Another wrote: ‘That Dad is a true example of a bully!!! Children learn behaviors from home!!!’
Matt initially admitted to knowing that a lot of parents weren’t going to agree with him, but he said felt that he was ‘doing what I think is right to teach my daughter a lesson to stop her from bullying’.
Some parents also agree that Cox went too far with his punishment
In the video, Kirsten is seen trudging along a road as her dad follows closely behind her in his vehicle.
At the time, the weather was around 36 degrees. Cox shared the video on Facebook under the caption ‘Life lessons’.
When the video went viral, Cox took the opportunity to read the comments to Kirsten and his 14- and 12-year-old children to explain to them that just because you don’t immediately see how the way you treat someone makes them feel, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect them.
He said he hopes other parents will do the same, even though the video going viral was never his intent, he said.
Parenting advocate, Sue Scheff, called the punishment ‘public humiliation’. Scheff said the ‘internet can be so unforgiving, and your child will watch it over and over again online’
‘I really had no idea it would take off like that but it has the entire nation talking so not only is it bringing awareness to bullying, which the more awareness that’s brought to the bullying epidemic the better in my opinion, but it is also bringing awareness that we as parents need to stand up and hold our younger generation accountable if we want to make a change in this country,’ Cox told DailyMail.com
Aside from the bullying issue, Cox also realized his daughter was acting with a sense of entitlement.
‘I realized she viewed the privilege of riding the bus and or car rides to and from school as a right and not a privilege,’ Cox previously told WEWS-TV.
The video shows Cox talking to his daughter about how her actions led to her being punished.
His daughter understood that her bullying was the reason she was forced to walk, Cox said.
Since the punishment, Kirsten now picks up on bad behavior she sees on TV and tells her dad, ‘That’s bullying that’s going to hurt somebody’s feelings,’ Cox said.
Kirsten has also apologized to the other student involved.