A father has sparked debate after he forced his 10-year-old son to run a mile in the rain as punishment for bullying.
Bryan Thornhill recorded a Facebook live as he slowly drove behind his son, Hayden, as he ran with his school bag on his back ahead of the car. Keeping up a running commentary throughout, he explained that the youngster had been caught bullying on the school bus, and was consequently suspended for three days.
Joking the clip was a lesson on when to “listen to your Dad”, Bryan, from Virginia, US, said: “My son has finally got in trouble on the bus enough to where he was kicked off the bus for three days because he was being a little bully which I do not tolerate, cannot stand… Therefore he has to now run to school, we’re right about one mile from the school so all week he’s got the experience of running.”
With his windscreen wipers going and rain pouring, Hayden didn’t appear to hesitate as he continued running at a steady pace throughout the clip. Bryan went on: “The good news is guys he keeps up a pretty good mile pace, 6 miles and hour so far. Yesterday he was apparently a little rude for Michelle in the morning, so even though it’s raining this morning he still gets to run.”
Ad. Article continues below.
Read more: Lisa Wilkinson is so right when it comes to childhood punishments
The punishment appeared to be working, as he went on to say Hayden’s behaviour had improved that week – a sharp comparison to the week before. He added: “This right here is called parenting.”
Revealing he hoped the tough lesson would teach his son to behave better for his teachers and classmates, Bryan concluded: “Teach your kids, don’t be a friend, be a parent. That’s what children need these days.” He added in a later post: “Parenting isn’t always about being a friend it’s about leading them into the future.”
Speaking to the Washington Post shortly after, Bryan revealed his son was previously diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – but he’s determined not to let it define his behaviour.
It sparked a huge debate online with the video viewed right across the world. Many applauded the harsh punishment, with one parent writing: “Bravo Dad for raising them right! It’s the same in our house too. Hold them accountable and raise them to be good people. Very happy to see this!”
Ad. Article continues below.
Read more: Author calls for end to cyber bullying and fat shaming
Another added: “Well done. Good old fashion discipline and consequences. Great job DAD!!” And one wrote: “I have an, almost 9yr old, son…who, so far, is well behaved.. I also work with youth that are troubled..behaviorally challenged..gang relalted..etc..WE NEED MORE PROACTIVE PARENTS LIKE YOURSELF.. I applaud you and Thank you for taking an active role in your child’s life..it’s not always easy!!”
However, other parents weren’t as keen on the tough method of parenting, and one wrote: “Try talking and spending quality time with him. This type of parenting is just going to cause him to act out in a different way. Read a parenting book dude!”
Another added: “I hope your child doesn’t have problems with getting bullied after you posted this embarrassing video of him. You should be ashamed as a father. My parents never did this to me growing up. There is other ways to control your child.”
Do you think this punishment was fair? Or too far?