Girl’s stepmom learns she’s bullying a classmate—her controversial punishment makes headlines

There are many ways to discipline a child. For a stepmom in Utah, she chose a way to teach her daughter a lesson after learning she was teasing her classmate at school.

In 2013, Ally Olsen made the headlines for a controversial reason—teaching her stepdaughter, then-fourth-grader Kaylee Lindstorm, a lesson for bullying her classmate. Olsen had been told by her stepdaughter’s teacher that Kaylee was bullying a classmate over her choice of clothes.

Olsen told ABC what Kaylee told her classmate. “She said, ‘You’re ugly, you dress sleazy, you’re mean,’” Olsen said.

Some parents would usually have a talk with the child and point out that such behavior is not acceptable. But for Olsen, she knew only one method that would definitely make Kaylee learn her lesson—getting a taste of her own medicine.

So, Olsen took Kaylee, a “self-proclaimed 4th grade fashionista,” for clothes shopping, and instead of shopping at the mall, they went to a thrift store. There, Olsen told her, “Kaylee, find the ugliest dress you can find.”

Then Kaylee started picking out the “ugliest.” “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,’” Olsen recalled the shopping trip.

Little did Kaylee know that Olsen had actually planned for her to wear those “ugliest” of dresses to school for the next few days.

“She needed to know how inappropriate she was behaving,” Olsen explained.

When Kaylee walked into school, she was bullied. “They teased her,” Olsen said.

Kaylee described the bullying as “terrible.” “I [was] like, why would they do that to me. I’m still a normal person. It doesn’t matter what you wear,” she said.

After learning her lesson, she told ABC she wouldn’t want to have the lesson another way. She also added that she has now become best friends with the girl that she teased.

“We really think if you felt how this little girl feels, you might have a little empathy for her,” Olsen said. “She learned exactly what we wanted her to learn. We couldn’t be happier.”

“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,” her dad, Mark Lindstorm, said.

Though Kaylee had learned her lesson, some psychology experts disagreed with Olsen’s method. Edward Hallowell felt that “through humiliation, the child learns that they’re less than.” He added that he doesn’t “think this is the way to teach empathy.”

What do you think? Is this a good way to teach a child to learn from their mistakes?

Watch the video and hear what Kaylee has to say about her punishment:

Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | ABC News.

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