The man’s daughter frequently frightened animals for fun. After words failed to get her to stop, he decided to give her a taste of her own medicine by scaring her.
The Daughter is Eight Years Old
The man explains the situation, “My daughter is eight, and has developed a bad habit of scaring and disturbing animals for fun.”
She Enjoys Frightening Animals
The man’s daughter frequently frightened animals by jumping behind them, stomping around them and screaming, which usually caused them to run or fly away. She would scare animals such as birds, stray cats and dogs, and even butterflies.
The Parents Attempted to Stop Her
He explained, “We tried talking and scolding her, but she just brushed us off. She thought it was okay as long as she didn’t physically harm them.”
The Father Had Another Plan
One day, he decided to give her a taste of her own medicine and waited for her to be focused on playing her game on the couch.
He Scared Her
The father sneaked up from behind and snatched the controller from her, stomping and shouting just as she had with the animals.
The Daughter Was Shocked
She was clearly shocked and frightened by what had happened. The father described her reaction, “She was dazed for a moment before bursting into tears.”
The Man’s Wife Didn’t Agree With His Tactics
His wife called him childish for scaring their daughter. However, since their earlier talks didn’t work, he wanted to teach her a lesson by showing her how the animals felt when she scared them.
Was He in the Right?
Was it OK to frighten his daughter like that? Should he have dealt with the situation differently?
He Later Clarified the Situation
He added, “I did talk to her and explain why I did it after she calmed down but my wife got in the way and insisted I apologize and make it up to her. I don’t think that’s appropriate since that defeats the purpose of teaching her a lesson, so I ended up posting on reddit to see if I am really in the wrong.”
He Turned to the Internet for Support
Most commenters supported his strategy. One user commented, “Kids need to learn respect, compassion for others, including ALL animals. Verbal didn’t work, so you went with another teaching approach.”
Another Person Said
“It is a reasonable (not-first) approach in order to put her in a better position to empathize with the animals she is scaring. It’s just harmless re-framing and appropriately done in conjunction with a conversation to help her get there.”
Someone Gave Their Opinion
“Scaring the wrong animal could result in your daughter being seriously injured, or worse. Additionally, empathy is developed through association. If speaking to her has not corrected the problem, then it is likely she did not have a true understanding of the feeling the animals have when she does it. Now she does.”
Another User Commented
“Some kids need to personally experience something to learn their lesson. You didn’t hurt her, she just got a fright and maybe it’ll make her think next time.”
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