She was really overcome by stress. She wanted to be a good parent and teach her child a lesson, which she believed had worked. Her number one priority was to educate her child, so she wouldn’t end up being a mean girl, and she was going to do whatever it took to prevent it. Now, all eyes were focusing on her. Many thought she hit the nail on the head with her actions, others were completely shocked. Was she in the right or not? Only time will show.
Before the incident took place, Ally Olsen never really had to ground Kaylee, her stepdaughter. The little girl was an incredible child who was pretty well behaved and well grounded. She kept getting straight As, and was an incredible soccer player. The two had a good relationship, and they shared everything with one another. But as soon as Kaylee got older, everything changed. This 11-year-old child wasn’t an innocent little girl anymore.
Kaylee started realizing just how much she was into fashion as time went by. She was now well into her pre-teen years, and was more than capable of pulling off stylish outfits, and Ally knew she was obsessed with fashion. The little 4th grader deemed herself a “true fashionista” now, and everyone in the family believed she might even start a career in fashion one day! But she didn’t just focus on her own style. Kaylee liked to judge what everyone else was wearing too, including her classmates.
One unsuspecting day, Ally got an email that took her by surprise. It was from Kaylee’s school, and it seemed like she had gotten into some trouble. The 11-year-old self-proclaimed fashionista had been bullying a girl in her class, teasing her about her outfits. She told her her clothes were “sleazy” and “ugly.” Things got so bad for the poor little girl, that she didn’t even want to go to class anymore. Ally was livid. How could her child be so mean-spirited?
Deep down, Ally knew that Kaylee was good in spirit, and that being young and naive would not let her realize just how hurtful her words could be. Maybe she was hanging out with the wrong crowd. So Ally sat her down and decided to have a little chat with her about being kind and empathetic. Kaylee was a smart little girl, and she seemed to be listening to her step-mom. But as it turns out, the message came in one ear and into the other.
A few days had past, and Ally got another phone call from the school’s principal who wanted to talk to her again. Apparently, Ally and Kaylee’s little chat didn’t do much, as she had been caught bullying her classmate once again. Ally felt lost. Were her parenting skills strong enough to tackle this issue? But her focus immediately turned to Kaylee. It was time to find a way to correct her behavior while there was still time. Suddenly, an unconventional idea popped into her head.
That very next weekend, Ally informed Kaylee that the two were going on a little trip and they were going to do some shopping. Kaylee was living for it. But as soon as they arrived to a nearby thrift shop, Kaylee realized something strange was going on. But she was getting new clothes, so it was still great news. She started going through the racks, selecting a few of her favorite items, asking for Ally’s opinion. So far, everything was going according to plan.
Ally let her choose the items she wanted, but those Kaylee said were ugly, Ally put them in the shopping cart. Kaylee thought she was fooling around, so she didn’t think much of it. She kept choosing the items she would actually like to wear. Then it was time to pay for their purchases at the register. That’s when everything changed for Kaylee who suddenly realized her mother was getting every single outfit she deemed “ugly.” She started realizing what was going on.
The two left the store with a bunch of clothes that were “too ugly,” according to Kaylee, and all the other items she had chosen? Well, they stayed at the thrift shop! On the way home, Ally explained what would happen next. Kaylee was going to be wearing every single “ugly” outfit to school, and despite her begging her not to make her do it, Ally had already made up her mind. She was going to do it, and put herself in her classmate’s shoes for once. Did she learn her lesson? Apparently so.
Ally’s plan had worked wonders. None of the kids at school had mercy over Kaylee’s newfound “sense of style.” And even though none of the kids were truly as hurtful as she had been to the other little girl, she finally understood what she had done. Kaylee wondered, “Why would they do that to me? I’m still a normal person. It doesn’t matter what you wear.” Now that she had actually experienced it first hand, Kaylee finally understood that words do hurt, so she apologized to the girl. But other parents didn’t agree with Ally’s parenting skills.
Ally’s punishment was a bit unusual, so when the story went viral, it seemed like everyone had an opinion. Many thought she had brilliant parenting skills, and her “punishment” was a creative lesson that taught her kid a lot about bullying. “This is a great example other parents can glean ideas from for child training and building good character in their young ones,” said one Facebook commenter. Others felt she took it too far.
Some other folks didn’t necessarily agree with the way she decided to tackle this issue. For them, she was shaming Kaylee, and they believe this is never the way to go when discussing such important maters. One of the commenters said, “Parents who think they can teach their children a lesson by using shame, humiliation, or violence are wrong.” Funnily enough, experts seem to agree with them too.
Neuroscientist Dr. Jennifer Leigh is a specialist in teen brain development, and she agrees that shaming and humiliating is never a healthy approach when dealing with teens. Disciplining a child by using these techniques might be detrimental as, according to her, “Children need to feel safe and secure and to be able to trust their parents.” She also said, “Without such safety and trust, children’s brains do not grow and organize optimally.” But Kaylee seems to be doing more than okay, and Ally stands by her methods.
Ally says that despite detractors assuming her methods wouldn’t really work on her teen daughter, Kaylee seems to be doing just fine. She actually made an effort to be nicer to her classmates. Ally said, “She learned exactly what we wanted her to learn,” and right after she apologized to the little girl she had been teasing, the two became instant best friends. Now Kaylee and her new buddy say they’re “like sisters.” And other family members can also attest that the lesson worked wonders on Kaylee.
Ally may not be Kaylee’s biological parent, but she has her husband’s total and full support, and he 100% agrees that the life lesson Ally chose to teach Kaylee was totally efficient, and really not that bad. He said, “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.”