Father Confronts Son's Bully Face-to-Face, Responds with Kindness Instead of Anger

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You find out your kid has been bullied at school. If you’re a caring parent, this stirs up a lot of feelings within you, and you do something to make the situation better.

There are many ways to approach this issue, and parents all seem to take different paths. Some encourage their child to stand up for themselves, some have very brusque talks with the school, and others go directly to the parents of the bully.

These methods can all work, given the right situation and child, but one father from Houston, Texas, has blazed a new trail as he chose to deal with his son’s bully in a completely different manner.

Bullied himself as a child, Aubrey Fontenot knew what his son Jordan was going through. He’d had time to process his experiences.

“It taught me something,” he said, according to WHAS 11. “I was angry at first, then I said let me try something different.”

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So he did something low-key that generally gets overlooked. He asked his son’s bully, Tamarion, a genuine question — and then, he listened.

Tamarion claimed that he, too, was getting bullied when he was at school. That answer surprised Fontenot, but he didn’t discredit Tamarion. He kept asking real, caring questions.

“I asked ‘who? You’re big, who is picking on you?’ He said all the other kids, they make fun of me.”

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Then Fontenot took it a step further, calling Tamarion’s mom to get a better idea of the situation. He found out that the family was homeless, and Tamarion didn’t feel like he fit in because he didn’t wear the right clothes, and his clothes were often dirty.

So, with parental permission, Fontenot went above and beyond, and took Tamarion shopping. They laughed, they sang, and Fontenot helped build the boy’s confidence.

Then he sat the two boys down for an awkward little heart-to-heart.

“One kid said one thing, another kid said something,” Aubrey recounted. “I said we need to settle this stuff like men.”

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And it worked, which was proven by the fact that Tamarion and Jordan now play video games together, and Jordan refers to Tamarion as his homie.

It was vital for Fontenot to show Tamarion that he actually cared about the boy before trying to resolve the situation. He would have been within his rights to be upset or angry and tell the boy to leave his son alone, but that could have just hardened Tamarion and ostracized him more.

Instead, he opened his heart and his wallet to show the kid that there is good out there, and within a matter of hours his son’s bully turned into a close friend.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking