This son thought his dad was just bluffing.

Parenting takes a lot of love, patience, and creativity, among other things. Especially when your children leave the house and fail to make great choices. Sometimes, despite your best efforts to teach your kids to be good people, they’ll still misbehave at school or with friends.

That was what one dad was facing with his teen son. The dad was repeatedly getting notes about his kid’s misbehavior in class, so he decided to finally do something about it. What he did, however, quickly went viral.

A Problem at School

an older man next to a teen in class at school

Seventeen-year-old Bradley Howard had been getting into trouble at school. He was talking too much during physics class and disrupting the lessons. The teacher wrote home several times and spoke with Bradley’s parents, Brad and Denise Howard.

As most parents would do, they spoke with Bradley and explained why he needed to stop chatting so much. Finally, Brad threatened his son.

“If you do this again, if we get another note from your teacher, I’m going to come up there and sit with you in class,” Brad recalled telling his son to NBC News.   

Whether Bradley forgot or didn’t think his pops was serious, lo and behold, the parents received yet another notification that their son was chatting it up. Brad knew he had to make good on his threat.

A Memorable School Day

A few days later, Brad, a pastor, geared up for what he was about to do.

“Friday is my only day off, so my wife wakes me up and says, ‘Brad, it’s time for you to go to school.’ I thought, ‘Oh no, what have I done?'” the father told BuzzFeed News.

Brad got ready and headed to physics class, where Bradley had no idea he’d be. When he walked into his class, it took him a moment to realize his dad was there.

“We didn’t tell him anything,” Brad told NBC News. “I was in the classroom sitting beside his chair when he walked in. He didn’t see me at first. Then he was shocked.”

As most teens would, Bradley died of embarrassment. No kid that age wants their parents showing up on their turf. His classmates had a different opinion though.

“I think they had a good time. Especially knowing that Bradley was put in an uncomfortable situation,” Brad confessed to BuzzFeed News.

A Lesson Goes Viral

Brad took a selfie with his son as proof to his wife that he had actually shown up. But the couple’s daughter and Bradley’s sister, Molli, thought it was hilarious. She posted the photo online, and it went viral. Eventually, Brad also posted it.

“Just making good on a promise,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Since then, plenty of people have commended Brad on his positive but impactful parenting choice. Even TV personality Montel Williams joined in, writing, “This is awesome!!! One dad to another, well done ;).”

Although the family got a laugh over their moment of fame, Brad wanted to reiterate that the moral of this story is that his lesson worked. At least for now.

“I pray it was a one-time thing,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I don’t think I’d ever do it again.”

Parenting With Love

There are many ways to parent and ways that work for each family and their specific circumstances. But one thing that viral parenting stories like these all seem to have in common is that the mom or dad in question tries to teach a valuable life lesson that comes from a place of love. These stories are also classics that the families will probably look back on one day and laugh about.

However you parent, one thing we can all agree on is that it takes a village. Parenting can be just as hard as it is rewarding, but hopefully, everyone grows from these experiences.

No one is perfect, including kids. But when you parent with love and show your kids that you’ll be there no matter what (even if it means accompanying them to class!) odds are they’ll turn out pretty great.