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Woman Forces Stepdaughter to Wear Ugly Dresses to School - Teaches Her a Valuable Life Lesson
Woman Forces Stepdaughter to Wear Ugly Dresses - Teaches Her a Valuable Lesson
Uplifting News

Woman Forces Stepdaughter to Wear Ugly Dresses to School - Teaches Her a Valuable Life Lesson

Mom teaches daughter why bullying is never okay.

There are all kinds of reasons why parenting is hard. But each day, you do the best you can and hope your kids go out into the world and practice the same values you’ve tried to instill in them.

So imagine the shock of learning your kid is the bully. That was the scenario for one Utah couple when they learned their fourth-grader was making fun of another student for the way she dressed.

Learning the Hard Truth

young girl wearing a red dress

Kaylee Lindstrom is a self-proclaimed fashionista. The 10-year-old takes great care in selecting her outfits and wears them pridefully to school. But then, one day, her father and her stepmother, Ally, learned that Kaylee wasn’t being kind to other kids for the way they were dressing. In fact, she had been making fun of one little girl and bullying her for weeks over her clothes.

According to teachers, Kaylee was calling her classmate a “slob” and “sleaze.” Eventually, the little girl didn’t even want to go to school anymore.

“We were just shocked. She said you’re ugly, you dress sleazy, you’re mean,” Ally recounted to ABC News. “She needed to know how inappropriately [she was] behaving.”

The parents knew they had to teach their daughter a valuable lesson. “Someone not wanting to go to school anymore based off of something that one other little person said to them. I mean, that's huge, that's damaging,” she added to a Fox News outlet.

A Surprise Shopping Trip

Ally put Kaylee in the car, and they went to a thrift store. There, Ally told her stepdaughter to find the ugliest dresses she could. At first, Kaylee thought it was funny and picked the most hideous things she could find. Ally had her put them in the cart. Then she surprised Kaylee by making her wear those same dresses to school.

For two days, kids teased Kaylee and made fun of her. She quickly realized how the other little girl must have felt every time she had done the same thing.

“We really think if [she] felt how this little girl feels, [she] might have a little empathy for her,” Ally explained to the ABC publication.

When the news outlet asked how she felt being made fun of in those clothes, Kaylee didn’t hold back. “Terrible,” she said. “Like, why would they do that to me, I’m still a normal person, it doesn’t matter what I wear.”

Learning an Important Lesson

Kaylee apologized to her classmate for the awful way she had treated her. They made up, and eventually, they even became best friends. While Ally and her husband admit they’ve received some criticism for the way they handled the situation, they stand by it.

“For us, we really felt like it was the best idea and the best solution to help Kaylee be the best person she could be,” her dad told the outlet.

“She learned exactly what we wanted her to learn, and we couldn’t be happier,” added Ally.

These days, Kaylee also has a new stance on bullying. When the Fox outlet asked her why it’s not okay to bully people, she replied, “Because it's stupid and it's mean. It hurts them.”

“If she chooses to be a bully after this, then at some point in her life, she’s going to be on the other side, and she'll know what it really feels like,” Ally added to that publication. “And I think now that she knows what it feels like, she doesn't want to be that person anymore because she knows how hurtful it is.”

Practicing Empathy at Any Age

It was hard for Ally to watch her daughter go to school in those dresses, but she truly believed it was for the greater good. After all, she was trying to teach her daughter empathy and to understand that her words have an effect on other people.

Some parenting experts may agree, while others may say there are better ways to teach empathy, like making your kid volunteer at a homeless shelter or with underprivileged kids. No matter where you stand on Ally’s tactics, we can all agree that this story highlights the importance of empathy.

No matter what age you are, practicing empathy helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond to a situation appropriately. If you feel like you need more empathy in your life, focus on becoming more curious about those around you. Find similarities with others and listen, but also share and practice putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Not only does increased empathy help us to become better people, but we may also foster more positive relationships as a result.

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