Teenage years can be a difficult time to find the right kind of punishment to deal with their bad behavior. They’re too big for time out and too young to figure it out themselves. We, as parents, still need to discipline them as we get closer to sending them off into adulthood.
Sometimes, a parent has to get creative when dealing with discipline. You may have tried a simple talk or even elevated it to a firm “talking to,” but your child simply isn’t getting the message.
What’s a parent to do? You can threaten them with punishment, but it’s likely that will only be effective if you follow through with it.
One Texas father gets all of that intuitively. His 17-year-old son’s teacher had complained repeatedly that Bradley (“Brad”) Howard was talking too much in class.
His father — who is also named Bradley and also goes by Brad — is a pastor in Rockwall, Texas. After one too many emails from teen Brad’s exasperated physics teacher, he came up with a novel idea to make his point.
“For some reason I said, ‘Hey, if we get another call, I’m going to show up in school and sit beside you in class,” dad Brad told BuzzFeed. Still, like many teens, the younger Brad just couldn’t help himself.
When yet another email from the teacher came to the father, he knew what he had to do, as much as he didn’t want to. “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?’” he said.
Dad Brad showed up in class. He got his point across, and the younger Brad’s friends got a laugh out of seeing their friend in the awkward position.
Who else enjoyed it? Well, young Brad’s sister, Molli, of course.
She texted a photo of her dad sitting next to Brad as he did what he was supposed to be doing in class: studying. The text turned into a tweet that thousands of people have liked, and the story has been shared around the U.S. and as far as the U.K.
My dad told my brother if he got another call from the physics teacher complaining he would go sit in his class..dad got another call ? pic.twitter.com/zteNyXqhpy
— Molli Howard (@mollih04) May 5, 2017
The older Brad tweeted a simple explanation for why he did it: “Just making good on a promise.” To that, he got a reply from Montel Williams: “This is awesome!!! One dad to another well done ;).”
And as for what happened in class, the response on social media is a thumbs up and a good chuckle. “Your dad is awesome! Only a loving father would do something like this!” one person tweeted in response to the story.
Meanwhile, teen Brad’s mother just hopes the clever punishment worked. “The Howard men are famous. We’ve had a great time with this but more than anything we hope we don’t get anymore calls about Bradley interrupting in physics class!” Denise Howard wrote on Facebook.
Whatever happens, this father’s day in class will likely be remembered for generations in the Howard family. As a former colleague of Brad’s wrote on Facebook: “Among many other things, Brad is a kind and firm dad — with a fun sense of humor.”