Many parents are doing their best to raise their children to become independent and responsible adults, this entails balancing discipline with LOTS of love. Hence, we cannot blame parents who are very protective of their kids especially when they learn that their precious child is being bullied at school.
But a doting father in Houston Texas chose a unique approach in dealing with his 8-year-old son’s bully. Instead of getting mad at his son’s constant nemesis, Aubrey Fontenot decided to get to know Tamarion (his son’s bully) to find out what’s causing his unruly behavior.
Aubrey reached out to Tamarion’s parents and asked if he could take the boy out for a nice afternoon drive. Tamarion’s parents happily obliged and as they drove around town, Aubrey tried his best to befriend Tamarion. Once the kid became comfortable with him, Aubrey did not hesitate to ask why he was bullying Jordan. The unexpected response of Tamarion broke his heart.
According to the Annual Bullying Survey in the year 2016, 33% of bullies were actually bullied before or face stressful experiences at home. Tamarion is no different from the 33% of bullies who took part of the said survey.
Apparently, Tamarion is being bullied as well because of his used and often dirty clothes. Thus, Tamarion is picking on Jordan to build back the ‘confidence’ that his bullies had stepped-on. Upon hearing Tamarion’s reason, Aubrey could not help but feel for the poor child. The doting father called Tamarion’s mom to confirm his suspicion about the family’s financial struggles. As it turned out, Tamarion and his family currently have no place to call home.
To cheer up Tamarion, Aubrey spent the rest of the afternoon by taking Tamarion to a nearby mall. There, he treated Tamarion in a shopping spree in which the young boy bought some new clothes and a new pair of shoes.
“Put your shoulders back, dog. Act like you’ve got some pride,” Aubrey advised Tamarion as the kid was trying out a new shirt. Aubrey was hoping that his small act of kindness would help Tamarion build-up his lost self-confidence in a rightful manner.
On their way home, Aubrey and Tamarion strengthened their bond by singing along with the radio. And for the first time, Aubrey was happy to see Tamarion flashing a genuine smile.
After Aubrey and Tamarion returned from their shopping spree, Aubrey encouraged Tamarion and his son, Jordan, to sort things out and settle things as men. After a few awkward moments, Tamarion and Jordan successfully resolved their conflict. In a matter of minutes, Aubrey could already hear the laughter of the two boys filling the air of their home.
Now, Tamarion and Jordan are best of friends, they are often spending time at Aubrey’s tattoo parlor to play their favorite video games together. The two boys are so close you wouldn’t believe that Tamarion bullied Jordan before.
Aubrey’s act of kindness did not stop there, in order to help Tamarion more, Aubrey also set-up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Tamarion’s family.
“We have no clue what these children are going through these days because a lot of us just don’t care… And this is not an uncommon story for a lot of people … so I spent a lot of my day yesterday shopping and teaching this young man about self-respect. Integrity. Morals. Confidence. And other things that consist of going from a troubled youth to a great man.” Aubrey wrote on the GoFundMe page he created for his son’s new found friend.
In just a matter of 7 days, more than 1,000 people pitched in a donation that amounts to a total of $27,441. The GoFundMe page created for Tamarion is still ongoing with a goal of reaching $7,000 to secure a better future for Tamarion.
Aubrey’s kind gesture just goes to show how far can compassion make a difference in life. If Aubrey enacted on his anger, he wouldn’t find out that the kid who was bullying his son, has a bigger problem of his own. Fortunately, Aubrey chose to be kind, and in choosing kindness he was able to make a difference in the lives of the two boys
May Aubrey’s heartwarming story remind us of Mahatma Gandhi’s greatest teaching, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” Bullying is an act that we should never tolerate, but it never harms to ask the reason behind the unpleasant actions of these children. What do we know? Perhaps their heart is overflowing with frustration and anger, thus they have nothing to share with others but these negative feelings. Talk to them, hear their story, plant a seed of kindness and goodness in their hearts so that one day, their heart will overflow with positivity as well.
Watch Aubrey’s recorded video showing his unique way of dealing with his son’s bully. And find out why Aubrey’s video warmed the hearts of more than 5 million people across the globe!
Photos by Aubrey | Video by ABC 13 Houston