When Aubrey Fontenot of Houston, Texas first heard that his eight-year-old son Jordan was getting bullied at school, his first instinct was to get mad.
Yet as Aubrey contemplated the situation, he reminded himself that righteous indignation is seldom the solution to life’s problems. He decided the best thing to do was to get to the bottom of the situation and figure out the ‘why’ of the bullying. What was making the boy, whose name is Tamarion, act out against Jordan — and what could he do to ease the situation for both kids?
Aubrey reached out to Tamarion’s parents and asked for permission to take the boy out for an afternoon drive. As they drove around Houston, Aubrey did his best to befriend the boy and gently ask him why he was bullying Jordan. Aubrey was surprised and saddened by the reason Tamarion provided.
Tamarion told Aubrey that he lashed out at Jordan and other kids because he himself was being bullied and the reason was especially heartbreaking; kids were picking on him because his clothes were old and often dirty. A quick call to Tamarion’s mom confirmed Aubrey’s suspicion that the family was struggling financially and were currently homeless.
Aubrey spent the rest of the afternoon with Tamarion, taking him shopping for some new clothes and shoes and urging him to feel the self confidence he’d been sorely lacking. “Put your shoulders back, dog. Act like you’ve got some pride,” Aubrey instructed Tamarion as he tried on a new shirt.
Back in the car, the pair drove back home singing along with the radio, eliciting a rare smile from Tamarion as he rode in the passenger seat.
Once back at Aubrey’s home, he sat the two boys down at a table and encouraged them to “settle things as men.” After an awkward few moments, the two boys had an honest conversation that ended in laughter. The two are now good friends who regularly meet up at Aubrey’s tattoo parlor to play video games together.
But Aubrey wasn’t finished helping Tamarion and his family yet. He started a GoFundMe and has currently raised almost $25,000 to help the family get back on their feet.
“We have no clue what these children are going through these days because a lot of us just don’t care,” Aubrey wrote on the GoFundMe. “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’s actions provide such a great lesson for us all. First of all, anger is never the emotion that should lead us to take action. We should approach life’s issues with a calm, clear head, and with a goal of solving problems in a way that is mutually beneficial. Second, there’s always more to the story than we first see or hear; taking time to find the ‘why’ is always worth our time.
Well done, dad! Watch Aubrey’s montage of his first day with Tamarion below, and be sure to share.
spent some time with my sons school bully yesterday .. just to dig a little deeper on”why?” .. come to find out he was being bullied for not having clean clothes n clean shoes.. I asked “why?” .. just to find out that his family is currently homeless??♥️?✊?I had to do Something pic.twitter.com/IY29lgChqY
— TattooArtistAubrey (@illuminaubrey_) October 17, 2018
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