A very tough Dad

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Story File


Inner strength

Main Lesson

True strength is being able to deal bravely with difficult situations and not using force to bully others.


A school somewhere


Two boys and their fathers

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A very tough Dad

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Cuento para evitar el bullying y entender la fortaleza

Ramón was the school tough guy because his dad was a tough guy. If anyone dared to disobey him, they received a good beating.

Until Victor arrived, that was. No one would have said that Victor or his dad looked like tough guys: they were skinny and had no muscles. However, this was what Victor said to Ramón when Ramón went up to him to make him afraid.

“Hey new kid. You should know that I’m the leader, and I’m the toughest guy here.”

“You might be the leader but I am toughest guy here.”

That was when Victor got his first beating. The second was the day Ramón tried to take a girl’s sandwich from her.

“This girl is a friend of mine and I am the toughest guy in school. So she won’t give you her sandwich” – were Victor’s last words before the blows started raining down on him.

His third beating came when he didn’t want to hand over his own sandwich.

“Tough guys like my dad and me don’t steal from others, and you are supposed to be a tough guy too?” he replied.

Victor got hit regularly, but he never backed down. His bravery in defending those weaker than him began to impress the rest of his classmates, and he soon gained admirers. Lots of other children began to play with him, so Ramón had even fewer chances to hit Victor and his friends, and fewer and fewer children were scared of Ramón. New brave boys and girls emerged who copied Victor’s attitude, and the playground became a better place.

One day, at the school door, Ramón’s giant dad asked him who Victor was.

“That skinny rake is the tough guy who’s the new boss of the playground? You’re useless! I’m going to hit you and show you what a tough guy really is!”

That wasn’t the first time that Ramón got hit, but it was the first time that Victor’s dad was there to stop it happening.

“Tough guys like us don’t hit kids, right?” said Victor’s dad, placing himself between them. Ramón’s father thought about hitting him, but he noticed that the small, thin man was very sure of himself, and that lots of families were there to stick up for him. After all, he was right. Hitting kids did not appear to be what tough guys did.

That was when Ramón’s dad understood why Victor said that his own father was a tough guy: one brave enough to put up with anything bad that came his way to stand up for what was right. Ramón’s dad wanted to be that tough too. And so, that day, they chatted all afternoon and left as friends, having learnt that being a tough guy is about what’s inside, because that is where tough guys get their strength from to cope with and fight unfairness.

And so - thanks to a boy who didn’t seem very tough - Ramón, his father and many others ended up filling the school with tough guys, real tough guys: ones capable of putting up with anything that comes their way in standing up for what is right.

(Story translated by Julia Farndale, Jessica Garrity and Jennifer Shovelton at Manchester Metropolitan University)

Let's work on this story, now that is fresh on our minds!

A minute for thinking

We all admire brave people. But being brave requires to face difficulty, fear or pain. Do you think that can be achieved instantly, or some kind of training would be required? How could you train to be able to cope with those things? How do you react when something hurts, bothers or disturbs you? What could you do to react in a better way?

Let's talk!

Society is better when strong, smart and brave people use their talents to serve others, instead of using them just for their own benefit. Tell your son or daughter any personal experience when you helped others and how did you feel. Think also about anytime where you were helped by others, and what did that help mean for you then.

Why don't you try this?

Let's convert us in truly tough guys: those who help people in need. Everyday, at the school, you will look for anyone who is sad or could have some big problem, just to offer them your help. Back at home, tell your parents what you did to help that person. Once you have helped most of your classmates, you will become the toughest guy: that deserves a big family celebration!

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