Publicly Shaming Children: Cruel and Unusual or Appropriate Punishment?
Whatever happened to being grounded? The latest trend in parental discipline seems to be public humiliation with recent a wave of moms and dads forcing their misbehaving children to wear homemade signs announcing their wrongs to the world.
The latest incident comes from Palm Coast, Florida where Mike and Melinda, parents of 15-year-old Jasmine, were so fed up with their daughter’s misbehavior they forced her to stand on a busy street corner holding a sign reading, “I sneak boys in at 3AM and disrespect my parents and grandparents.”
Other occurrences of recent public shaming include an 8-year-old Illinois boy who was made to announce he likes to “steal from others and lie about it!!” Then there’s Tavron, a fifth grader from Miami, who stood outside his school for 90 minutes declaring, “I was sent to school to get an education. Not to be a bully.”
There are dozens of situations popping up all over the country in which parents take this strict approach at correcting problem behavior, and it seems to be getting widespread support from fed up moms and dads. But experts warn that embarrassing your children may not be an effective or appropriate way to teach them lessons.
Mike, father to sneaky 15-year-old Jasmine, insists public humiliation punishment comes purely out of love, telling WESH 2 News, “I took my day off of work […] to come and do this. I love this kid.” While no one doubts these parents love their children, some find it hard to see the love behind these intentionally undignified situations.
In an inspirational twist on this trend, one proud mom made a powerful statement in a Parenting blog titled “Shame on Shaming” in response to a picture posted on Reddit of a 3-year-old girl wearing sign reading, “I pooped in the shower and daddy had to clean it up.” Though the pic was intended as a joke, this mommy blogger made clear that any public humiliation is too detrimental to tolerate. She in turn posted a pic of her 6-year-old daughter, Kaia, holding a sign reading, “I am a smart, funny, & beautiful girl who makes my mom proud every day.” That certainly has a more uplifting message! And we’re guessing little Kaia doesn’t always do as she’s told.
It is definitely an issue that gets both sides heated. So what do you think? It public humiliation a good way to discipline children? Or should we be finding more self-affirming ways to correct behavior?