Should parents resort to public humiliation to discipline children? There have been several stories in the news about parents making their children wear signs in public that indicate their indiscretions. The children are forced to stand at major intersections and near their schools, wearing the signs. I would call it the walk of shame.
Some parents are doing this as a last resort because they have tried every thing else and for some this was a first offense and they are trying to make a strong statement. This is not a black and white issue because, unless you have reached the point where you feel helpless as a parent, you don't know what you will do. I have always felt that the punishment should fit the crime. Here is a quick synopsis of some of the public humiliation cases that have been in the news.
One 13 year old girl stole her mother's debit card to reactivate a cell phone that was cut off as a punishment. Her mother made her wear a sign that read "I steal from my family".
A 7th grade boy was failing three classes and misbehaving in school. He was made to wear a sign saying "Honk if you think 3 Fs are bad".
Another teen was forced to wear a sign that read "I lie, I steal, I sell drugs, I don't follow the law. His walk of shame was posted on youtube.
A fifth grader was suspended from school after planning to bully another kid. She had to wear a sign that read "I was sent to school to get an education. Not to be a bully....I was not raised this way!"
The father of a teenage girl, shot up her laptop after she posted a viral rant about her parents on her Facebook page. He video taped himself giving her a tongue lashing and shooting up her laptop and posted it on her Facebook page.
A mother of a 13-year old changed her daughter's Facebook profile picture with a photo of the girl with an X over her mouth and the caption "I do not know how to keep my (mouth shut). I am no longer allowed on my Facebook or my phone. Please ask why, my mom says I have to answer everyone that asks." Her daughter was continuing to be disrespectful to her.
I think that if your child gets bad grades you make him/her volunteer at a homeless shelter after you take everything that they value away from them. Being disrespectful and getting suspended from school could be grounds for destroying (not shooting) or throwing away some valuable items. I wouldn't post anything on my child's Facebook page because that's just not something I would do. Bullying, theft and drugs (in my opinion) are all grounds for public humiliation. There can be serious, life changing consequences for these indiscretions. These are things that some children do to impress their friends. Standing outside your school with a sign stating your indiscretions is not going to impress anyone. The theft and drugs will definitely cause people to look at you in a different light. The owner of the local store will be watching you a little closer the next time you are in his store.
Society has deemed that spanking your child is wrong. At the same time, society holds you accountable if your kid is a bad ass. Some children taunt their parents and threaten to call the authorities on them. I read an article about a German boy who called the police and complained of "forced labor" because his mother wanted him to do his chores. I won't even say what I think should happen to that kid.
So we have poor grades, theft, bullying, lying, suspension, disrespect and drugs. All of these things cause parents headaches and heartaches everyday. Some parents will get to the end of their rope, faster than others. Raising kids is not an easy job. These parents felt the need to get creative with their parenting. Would you ever get this creative? Please vote in my poll.