Friday, March 22, 2013

Public Shamings

It's really popular these days for parents to punish their children via public shamings. I've read tons of articles about parents who "didn't know what else to do," and thought making their child hold a sign on the side of the road intended to humiliate them straight would be the best plan of action. Or even hacking their Facebook account and posting a shaming status update.

I want to know who the first parent to do this was. Way to be a trendsetter for something really stupid! When I drive by your kid holding a sign saying that he steals or the she broke curfew, how am I supposed to react? Am I supposed to play along with your punishment and heckle your child or something? Do you want complete strangers yelling out to your kids, calling them good for nothing losers and laughing from the comfort of their cars?

Could our society be any more crude? Why don't we lock up our children in the stocks in front of he mayor's office and throw rotting tomatoes at them? Is that public shaming enough for you, or is that going to far? To be honest, I don't give a damn what the hell your kid did to warrant a public shaming because I have my own family to deal with.

It's true that young people can be very defiant and rebellious, breaking all the rules, and sticking it to the man, but there is always a better punishment you can give that is not corporal and is not self-depreciating.  I used to watch this show called World's Strictest Parents where a family would foster 2 out of control teens for 2 weeks and try to get them to change their ways.

The one I liked the best was stripping the bedroom to one mattress and one sheet. Literally, everything else was removed. The parents picked out a change of clothes in the morning to give the teen and as the day progressed, if the teen was listening and obeying, slowly but surely he started earning the contents of his room back, one item at a time. Sometimes it took the full 2 weeks to get the whole room back.

Another good punishment was manual labor. Yard work, farm work, house work, and volunteering were all ways the teens got punished. The faster you got your work done, the sooner you could come inside and eat dinner.

These punishments teach responsibility, accountability, and are very humbling. It teaches a child that if you do something wrong, you can make it up and earn back trust and respect. Public shaming teaches a child that it's okay to humiliate someone if you think they deserve it and to feel about yourself versus feel bad about what you did.

Personally, I'd rather teach my daughter more positive lessons than negative ones as she grows up.

And if I ever get to witness first hand a parent publicly shaming his or her kid on the street corner, I'm going to heckle the parent, not the kid.

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