In the twenty-first century it seems that everything a parent tries to do to help their child stay on the right path is wrong, they are ridiculed and judged no matter what they do. If they take their children to psychotherapists, their children are sometimes wrongly diagnosed and medicated. If they just “talk” to their child, sometimes he/or she may not listen. If they ground, spank, or try to find a form of punishment that works, they are always bad parents. Parents now, are never right for trying to do what they feel is right. Over the last ten years bullying has become a world wide problem, and literally within the United States alone causing small children, as young as 8 to commit suicide. Why?
In 2012 a father had a son who pushed another student and tripped him for wearing pink shoes hold a sign on the street “I pushed another student because of pink shoes. I am a bully”. This dad had posted the photo on a social networking site, facebook. He had wanted his son to feel the embarrassment and hurt just as the student he picked on did. However, several parents thought that public shame was wrong. Later on, this father explains he knew his son wouldn’t respond to grounding, spanking, or screaming, and this was the only thing that seemed to have an impact on him. So much of an impact, that his son apologized and with sincerity. His son was stared at, pointed at, and laughed at holding the sign, just as the kid he bullied was.
Recently, another Utah mom had her step daughter wear “thrift store” not so trendy clothing to school. Her 10 year old step daughter called another student “sleazy” for wearing daisy duke shorts and a tank top to school. So she made her go to school wearing clothing she thought was “ugly”. This seemed to work, as the little girl was laughed at by classmates, compelling her to sincerely apologize to the one she picked on. This mother said she made the right choice.
Many parents are starting to turn to public shame as a form of punishment, especially if they have tried everything else. Many parents feel that it’s too harsh, but what exactly is a parent to do? If a parent has tried talking to them over and over, helping them, switching the situation, what is next.
A Florida mom’s son told a teacher to “F” off, he was then suspended from school for three days. During those three days, his mother made him stand outside the school where everyone can see him, with a sign that said “I disrespected my teacher”. This mother had said she tried everything else, and from the looks of it, with many tears coming down his face, he learned his lesson.
According to Kirsten Filizetti, Ph.D. a San Diego-based psychologist she says;
However, parents should be careful about introducing shame and guilt onto kids as a form of punishment, a better plan of action may have been to sit down with the child and understand the motivations behind the bullying, then use that knowledge to expose him or her to children who are different from them. To further the learning lesson, it may also be wise to have the kid sit down with the peer they hurt and listen to how the behavior was hurtful. It’s less important that the bully explain where they were coming from and more important that the victim feels heard.
Unfortunately, children in the twenty first century are not compelled to sit down and listen. They respond better when they are the ones being looked at, with shame. So in what case are parents wrong, or even right? Where do parents draw a line with their children, how far is too far?
- Woman forces stepdaughter to wear dowdy thrift store clothes as punishment for bullying (sfgate.com)
- Mom forces bullying daughter to don thrift store threads (wtkr.com)