Do you think public punishment is fair?

Katherine - posted on 05/09/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Since so many of the men and womenfolk who read The Stir are vehemently opposed to spanking, unlike me, I’m interested to see what the verdict is on public punishment.

Case in point: a picture recently posted on bestselling Christian chick lit author ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s Facebook page is going viral, showing her D.I.D. (that would be daughter in distress) clearly upset after what can only be described as yet another instance of bad decision-making on—what else?—social media. I swear these kids can’t get their Facebooking, Twittering, and Tumbling acts together, so I’m all for her creative form of discipline.

Girlfriend doesn’t look very happy, does she? Good. She’s not supposed to. It’s obvious from her grimace that she’s not enjoying it, which will hopefully make her think twice before being grown and taking pictures with liquor again. And, even at that, being goofy enough to post them on Facebook (though it’s a good thing she did, otherwise her mama may not have found out, at least as quickly as she did. Sometimes kids’ lack of decorum on social media is a parent’s best friend). The note says it all.

Public punishment is certainly nothing new, but maybe it’s a renewing trend in the land of parenting because just last week, before this young lady found herself in hot water, another teen girl in North Carolina met a similar fate. Her father, Donell Bryant, made his daughter, Quandria, stand on the shoulder of a highway and hold a sign that said, “"I have a bad attitude. I disrespect people who try to help me," on one side and "I do what I want, when I want, how I want," on the other. Oh, one other thing: dad timed it so she’d be pacing with her sign just as her fellow students were getting out of school. She had been suspended but Mr. Bryant didn’t think the punishment was severe enough and voila! He let a piece of poster board, a Sharpie, and a message take it from there.

Apparently it was effective. Local news got wind of the story and Quandria admitted she needed to change and planned to do better.

I have done something very similar with Girl Child. When she was in the heat of her tween angst last year, giving me problems at every turn and a stank attitude to boot, I went to AC Moore, bought a pin—the kind politicians wear when they’re campaigning—and wrote inside, “Ask me about my grades!” She wore it to church one Sunday and instead of being able to brag about her report card, like the folks asking her were expecting her to, she had to admit she was goofing off in class, not doing her homework, and wasting her mama’s money on Catholic school tuition.

We hung out at church a little longer that day. Coincidentally, of course. But by the time we loaded into the car, she had had more than enough of an earful about the mistake she was making doing crappy work in school.

Here are a few more kiddies who’ve been on the wrong end of their parents’ creativity and (hopefully) learned their lessons as a result. Do you think public punishments are effective?
http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/13739...



No, I don't. I wouldn't want someone doing that to me. So I wouldn't do that to them. Besides if my parents EVER did that to me? I'd probably never talk to them again. Same with my girls. Never. Just my opinion. I can just imagine the humiliation ad mortification of it all. Is this trending since the dad shot the laptop?

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Stifler's - posted on 05/09/2012

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I am not on the I WANT YOU TO GET STRAIGHT As bandwagon. I think it's dumb. As long as they pass I don't care. Punishing your kid for bad grades irks me. Running in a diaper with her head shaved isn't a logical consequence. It's just being an arsehole. However being banned from social media for being irresponsible and inappropriate, I believe is logical. I am not that against having them hold the sign either.

[deleted account]

I think it's safe to say that most parents try everything else before they go the public humiliation route. The dad with the laptop, he had tried a bunch of other stuff before finally deciding that shooting her laptop was a decent idea. I don't see why he's judged so negatively when it was HIS money paying for the damn thing and he talked it over with other family members as well. When it's something like that, I'm all for public punishment.

As for the poor little twelve-year-old with a shaved head and diaper, that's bullshit. That's not right at all in my opinion. It's just going way too far, to alter a child's physical appearance because of her grades??? Complete overkill! Altering a child's physical appearance for any reason seems stupid.

Krista - posted on 05/10/2012

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I also think it depends on the circumstances. That punishment for bad grades? That was emotionally abusive, in my view. That poor girl.

But, as an example, I've heard of teenagers being caught vandalizing headstones in graveyards. That kind of malicious and disrespectful behaviour...well, I would have NO problem with those kids being made to help repair those stones, out in public, with everybody knowing that they're the ones who did it. To me, those are natural consequences.

Screw-ups and stupid decisions don't warrant public humiliation, in my view. Kids are human too and should be allowed to make mistakes without becoming public pariahs. But if a kid is deliberately and maliciously hurting others or damaging property, and all other methods have failed, then I can understand why a public shaming would seem like an option.

[deleted account]

some kids won't try to do better or change their ways unless their BS is called out publicly. i know that if my mother did something like this to my brother it might change his mind about being so disrespectful to her and lying to her about going to the library when he actually goes to the bars downtown with his "friends" (he's 16 mind you) to yell racial slurs and nearly get his stupid ass shot.



i don't think it's fair to the parents that they're trying to raise kids with morals and respect but are being so disrespected by their children and then get bashed by other people because they're just trying to get results.



edited to fix some shitty grammar, lol...

Sally - posted on 09/24/2012

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I don't and never will agree with public humiliation by making a child wear signs etc but I do believe in consequences and sometimes they may end up public i.e having to escort your teen because of missing lessons. I can give you an example, my 15 year old was allowed to go to a friends house but was to be home by 10pm he came home at 11pm. I knew where he was, a couple of doors away and could have got him but I wanted him to learn that when his meant to be in, his in and if his not then there are consequences. He was grounded but I also told him if he did it again I would pick him up in my pj's and slippers because I'm in them at that time of night. He was never late again because he knew that even if it embarrassed him,I would do it. So sometimes public humiliation happens and its no good saying this will happen if you do or don't do this/that unless you follow through but to sit down and plan to do something like shave your child's head is not a lesson its just bullying

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Emily - posted on 09/22/2012

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It passed over this article doing a school essay for the Scarlet Letter. Is public punishment really effective form the point of view of a child? No, not at all. The point of public punishment to only to deter others from committing the same act and teenagers are affected by a girl who had to wear a sign. Social media is one of the only outlets that teenagers can be free through in our modern age and we will continue to abuse for as long as it exist. We make terrible decision, everyone that age literally can not escape that fact, and punishment is punishment. You can't stop a teenager from doing what they want to do.Just remember when you were our age.

Sylvia - posted on 05/11/2012

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Yipe! This thread got a lot of traffic last night after I went to bed, I see.

MeMe -- I'm sorry, what I said was really unclear. When I said "intervening with the teacher/school" I didn't mean intervention like coordinating with the school to, for instance, come up with a plan to help a kid catch up with the rest of the class, or to work out an IEP for a kid who's having problems, or to find a tutor for a kid who's struggling. I meant the kind of intervening that involves phoning up the school and pleading with or badgering or intimidating the teacher until they agree to give your kid a better mark. I wish I was making that up, but there actually are parents who do that (or try) -- not just through high school but even into college or university! So my communication was bad, but I stand by my point, which was that "I don't have to work hard at school because Mummy and Daddy will fix it" is not a useful lesson for kids to learn. If the lesson you're teaching is "I have to work hard at school, but Mummy and Daddy are behind me and will help me figure out how to do my best", then more power to you!!

I confess, though, I don't agree that failing a class is the end of the world. Kids need to fail at stuff from time to time, and they need to start young and start small, because the older you are the first time you wipe out big-time, the more devastating it is. If you've taken risks and first failed, then persevered and ultimately succeeded, you've learned some really important things about yourself and about how life works. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" is a cliché expression for a really good reason: It's TRUE. When we protect our kids too hard from ever failing at anything, we aren't doing them any favours. And I'm much, MUCH more concerned about "Is my kid learning what she's supposed to be learning?" than about "Will she graduate with the rest of her class?" I'm not a fan of "social promotion" -- if you need to take a course over again in order to get the concepts, then you should do so.

Anecdote from my own life: I started having trouble with maths in Grade 4. I muddled along pretty well until the first semester of Grade 10, when I took a class called Math 10FH (F for French, H for honours, because it was the prereq for IB maths). I struggled and struggled and ended up with a mark *just* short of what I needed for the IB maths class the following semester (like, 1%). It was a bad mark (although not nearly as bad as things would later get) -- 79%, maybe. I was very upset, seeing my dream of going to med school slipping from my grasp. And my mom did something she had never, ever done before: she interceded with the head of the maths department on my behalf, and persuaded him to let me take the IB class anyway. The result was predictable. I struggled and struggled through the next semester, and got a slightly better final mark. Then the (superb, wonderful, amazing) teacher who had taught that class left for health reasons, and in Grade 11 we got stuck with a teacher whose French sucked and who didn't believe us when we said we hadn't done trigonometry yet and needed to *learn* it, not just *review* it. My mark on the trig unit final was something like 23%, and the class average was well below 50%. (After that he believed us :P.) At the end of that semester we took the departmental exam, which is worth 50% of your final mark, and the extent to which I was tanking in maths became all too apparent: my final mark was in the region of 68%. I sat through 2 weeks of the next semester's class (calculus), got

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/11/2012

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Kelly---It is okay to allow a child to feel shame as a result of their OWN actions, but not to force a child into a degrading situation where they have little or no control.



I agree with this.



However, some have said that sitting in on your child's class is public humiliation and therefore wrong. I need to ask, how is it wrong or degrading, if the child has been warned of the consequence and still chooses to select that very consequence? I myself, do not find this an inappropriate method of parenting.



I honestly think, it all depends on the situation, how the consequence is imposed and the child itself. Since, humiliation can be an act but how the person deals with it internally depends on the child them self. Some children are not easily humiliated, shamed or embarrassed. Some cope very well, others not so much. It all boils down to how they take it internally. Whether or not they feel shame from it. You can NOT be humiliated if you do not bare a negative internal feeling from it. Some people are very confident and have loads of self esteem and it would be very difficult to humiliate them.



So, for an outsider to make an opinion on another persons position is very inappropriate. Since, no one knows that child nor do they fully understand the circumstances that led up to that very incident.



For instance, my children know their boundaries, they are laid out very plainly to them (my sons are very simple ones, of course) and they are fully aware of what consequences go with breaking of those boundaries. It is then up to them to make a choice of which consequence they are willing to bare. My daughter has a lot of self confidence and esteem. She would not be humiliated easily. Since she would not take internal shame or embarrassment easily.



For some, a certain humiliating experience can effect them completely different than another. Where a different experience may affect the other more than the first experience.



I think there definitely is a point where it becomes abuse. Such as being made to wear a sign or being singled out for the sole purpose to make a spectacle of them, without having had a prior choice, to be in that position. If there was a choice and you were made well aware of the consequence, then you brought it on yourself.



I also believe a parent, at times, has to go to the extreme to rectify an extreme act.



So, it is very factual that humiliation MUST include shame and/or embarrassment. Since it can only be humiliation IF the recipient feels an inner degradation (shame/embarrassment) from the action.



If you choose a job where you have to wear a silly costume, you made that choice, you may feel humiliation at times, depending on what the audience says or does but YOU made that choice. Therefore, you chose a position that COULD be humiliating.

[deleted account]

I have not read A study, I've read many studies. If you can find a clinical study that defines humiliation and shame as one and the same, humiliation as an internal emotion, I will consider it.

I understand that in the English language the term "humiliation" is often interchanged with and understood to be synonymous with the terms "embarrassment" and "shame", but in order to have THIS debate, we must differentiate between the act of humiliation, and the emotion of feeling humiliated because one is okay, and one is not okay. That is why I brought up the clinical definition--if we do not differentiate between the emotion and the act causing it, we will get nowhere in this debate.

It is okay to allow a child to feel shame as a result of their OWN actions, but not to force a child into a degrading situation where they have little or no control. Or more simply put: It is okay to ALLOW a child to feel shame, it is NOT okay to FORCE a child to feel shame.
For example, letting a child fail a grade. This might cause feelings of shame, and the kid may be embarrassed, but no one forced the child to fail the class--failure and the emotions that go along with it are natural consequences of the child's OWN behavior. Now, to take it a step further and force the child to wear a sign advertising his or her failure, or post to social media that he or she failed the grade, or any other means of forcing the child to publicly display their shortcomings would be wrong, and would be detrimental to the child's emotional well being.

Cites:
"Humiliation means the enforced lowering of a person or group, a process of
subjugation that damages or strips away their pride, honor or dignity." Linder 2003
"Humiliation is when you are put down and feel hurt because you deem being put down as a violation. Dynamics of humiliation are embedded in relationships. People and institutions inflict humiliation on those who are at the receiving end. Dynamics of humiliation entail actors who inflict acts of humiliation, and receivers, who feel feelings of humiliation. It is important to note, however, that humiliation is not always inflicted intentionally. Sometimes, feelings of humiliation emerge as a result of misunderstandings, more so, they may even emerge when people wish to help and do not realize that their help humiliates the recipients. " Humiliationstudies.org definition

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/11/2012

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Sorry, I don't agree. I bet I can find a paper that says humiliation is not only an act but is an internal feeling as well. It IS embarrassment.

Just because you read a study, does not mean there are not other's out there that explain it differently, Kelly.

My statement IS based on the definition. So yes, fact. Not a study but the actual definition. A definition is a definition, whether it is clinical or not.

A person can most definitely bring humiliation on themselves. There MUST always be an audience, though, since no one could feel humiliated by themselves.

To be shamed or humiliated or embarrassed is the same damn thing.

[deleted account]

"Humiliation does not mean another person must be the forcer. Humiliation, Shame, Embarrassment are all linked together. " meme

This statement is not based on fact and is thus irrelevant to this debate. I am using the clinical definition of humiliation which was used in research on the subject. That definition, in EVERY single study, paper, essay, and article, includes the 3 components I listed and they very clearly differentiate between "shame" and "humiliation". Shame is an emotion. Humiliation is an act. If you cannot understand that concept, it is impossible to debate this subject.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/11/2012

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1. The act of humiliating; degradation.

2. The state of being humiliated or disgraced; shame.

3. A humiliating condition or circumstance.




with egg on one’s face Embarrassed or humiliated by some mistake; in the wrong, guilty. The origin of this expression is unknown. It may have derived from an audience’s practice of throwing rotten eggs at actors during an especially poor performance. Another possible derivation is of a more agrarian nature. Weasels, foxes, and other such animals are known for their habit of sneaking into henhouses at night to suck eggs. To come out with egg on their faces would display to all the evidence of their wrongdoing.



This would be the same thing if a child failed and all their peers seen them retaking the grade or class again. They will be laughed at, mocked, teased - they will be humiliated! Although, it was from their own actions. Just as a poor performance could create humiliation.



http://www.thefreedictionary.com/humilia...



Humiliation does not mean another person must be the forcer. Humiliation, Shame, Embarrassment are all linked together.



Have you never heard someone say, "I fell in front of everyone and they all stared at me, boy was I ever humiliated"? Or for instance, I was very humiliated when I was in High School and I had white jeans on, I started my period, everyone seen it. I was VERY humiliated by this.



There is public humiliation, self inflicted humiliation and forced humiliation.



ETA:



Perhaps you are confusing Shame and Humiliation. You cannot experience humiliation unless someone else, an aggressor, is humiliating you. For an event to qualify as humiliation, you need 3 components: the aggressor, the victim, and the witnesses.




So not true. Perhaps you are being confused by what humiliation exactly is.



All you need is the person and witnesses. A person can definitely bring humiliation on by their own accord. As long as there are witnesses, the full circle has been established.

[deleted account]

But that is the very definition of Humiliation--degradation of a victim BY ANOTHER PERSON. Shame would be an internal emotion that can be caused by many things and should not be avoided or forbidden. Shame is a valid emotion, and it can be used in a positive way, but when caused by humiliation, the mental and emotional distress it causes rarely has a positive outcome. More often, shame forced upon someone by an aggressor causes the victim to seek revenge or to detach from society. It is okay to feel shame for ones OWN actions. It is NOT okay to force someone to commit actions that make them feel shame--that is the difference. ETA: Essentially, *I* believe that public discipline is okay. I do not believe that public humiliation or public punishment are okay.



Perhaps you are confusing Shame and Humiliation. You cannot experience humiliation unless someone else, an aggressor, is humiliating you. For an event to qualify as humiliation, you need 3 components: the aggressor, the victim, and the witnesses.



I understand that you are saying summer school is an option in your area, but your paragraph was worded to imply that it is not an option you would consider because it is expensive, you don't want to or don't have the means to arrange transportation, and because it would not be humiliating enough for your daughter. You said it was an option, then listed the aforementioned aspects as reasons that YOU would not consider it. I chose to clarify in my own post because you seemed to imply that summer school should be humiliating, but would not be because the kids don't know each other.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/10/2012

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To add, if my child decided to skip out on class over and over again and they were warned if they continue I would be coming to class with them for a week or two, to me that is their own doing. They had a choice. I didn't just show up there, they decided to go with that conseqeunce. The onus is on them, now isn't it. It may be humiliating but they choose that route. If they didn't want that outcome, then perhaps they should have taken me seriously and stopped skipping. ;)

Yes, this IS something I would do. They would be warned, they would know. Their choice. I wouldn't want to have to take time off of work but I surely would.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/10/2012

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Actually, what I said was it IS an opition, only if there is an available parent to drop them off and pick them up and it costs a lot of money (which I do have but am unsure if I am willing to shell it out, for something I did not create).



In the aspect of humiliation I was going by what Slyvia said. In her post she says they should be allowed to fail without the parents intervening with schools/teachers. She was also speaking of public humiliation. It was ALL in the exact same paragraph of hers. A child IS going to be humiliated if they fail, they are going to be seen by their peers taking the exact same class or grade, over again. No, it is not invoked by someone else but it is still humiliation (self inflicted humiliation - embarrassment), which is what Sylvia was agreeing to. Which I also agree with. IF, they are old enough, that it is not going to set them back an entire year OR force the parents to completely restructure their own summer and fork out $3000.



Anyhow, I know I have it right, for me. Whether it is right for you, is not my decision nor does it really matter, to anyone but ourselves, right?



I am also unsure of how you can say doing something to oneself would not be humiliation. Damn straight you can humiliate yourself. Just because no one is forcing you to do something degrading or shameful, does not mean you won't be humiliated.



ETA:

Kelly, I am very aware of what Summer school is intended for. Thanks for the clarification. I was simply going by what Sylvia had said. She WAS looking for self inflicted humiliation, which summer school (as you suggested) isn't going to allow for this. That's all I was getting at.



My problem is having the idea that a parent should not intervene and try to asess and fix the issues, that may be unknown at the time.

[deleted account]

Well, I think you sort of have it--Yes, they should be allowed to fail, but only AFTER attempts have been made to help them pass, including working with teachers, tutors, and developing study plans, but NOT including humiliation.

In your second paragraph, you mentioned that summer school was not an option because (in addition to a lack of financial means) there would be no natural aspect of humiliation to it. Summer School is NOT meant to humiliate a child, it is meant to give them the additional time, information, and learning that they need to understand the material in the subject they've failed.

Even failure in itself is not an act of humiliation because no one is forcing the victim to fail--failure is a result of the students' own actions, whereas something like forcing a child to make a public statement of shame, or advertising a child's failures to social media, results in the student/child being shamed and humiliated by the actions of someone else. Is that making more sense?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/10/2012

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Ah, from my perception what was being said is it is OK to allow the child to fail and have to take that class again, even though, they would be humiliated(which BTW I do agree with, IF it means they aren't being held back the entire grade. If they are in High School), as long as they are older or teens. I took it as, if they are failing a subject, then let them and they can re-take the class and suffer natural humiliation and that the parent should NOT be trying to help them BEFORE they fail. However, keep in mind this could cause bullying, since they may be extremly teased for failing.



They can take summer school here too but, it means a parent must be available to drop them off and pick them up. When you both work, that is a bit difficult. It is also NOT cheap. It also would not have any form of natural humiliation since they wouldn't know anyone there. I haven't looked into how many classes they need to fail before they fail the grade but I know they can fail the entire grade before grade 10.



I personally think any form of extreme discipline, should be used very seldomly and only when it is warranted. Yes, IMO, there are times certain tactics should be used. Just never ones that are going to deliberatly force the child into submission or be made to look like a complete fool in front of others.



I'd prefer to get them before they end up being low life's and living in scum because they never learnt how to be productive adults. Some kids need to learn the hard way. If it were my kid, I would prefer they did this under loving care, when they still had a roof over their heads and food in the fridge, rather than when they are on their own and live through a mountain of hardships. Society can be cruel and it doesn't care about your feelings. Just be sensible in your actions as a parent and remember how you would feel if it were you. Sometimes, a little humiliation can teach valuable lessons. It just depends on how , why, what and when they are employed.



ETA:

Extreme discipline does not mean abuse, such as wearing signs or making a spectacle of your child. In case you are wondering. Although, I hope I made that fairly evident in my post.. ;)

[deleted account]

In the states, it is only up to grade 5 that they risk failing then entire grade for failing one subject, even then before grade 5, they can take summer school classes for up to 3 subjects and still pass, so it is really difficult to fail an entire grade here unless they are failing every single subject.



I don't think any parent would say you shouldn't meet with teachers and put a plan in place for getting the student back on track--that is not humiliation, that is helping a child develop a plan that works for everyone. A child should never be made to feel humiliated or ashamed for seeking help.

I think what is being debated is whether that plan, established by parent & teacher, should include humiliation, such as calling her out in public on her grades or saying things about her that would make her peers think less of her.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/10/2012

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Sylvia---or letting a kid who failed a class through sheer laziness suffer the consequence (taking the class again) rather than trying to "fix" the problem by intervening with the teacher/school. I have no problem with that kind of "public punishment", at least not for older kids and teens. It's a life lesson: part of life is that you sometimes screw up, and occasionally you screw up big-time, and sometimes those screw-ups and their consequences occur in full public view. And most of the time, everyone survives.



I just want to interject that the choice of only failing "one" class is not available until they are in High School. Until grade 10, they risk failing the entire grade. They do not get to fail one class and then move on to the next grade below grade 10. However, once they are in grade 10+, they get to pick their courses/classes. So, yes, if they fail one, they can definitely take it again next semester. No biggie.



However, I am interested in a suggestion to what a parent is to do when it is one or two classes AND they would have to take the entire grade over again. Honestly, in this case, it makes a hell of a lot of sense to work with the school. Have a meeting with the teachers and child, to develop a plan to get them back on target. Wouldn't you or anyone agree with that?? I am not talking humiliating them in front of anyone, intentionally, if they are humiliated for having to meet with the teachers, well too damn bad! It's a lot less than being humiliated having to take the grade all over again, right? While all your friends make fun of you the next year.



Seriously. I mean, if you are willing to let your child fail and not work with the teachers, do you realize that this means they will no longer get to graduate with their friends? They will graduate a year later IF, they don't have any further issues in the next grades. Is it not understandable to want to try to work with your child, to find out WHY they are failing, rather than just let nature take it's course and let them learn a lesson, that they may not be completely able to comprehend? Again, I am talking kids/teens NOT in High School (obviously, since kids are not in high school, anyhow).

Sylvia - posted on 05/10/2012

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I see two different things being discussed here. One is public humiliation that occurs as a natural and direct result of making bad decisions (especially when malice and not just immaturity/stupidity is at issue) -- like Krista says, making someone who commits vandalism repair the damage they caused right out there in front of everybody; or letting a kid who failed a class through sheer laziness suffer the consequence (taking the class again) rather than trying to "fix" the problem by intervening with the teacher/school. I have no problem with that kind of "public punishment", at least not for older kids and teens. It's a life lesson: part of life is that you sometimes screw up, and occasionally you screw up big-time, and sometimes those screw-ups and their consequences occur in full public view. And most of the time, everyone survives.

The other thing, though, is parents deliberately engineering publicly humiliating situations to punish what are in some cases pretty inoffensive offences. This, I find disturbing. Really disturbing, in some cases (shaving your kid's head and making her jog the neighbourhood wearing an adult diaper?! WTF?!?!?). Kids are not learning anything from punishments like this, except that their parents are vindictive asshats who don't subscribe to the Golden Rule (or whatever your particular culture calls it) -- because I'm willing to bet none of those parents would consider it fair or just for their own transgressions to be punished in an equivalent way, even though they are adults and presumably capable of taking full responsibility for their own actions.

This is the problem I have with punishing kids in general: the ostensible purpose is to teach them not to do whatever-it-was again, but in most cases you could accomplish that goal more effectively in a more humane and respectful way, so you have to wonder -- what's motivating the hard-ass approach? I've heard it said that parents punish their kids because the child did something that made the parent feel bad (disappointed, angry, embarrassed, annoyed) so the parent seeks to make the child feel bad in return. And honestly, when you read about some of these incidents ... that analysis makes a lot of sense. I think if you're considering something that drastic, you should be asking yourself, What is it I'm actually trying to accomplish here, and how will the punishment I'm complicating achieve that goal?

I'm particularly grossed out when parents punish their kids in humiliating ways for not getting good enough grades at school. First of all, there are a LOT of reasons other than slacking off that a kid might get less-than-perfect grades (bullying at school, trouble or stress at home, a learning disability, a lousy teacher, a crappy or just inappropriate curriculum, a disrupted classroom environment, not enough sleep, poor nutrition...), and if you don't at least investigate some of those possibilities before rushing to punishment, you're not doing your job. Maybe the kid needs a tutor -- so you should look into hiring one. Or maybe that part-time job or the twelve extracurricular activities are incompatible with maintaining whatever grade average it is you're expecting -- so the two of you need to make some choices. Or maybe she needs more sleep and less TV -- so in that case I would say you're perfectly justified in restricting her TV time, but you're not justified in *also* taking away her phone privileges, grounding her, and making her wear humiliating signage. Second, supposing it's true that the grades are bad because the kid is slacking off. *Why* is the kid slacking off? What might motivate the kid to make more effort? Do you want the kid to learn something, or do you in fact really want to send the message "Good grades by hook or by crook!" Intrinsic motivation to learn and improve is not the same as extrinsic motivation to get good grades in order to avoid punishment; it's not the kids who really want to learn who cheat on exams and pay other people to write their term papers. (The two motivations can go together, of course.) Finally, it's just not possible for every kid to get straight A's. Life isn't like that. Sometimes you have to adjust your expectations to the kids you actually have.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/10/2012

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I agree with Jodi. I have said before that I am all for public punishment but I suppose I did not explain it well. I am for it if the discipline happens to be required while in public. However, I would never deliberately go out of my way to shame them in public. I would not make them wear a sign. Although, I would make plans with their school and go to each and every class with them, IF they were skipping out consistently. So, really it all depends on the crime they commit on how far I would go. I would of course always try to work with them first BEFORE choosing to go to the extreme. However, sometimes all the other things do not work and if you truly care for your children a parent is willing to go to the extreme.



So, as long as it is not completely degrading them and you aren't sitting there planning "How can I humiliate my child", then I am all for it. Somethings, I just wouldn't do but other things I most definitely would.



I also agree with Jamie. A parent that is having extreme difficulties is damn if they do and damn if they don't. Since if they do try to correct their child in a way others feel is inappropriate they get ridiculed but if they hadn't they may not have gotten their point across to their child and their child would carry on with the same debiliatating behaviour.



We as parents want our children to be as good as they can be. We don't want liars, theives, ignorant, rude, disresepctful children. Some kids are so far out there and so inable to understand that what they are doing is seriously going to impact their future, this is when it is the parents duty to stand up and get control.



It's simply a thing that unless you ARE in their shoes, you really don't know what you would do. You could have idea's but really, you have no firm ground to go by until you are in that very position with that very kid. Since ALL kids are different. I prefer my kids to not end up drug users or in prison. I would prefer to take extreme action before they spiraled out of control. However, I do think that these consequences are the final straw for most parents. Sure, some parents use it as their first line of method, which IMO is not the correct way to go about it. To each is own, I suppose.



Oh, I also do not agree with public humiliation if they are failing but I do agree with going and meeting with the teachers, with your child and figuring out a new way to battle the issue.

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i agree, getting straight A's is stupid. i did it all my life and i would be so mortified and scared to death of going home if i got anything less than an A+ because my grandma would whoop me. so for thirteen years i was constantly striving to make A's and freaking out anytime i made a B and God forbid i ever make a C! then i went to college and moved out and said fuck it.

Michele - posted on 05/09/2012

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I agree with Jodi. Some things when you screw up it will be known to others and that is life. And social media lends itself to public humiliation.



However, this one is WAY too far:

http://news.yahoo.com/minnesota-girl-for...



Bad grades= shaving their 12 yo daughter's head and making her run in the neighborhood with a tank top and adult diaper on. That makes me sick to my stomach and I don't think it will actually get results.

Jodi - posted on 05/09/2012

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There is a fine line here. I believe in logical and natural consequences, some of which may be embarassing. I mean, let's face it, just getting caught or being in trouble is embarassing, or at least it is for me. Sometimes the lesson (logical or natural) is embarassing to boot, and sometimes those lessons *do* take place publicly. That I'm ok with. I am not ok with publicly humiliating your child for the sake of humiliating them into submission. Making a child hold up a sign with negative things written on it about themselves is too far (or a button). As for the facebook one, I would just deactivated her account and made her explain to her friends that asked why it got taken away. So, i would have to say No, I'm not okay with purposefuly publicly humiliating your child as a form of punishment.

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