For centuries, parents have experimented with methods to teach their kids the concept of right and wrong. Every once and a while, a new solution tests the boundaries of what’s acceptable. Thankfully, spanking and other types of physical discipline are now viewed as child abuse. But the latest wave of punishment can feel even more painful than the sting of a slap.
When grounding and time-outs just weren’t cutting it, Colorado mom Jessica Rocha decided to end her children’s bad behavior once and for all. Her harsh solution? Making her 8 and 9 year olds wear t-shirts explaining their offenses. Because of the punishment’s humiliating nature, school officials did not allow the t-shirts to be worn. Jessica immediately responded to the school, claiming that the consequence is not only harmless, but it also works. Becoming a public display of their mistakes instantly stopped her kids from bullying and stealing. But did she go too far? Even if it works, are shame and humiliation OK?
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about this debate. Last December, another mom put her daughter through something similar, when she forced her to hold a sign with a statement including, “Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor, I am obviously not ready for social media.” Even worse, the mother posted a pic of the event on Facebook, and the image went viral.
Just one month before, parents in Florida made their 15-year-old daughter advertise her wrongs on a busy street corner. “I sneak boys in at 3 a.m. and disrespect my parents and grandparents,” the sign read. And if that doesn’t do it, the couple plans to up the embarrassment by shaving their daughter’s head.
In nearly every case of public punishments, parents claim to have tried every other option, and they’re calling this their last hope. According to them, it’s a method that works, and its traumatic damage won’t last forever.
Although the punishment may appear temporary, its effects are almost permanent. They’ll always be known as “that kid who cheated” or “the girl who stole”. And isn’t the purpose of punishments to learn from your mistakes and then move on? So what do you think: evil or effective?
BY JULIE HARANS ON 6/4/2013 1:13:00 PM
POSTED IN In the News