stop shaming our kids

I’m not one to get on one side or the other regarding hot topics.

Believe it or not, I really dislike conflict. I’m terrible with it. If you start yelling at me or raising your voice, any point that I *may* have wanted to make goes whooooosh! Gone forever from my brain. All I hear is buzzing, like white noise, just on the inside.

Anyway. Today is not the conflict avoidance day….so, here goes.

I am getting really tired – REALLY TIRED – I cannot express this enough….

REALLY. FREAKING. TIRED.

of all the news stories about X parent making their child wear a sign and stand by the road or have their picture taken and posted on Facebook to shame them.

To shame them.

Last time I checked, shaming someone, no matter their age, wasn’t the appropriate way to correct a behavior. Ever.

It increasingly feels like parents are doing these things for attention, like, “Ohhhhhh I saw on the news the other day how this dad/mom made this sign and put their kid on a corner for an hour! I’ll bet I could do one better AND make the news.”

JUST STOP RIGHT THERE.

If you’re disciplining your kid to hopefully garner enough attention to make it on Channel 5, there is a serious problem, here.

Dear News Outlets: STOP BEING AN ENABLER. If children are our most precious resource and we are supposed to be teaching them how to be responsible adults, wearing shame signs ISN’T THE WAY TO GO, so stop giving it press.

What lesson are shame signs teaching our kids? One where we must blatantly point out an undesirable behavior and then to make sure you really understand you messed up, let’s announce it to as many people as possible to make you feel small and insignificant.

I guarantee you that the only thing a child will “learn” from that exercise is that doing bad things means I wear a shame sign and my parents are assholes.

That isn’t the takeaway message they need to hear and carry with them in order to be better prepared to deal with difficult situations in the future.

The message kids need should involve why the behavior was wrong. What you can do together to fix it. How to approach the situation the next time.

And all of that?

All of that should happen in a private space. Mono e mono. Parent to child. Nothing more.

How would you feel if your boss did that to you? Dressed you up in a sign that said, “I suck so bad at my job, I’m on a PIP,” took a picture, and then emailed it to the entire company? Posted it to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram? And then did nothing more to help you improve?

How’s that for a confidence and resume booster?

If your boss gave you the shame sign treatment, would you learn from your mistake, receiving both knowledge and guidance as to how to do your job to the best of your ability in the future or would you resent your boss and live in fear of it happening again?

EXACTLY.

Stop treating our kids like crap. Teach them, don’t shame them. Be bigger than that.

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8 Responses to “stop shaming our kids”


  1. 1 Mara September 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Wait, this happens? What? Awful.

  2. 4 Sanibel September 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Thats agirl! It seems to be along the same lines as hitting your child for hitting another kid. It doesn’t seem to solve much. I totally agree with you.

  3. 5 lucindalines September 19, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Hurrah! Love this post! The parents doing this were born in the wrong time. The Scarlet Letter was in. The 1600’s.

  4. 8 Brandy September 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Amen. Thanks.


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