Lately I have been seeing a lot of posts about parents publicly shaming their children, on Facebook nonetheless. I personally don’t understand why many parents think this is going to teach a child anything. Has your child really learned from the experience? Or have they just learned how to not get caught next time?
I would bet dollars to doughnuts that your child will just be more careful to not get caught. Shame doesn’t teach a lesson it makes you feel like crap for what you did, it makes you resentful of the person who has made you look bad. Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time the someone made you look dumb infornt of all your friends. Did you feel all warm and fuzzy towards them? Probably not. I know I hate to have my dirty laundry aired. I imagine today’s children don’t feel any different.
Now I can see a parents thinking with doing the shame thing on Facebook. I really can see the thought process. It doesn’t mean I condone it at all. You child has done something and you are mad. You want them to pretty much feel like shit for what they did and so that the point get driven home you want to do something drastic so they realize the magnitude of your anger. You want their friends to realize that it is not okay to do this, maybe the other kids parents too! Your child will never ever do this again, they will be so embarrassed they will smarten up and behave themselves. Sure it sounds like a great plan, but have you dealt with the issue at hand? Or have you just shown your power and ability to control your child?
Getting into a power struggle with a child, teen or really anyone isn’t going to end well. When you get into power struggles someone always loses. Unless your goal as a parent is to be the winner and defeat your child this is not going to be a long term parenting system. Children who are under a heavy handed control system while they are children are likely going to look for this relationship their adult life. This may be in many form, could be continuing to need parental approval, a controlling spouse or work situation. Or they could swing the other way where once out from under the controlling roof they decide that they will be the one in control. They will typically look to be on the power side of the relationship and controlling those weaker or less then they are. Yes these are both extremes, though this is a reality of this kind of parenting. Intentionally shaming children into submission is abuse, and it can have major side effects.
Now many parents will say that they have tried it all and nothing is working, this is the only things that works. I ask you though how many times have you tried the other methods? Once, twice? Are you consistent in looking for respectful ways to speak and discipline your children? Now I mean appropriate discipline, where it is reasonable, simple, valuable, and practical? The consequence should fit the offense. I know the desire to yell and threaten and remove any sort of fun is very tempting. Though is it going to teach the child anything? Consequences that are reasonable, simple, valuable and practical , that are done with the child and their growth as a person in mind go a lot further.
So stop the shame and thinks about the future. Would you want your children telling your friends about the things you do wrong? Would you want the fact that you need to be in diapers or forgot your tetth at home on the evening news? Just remember while you are the adult now and the one making the rules, one day the tables can flip and you will depend on your children. Where do you want your relationship to be?