Humiliation Strikes Fear in Teenagers



Parents using popular yet cruel methods to punish adolescents is not an effective way to raise their children. Publicly shaming children is a harsh punishment that can be harmful to a child’s development and their self esteem.
Growing up, people fear the dreaded outcome of being humiliated by a peer at school, but what if the humiliation was in their own home? Parents have taken disciplinary actions to a whole new level. Spanking, standing in corners and other undesirable actions were once common everyday punishments in the household, but, due to of the prevalence of social media, these punishments have altered. Public media has become a breeding ground for parents to expose their child’s discrepancies.

Commonly, parents have used the act of placing their child on the side of a road with a sign exposing their wrong-doings to passing traffic and pedestrians. This may seem beneficial, but it can actually be harmful to a child’s development and self-esteem. One’s childhood and teen years are when development is most prominent and any disruptions or damage could be escalated as adulthood is reached. These methods can impose the use of power over others, leading them to recreate the experiences inflicted to them in the past.

In Tampa Bay, Florida, a mother put her 15-year-old son on the side of the road with a sign reading: “I did four questions on my FCAT and said I wasn’t going to do it…GPA 1.22…honk if I need education.” This seems over the top to point out her son’s trouble with school. To put anyone’s GPA on broadcast for all to see would be an embarrassment to anyone. Another mother in Florida, placed her fifth grader with a sign saying, “Hey, I want to be a class clown. Is that wrong?” Isn’t this a little young to be publicly nitpicking her child? Yes, his behavior could be problematic and might need to be changed, but that should be done from the parents alone. Parents should not be allowing strangers to help with this odd way of discipline.

Some parents have taken to videotaping the repercussions to their child’s behavior. In North Carolina, a father of a 15-year-old girl uploaded a YouTube video of him shooting her laptop. His reasons were that she was being disrespectful and complaining about doing her chores. Later on, the father said he still stood by his actions but felt he did overreact and should have kept it a family affair.

Shaming a child for their mistakes does not prevent repetition of these actions, but instead it can cause the child to react negatively to their parents and other adult figures with rebellious behavior. Just because one does something against their parent’s expectations does not mean it is acceptable to shame them and make them feel worthless for a careless mistake or trouble in school.

These type of actions are detrimental to a person’s well-being and are mistakenly thought to be as effective parenting. It is difficult to believe these would be the measures a parent would take with their own child to prove a point or lesson. Instead of turning one’s child away, they could remove privileges which could receive better results and a better parent-child relationship.