Are parents being judged too harshly for being... parents?

Hello to you all,

I want to know what you all think about this news story;

Seeing as in some countries, I am speaking from the UK's point of view, parents are under the spotlight more than ever. in the past 10-15. In a lot of the cases (not all), it seems like children have more rights than parents. You can argue if that's the case or not. If the parent punishes their children non violently, it's somehow abuse rather than teaching the child that doing something bad would lead to be disciplined for said action.

What do you think and how are things like in your country and where you are from originally?

What are your thoughts on the news story and what are some bizarre stories you have heard.

Parents, guardians, carers, child minders etc. Feel free to comment and let me know.

Thank you.

In the past 10-15 years, what's really been going on is parents have come to understand that physically punishing their child is considered abuse so they've been coming up with bizarre, non-violent forms of punishment and they can't figure out why people are put off by them. Like you read about parents locking their child in a broom cupboard for hours at a time, making them stand next to traffic with signs about their 'sins' strapped to them, and other just really bizarre things that a respectable member of this country would know is socially unacceptable.

On the one hand there's the hyper-punishing schools who will expel kids for drawing PICTURES of guns, and on the other theres a bunch of parents who won't ever say no to their kids. I sometimes wonder what the heck ever happened to common sense these days.

I have to say good for the girl's mom, I'd say the punishment was spot-on.

It's just that publicly humiliating a child because he/she was publicly humiliating another child is like beating up someone because he beat up someone.

It's inflicting the same (if not more) physical/emotional damage to the perpetrator, which doesn't solve anything. Studies dealing with these issues are overwhelmingly clear that this philosophy is not successful as a deterent.

An Eye for an Eye thing is soooo 2 millenia ago, no?

I'm not a parent but I don't think disciplining your child should ever involve public humiliation.

They could have just made her sell her iPod and donate the money to charity without posting it on Reddit for upvotes.

I think it's poor parenting to post an image of your child on a public forum with the intention of shaming her and having complete strangers shame her.

If the mother was bulling her child, the sign would NOT say, "[I'm a nice, smart young girl who did something bad]" it would say something along the lines of "I'm a stupid nasty little girl who bullies people."

I don't think she's humiliating her, she's punishing her for doing wrong. Assuming the school did nothing to try help, I think this was a pretty fair punishment. The mother wasn't nasty in teaching her daughter a lesson. Donating the money to charity was a nice gesture too. People are far too sensitive. :/ I've seen some parents REALLY bully their child, and this is nothing compared to that.

Edit: It's not something I would do because I know what some people on Reddit are like. If she had posted it on her personal FB page, I don't think this would cause such an uproar and would have been more acceptable.
I imagine the child would have somewhat agreed to this too. If the mother forced her to do this against her will using whatever means, then it could be investigated.

Probably, everyone and their dog has an opinion on what is good parenting and bad parenting, and not always with the best experience or evidence to back their claims. Particularly, people tend to make assumptions from hearing about that one case of a parent shaming their child on the news or of a school suspending a student for drawing a gun and assume everywhere is like that whereas in fact these are the extreme minority, hence why they make the news in the first place. Most parents and most schools are fairly average in discipline.

I disagree strongly though with your claim that 'it seems like children have more rights than parents' in the UK at-least, parents have almost complete control over their child's life provided they provide adequately for the child and don't abuse the child. Physical chastisement is still fully legal as long as it doesn't leave a mark on the child, which also for the record is illegal if used against adults or even pets. Given how few they have already, what rights exactly would you take away from children? The right to not be beaten up? The right to not be starved? The right to an education? I'm curious which of these you think is unneeded.

I can't see the video because my tablet doesn't seem to support embeds, but I'm guessing based on the comments that it's the story about the mom who made her daughter sell her iPhone for charity and had her hold a sign saying so, for bullying another girl.
Aside from the selling the iPhone, which was more than likely bought with the mother's money anyway, what she is doing doesn't seem to me to be as anywhere near as nasty as some bullying can be, and while I don't know what exactly the girl did in the first place, it seems to me like this will help teach her some empathy. It's not an eye for an eye, it's giving her a taste of what it would be like to lose an eye so that she doesn't go around poking them out in the first place.

Well I'm a firm believer that a good spanking suffices as a valid form of punishment. There's a difference between giving a spanking and giving beating, and I'd argue that the former is not abuse. Still, with the coming of the Politically Correct age, you're no longer allowed to touch a child at all without someone screaming abuse, so out goes spankings.

Now I've seen many stories like this where the parents - since apparently spankings are right out - have turned to publicly shaming their child. Personally I find this to be yet another perfectly good form of punishment. Just as spankings instill the thought "Since I don't want my ass to be sore, I'm not going to do this", so too does the "shaming" punishment instill the thought "Since I don't want to be embarrassed in front of all of my friends, I'm not going to do this."

What are parents supposed to do? Let their kids do whatever the hell they want? "Oh little Susy's been naughty so lets send her up to her room for time-out for the next 10 minutes or ground her for a week. Either way she'll be hanging out up there just doing what she does all the time anyways: dicking around on her phone." Yeah, that's a real punishment. That surely gets across the message that they shouldn't be doing whatever it is that they did.

Here's a reminder for all the people that cry and moan about this kind of punishment or spankings for that matter: punishments are supposed to make the punished think about what they've done in a manner that makes them (hopefully) change their behavior. Don't want to get spanked? Don't want to get embarrassed? Then I guess you shouldn't have been throwing rocks at passing cars.

From dictionary.com:
punˇish [puhn-ish] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
1.
to subject to pain, loss, confinement, death, etc., as a penalty for some offense, transgression, or fault: to punish a criminal.
2.
to inflict a penalty for (an offense, fault, etc.): to punish theft.
3.
to handle severely or roughly, as in a fight.
4.
to put to painful exertion, as a horse in racing.

Also there's an informal definition relating to "punishing a quart of whiskey" but that doesn't apply here. :P

That's it?

When I saw the preview image I thought the sign was going to say, "I'm a horrible person who enjoys the distress of others" or something. "I'm a good kid who made some poor choices and now I have to sell my phone" is about as mild as it could possibly be,

I'm not sure if putting it on Reddit was such a great idea though. Wouldn't the kid's Facebook page be more fitting? Other than that, seems like a good case of the punishment fitting the crime.

I wouldn't exactly call it public humiliation either. More like a public apology. Although the word "sorry" wasn't actually in there since it wasn't being addressed to the original victim.

A parent who takes responsibility for their kids actions is better than any parent who doesn't in my eyes

JoJo:
Probably, everyone and their dog has an opinion on what is good parenting and bad parenting, and not always with the best experience or evidence to back their claims. Particularly, people tend to make assumptions from hearing about that one case of a parent shaming their child on the news or of a school suspending a student for drawing a gun and assume everywhere is like that whereas in fact these are the extreme minority, hence why they make the news in the first place. Most parents and most schools are fairly average in discipline.

I disagree strongly though with your claim that 'it seems like children have more rights than parents' in the UK at-least, parents have almost complete control over their child's life provided they provide adequately for the child and don't abuse the child. Physical chastisement is still fully legal as long as it doesn't leave a mark on the child, which also for the record is illegal if used against adults or even pets. Given how few they have already, what rights exactly would you take away from children? The right not to be beaten up? The right not be starved? The right to an education? I'm curious which of these you think is unneeded.

Yeah most people have the misconception that smacking is illegal in the UK when it's not. You can smack your child so long as you don't leave a mark (reddening of the skin doesn't count).

OT: I think the parents could have gone about this in a better way. A for effort but poor execution; publicly humiliating your child will only cause more harm than good.

Zhukov:

I wouldn't exactly call it public humiliation either. More like a public apology. Although the word "sorry" wasn't actually in there since it wasn't being addressed to the original victim.

I kinda disagree with you here.

I think it would be preferable for the emphasis to be on a heartfelt apology to the victim in question and explaining why the victim is owed an apology, as opposed to the "taste of your own medicine" route.
She shouldn't have to issue a public apology because she doesn't owe anyone else an apology and the photo was put there specifically to embarrass her.

Putting the photo of the girl on Reddit for the purpose of embarrassing her is public humiliation, maybe not to a well-adjusted adult, but certainly to a pre-teen girl.

Colour Scientist:

Zhukov:

I wouldn't exactly call it public humiliation either. More like a public apology. Although the word "sorry" wasn't actually in there since it wasn't being addressed to the original victim.

I kinda disagree with you here.

I think it would be preferable for the emphasis to be on a heartfelt apology to the victim in question and explaining why the victim is owed an apology, as opposed to the "taste of your own medicine" route.
She shouldn't have to issue a public apology because she doesn't owe anyone else an apology and the photo was put there specifically to embarrass her.

Putting the photo of the girl on Reddit for the purpose of embarrassing her is public humiliation, maybe not to a well-adjusted adult, but certainly to a pre-teen girl.

Ehhhhhh...

If that constitutes public humiliation then I'm not sure I have anything against it.

I also think there's something to be said for the tasting of one's own medicine. A punishment may or may not stick, but if (and admittedly it's a big "if") you can make a bully feel some kind of sympathy (for lack of a better word, you know what I mean) with their victim then that's going to be a whole lot more effective.

You can make a kid apologise, but you can't make them mean it. I remember as a kid being made to say sorry to various people for various misdemeanours and I never meant it one little bit. It was just a matter of saying the words so mum would lay off.

Not much else I can say that I didn't already. The actual message is extraordinarily mild and Facebook probably would have been a better place for it.

In this case I can't see the problem. Making examples of bad behavior can be effective, especially for children who can say "I'm sorry" and not mean it. This "humiliation" (if you can even call it that) will make the child, and others realize you can face real consequences for hurting people. I seriously doubt this girl will be dealing with some kind of negative effects from this for the rest of her life, in the future she will probably look back and laugh at the situation.

I should point out I would never do any public humiliation or shaming, but if my child is proven to be bullying or doing something wrong to others, I would encourage him or her to face the consequences, even if it is a bit embarrassing.

As for the general question of parental rights, in some cases I feel as though parental authority is undermined. Obviously there are a lot of really bad, abusive, and substance abusing parents out there that the children need protection from. However, there are times when good parents seem to come under fire for fairly innocent reasons like being too over protective, or disciplining their children in a tough but fair manner.

I need more context to garner the situation, some kids can be cunts for no reason, and at 13-ish years old there is no "I didn't know better", for all I know the mother raised her as a bitch by generally looking the other way but stops at cyber bullying, so frankly it's pretty damn near impossible to gauge this situation appropriately.

Bring back spanking. It'd eliminate the need for whatever the hell that is in the OP.

Yes.

I'm increasingly sure that many of the people who howl "ABUSE" at a father flicking the back of his kid's head have never seen a real abuse case in their whole lives.

I've been vocal about this before and I don't think making punishment public is a good idea.

Had it been a public apology I would have been OK with it. Make her write it on Facebook rather than to have her face plastered to a message.

Selling her iPod for a good cause is something I can agree with depending on how the situation is. However if she was "bullying" a friend I would consider the context. I don't know if she said some nasty things or did anything worse, because you know, young kids say all kinds of nasty shit to each other when they're upset with them.

The real question is this: Why are they ill-equipped to solve a problem?

The gripe about my folks that I have is not that they're abusive. It's that they dunno what they're doing. Not a clue as to how to do what they do. Many parents - as Bill Cosby would say - don't actually want to solve a problem, but that they want quiet. And while this makes for a funny anecdote by the comedian in question, the darker side of that is that unresolved tensions of all kinds remain lying about and mishandled, leading to MORE misbehavior and certainly resentment.

Essentially, when you try to handle a problem with an answer that doesn't fit the issue in the first place, your credibility is tanked. The reason beating is so looked down upon is obvious, but more to the point it teaches the wrong lesson. It teaches anger. It doesn't teach the lesson that makes kids want to stop the behavior. It makes them want to be sneakier about it and not get caught. And don't tell me they aren't crafty enough. After all, I had parents, so I know how to fool them. I'm a writer now, and back then I was a talented liar.

But to get off of the consequences of adults who don't know what the hell they're doing for a moment, you can tell that it's bad when I have to be the dynamic one who opens up the Serious Family Discussion to prevent us all having a falling out. Seriously, that's ridiculous. Why am I the one doing the diplomatic job of someone who is supposedly older and wiser than me? Well, I get bragging rights, but still, it emphasizes my point properly:

Parents should be judged harshly. They are responsible for roughly one-half of your development in terms of personality and life lessons. There are reasons for which a law against negligance exists. True, the job is not easy, but you are dealing with your living legacy, your offspring in a world of offsping to continue that cycle we call life. If you didn't do everything you can to prepare said offspring, you have only yourself to blame.

RJ 17:
Well I'm a firm believer that a good spanking suffices as a valid form of punishment. There's a difference between giving a spanking and giving beating, and I'd argue that the former is not abuse. Still, with the coming of the Politically Correct age, you're no longer allowed to touch a child at all without someone screaming abuse, so out goes spankings.

Now I've seen many stories like this where the parents - since apparently spankings are right out - have turned to publicly shaming their child. Personally I find this to be yet another perfectly good form of punishment. Just as spankings instill the thought "Since I don't want my ass to be sore, I'm not going to do this", so too does the "shaming" punishment instill the thought "Since I don't want to be embarrassed in front of all of my friends, I'm not going to do this."

What are parents supposed to do? Let their kids do whatever the hell they want? "Oh little Susy's been naughty so lets send her up to her room for time-out for the next 10 minutes or ground her for a week. Either way she'll be hanging out up there just doing what she does all the time anyways: dicking around on her phone." Yeah, that's a real punishment. That surely gets across the message that they shouldn't be doing whatever it is that they did.

Here's a reminder for all the people that cry and moan about this kind of punishment or spankings for that matter: punishments are supposed to make the punished think about what they've done in a manner that makes them (hopefully) change their behavior. Don't want to get spanked? Don't want to get embarrassed? Then I guess you shouldn't have been throwing rocks at passing cars.

From dictionary.com:
punˇish [puhn-ish] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
1.
to subject to pain, loss, confinement, death, etc., as a penalty for some offense, transgression, or fault: to punish a criminal.
2.
to inflict a penalty for (an offense, fault, etc.): to punish theft.
3.
to handle severely or roughly, as in a fight.
4.
to put to painful exertion, as a horse in racing.

Also there's an informal definition relating to "punishing a quart of whiskey" but that doesn't apply here. :P

It's more the case that parents have proven, multiple times that they have no clue how to discipline kids. There are plenty of stories of parents beating children unconcious, throwing things at them, hitting them, even killing their pets.

Basically while some/most parents may agree that physical discipline 'helps to teach', the simple fact is that most parents also have no clue how to administer a proper corporal punishment, and will claim that 'they did their best'.

The simple rule of thumb is to never punish when you're angry...but parents don't get that I suppose.

What is the benefit of publicising it? The punishment is already that she has to sell her phone. The only reasons to put that picture up in public is either to humiliate the girl, or attempt to win praise for being tough parents who are willing to punish their kid. Probably a bit of both, with both being really shitty reasons.

I don't think parents are being judged too harshly. I think they are finally being judged appropriately. Kids are a huge fucking responsibility. They lack empathy, they're ignorant of the world, they lack self control. Yes, it's true that there's no guidebook on how to raise children. No, people who don't have children will never fully understand how completely unbearable children can be. But that's why you have the option to not fucking have kids. If you choose to have kids, then yeah, you should be prepared for people to judge you on how you raised them.

My obligatory Bill Engvall Vid on this subject:

I was raised with strict rules that carried strict punishment, up to and including confiscation of property and corporal punishment. And I wouldn't have it any other way, and am going to raise my kids the same way. It makes no sense how we do it today. We are so scared of making kids upset that we let them run wild and do what ever the hell they want.

Everyone has different opinions on what is "right" for parenting and what isn't. That's fine, but the problem comes when other people force their opinions on what is "right" onto other people and use the "For The Children" defense.

For example, many people these days believe that physical punishment is wrong, to the point where even those who believe it is right are hesitant to use it because they don't want to get charged with child abuse. There are places where it is more leeway - if you go to a more religious area, or are part of a more religious social circle, the occasional spanking for bad behaviour is far more likely to be accepted than if you were in a more secular social circle (or a different variety of the same religion; Evangelical vs United, for example). And there are places where even raising your voice at your child may be grounds for Child Services to be called.

As it is all done for the "good of the children", it becomes far more difficult to fight back against it when it's being applied to you. When your "right parenting" is "wrong parenting" to someone else, all they have to do is to call the local Children's Aid Services or Police or whatever the local name is and your life will never be the same. You may believe that spanking is fine, if done in moderation and is controlled but if your neighbour believes that any form of physical punishment is dangerous, you aren't going to spank your child. It's not about you wanting to coddle your kids, or about not wanting to hurt their precious feelings - it's about being terrified that you're going to be labelled a child abuser because you spanked them for breaking a flowerpot through a glass table when you have told them for months not to touch either, have given them time-outs when they touched them in your sight and the moment you're out of sight for just a few minutes, they do exactly what they know they aren't supposed to do.

Mrs. Makt and I were both raised by parents who spanked us when we deserved it, and our parents were quite good about explaining to us exactly why we were being spanked and what we could do in the future to NOT be spanked. But we're also both quite secular and non-religious, so our social circle does not condone spanking nor will the public schools we will send our child to. So we aren't going to spank Lil'Makt. Not because we don't believe spanking is right, or because we just want to coddle Lil'Makt, but because the cost of spanking may be far too high for the potential reward that will come from spanking (that reward being better behaviour from Lil'Makt, when required). It's part of the reason that we waited so long to have kids - we're scared of other parents, we're scared of schools with a "Zero Tolerance" policy ("Lil'Makt has a black eye... she says she was wrestling with Daddy and got hit in the eye. But it's right there on her face, so we have no choice but to call the Police.") and we're scared that if it comes to it, we'll lose Lil'Makt because the authorities will say "Better safe than sorry." and will take Lil'Makt away.

(Much of that is buying into the Media Hype surrounding the issue, we know, and that's a big part of what allowed us to make the decision to have Lil'Makt. But the hype does have a basis in reality, unfortunately.)

I really liked that idea of a punishment, it emphasizes for the child that what they did was wrong and it gives a taste of what they've been doing to others along with donating money to then prevent it.

My view on punishment of children is that since spanking children etc has become frowned upon it's a lot harder to get the message across that something is bad. Which then leads to strange ways to berate a child or even just a lack of punishment at all. In my opinion it's made future generations of kids a lot worse behaved than in the past.

My biggest concern though comes from a friend I have who was doing child care/primary teaching. They are not allowed to tell someone else's child that they are wrong or what they did is bad. So they can barely intervene if a child say pulls another's hair or hits them, only tell the parent when they come to collect their child and have them do... nothing.

It really concerns me

I miss the time when you could just beat sense into some brat for grossly misbehaving...

I've seen plenty of kids that have been raised in "modern" ways. They're usually either complete retards, antisocial or borderline psychotic. The parents defend them as being "lively" or "anti-authoritarian", blaming those who have to endure the ways of their offspring. The fact that kids up to a certain age (14 in Germany) have absolute legal immunity in most european countries doesn't make it better. They can steal, vandalize and injure people as they please and all that happens is that their incompetent parents have to pick them up from the police station.

I'm sick of all these social workers and pedagogues that condemn all the established methods to experiment with minors.

While I will say that the fact that she had to sell her iphone and give the proceeds to an anti-bullying charity was a good idea, the reddit thing definetely was not.

Involving the internet on familial judgment is a fine line to walk on at best, because you can never trust the internet to remain civil or upstanding about these matters.

I do like the bit that the girl was taught that her actions have consequences, a lot of teenagers just seem to forget that because they either have neglectful or lack-a-daisy parents, which ends up in them doing stupid things or potentially harmful things.

(God do I sometimes dislike being grouped with the stereotype of "Millenials")

Modern parenting does tend to be laissez-faire a bit too often though, I can't help think that those cyber-bullying stories could've been avoided if the parents were more involved with their own kids, far too often it seems like they just dont talk to their kids and that is a shame: if they could it can help them with a lot of problems because the teenage years are those awkward years where hormones are douchebags and can throw your emotions out of whack, and you react more sensitively to things than you would as an adult.

Being able to talk about it with someone you trust helps, I don't but that is because of secondary school fucking me up a bit in the way that I trust people, so I usually tend to keep my problems to myself, but that's something else entirely that I do not want to get into right now.

In conclusion: modern parenting is a bit too lax, kids should learn to take responsibility for their actions and parents should be more involved in their own children's lives.

Chaosritter:
I miss the time when you could just beat sense into some brat for grossly misbehaving...

I've seen plenty of kids that have been raised in "modern" ways. They're usually either complete retards, antisocial or borderline psychotic. The parents defend them as being "lively" or "anti-authoritarian", blaming those who have to endure the ways of their offspring. The fact that kids up to a certain age (14 in Germany) have absolute legal immunity in most european countries doesn't make it better. They can steal, vandalize and injure people as they please and all that happens is that their incompetent parents have to pick them up from the police station.

I'm sick of all these social workers and pedagogues that condemn all the established methods to experiment with minors.

You know as soon as you said all of that, a local story came to mind. During the London summer riots back in 2011, many people, who I will call "fools" went out to cause trouble and after that day, the government went rough on anyone involved. One case was about an 18 who went out to cause trouble and she was caught on CCTV. Her mother found out what she was up too via footage on the news. Next thing you know, she rang the police on her own daughter and she was sent away by police. Many people were shocked that she called the police on her own daughter but you know what, I am glad she did. Some parents need to stop protecting their children that cause trouble that may harm others and not suffer the consequences. If that was me, my mother and father would do exactly what that mother did. Those few nights were just hell where I lived and idiots like them should be punished and this 18 year old was a youth ambassador for a borough in East London.

Teaching a child how to behave in society and get along in life = parenting.

The above is equally interchangeable with, punishing a child for their wrongdoings and teaching them a lesson.

Making someone do the right thing isn't bullying.

Ok, an opinion from Germany here, and it's specific to this place I think.

Apart from the parents, the Office of Youth is always criticised - either because they have "wrongfully" taken away a child even though the parents were trying to get better (this is especially often shown in bad TV-shows aimed at stay-at-home-mothers) or they didn't do enough and should have been more restrictive. Then there's the people saying they should have their budget cut because of all the times they have fucked up. These people are stupid. All those mistakes come from a lack of budget - employees of the Office of Youth simply do not have enough time each day to actually check on all the kids that have been put on their schedule. They can't. I just wish people would understand that "revenge funding cutting" isn't the way to go here.

But on parents being judged: Some parts are overly sensitive. Kids don't have to be watched 24/7, even when they're relatively young. A lack of trust in your kids will do more harm. But as soon as you let your kid out of your eyes, those bored middle-class idiots scream and whine about "child abuse" and that you should watch your kid all the time. Jesus Christ, kids need independence and parents need a bit of time away from their children. The kid is a block away playing with his friends, no need to sit next to him. And the whole "PAEDOPHILES WILL STEAL YOUR CHILD" argument is so god damn stupid anyway, I could rant about it a lot longer.

My stance has always been: if you can't handle your child, you shouldn't have had them in the first place, and don't expect the government to parent them either.

Public humiliation is unacceptable as a form of punishment for a child. That's basically bullying, if you ask me. I don't give a shit how bad the thing that the kid did was; shame should never be used as a weapon. Not to mention, studies have shown that corporal punishment doesn't actually teach the child that what they're doing is wrong; it just makes them confused, angry, and teaches them that violence is a good way to get someone to stop doing something you don't want them to do.

Trust me, I'd love to slap the shit out of some kid that was crying and pissing me off by not doing what they're told. But that's why I don't have kids. Because I'd be a horrible bastard to them. I don't have any ill feelings towards my mum now, but I remember at the time, I'd be scared shitless when my mum walked off to get the belt if I was doing poor in my homework.

 

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