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Parenting: teens

Why child-shaming on social media is poor parenting

  • Posting punishments on social media invites the world to comment on the wrongdoings of children and labels them as deviant
  • Spare a thought for the children left humiliated and probably suffering from low self-esteem as a result
PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 December, 2018, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 December, 2018, 7:00pm

I refer to the issue of parents using social media to punish children, posting videos online of how they deal with the errant youngsters. I believe this kind of “tough love” is absolutely the wrong way to discipline children. It is a bad parental choice which may have a negative effect on the child.

If parents punish children by uploading videos or photos of how they were made to toe the line, it is public shaming that invites the world to comment on the wrongdoings of their children and labels them as deviant. The parents have no control over who views the video and the kind of comments it may attract. It may cause the children to feel stigmatised in their everyday lives: they may be mocked by their peers and find it hard to make new friends.

Live streaming of how children are made to pay for their misdeeds is increasingly common in our age driven by web documentation and attention-seeking on social media, but spare a thought for the children who are left humiliated and probably suffering from low self-esteem as a result. And such parenting tactics may actually backfire, making the children act out in desperation.

Instead of using social media, parents could think about making children face up to their mistakes in private and correct the wrong done, in the real world. For example, if a child has stolen something from a store, parents should bring him or her to the store to apologise to the owner, and pay for the item from their pocket money. That is teaching good behaviour, and will benefit the child in the long run.

Victor So, Tai Po