The go-to punishments parents have been doling out for years, like writing an apology letter or sending you to your room, are being taken over by a new trend in discipline. Some moms and dads are penalizing their children by driving over their Xboxes or shaving their heads - and they’re uploading videos or livestreaming the acts online, too.
You can find more than 30,000 clips on the Internet of kids being punished in this way. From two boys whose dad gave them “old-man haircuts” with the camera rolling for their bad grades at school to the dad who shoots his daughter’s laptop to punish her for a Facebook post in a video with more than 45-million views.
That dad calls it “tough love” and that’s how a lot of these parents justify shaming their kids while punishing them and then posting them online for the world to see. But parenting experts are concerned about the trend.
“The thing that’s so weird about this is that they’re videoing themselves, says parenting coach Sue Atkins. “Why aren’t they just engaging and teaching their children how to behave properly, and using positive methods? Why shame them? They’ll never get that respect back.”
So while some parents think they’ve come up with a creative way to deal with their child using swear words or not finishing their chores, humiliating their kid and broadcasting it on the Internet makes it that much worse. Experts warn that these tactics might seem to work in the short term, but may do more harm in the long run.
“Shaming and humiliating children in private or public is emotionally abusive,” explains therapist Dr. Karyl McBride. “It causes young people to grow into adults who suffer from crippling doubt. It causes fear and anxiety that does not go away. Children respect those who respect them and their tender feelings.”