People Are Now Live Streaming Kids Punishments. Please Stop.
A recent report explored the unnerving fact that more than 30,000 videos of parents live streaming their child-shaming exist on the internet, and the growing trend is dismaying both experts and parents nationwide.
Trying to discipline a child the correct way can be a daunting task, especially if we were raised in households, where who shouted the loudest was the enforcer. Yet, a new way of child shaming has started to emerge, and that of parents humiliating their children while streaming it live for not only the parents’ friends but the child’s peers also.
Live streaming videos from cutting all a child’s hair off, to setting their gifts on fire, while also streaming the video for a captive audience, who view the humiliation as a reality televised series, where everyone is on a stage – is damaging our children’s mental health and wellbeing.
One extreme case from 2015, with a parent named Jessica Beagley, showed her live streaming a video of their child being forced to eat during hot sauce, while she hurled abuse at him in a freezing cold shower simultaneously. She was eventually convicted on child abuse – which in only resulted in a suspended sentence a small monetary fine.
Another display of parental abuse was of a father who posted a video on social media that eventually had forty-five million views, as she shot his daughters’ computer as a form of punishment while live streaming. Under the unremorseful video, he commented. “Maybe a few kids can take something away from this… If you’re so disrespectful to your parents and yourself as to post this kind of thing on Facebook, you’re deserving of some tough love. … Today, my daughter is getting a dose of tough love.”
Another father, who did not see the irony of his actions, forced his son to run in the rain after the son was accused of bullying. Reinforcing the belief, that you can take advantage of someone who is weaker than you, and make them do what you want.
Parents Weigh In
The majority of parents were fast to chime in about the new form of ‘punishment’. “Shaming and bullying/humiliating a child is never okay. Period,” Gabby Gamble, a mom of two from Champaign, Illinois, says. “As an adult, how would you feel if your boss screamed at you in front of 100+ employees and berated you about how bad you are?”
Danielle Joyce, a mom of two from Phoenix, Arizona, notes, “I don’t agree with humiliating your child publicly as a form of discipline. This might make a temporary change in behavior, but in the long-term, I fear mistrust and anger towards their parents. We are putting things out there without their consent while expecting them to respect our authority as their parent. We are not their friends as a parent, we are the people teaching them to make good choices.”
Psychologists Warm Of The Dangers
Child-shaming online could potentially lead to “low self-esteem and crippling self-doubt,” explains Karyl McBride, Ph.D., LMFT, author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. “The child is learning to mistrust others and their own feelings, causing a child to feel like a failure and a bad person.”
Parents who lean on this form of discipline would do well to step up communication, points out Bela Sood, M.D., child and adolescent psychiatrist with Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and Virginia Treatment Center for Children. “When I see parents resorting to these types of punishments, it signals a breakdown in communication,” Dr. Sood notes. “In other words, it shows a parent’s inability to convey their sense of expectations to the child. Making a child feel ashamed can further damage the relationship and hinder the child’s ability to build positive self-efficacy and self-confidence in the long-term.”
She also says humiliating kids to address misbehavior is bad enough without the social media component, but “broadcasting the videos for the world to see only showcases the parent’s own bad behavior.” she explained to parents.com
Dr. McBride recommends swapping shaming with empathy. “If we want to raise good people, we need to parent with empathy,” she explains. “Children need to be seen, heard, and validated. When they make a mistake, they need to be taught that we all make mistakes, and we can learn from them.”
Ultimately, Dr. McBride believes “parenting should be about teaching, guiding, loving and modeling kind, empathic behavior towards others.” Not only is shaming and humiliating children “emotionally abusive,” but it “teaches them to be bullies and mean to others.” Any form of discipline that backfires in that way sounds best avoided.
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