By Ontahya Ross
Is It The New Era of Parenting?
Or Another Form of Bullying?
Painful emotion caused by the awareness of having done something wrong or foolish.
A pervasive, negative emotional state, usually originating in childhood, marked by chronic self-reproach and a sense of personal failure.
A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy: an act that brought shame on the whole family.
One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
To bring dishonor or disgrace on: behavior that shamed him in the eyes of the community.
Is online shaming truly an acceptable form of parenting and another way for a parent to say look at me “I’m such a good parent”?
Bullying at its finest?
Most think that online shaming is a way of “teaching a lesson”. One of the leading ways of staying connected is through social media, so it may seem clever to use social media to reach a child. But what happens when it goes too far?
Some parents seem to relish in the self-satisfaction and self-imposed ego trip from shaming their kids online. I’m for anything that helps discipline, motivate, and encourage positive change and behavior in a child, but not at the cost of demeaning the child.
Online shaming has somehow become the norm of discipline. But is it really discipline or a way to make ourselves feel superior while demeaning another? We go on believing that we’re teaching the child a valuable lesson; then telling ourselves that the child brought this upon themselves because they were warned repeatedly not to do whatever caused the public shaming. But is this really helping the child when bullying, cyberbullying, in particular, is at an all-time high resulting in suicide.
Michael Taylor and Izabel Laxamana, are just a few who have suffered from online shaming.
Izabel Laxamana jumped from a bridge just days later after video surfaced of her father cutting the teens hair in an attempt to “change” her behavior. Many are calling what the father did abuse and blaming the video for her untimely death. Izabel Laxamana’s post on Google Plus just days before the teen’s death proves that she was troubled and having issues with fitting in.
Izabel Laxamana’s Google Plus post:
“I feel hated most of the time I’m in school i feel looked down on and I get judged a lot……In a school with so many people it’s weird to say “I feel alone” but the truth is that you really do feel alone.”
Even though the video of Izabel wasn’t originally posted by her father but rather by her friends, the video was still made with the intent to inflict shame.
Michael Taylor, was also a victim of online shaming. The teen was caught posing as a gangster by his uncle. The uncle whips the teenager and tells him to post the video onto Facebook. The uncle was deemed the hero and less than a year later Michael Taylor was found dead for allegedly still trying to pose as a “gangster.”
Remember when you tried to change certain the things you didn’t like about yourself? And if you succeeded, remember what a feat that was, and how long it took? Now imagine trying to change someone else, when you lack the ability to change yourself…I’m not saying that discipline isn’t needed, in all means it is, but there has to be a more humane way to teach our kids; to enforce positive behavior.
So the question is:
Does online shaming work?
If so, is it worth it?
Or does it worsen an already agitated situation and put the child in a desperate state, to not only prove themselves to their peers and others, but also to hold on to their dignity?
We live in a society ruled very much by what others think of us, where even adults are still struggling to find themselves and grappling to fit in. We have to ask ourselves,
Is it worth it?
Does this retrograde self-hate and low self-esteem? All the while, we are teaching kids that mistakes are not to be made. Instead, we should be enforcing that not only are mistakes to be made but also teaching children how to learn and grow from their mistakes, rather than discouraging an humiliating them for making mistakes.