With all the stories that keep coming up about how parents are utilizing Facebook as a tool to discipline their children, I'm really glad I was raised during an age when the latest-greatest technology was color TV. During that era, so long ago, discipline might've been no TV for a week! Hard to imagine now how harsh a punishment that was since we were being denied access to a mere total of 4 networks. But harsh it was, enough to keep us eating our vegetables, doing homework, and completing our household chores...at least most of the time.
It must be written in the "I am the parent - you are the kid" handbook, that it is not necessary to have a direct correlation between the real or perceived offense and the punishment. Ignoring the responsibility of feeding and walking the dog could earn the penalty of cleaning bathrooms. Refusing to eat green beans could result in doing the weekly ironing. It was the parental privilege to mete out the punishment as they saw fit. Other than the very few close friends the violation was confessed to, the incident stayed behind closed doors. Probably where the roots of the iconic Las Vegas slogan was born: what happens at home, stays at home.
Facebook seems to have changed all that. The recent story about an Ohio mother who chose to punish her daughter publicly via Facebook takes a disciplinary action from the privacy of home to the internet public. MSNBC has the story: Mom who used Facebook to discipline teen has no regrets. In summary, the 13 year old girl was disrespectful in the way she talked to her mother. In response the mother posted a picture on the girl's Facebook timeline that contained the following message: "I do not know how to keep my (mouth shut) I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why, my mom says I have to answer everyone that asks."
Both the girl and the mother claim she learned her lesson and will likely not re-offend in the same manner again. I think it's abuse. Even though this continues on the no correlation between the offense and the punishment path, this isn't an issue of clean the garage because you left the milk out. It's retaliation in a most public and humiliating way. And while the girl was duly punished, Mom is enjoying some bit of celebrity as she's being interviewed by various news outlets.
Perhaps life really was easier when an earlier generation was deprived access to TV for not eating liver and onions. With only 4 networks there was no room for the reality glimpses like this of disfunctional parenting.
What do you think? Do you think this mother was justified in her choice of discipline?
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