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Facebook Punishments

I’m sure you heard recently about the mother who is facing criticism after punishing her daughter via Facebook. Her 13 year old daughter not only got involved in a bunch of online drama with her friends but mouthed off to her in front of her friends, so Denise Abbott not only temporarily banned daughter Ava from using her cell phone or logging onto Facebook. But she also altered Ava’s Facebook profile photo to read: “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.” Abbott also added a red X over the teen’s mouth.

Oddly enough, Abbott has come under fire from parenting experts and bloggers claiming this sort of punishment is public shaming and is not OK.

I say if your child wants to have an online personality, they are going to have abide by your rules and show proper respect while interacting online and especially with dealing with you, the parent. In this day and age everyone often scrutinizes punishment and discipline. What was once considered OK by general standards is no longer OK by parenting experts and the parenting community in general (because now there is one).

Parents are left to come up with new ways to teach their children lessons in an effective way that also coincides with the priorities and lifestyle of this connected generations of kids. These days the punishment must fit the crime. Now I am most certainly not advocating, oh I don’t I know, shooting your child’s laptop, but if your child is involved with online drama, give her online drama. Hit her where it hurts, figuratively.

Now despite what critics have said about this method of punishment it spears to have actually had a positive effect on Ava. Ava emailed NBC news affiliates with the following statement:

“I feel like I deserved it because I was mean to my mom and spoke disrespectful to her in front of my friends. Facebook is a big part of my social life and it’s how me and my friends find out what is going on and making plans and about schoolwork and projects. It made me realize that I didn’t want my picture on there like that because all of my friends were asking me what happened and what I did. I told the people that asked me and my mom why that I spoke to my mom mean when she was doing nice stuff for me and my friends. I know my mom always makes sure I don’t get away with stuff like that and I was sorry. Thank you, Ava”

My opinion? If your child doesn’t want to be punished through Facebook, then she shouldn’t be on Facebook.

What do you think?

24 Responses to “Facebook Punishments”

  1. paula

    Wow this sounds like something my mom would of done while growing up :O I am who I am today because my mom taught me right from wrong. I feel parents are to soft on children today and that is what is wrong with the world's children today. If and when my daughter is old enough to us FB she better expect this mom to watch her pg. and know what is going on. She also better treat her parents with respect if she ever wants to even use a computer.

    • Seth

      This. Parents should be teaching their kids what's wrong and they'll learn what NOT to be doing on the internet.

  2. Megan

    We didn't have the internet when I grew up, but I knew if I bad mouthed my mother in front of my friends she would not hold back on punishing me nor keep my friends from hearing about it. Just because kids can do these things online now, doesn't mean parent's should be any more lenient on their child. In fact, I think kids (especially teenagers) walk all over parents these days. As a parent I feel we are constantly told to go easy on our kids, but with everything teenagers do and have to deal with these days, sometimes we need to be a little bit more firm. We need to be clear on what behavior and respect we expect from them and clear that there will be consequences when they do something that seriously challenges these expectations.

  3. Betty Baez

    I don't think this mother was out of line. When I was younger if I did or talked to my mother in the wrong way it didn't matter where we where and who was their I was going to be punished and embarassed. I think this was actually quite a creative idea of punishment and I think she will learn her lesson, in this age we as parents have to come up with different ways in dealing with situations like this

  4. Shari Lynn Alligood

    I think that's whats wrong with kids today & parenting too many people judging how others raise their children. Yes I know there are instances where the State needs to come in & handle situations but my dad is a pastor & all the while growing up I felt embarrassed when he or my mother would call me out in front of others or even the whole church. I am now glad they did they helped me by being harder on me & I would never in a million years speak out against them in public, in private, or online. I am scared to think how I would have turned out if my parents had been even a tad bit lighter on my punishments.

  5. Charis

    How interesting! I don't think it was out of line either. I know I would have been mortified (and straightened up quick) if that had been my profile picture for however long…

  6. Julie

    I think this is one of those situations where you can't really judge too much about it, without knowing all the back story. Teenagers can be incredibly disrespectful, but I think a lot of modern parents can be disrespectful of their teenagers too, and I'm not sure what that teaches. But, it's certainly possible that this mother had plenty of discussions about respectability and appropriate behavior, and gave her daughter a warning of "if you don't shape up, you'll be banned from FB, and I'm making it public."

    My concern is that parents might see public (FB) punishment as an easier way of dealing with the thorny, difficult task of talking to your kid in person.

  7. Marjorie Tripp

    What worked as a punishment in 1980 is not going to work today. Many times, children don't realize the impact of their behavior until it's put into context – i.e. they're in the same situation they created. In this case, the daughter experienced exactly how she made her mom feel. And, judging by her letter, she learned her lesson. I don't think her mom went overboard at all. Sometimes, it takes action, not talking, to get the message across. Especially with this generatin.

  8. Swaggin Anastasia Beaverhausen

    How many of these so-called "PARENTING EXPERTS", have children? When my children were younger (they're all grown now), I went to various "Parenting Classes" where the instructor had no children at all, they got all of their information from books and lectures of other people. Now as to whether I agree or not with the handling of Ava, I feel that mother did the appropriate thing. That form of punishment had the desired effect in that Ava was made aware that her behavior was not acceptable. I had my own brand of discipline with my children that some thought was weird or out their, but I got my point across and it didn't scar my child. Once, my oldest son (who is now 29) shop lifted some candy from the supermarket. I didn't find out until we were home and his siblings were arguing with him (they wanted a piece). After I found out, I immediately took him by the hand and marched him out to the car and we drove back to the supermarket where I asked for the store manager and their security guard. I had the security guard hand-cuff him and explain to him about what happens when someone takes something that doesn't belong to them, especially if you don't pay for it. Needless to say, he never stole again and it was also a great deterrent to his siblings to not do it either. All parents need a hands on approach to raising their children. We'd have a much friendlier, compassionate and productive society if we all played our parts in some young person's life! We might even have a more courteous population.

  9. Ambrielle

    In my opinion if they are under 18 they shouldn't be on Facebook! My kids get extra chores, if the chores are already finished they help one of the neighbors with a chore (take out the trash, poop scoop, pull weeds etc) they have learned pretty quick and maybe do "punishment chores" 2x a week on a bad week!

  10. Abby B.

    I'm all for parents disciplining their children, in fact I think this country could use a few more parents that do. But for me personally, this would Never fly with my family. This is more of a public ridicule then training a child in a loving, respectful manner. Who's the grown up here.

  11. Calli

    I started on facebook as a college student when you had to be a college student to get an account. I believe that anyone under 18 doesn't need a facebook account; there simply isn't a way to regulate content. In this case, i think the mother did what she thought was best for her child and her child's friends. Ava is able to clearly explain to her friends that what she did was wrong and that will keep them from following her initial example.

  12. Hugo

    I completely agree. If they do not want to be publicly punished, they should not have a facebook. I don't have a facebook for that reason.

  13. Sandi

    I feel the mother know her own child and what the best punishment will be, so I think it was probably the right call.

  14. Seth

    I feel you need to be careful with what you're doing on the internet, and if you're not, you may have to be punished.

  15. Michelle Tucker

    Although I don't think it's over the top, I believe that there could have been another way. Such as deleting her facebook account or changing the password so the daughter couldn't log on at all. It's amazing how cruel kids can be at school, and I think that something of this nature would have made going to school really difficult.

  16. Jennifer

    I don't even like Facebook for myself! It prevents me from being social, being outdoors, etc. There isn't a lot of good that can come from poking around the site really. I'm a believer that people are happier when in the presence of others.

  17. aric

    i don't even use facebook. i don't want people stalking me and i don't need to stalk others. i'd hate to have to punish my future children because of the site.

  18. Someone

    Three things: one, that's cyberbullying. So congratulations to the mom for feeling big, and pouring the family's dirty laundry all over the Internet. Two, the girl probably felt more embarrassed FOR her mother than she felt BY her. Three, the girl will just make a second, secret account.

    If you think this is not harsh, then you have forgotten what it feels like to be a teenager, and I suggest you don't become parents until you develop some empathy. Peers are incredibly important, and school is tough. Humiliating them on facebook is just about guaranteed to mess them up psychologically and socially.


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