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?