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Do You Agree With Public Humiliation As A Way to Discipline Children?

  1. talfonso profile image89
    talfonsoposted 5 years ago

    I live in Tampa Bay, and recently, I heard about the news about one area teenager holding up a sign that said, "I did 4 questions on my FCAT and said I wasn’t going to do it…GPA 1.22…honk if I need (an) education.“ If you don't know what the heck is FCAT, it's my state's standardized test series, and the letters mean Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

    Simply put, he flunked school and failed his statewide test.

    I have read reports of [url=http://socyberty.com/issues/is-public-humiliation-a-good-way-to-discipline-children]public humiliation[url]as a method of punishing your children. Some girls stood outside with signs saying, "I got caught smoking, ain't I a butt," for instance. I agree with a lot of clinical psychologists who think that the punishment can lower children's self-esteems, among other adverse effects.

    Here are some questions I'd love to ask you parents. Do you use it on your children when they do something wrong or did horrible at school? Do you think it's wrong? Do you just use it as a last resort?

    There's no right or wrong answer - join in the debate!

    1. graceomalley profile image85
      graceomalleyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Sounds like something the puritans would do.

      For me the question would be, "Why is the child failing school, smoking, ect. ?" What is driving that behavior? With something like just refusing to fill in the test - failing a high school skills test on purpose- it sounds like the teenager has no plans for a positive future. I don't think that level of self destructiveness can be humiliated out of a kid.

      Human beings are deeply social, and the threat of public embarrassment does prevent all sorts of bad behavior. But I don't think deliberately setting up humiliating situations, such as hanging a sign around someone's neck, or putting them in stocks, is a way to motivate them to good behavior. It also seems kind of uncivilized, childish really.

      I'm a big believer in treating kids as individuals, and both my kids are very sensitive. I avoid embarrassing them in front of others. I also think it breaks up the family unit. Rather than being the parent who sheilds them from strangers, by hanging a sign around my child's neck I would be holding them up for people i don't even know, who don't care about them, to administer punishment. That seems wrong to me. Seems to divide family loyalty.

    2. 0
      Ghaelachposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      When you look at the animal world we see the parents teaching their kids how to hunt or how to survive. If they fool around they get a slap with a paw full claws. But they learn, if not they starve. So growing up is all about (1) respect, (2) learning. As a kid if i did something wrong i got one round the back of the head. That did'nt happen twice for the same thing.
             I had to watch, listen and learn. But as it seems some parents are'nt very good teachers and their kids have nothing to see and nothing to hear or at least they are seeing and hearing the wrong things.
            So what i would suggest is that the parents stand on the street corner with a silly hat on their heads and a sign saying that they had let their children down badly by not helping and teaching them in their early years.This is why my child didn't get a good enough grade at school.

    3. RealHousewife profile image86
      RealHousewifeposted 5 years ago in reply to this


      1. Cagsil profile image83
        Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Did you actually read what you wrote before posting it? hmm

    4. tony0724 profile image61
      tony0724posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Musta read that book by the TigerMom

    5. Granny's House profile image74
      Granny's Houseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      If the parents are doing THEIR job and the child does not have any mental or physical problems then it is the parents fault the child is not performing good.
      Now the parent is paying for their lacking.

  2. Michael Willis profile image78
    Michael Willisposted 5 years ago

    I am against this totally! How can humiliating someone be a good thing? How can tearing down a person's self-esteem be a benefit to that person?
    Sound more like a revenge factor from the person causing the humiliation. Maybe the person causing the humiliation should seek counseling.

  3. maven101 profile image75
    maven101posted 5 years ago

    Basic Parenting 101:
    Praise in public...Discipline in private...

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image92
      Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this


      Plus, if someone bombs a test, chances are they're already going to feel bad enough about it. If a parent (or other authority figure) makes a big deal about it, tells the world, and encourages everyone to point and laugh, then the kid will still feel bad, but the bad feeling will be focused less on his own need to improve and more on how unjustly he's being treated. If the goal is to make the kid resent authority in general and the person who humiliated him in specific, then well done.

  4. lorlie6 profile image86
    lorlie6posted 5 years ago

    Public humiliation has been a popular disciplinary tactic in the Far East for centuries, but I find it abusive.  Community pressure already exists in all cultures, there's no need to shame individuals.

  5. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    I also saw that on the news. The woman is ignorant, public humiliation is almost the worst form of emotional abuse. There are more constructive ways to inspire and encourage a young person.

    Hopefully his teachers will work with him in a more encouraging manner. Some students perform poorly in school because of their abusive home environments.

  6. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 5 years ago

    There'a sheriff somewhere in the US who's real proud of himself because he uses public humiliation on prisoners.  The point isn't whether the prisoners deserve better; but there's something really disgusting in something in tone, that gives you the idea he gets a real kick out of humiliating someone else.  There's something twisted in any person who finds it at all acceptable (and some actually get a little kick out of it) to use public humiliation.  It's abuse.  People who are ignorant know it's abuse.

    It's a great way to make a kid despise you, though - so if that's what you're going for over something like test grades, go for it.  See where that gets you now, ten years now, and when you're old and struggling and could use your kid's compassion and help.

    (On a side note about discipline and kids, another four year was "allegedly" beaten to death by her own two parents in Massachusetts a couple of days ago.  The mother admitted to "sometimes spanking her and missing" (and hitting her bag), and the father offered an explanation for a handprint on her back by explaining that when she was unresponsive after being beaten by her mother) he hit her back to try to bring her back to consciousness.)  (I really need to stay away from the news and the Internet for awhile.  The sickening ignorance, aggession, and lack of empathy in so many parents is making me feel like my head is going to explode!   mad  mad )

  7. cobrien profile image80
    cobrienposted 5 years ago

    The Question is, what lessons do your children learn when they are publicly humiliated?

  8. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 5 years ago

    Wow! What a great idea!
    We really should bring back the public stockades.
    And while we're at it, why not reinstitute the practice of branding people on their foreheads for their transgressions?
    Dunking, stoning, burning at the stake...
    As fashions are cyclical, punishments should be cyclical as well.
    Puritan New England, The Scarlett Letter, The Crucible --
    Now THAT was the high point of American history......

    ......NOT! Seriously, public humiliation is questionable for criminals (definitely does not serve any reformative purpose). It is absolutely abusive and emotionally damaging for children!

    I absolutely agree with Maven101. Well said!

    1. Lisa HW profile image82
      Lisa HWposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      MM, Your point (and one so many "normal" people who don't want to demean children, or anyone else, share) was made with brilliant style.   smile

      What's disturbing is that, even though they haven't yet dared to show up on this thread (yet) (and probably because they don't want to feel humiliated), there are a whole lot of people who actually think public humiliation is "a great way to teach a lesson".  The one about making teens wear signs in public has shown up on local news, or one the radio.  Every once in awhile someone proposes some bill that involves publicly humiliating someone who commits some infraction or crime. .  A long-time and beloved (by people who didn't think he was freak) principal at a local elementary school was big for this kind of thing.  It's out there.

      How about this:  Someone starts a website and posts pictures of anyone he knows, or has heard of, who's in favor of publicly humiliating kids, and then visitors can go on there and make demeaning posts about him?   Oh - and then people could print pages from that website and leave stacks of them in local supermarkets and wherever newspapers and real-estate ad papers are sold.    roll

  9. Michael Willis profile image78
    Michael Willisposted 5 years ago

    Lesson for humiliated child? Hmmm, how about fear me or else!
    This is similar to the way a Bully would treat someone. Parents need ways to teach and discipline their children without resorting to abusive methods.

  10. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    The story is so disturbing. What adult would want to wear a sign at work for four hours because of poor performance, standing in the front lobby?  Should mom wear a sign saying, oops, I was being a bad role model?  Why do parents equate punishment with discipline?  They are not the same.

  11. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 5 years ago


    1. maven101 profile image75
      maven101posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      lol lol lol

  12. recommend1 profile image71
    recommend1posted 5 years ago

    Public humiliation is carried out by people who feel humilited by life, for being what they are.  By doing it to others they get some satisfaction inside that feels as though they are doing something right.  In publicly humiliating their kid these parents are just showing their own deep insecurity and damaged personality.

  13. leahlefler profile image98
    leahleflerposted 5 years ago

    Wow - this makes me sad, and angry. The kid is failing school and won't take the exam (probably because he has been failing school and doesn't know the answers to the questions). So, where has his mother been for the past few years? The kid didn't start failing school overnight!

    I am completely against public humiliation. Kids make mistakes. Certainly, children need boundaries and limitations, but this mother is acting out of spite for her own child.

    When her child first started failing school, did she try to find out the cause? Is there a learning disability? Is the child having social issues at school? Is he simply making poor choices with prioritizing his time?

    Kids' brains don't finish developing until they are 25. The prefrontal cortex (responsible for planning and judging actions) is the last area of the brain to develop - adolescents don't have the same thinking and planning capabilities as adults, which is why they need our boundaries, mentorship, and guidance. They don't need our shame.

  14. sofs profile image87
    sofsposted 5 years ago

    That is the worst thing you could ever do to a kid who is still working out his identity.. Imagine the damage that is cause to the self esteem and self worth of the Kid. This is to be condemned.

  15. Karen Ray profile image83
    Karen Rayposted 5 years ago

    Seems to me something was wrong way before the test for a child to just refuse to take the test. It would be interesting to me to know what kind of parenting skills are employed the rest of the time. Has he gotten by with refusing to do required things at school before, etc?

    In answer to your question, I don't agree with using public humiliation as discipline for children/teens.

  16. talfonso profile image89
    talfonsoposted 5 years ago

    Wow! I've never thought that a lot of you are on my side! Who's next to answer my questions? Do you agree that children should hold up signs for doing drugs or failing school, or are they merely wearing badges of shame made out of poster board with marker written on it?

  17. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    Do You Agree With Public Humiliation As A Way To Discipline Children?

    It is ignorant actions that humiliates a child in public and shows that the person who does so, lack any understanding of self or other or life or all three.

    Humiliation is hard enough to deal with on a one to one level, much worse if made public. At least, in the one to one level, it can be taught to be a good thing. Humility is going to happen in life, regardless whether or not, someone wants it to happen.

    To humiliate a child, of an undeveloped mind, one who doesn't understand who they are and have it done in public, will only create "hate" or "hatred", between the child and the one who disciplines. If that hate or hatred is only realized by the child and the child has an undeveloped sense of self, then it will be more destructive than of value to those in the child's surroundings. Possibly so much so, someone ends up dead and then two lives are lost, and many more damaged.

  18. CARIBQUEEN profile image76
    CARIBQUEENposted 5 years ago

    Why lower anyone self-esteem and confidence by disciplining in public areas. Why should we feel superior to anyone much less a child whom we suppose to cherish and love. Why let our little ones suffer psychological problems due to humiliation. Can't we respect our little ones so they in turn can respect and love us. Correction can be done in love, I did not say abuse and brutalise, but by speaking to our little ones and guiding them in the right direction. Do not let our children fear us but love us. We have to mold our children in the right way - they are the next generation.

  19. Flightkeeper profile image80
    Flightkeeperposted 5 years ago

    As someone has said before, discipline is used to reinforce the desire behavior.  I'm not sure what public humiliation reinforces, in addition, that poor kid might have some learning disability which has not been determined.  Public humiliation is something that the commies use; not really a group of people I would want to learn from regarding discipline.

  20. gypsumgirl profile image92
    gypsumgirlposted 5 years ago

    Disciplining children by having them hold signs that tear apart their self worth is absolutely not ok.  Have we gone back to the medieval times?  We may as well put them in stocks and wheel them through town so people can spit on them!  Geez...we've gone WAY back in time.

    Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to discipline a child, in my humble opinion.  What these mothers did was not even close to positive reinforcement.

    Jim Fay and Foster Cline's Love and Logic way of discipline actually works well for all children (and even adults).

  21. amymarie_5 profile image88
    amymarie_5posted 5 years ago

    Children should never be humiliated publicly. That is just damaging.  Children are still learning and can easily be scarred by something like this.  If your child is acting up in public take your kid home and dicipline him or her.

    1. Cagsil profile image83
      Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      What is with people? Do you not think or is that you just don't know? A child is going to get humiliated at some point and it's a good chance that it will be public to begin with, and it's happen. Humility is a life teaching emotion, it helps people be humble and grants them the ability to see their own faults. It's part of the acceptance that one must do to have peace with self.
      It's not damaging, if learned from.
      Only if they don't know or understand.
      Be careful what you advocate? In many states, the child has more rights than the parents, with regards to "how" one disciplines their children(which is a government strong arm civil tactic gone bad).

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image92
        Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        "A child is going to get humiliated at some point and it's a good chance that it will be public to begin with, and it's happen."
        True, absolutely true. But the question is, did the child get humiliated because they did something embarrassing? Or is it because someone deliberately humiliated them?
        If it's because the kid made an embarrassing mistake, then yeah, that'll probably be a learning experience, and the kid will learn something like, "Watch where you're going," or, "Visit the bathroom before you leave home," or, "Think before you speak," or, "Don't admit that you like Justin Bieber in front of your peer group."

        If it's because someone deliberately caused them embarrassment, by perhaps making public something that happened in private, or can be reasonably expected to remain private, then the lesson learned will be something more like "[Person] cannot be trusted," or "[Person] likes to make fun of me," or, "[Person] is a jerk."

        In the second case, the kid will definitely learn a lesson. It just won't be the lesson you want to teach.

        1. Cagsil profile image83
          Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Agreed smile There is much learned from it. wink And, it's not only restricted to the child either. wink

  22. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago

    It is definitely egregious to humiliate a child in public.   Most parents publicly humiliate a child not for the child's own good but to demonstrate the act of powerplay over the child.    Most parents view parenting not as a teaching nor educational device but as one to exhort their power over their child. 

    Many parents believe that their children are their property and appendages to mold into the parental image.   Many parents do not have the concept of children being individuals in their own right.   These parents have a controlling and authoritarian view of their children as nonentities and/or blank slates.

    To publicly humililate a child irreparably damages their self-esteem.   Publicly humiliating a child is actually a form of child abuse.  Sadly, in this society, children are often seen as lesser beings than adults thus it is believed that they can be treated any way the adult wishes to.  However, a word to the wise: how we treat our children is THE WAY they will eventually treat us!  So what goes around, comes around!