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Public Embarrassment: A Good or Bad Punishment For Kids?

Updated on April 15, 2012

Is It Too Far?

Every morning I wake up and read the news, first the local then onto national news. I noticed yet another story about a kid that was forced to hold a sign as punishment. These stories have been popping up slowly but there definately has been an increase. Parents of "troubled" kids are finding new ways to punish them in hopes that something will sink in.

The theory behind the sign punishment is that if the child is required to publicly disclose what they have done then they will not be inclined to repeat the action. The offense determines what the sign says but parents are being sure to get their child seen by many. The kids take their signs to a busy street corner and stand there, some times for hours, until their punishment ends.

Now, I'm not sure how well this punishment works for all kids but social workers have started to chime in with their options. Their thinking is that positive rewards go further than punishment. Which may be the case in small children but teenagers defy everyone, sometimes punishment is needed. So far, even after child advocates have made it clear they don't agree with the discipline, there has been nothing found to be wrong with this type of punishment. The children are not in danger, most of the time they are closely watched by a parent during the punishment.

I would love to hear parents thoughts on this, leave your comments below.


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      oceansider 5 years ago

      I do not believe that children should be humiliated like that. It can only hurt them and not help them. I have raised four beautiful children who are all adults now, and I never did anything to embarrass them in public, and when I saw a parent who did, I felt angry that any parent could humiliate their child - I think it's very cruel.


    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 5 years ago from New York

      I am not a proponent of embarrassing children in public. Children do not learn tolerance from such tactics. As a teacher, I see time and time again that children who are nurtured with fair consequences are the most well-rounded children.