There’s nothing fun about the “Shame Game” some parents play.
Online shaming, or disciplining a child by embarrassing him on social media, is nothing more than adult bullying.
As an early childhood educator, I know children begin to care about their reputations as young as age five. I’m horrified by some of the incidents shown online.
Public shaming of a child sadly reveals an adult bully who needs to learn more effective parenting techniques.
Digital tech has added a complex layer to parenting this summer, when kids are home and devices are so available.
Parents will use a whole list of effective strategies to protect their kids from online dangers once school vacation begins:
router with strict filters
computer in “public” location at home
use of no cost controls that come with software
family rules, for example, everyone plugs into the same power strip before supper or at night
apps that track
As digital dependence grows, we’ll see an increasing number of tactics emerge throughout the year.
October was designated as anti-bullying month. But two months later, in the middle of the jolly “Ho-ho-ho” season, bullying continues to make headlines.
The reason is simple: bullying continues to impact a large number of children in all age groups.
According to the recently released “Bullying in U.S. Schools: 2013 Status Report” (data like this is often published after detailed analysis, making the numbers feel a bit dated) bullying peaks in third and fourth grades. That’s actually earlier than I expected.
I was also surprised that students who are bullied suffer simultaneously from several types of bullying. For example, in the upper grades, girls suffer from verbal, rumors, sexual and cyber bullying.
The report details types of bullying that effect kids at various ages. Worth reading:
During Q & A sessions with parents, discipline issues are often an undercurrent. However, I’ve noticed what I perceived as a shift in thought (and actions.)
In conversations with parents, fewer talk about spanking (or are willing to admit they spank.) Instead, they talk about redirecting behavior, removing privileges or similar solutions to out-of-bounds behavior.
I was reminded of that when reading the latest data from Harris Interactive: four in five parents believe spanking their children is sometimes appropriate. Hmmmm… Perhaps an online poll generates more honest responses.
Extreme? Ridiculous? Out of control?
Absolutely, and I’m not referring to kids who lie, cheat, shoplift or otherwise break family or society rules.
Parents who publicly shame their child are out of control.
“Discipline” comes from the word “disciple,” which means to teach, lead or guide. Public shaming is a sad way to model what’s right.
The Bully Report; Trends in Bullying Pulled from Student Facebook Interactions, released by Common Sense Media (link below) sketches a frightening, although not surprising, picture of bullying. The report reflected from more than 50,000 teens. Nearly every student reported some bad experience with bullying.
At least one of the finding is worth emphasizing: California, which has strong bullying policies, ranks near the bottom in many bullying categories. If such proactive efforts pay off, why aren’t more states making bullying prevention a priority?
When I heard about another fatal traffic accident involving texting, I thought back to data released this summer. I couldn’t recall the exact statistic, so I looked it up: (Link below.)
90% of kids (age 8-17) say “It’s OK for parents to set rules on phone use,” but only 66% of parents do that.
Don’t be afraid to parent! Your child’s life might depend on it.