Should social media ever be used for disciplining your child?

A dad disciplines his daughter for her disrespect by shooting her laptop to death and sharing it with the world via video. A mom in Ohio posts a photo of her daughter with a red X over her mouth and tells her she has to answer everyone who asks why she is no longer allowed to use Facebook. Both parents have gotten much press over their unusual disciplinary actions. I wonder whether they chose to social media as punishment, or for the media attention…

But should children be publicly disciplined? To me, it’s a bit reminiscent of days long ago where there were public floggings and people were put in stocks in front of the whole town. Does the world need to know your child has done something worthy of punishment? Does public embarrassment and humiliation take the place now of course correcting your child in lieu of the good old-fashioned idea of taking away a favorite like the computer or Internet access?

I must admit I’ve threatened public humiliation. Twice I’ve said I would post a YouTube video of my daughter’s messy room, a video where I take a popular song like Brittany Spears’ Toxic and change the words to reflect the state of her bedroom. The mere threat worked…and I didn’t have to subject the world to my off key singing.

Just once did I take a situation online. My daughter also drives me crazy, first and foremost, by borrowing my clothes. It’s not a huge infraction, but something my Twitter mom friends and I talk about it a lot as it is a real sore spot for moms of teenagers. One day, we came up with a plan: I should change the doorknob on my closet to one that I can lock with a key. It was a huge undertaking, as the shoe rack on the door had to be removed to replace the knob. But when it was all done, I was so happy thinking this would thwart her efforts. I didn’t say a word to her, but I tweeted about it to some of my friends on Twitter–publicly outing her in the hope this would end. Together, we all waited to see how long it would take for her to notice. I never got to find out. On Day 1, I got a call from the managing agent of my apartment building telling me my dog had been barking all day. I had forgotten that my dog had chosen my closet as his dog cave and sleeps in there all day long. My closet would never be mine as neither the daughter or the dog will leave it alone. My daughter got the last laugh.

So what do you think? Would you ever do something like shoot your child’s laptop?



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