It’s Shameful and Dangerous. Time to Stop the Shaming.


June 8, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013


shaming girl pic

Izabel, gone too soon. Doesn’t matter why the shaming was done, it was done.

The shaming needs to stop.

In what is sadly, fast becoming a new and lamentable trend, more and more parents are taking to the internet in an attempt to “shame” their kids into better behavior and ostensibly, wiser choices.

Regardless of the intent, it’s wrong, it’s a shame and it needs to stop.

The latest parenting by shaming involved a young 13 year-old girl named Izabel Laxamana whose father filmed himself cutting her long, black hair (a source of much pride to the girl) as a punishment for her “getting messed up.” The clip was then uploaded to Youtube where she was then mocked and teased by schoolmates.

The rest of the story is simply tragic. Izabel threw herself off a bridge in Tacoma, Washington not far from her family home. She landed with such force on a car being driven by Chelci Trulos, a mother of two, that both the front and back windshields shattered. It is an image that will haunt Trulos for years and a trend that should haunt all of us who care about the messages being sent to young kids everywhere.

A 14 year-old nearly dies from a suicide attempt in NJ just hours after being “shamed” on Facebook for not cleaning his room. A 12 year-old who was “shamed” for getting a bad grade on a math quiz overdoses and if not for sheer, random luck, gets medical care literally just moments before his heart would have given out.

shaming teen pic

Look, being a parent is tough. It’s often thankless and “tweens” and teens can be trying. Okay, they can be like enduring a 20 mile marathon before you have a morning cup of coffee and you’ve already said “enough with the video-games” about 100 times.

But, as the saying goes, “Kids, you gotta love ’em.

Not shame them, But love them.

Shaming hurts at any age under any circumstances. Not long ago, the comedian-actor, Jay Mohr, publicly shamed actress Alyssa Milano for her weight gain. He didn’t have the courtesy to talk to her directly of course. He used that wonderful tool of worldwide shaming, the internet. He tweeted how fat she had got, what happened to the chick he saw in “Charmed,” he wondered out loud for all the world to hear.

To her credit, Ms. Milano responded that she was in fact, “shamed” and that for Jay to please say Hello to his lovely wife.

The tweeting nation, not to mention the loyal tribe of Team Alyssa struck back at Mr. Mohr with a slew of nasty, hyperbolic tweets of their own. Apparently, Jay’s wife even said that he was a jerk. He tweeted an apology and Milano went on with her life though she may yet cast a witchy curse on him that she picked up from her “Charm” days.

shaming alyssa milano

Shaming Alyssa Milano? Seriously? Shame on you Jay.

But here’s the point. She is a mature adult with at least the experience of being in the limelight from her chosen profession and from being scrutinized by fans, critics and the paparazzi for her celebrity status. Being criticized and shamed still hurts but you have tools to fight back and in her case, fame, loyal fans (count me as one) and wealth to soothe the wounds.

Kids don’t.

Pride, their developing sense of self, their confusion over who they are and the regrettable but undeniable power of what their peers say, do and think all add up to a certain vulnerability that makes being shamed utterly traumatic.

Suicide has many causes and the experts tell us that their is often deep and profound wounds that may be triggered by even the slightest of slights.

Does it mean you can’t be a parent? You can’t discipline for fear that your child will choose something fatal as a response?

Of course not. But the next time any parent gets the urge to upload something on Facebook or Youtube how about loudly sharing with the whole world to see how much your child is loved and valued?

Keep the disciplining private.

Shout out how much you love your child for the whole world to see, hear and touch.

Shame on any of us who think this newest, hurtful form of parenting makes any kind of sense.

It doesn’t.

And it needs to stop. Now.

shaming stop sign

before it’s too late.

After the tiger there are a couple of links you may want to check out on keeping teens healthy without the shaming.





96 thoughts on “It’s Shameful and Dangerous. Time to Stop the Shaming.

  1. Leggett says:

    I couldn’t imagine growing up in this day and age as a teenager. What heartbreaking stories; we as parents must learn from these lessons because shaming kids into obedience especially on social media does come with consequences.

  2. Savianna T says:

    This is extremely sad to hear because I wouldn’t call this parenting or any means of adequate discipline. Children are very vulnerable, especially those in the teenage years because they are still trying to figure out who they are. They are at that age of experimentation and where everyone’s opinions can either make or break them. A lot of parents don’t realize they did some of the same stuff their kids are doing or less. I’m not saying let your child just go out there and experiment with everything and everyone but there needs to be some leeway to learn. There needs to be communication about consequences. Causing embarrassment at a time where their social and emotional aspects of their lives are significantly changing and growing doesn’t seem like a smart idea. It is too drastic. Not only that, why does It need to be broadcasted? Discipline should somewhat be a private matter. It’s one thing to make your child feel some type of way about something they did and it’s another to have them feel that same emotion while all eyes are on them. In a society that is constantly emphasizing beauty to young girls to the point where they will change themselves to adhere to the image, why would you DRASTICALLY alter that? Hair of all things is a girl’s prized possession. We don’t know why, it just is. It is what makes us look and feel feminine. So when a parent is coming up with this bright idea of cutting it off guess what you did? You did more than discipline them you just took their identity away, in front of millions of people! The same identity they are still trying to perfect and manage. Now that’s a SHAME.

  3. Welch says:

    The Bible teaches that we should reprove sharply followed by an outpouring of love. This is especially true with children. Most children are resilient and would deal with the scenarios presented without committing suicide. At least they would if that was the only negative event. However, the possibility exists that these shaming incidents were not isolated but were indicative of a more serious, ongoing problem at home. There are certainly crimes and mistakes that need to be made public. Others need to be disclosed to the proper authorities. U-tube and the internet fall into neither of these categories. Children are already at a difficult time in their lives. They are extremely self-conscious and unsure of themselves. By exposing them to public ridicule we are making them more insecure. I like the part that wants us to shout out of love for our children to the world. Lets celebrate their achievements with positive reward and teach them in the family setting what is wrong and right and punish them accordingly, since the family is the central unit of civilization.

  4. Yes, I do not agree with shaming. I think, as someone who does not have children but was one herself, the key to raising a child is: be honest. Tell them what’s right and wrong. Tell them what you expect. Don’t be a pushover with your children: they learn from structure and probably crave it. Shaming is not beneficial and can be ultimately detrimental to a person being a successful adult.

  5. tara c says:

    No one likes to be shamed in front of the world and especially not their friends; not an adult, a teen or tween and to be shamed by a parent who is supposed to be teaching you how to respect people and the person you are supposed to be able to turn to for guidance can destroy a child. Some children can take a parent sharing the bad things they have done on social media as way to show the world how horrible of a child they are. Once things like that are out on social media you can’t take them back and even though facebook has an age limit to have an account everyone still has one. Kids are cruel and malicious and there are some kids who do not know how to face all that will come out of posting something negative from a parent so they feel they have no options. We do need to teach our kids how to have tough skin and take criticism, but there is a line between criticism and extreme bullying. Now days, bullying has become extreme and it has become okay to post it all for the world to see.
    Since when is it okay to have the public into your home of discipline. That is a private family matter. As children, my sister and I, when we were disciplined (when spanking was not child abuse) that was the end of it my parents did not speak of it again until a few hours later when they would come back to us and ask “know why I did that “and “hope you learned a lesson” and I think we turned out pretty good. I do not even think that if social media was around then would my parents post anything about it. That is how I am with my three teenage step-kids now, discipline and communication which leads to respect on both sides, parents and kids. For me, having only step-kids and no kids of my own, when your children show you that they respect you for the things you have done and especially the way you discipline them that is the best feeling ever. When one of my 16 year old step-daughters came home drunk and had her first hangover the next morning instead of cutting off her beautiful auburn hair and posting it all over social media with her sleeping on the cold tile bathroom floor using a towel as a blanket, she had no tylenol, ibuprofen, pepto, Nothing but the towel, cold wash cloth that she got herself, a bucket and the toilet. Told her “Suck it up buttercup” did she drink again, yeah probably she is a teenager but she has never came home smelling like alcohol or drunk again. Many people wouldn’t agree with this because she didn’t get grounded, nothing was taken away from her and after talking about it we went on like a normal day when she could finally stop getting sick, but my point was loud and clear to her. Now we laugh about it and she says she learned a lot from that. That is what I want to teach them, lessons they remember, not ruin their social life by humiliation. I want them to trust me with anything not to be afraid that I will post all their secrets.

    When has humiliation and parent bullying become a part of discipline? Is it now a form of superiority over their children to earn respect? To me, parents putting stuff like that on social media is very childish and they need to grow up. Parents keep saying how bullying needs to stop but they can’t see when they are doing it themselves and how their actions are affecting their children. My dad put the fear of God in me when I was a child by just saying my full name I am 40 now and still hate hearing my first and middle name and when it is said I think long and hard if I did anything that would get me in trouble.

  6. Kathy J says:

    I read this blog the morning after having read a post on Facebook by a mother whose teenager had shared on Facebook a video of a fight at a school. The daughter did not know the subjects in the video, but had chosen to post it anyway. The mother had been notified by Facebook that the post had been deleted. The mother, obviously upset, had proceeded to say to her child what she would have said in the privacy of their own home had the teenager not been away at her father’s. It spewed of anger and disappointment and the actions that would be taken when she returned home.

    As I read the mother’s post I was glad that she did not approve of her daughter’s video share, that she was explaining to her why, and that there would be consequences to her unacceptable behavior. However, Facebook was not the venue for this discussion. Did I agree that the daughter’s friends should be made aware that posting such things is unacceptable, sure, but not in this manner. There is a time and place for discipline. There is also a responsibility as a parent to step back and take a moment or a deep breath before speaking or typing. Words can indeed be hurtful, especially when shared with the world. In this day of technology it is our responsibility to always think before we hit the send button. Gone are the days of writing a letter and having time to calm down or think about the words we have written before the mailman comes.

    Of course there were the fellow parents who applauded her for being a good parent, not allowing her daughter to disrespect others, etc. I only hope that at least a few of the mother’s “friends” had the courage to send her a “private” message and explain that she went too far by shaming her daughter.

  7. Ashley K. says:

    I haven’t seen one of these shaming videos in a while so I hope it’s because parents have learned through the tragic mistakes of other parents that public shaming can have deadly consequences. I don’t understand how parents can even think that this would be okay, given that there has been so much focus on bullying (including cyber bullying) and the awful affect it has on many teens. To me, public shaming is just another form of bullying. I have recently noticed that correcting my 5 year old when there are other people around absolutely breaks her heart. I never want to publicly shame her so I’m working on taking her aside and talking to her instead of correcting her behavior from across the room. Parenting isn’t easy, that’s for sure!

  8. valdostaphil says:


    Wow. This is terrible. I’m not even entirely sure that I was aware that this was “a thing.” I’ve heard of a few instances of this like that guy who shot his daughter’s laptop up with his handgun, but I thought those few cases were isolated.

    I hope this stays in the fringes and doesn’t ever become mainstream. Shaming hasn’t ever worked, as evidenced by the stereotype of the “preacher’s daughter.” Shaming and taboos actually often produce the exact opposite of the desired behavior. But this is a terrible, terrible phenomenon. The jury is even out on corporal punishment. Spanking doesn’t work. It just teaches children to be devious and sneaky and how not to get caught. All the research on child psychological development says that just flat out doesn’t work. This is way out there. Way, way, way out there.

  9. Antonio A. says:

    I do not believe in shaming children because you don’t know what they are dealing with, like any individual. I do believe in discipline, and do believe in spanking children, however, that is not the only solution to getting your point across to your child. Have some compassion, however, be firm and not their friend, their parent. I really feel sorry for the family who lost a loved one, it should never come to this point.

  10. Megan P. says:

    This is something that I have been trying to find the words to articulate. I cannot fathom the thoughts that go through some parents’ heads when they decide to publicly embarrass their children to a few pats on the back, laughs, and likes on Facebook. It is truly sickening.

    Recently (a few months ago) I watched a video of a woman literally slapping, punching, and kicking her teenager because she had sex. Now, my immediate reaction was to unpack my learned biases against young mothers of color because so many people gutted this woman firstly and only because it seems she had a child in her mid-late teens. After working through that, I wondered: is that what it’s going to be like for me as a parent, should I choose to have children? Is this what the standard of discipline should be? And if so, is it a prerequisite to make it public to earn your parenting gold star?

    I weep for this generation of youths. They already have so much to combat in this world and these new-aged parents that have way too much time and way too much access to the internet are only making it harder. I couldn’t give a reason for why these people feel it’s okay to do this, but I hope and pray that they find whatever validation they seek by doing this to their kids for the masses to see before it’s took late like it was for young Izabel.

  11. Nancy Sanders says:

    My son will be thirteen in 10 days. Middle school is rough. I don’t envy him. It is so hard to fit in. While there are days that I want to make a “Free to Good Home” sign, I won’t happen. As parents, we do believe that consequences are important. I am not an “everyone should get a trophy” kind of mom. I threaten to show up at school in my robe and slippers occasionally, but again, I never would because our home is his safe place. It is not a source of fear or shame. We are the people that he trusts. Social media can be a cruel weapon. I binge watched “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix not too long ago. It is based on a novel by Jay Asher. It was very scary to realize how quickly situations can flip for teens and become the source of tremendous pain. Again, a parent should be there to guide and provide comfort – not be the cause of embarrassment.

    Do these parents really believe that publicizing these struggles will have a positive impact on their child or evoke a behavior change? It makes you wonder what their true motive is.

    • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2015 CDC WISQARS)
    • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2015
    • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS,
    birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
    • Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades


  12. Lauren Harrell says:

    I could not agree more. I feel like the public shaming done by some parents is also a terrible form of bullying. They cannot guide their children properly, so they threaten them with public humiliation. As if regular social media bullying is not enough, they then post it for the world to see what “wonderful” parents they are. It baffles me how anyone can process this line of thought as being a healthy way to encourage their children to make different choices. I see it as having a spiraling effect on their child’s behavior. There is no way they are not ridiculed by their peers after a post like this is made, and then shared throughout their school. I recently saw a video where a parent shaved her child’s head after he came home with a report card that she did not feel was up to par. As he sat, with alligator tears rolling down his face while his head was being shaved, I could not help but wonder “Does she think that shaving his head is going to motivate him to perform better in school?” I just could not understand the correlation.

  13. SJPE says:

    One thing I will add is that addiction is a shame based disease. Children who grow up being shamed develop a sense that there is something wrong with them. It is very different from believing they did something wrong, made a bad choice, or are “ashamed” of a decision they made. We all have decisions we are ashamed of, but to shame a child cause them to grow up with a core sense of worthlessness and being deficient, not belonging (different from low self esteem). This is trauma. If I made a bad choice, I can make a better one next time. If I am broken, wrong, not good enough, then, I always will be. Because that is who I am. This sets children up for a lifetime of addiction and mental health problems. This is similar to what happens to sexually abused children, and neglected children. Discipline needs to aid the child in understanding their poor choices and making better ones in the future. They need to be reassured they are loved and worthy and capable of those healthy choices. If I don’t believe I am capable of better, what makes you think I will do better?

  14. Tracy says:

    This is extremely sad and disgraceful. Kids have enough to worry about this day in time without having to worry about parents shaming them on social media. I do not call this behavior parenting or disciplining at all. Kids are trying to figure out who they are, how the world works, peer pressure, bullying via social media, from their colleagues – and now they have to worry about bullying via social media by their parents? Disgraceful. When I was growing up discipline consisted of a good ole fashioned spanking, writing lines, restriction, timeout, and/or removal of certain toys or privileges. Shouldn’t we as a society go back to this type of parenting? It worked for previous generations and I think it will work continue to work for upcoming generations.

  15. Timur Kahramanov says:

    I agree the shaming needs to stop. We’ve seen so many examples of parents shaming their kids in public. It gets attention of kids but it never works in the long run to modify kids behavior. Moreover, it can have serious impact on a relationship between parent and child. Shaming is intentionally making a child feel bad about himself or herself. It is dangerous as it tends to be a feeling that lasts longer than parents realize or intend. Parents need to influence kids behavior without shaming.

  16. Kara Lowther says:

    It makes me really sad to see when parents choose social media to shame their children. I agree, it is unacceptable. I am not a parent, but I hope to take care of my business with my future children in private and not on social media. I am, however, a pet parent, and I think pet shaming is pretty hilarious (only when they’re wearing the funny signs and aren’t being fussed at).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: