June 8, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
And it needs to stop. Now.
After the tiger there are a couple of links you may want to check out on keeping teens healthy without the shaming.