Online Spanking must sound like some kind of pseudo-science term or simply an oxymoron. Normally, I would agree but it is about time someone (meaning me) gave this new wave of online punishment/humiliation or (Fill in the Blank) a name. After reading about the mother who posted a photo of her daughter with an X across her mouth and the words: “I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut. I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why, my mom says I have to answer anyone that asks.”
Now, reading this makes most people squirm and wonder what the over paid and overly opinionated professionals would say. I completely disagree. People just need to look back at their childhood and (most of the time) the answer is right there. I am just saying: Think About It! When you were young and you misbehaved your parents said no T.V. or no toys. Later it became no phone or video games. By the way, when I mentioned “no phone” I was referring to a home phone.
Most kids think the idea of a home phone is ridiculous but they don’t realize that before cellphones and internet people needed to use a home phone, walk/drive to the person they were trying to contact, or send a letter. I am in my 20’s but I remember a time when the internet was the thing most of used at the library to learn about silly things and useless facts.
Nowadays, computers and phones have taken over and changed the way we communicate. This is especially true when we consider the impact social networks have had on society and our inter-personal relationships. For most people, Facebook has replaced their little black notebook full of numbers and addresses. For kids, particularly teens, it is a lifestyle. Their entire life is online.
They chat, they share, they enjoy things, they ask any question and receive all the answers the world has to offer. All of this and more is done online. Some examples are fighting, gossiping, and even dating. For some people it has gotten to the point where they don’t feel like they are truly dating someone until each one changes their status to “In a relationship with __________”.
The same goes for everything else. The internet and social networks are so ingrained and have become such a large part of growing up that people forget there is a world outside of their computer or phone. Teens are taking their problems online. They are sharing aspects of life that would have normally remained private with family, friends and strangers alike. Then those people share it with someone else and it continues to the point that there will be fights and vicious gossip.
Then the question becomes: How can we teach our kids to be responsible and respectable people when they act like fools online?
Most of us would try reminding our kids that we taught them better but what do we do when that fails? Are we supposed to sit back and hope they outgrow it? Heck no! Should we act on our instincts? Yes! Should we try to change the situation so that we don’t have to bail our kids out of jail someday? Heck Yes!! Should we let our kids do what they want out of fear that they will be angry or embarrassed? No!
If your child is embarrassed that is too bad. They should think about how embarrassing it is to have to punish your child publicly because they refuse to listen or take advice. Parents aren’t the bad guys when they say, I gave you certain privileges (for good behavior) and I can take them away (for bad behavior). A parent taking down their child’s Facebook or changing it is a punishment indicative of the times. It is about taking a creative approach to resolving behavioral issues and other problems. The way I see it, I would rather embarrass my child and maybe knock some figurative sense into him than have to deal with tragedies down the road.
That is why I applaud these parents who do what they think is right and stick to it. I also think that the punishment should fit the crime and there is no better way to do it, than through the same medium used to perpetrate the crime. Some people say it is immature but in every interview I have seen where the children are asked about the incidents they were involved in, they admit they got warnings and knew that what they were doing was wrong. What made the difference to them was their parents stepping in and saying: No More!
Now, that you know what I think about all that stuff I hope you are understanding when I get annoyed at my child and take his phone and computer away (in the future when he is older). I hope you understand that I am unwilling to let my child have “fun” gossiping and fighting so that in the future I won’t get a call telling me that my child was arrested for something stupid and completely avoidable. My other hope is that it is clear that unless one of these experts is my child’s parent they should not criticize the choices I (as a parent) make. They are entitled to their opinion but that’s as far as it goes.
Thank you for Reading!!