Over the past year, I have seen an increase in posts via Facebook, Twitter, and various websites advertising what a great parent this is. Or look how I punished my kid. My kid stole so I made him stand in front of a store with a sign, and then I posted it on Facebook, or the latest, the kid who was not grateful enough for a gift at church, had to sell the playstation under the tree and donate to underprivileged kids, and then parents posted on Facebook. Parents that is not good parenting. That is attention seeking, and it is your issue. This is a terrible thing to do to your child.
While I agree that stealing is bad and there should be consequences, posting it online for further reinforcement is even worse. Why? Well as embarrassing as standing in front of a store admitting to a crime is, at least that goes away. You take the picture and put it on both yours and your kid’s Facebook page (which you apparently were ok with them lying to have) is even worse. These digital imprints should be thought of as forever.
Here is why. I google every potential employee. I check on Facebook what pics that they have that are public. Anything you post online without privacy controls should be considered public domain. Now when I look for people, I look at the pictures that they have public- is there an excessive amount of alcohol, are they acting inappropriate, are they saying anything I might not want associated with my organization, etc. (I don’t ask for passwords, I am only obtaining what is publicly available.) As a parent, guess what you have done, what could be considered as a juvenile infraction, well now it will follow your child forever.
Your posting your child is ungrateful so we made him sell his xbox- well that is bad parenting all the way around. Children learn how to accept presents and be grateful by example. If they weren’t happy enough, well that is based on what you taught them up until that day, and while it should be addressed at the time, it should be done privately. The selling of his other Christmas gift, probably was inadvisable, and not only didn’t teach the child a lesson, but was overkill. And then posting it online of how good a parent you are- well that just shows you are attention seeking and needing approval. It is not being a good parent, it has little to do with the kid at all, other than you chose to humiliate the child. Kudos. As if adolescence is not difficult enough.
As we gasp at the horrors that have taken place over the holiday season, maybe we should reflect on what is causing it. Maybe it is the ever increasing need for attention. Maybe it is reflected in the shows that are on television- where people are famous for little other than promiscuity and alcohol consumption. Maybe the fact that the 24-hour news cycle thought it is appropriate to be there first instead of accurate, and continues to glorify those that commit crimes. Maybe we should do the opposite. Stop posting everything online, stop parenting by embarrassment, stop glorifying the “look at me” culture. Your actions have consequences for your children, and farther reaching than you appear to realize. While as parents you are going to embarrass your kids, do it by kissing them when dropping them off at school, or wearing horribly out of fashioned clothes, don’t do it by posting your lack of parenting skills online.