Mom Punishes Daughter for Cyberbullying By Ruining Her Life

computerIt's a punishment as old as time: kid screws up, kid gets punished out in public to make them really feel the shame of making a mistake. But a North Carolina mom opened up a can of worms when she decided the best way to teach her young daughter a lesson about cyberbullying was to post a "shaming" photo of the girl on the Internet. Uploaded to Facebook and later to Reddit, the photo of the girl with her iPod, which her mom says she's being forced to sell to benefit the charity Beat Bullying, has gone viral.

It's everywhere.

And that is precisely the problem with this new shaming your kids online trend.

Once something is out there on the Internet, there is no taking it back. There's no pulling the photo down and saying, "OK, you've served your time. Your punishment is over."

This punishment, and the incident that prompted it, are now out there. Forever.

What's more, it's now available for anyone to view at anytime, and jump to what conclusions they may. College admissions workers. Potential employers.


We want our kids to learn, to get better, so they DON'T repeat their mistakes. So they AREN'T haunted by them.

But online shaming -- be it for cyberbullying or any of a host of behavior issues -- does the very opposite. It makes the punishment their problem, forever.

More From The Stir: Stop Publicly Shaming Your Kids & Get a Life

Frankly I'm not the biggest fan of sending your kid out to stand on a street corner with a sign describing their infraction. But at least you can put an end to the punishment after an hour or two. The lesson is learned, and they can move on.

After all, that's what discipline is ultimately about, isn't it? The lesson? Not about rubbing your kid's face in their mistakes for the rest of their life?

What do you think of the cybershaming trend? Does it help kids or hurt them?


Image via Arbron/Flickr

discipline, behavior, bullies


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Reh2002

Apparently the mother has tried everything to no avail. In terms of the life-long effects of the picture, I think them mild.

I also believe that employers and people of value forgive others for childhood mistakes, and don't hold their families against them. Hopefully for them, this is true (enough).

Traci... Traci_Momof2

I don't blame the mom for going to this length.  It's not like it was her first choice of punishment.  This has been a continual problem with this girl.  The mom has tried many other punishments that did not get through to the girl.  So mom had to get creative.  The girl had plenty of chances and should be old enough to know better.  The girl only has herself to blame.  If this affects her for the rest of her life, well, she can think about the bullying she did to other kids.  That will affect them for the rest of their lives.  You mention about employers, etc seeing this some day.  It's an opportunity if she makes it into one.  It's an opportunity to tell the potential employer about the valuable lesson she learned from that and what positive influence it's had on her life.  That's a way to impress the employer.  Take something bad and turn it into good.

I would never advocate shaming as a first line of punishment for a child's wrong-doing.  But when all else fails you do what you need to do.  That's being a good parent.  The bad parent is the one who gives up.

Ellen Waltos

Sounds like she's a great mom to me! Whenever I screwed up, my Mom shamed me, and guess what, I grew up to be a pretty decent human being. Also, I am not emotionally scarred either and will practice what I learned on my own children.

Momma... MommaCady

Being bullied can scar someone for life. Its just if you are shamed for life for doing the bullying .

Eddie... EddiesMama1983

You probably don't think any child should be punished for anything. I don't see anything wrong with what the mother did and I hope it works. Perhaps shame is the last saving grace for this kid.

Kattey Kattey

This girl's life is hardly ruined. If she learned anything from this then it can benefit her later. If a college asks then it's a perfect chance to show how she's grown. Bullying these days seems so much more invasive than when I was a child. It's cruel, and I'm so glad to see the parent of a bully acknowledging that their child is an ass and taking steps to work on it rather than defending their brat of a kid.

Rebec... Rebecca7708

Well, cyber bullying is usually out there for anyone to see. Forever. I think it's a comparable punishment. Her life is hardly ruined.

Bonnie Lane

Ok so it's all about how the children are being bullied, But what prompts it? Where do these urges to ridicule another come from? And do two wrongs make it right? So the child was posted all over the net, what about mom? The person who raised the child? Where is her spotlight photo for being a "good mom"? Should she be praised or ashamed of how she handled the situation? Maybe the children bullying isn't what we need to focus on. Perhaps we should shift focus towards the parent's behavior. Posting her daughter on the net is, in itself, another way of bullying, out loud! Maybe parents should rethink their parenting skills and possibly their actions. Now she set her child up for others to poke fun at. NOT COOL MOM. Rethink how you parent your child!

the4m... the4mutts

When I saw the picture, I didnt even see her name attached to it. I didnt even know her name until this blog.

So if anyone is ruining her life, its you, by attaching her name to a picture that you claim to not approve of, AND extending its "internet life" by linking to it!

So go be pissed at yourself, dummy.

1-10 of 30 comments 123 Last