Protective Dad Shames 10-Year-Old Daughter for Lying About Her Age

kid barrettesI'm generally against shaming as a form of punishment for kids. It just feels wrong, cruel, hurtful, might even make a child rebel and not trust the parent any longer. But there is something about this father's shaming that has me re-thinking that.

Louisville, Kentucky, dad Kevin Jones discovered his 10-year-old daughter was lying about her age, secretly setting up social media accounts where she pretended to be as old as 18 and even had a boyfriend she was in love with (who we can assume wasn't 10 years old). Dad decided to make her dress her age and advertise it.

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All kids grow at their own pace, and this 10-year-old seemed to be growing fast -- she's already 5-foot-9. She's still just a fifth grader, but we know that makeup, more adult-looking clothes, and a suggestive selfie can make someone look a lot older than they really are. (Or younger in other cases.) While this sneaky kid mostly tried to pass herself off as 15, Dad says he discovered she went as far as to claim she was 18. That could be extremely dangerous. There is just so much to worry about here -- the lying, the trying to be older, the types of people she may meet from pretending to be older and who think she really is older. All bad. I can't even begin to imagine how horrifying it is as a parent to find this out about your own kid. And a boyfriend -- that she is in love with?! It's no wonder this father resorted to extremes.

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Darling Dad purchased his daughter one of those airbrushed shirts typically found on boardwalks and malls that read: I Am 10 Years Old. He also made sure she had a hairstyle that registered really young -- one of those adorable toddler styles with braids and a ton of pink and white barrettes and gumball-shaped hair ties. She even had a princess backpack -- Sofia the First to be exact. He posted the photo on his Facebook and wrote:

Since my beautiful daughter [redacted] wants to be grown & lie about her age. Saying she is 14,15,16,&18 years old. She claims to be in love and going out with a boyfriend which is completely against my rules!!!! I uncovered that she has been doing this for quite some time. She also has snuck and obtained social media accounts, also against my rules!!!! Heres the consequences behind her actions. An age defining shirt. Yes people she is 5’9 & 10years old. #‎BuddiesBarrettesBallBalls.

Why oh why are kids in such a rush to grow up?

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Sure there are other things this father could have done, and I'm sure he's done them. Things like taking away her phone and computer privileges unless it's for school and keeping her off social media. Oh and making sure that boyfriend knows how old she really is and making her break it off with him. It's a parent's job to protect our kids, and this dad seems like he really is trying to protect his daughter. She was all over social media saying she was older -- he must have felt he needed the photo of his daughter shown as the 10-year-old that she really is to go viral so anyone who thought otherwise would know. I'm still not 100 percent sold that this was the right thing to do, but I'm certain this dad cares about his daughter and is trying his best.

Let's hope she understands how dangerous pretending to be older can be. And let's hope this experience has brought father and daughter closer together, to have a more open and honest relationship. Maybe they'll even have a good laugh about it someday.

What do you think of this dad's shaming of his daughter?

 

Image via Chris Darling/Flickr

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