Ohio mom Denise Abbott has started a firestorm of debate after she used Facebook to discipline her 13-year-old daughter, Ava. After Ava was being disrespectful and was involved in too much online drama with friends, her mother took to the social media site to try and teach her daughter a lesson.
She changed her daughter's profile picture to one that showed a red "X" over her mouth with a caption that read: "I do not know how to keep my [mouth shut]. I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why."
Denise told the Today show:
I decided to do something that I know would totally impact her, and that the next time she started that, she'd think, "I don't want my face all over Facebook again with a red 'X' over my mouth."
Harsh and a little humiliating for the girl, perhaps, as plenty are crying with outrage. And yes, experts will chime in and tell us all of the reasons why it's not the "right" way to address an unruly child. But it also feels like an almost inevitable sign of the times. I mean, corporal punishment is pretty much criminal these days; grounding only gets you so far; and even some good old-fashioned screaming will probably get you a visit from child services. So what's a concerned parent to do?
Yes, there's talking, setting expectations, and all of that other stuff that sounds so good ... until you're dealing with a teenager who absolutely won't behave no matter what you do. Then what?
While in principle I don't agree that humiliating children is the best way to teach a lesson, I also think it's a hell of a lot better than not disciplining them at all. And honestly, in this case, the mother's method fit the crime pretty well.
As for Ava, she doesn't seem scarred by the whole incident either. She told NBC that she felt like she deserved it. "It made me realize that I didn't want my picture on there like that." Of course, maybe she just said that because she's scared of what crazy punishment her mother would come up with if she didn't.
Do you think this mom's method of punishment was too extreme?
Image via Today