Humiliation Is Not An Act of Love

Recently the above video has been making the rounds. The basic idea of the video is that this guy’s 15-year-old daughter complained about how her parents were treating her on Facebook. She attempted to block her parents from seeing it, but as I’ve mentioned before, nothing on the Internet is truly private. In response, her father posted this video of him going off about her behavior for everyone to see.

This is a technique called public shaming. It’s been around since the Middle Ages. Thanks to the Internet, every few months, we get a new example of some frustrated parent doing this to their child. The typical response is the digital equivalent of patting the guy on the back for standing up to his daughter’s bad behavior. Or they’re glad that he ‘gave her a taste of her own medicine’.

In America, we absolutely love vengeance and people getting what they deserve. Mel Gibson made a career by making movies about that in the 80s and 90s. So these reactions in many ways, are only natural. The problem is that public shaming is not good parenting. It’s not discipline. It’s just vengeance. And it’s vengeance on your own child.

Some will argue but that she will learn from this. However, simply because someone learns from the experience doesn’t make it a good thing. People learn not to walk through Central Park at night when they get mugged.

What the father in this video did was humiliate his child. And he did it because he was humiliated by what she wrote. What he taught his child was that her behavior was okay and that the proper thing to do when you’re humiliated is to escalate the situation. This is wrong and it isn’t the act of a loving parent.

I am a father of teenagers. I understand firsthand the frustration that comes from raising teens. I do get where the guy is coming from, but abuse is wrong no matter what. And humiliation is a form of abuse. It’s not a form of good parenting. It’s a form of weakness. Rather than humiliating your child, how about teaching your kid that respecting other people is important? You can talk to your kids all you want, but ultimately they are going to learn by your example. If you show them that humiliating people is okay, then that’s exactly what they will do.

This guy is frustrated because his daughter doesn’t have any respect for him. He probably wonders where that comes from. He should look in the mirror.

-Jack Cameron

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