I wonder why this woman felt the need to let everybody on her Facebook friends list in on her decision to publicly humiliate her children. Now, not only were her kids embarrassed at Dairy Queen; they were also embarrassed online. Or maybe they will be someday, thanks to Facebook's "On This Day" feature.
Personally, I am not a fan of parents who post about their bright parenting punishment ideas on Facebook. I realize I'm saying this as someone who doesn't have kids, so maybe I don't understand why it's anyone else's business what you do to teach your kids right from wrong. I just think that if you're going to punish your children, you should punish them privately and not turn it into a public spectacle.
I'm not even going to say that what this mother did as a lesson to her kids was necessarily wrong, per se. Having worked in the service industry myself, I agree that kids should be taught to be polite and appreciate what they have. I'm not sure I would have done what she did in that situation, but they're her kids and it's up to her to discipline them. As long as the punishment gets the point across, right? Maybe her kids learned a lesson. Maybe they just think their mom is a mean asshole. Who knows?
It's just that I don't understand why so many parents feel the need to brag on Facebook about punishing their kids. Properly disciplining children is a huge responsibility and I'm glad to know parents are taking it seriously. But when someone blows their vuvuzela online about publicly shaming their kid as a form of punishment, I have to wonder what their motivation is. Do they want a cookie? I guess for some of them, a pat on the back, a Facebook like, or a "way to go" comment will suffice.
Of course, I get that the Internet kind of encourages narcissism. I've been accused of being narcissistic myself, simply by writing this blog and sharing my posts. And some folks, who don't understand why I titled this blog "The Overeducated Housewife", assume I'm bragging about my education. So maybe I'm wrong to assume that every parent who relates stories about the "wise" punishments they dole out to their kids is trying to brag. Maybe it just seems that way. I think many people are generally turned off by bragging, so they are sensitive to people who break their arms patting themselves on the back.
We're always looking for feedback, aren't we? As long as it's positive feedback. We don't want people to disagree with us and we hate it when they confuse us with facts. Let's face it. If our minds are made up about something, other people will be hard pressed to change our perspective.
Here's another annoying trend I've noticed. The same types of people who brag on Facebook about punishing their kids will also challenge others to "live better". Here's an example. In Germany, we are required to recycle. Many Americans don't recycle back in the States. For many reasons, we just throw stuff away in a common bin with no thought about where that stuff ends up after they throw it away. So, not long ago, I noticed someone on my friends list challenging people out in Facebook land to recycle.
Now, I don't think it's a bad thing to encourage people to recycle. I just don't like it when people get holier than thou about things like that. It's one of my pet peeves. Moreover, why should you feel the need to set an example for people other than your kids? I think instead of "challenging" people to live more like you do, perhaps it's better to comment on how your habits have changed. Rather than posting, "I challenge you to recycle like we do because it's the right thing to do.", you could say "Since we moved to Germany, we've learned to recycle more." That way, rather than presuming to challenge people and setting yourself up as an example to be followed, you might just turn out to be an inspiration.
Anyway... those are my thoughts this morning. And I'll say it again. It's probably a good thing I'm not a mom.