Stop Shaming Your Kids on the Internet: An Open Letter

August 14, 2013  |  

Dear parents who post videos online that embarrass their children,

Recently, some parents took video of themselves reprimanding their daughter for making a Facebook account behind their backs, lying about her age and pretending pregnant. It’s sad that parents are doing this. It is emotionally abusive in my opinion; it’s like you’re hazing your daughter into your dysfunctional fraternity. Dad, when you laughed at your daughter getting beat up by her sister, I cringed, especially when she sobbed that the family always throws this information in her face. Your little girl will have a hard time trusting you in the future. She may even sneak out of your house, conceive that “lie” and end up with a real-life baby sometime soon! Was she wrong? Of course! Put her on punishment, take away the phone and turn off the TV.

This is not what social media was made for. Stop pimping your kids out to get 15 minutes of fame and hope to land on the radio or on TV. Or maybe you want your own reality show. You are reaping rewards from your child’s pain! You didn’t ask why she lied and created a Facebook account. Well, at least not during your video. Maybe her parents spend too much time online themselves or are so busy trying to embarrass her that she craved attention. Or maybe she was just being a kid and cutting up.

I would advise you to turn of your cell phone camera and talk to your daughter in private. But you and your wife would probably tell me to mind my business and raise my own child, since we no longer need a village’s advice. I would say, you made it MY business when you posted this video! My parents always said, what’s said around this dinner table stays at this dinner table. House business is house business. Since you made it my business by leaking your story to the media, I’m making it my business and sharing my opinion. Am I judging you? Not at all. I am judging your actions. And God will judge me one day for doing what you did. You probably are good parents–great parents perhaps, but this wasn’t a good choice. As my toddler would say, Bad choice. Be nice, Don’t cry!

Heather Hopson, a mom who makes mistakes, writes about them but hopes to never videotape them and berate my child on camera. If I do, you better make it your business to write me a nasty letter!

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