Agree or Disagree: Public Shaming is an effective discipline tool on children


Agree or Disagree: Public Shaming is an effective discipline tool on children

Gentry and Renee Nickel had an idea. They thought that having their teenage daughter hold a sign that she is “a self-entitled teenager w/no respect for authority. I’m also super smart, yet I have 3 ‘D’s’ because I DON’T CARE” would show some discipline.

You can read the link to the story.

This seems like a rather unorthodox way to deal with a child. I’m not really sure that this will have a positive impact on the child. What do you think?

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2 responses to “Agree or Disagree: Public Shaming is an effective discipline tool on children

  1. While I don’t agree with what the parents in this particular example have done, I have found that when correcting a student’s behavior when he or she is surrounded by peers, a little bit of shame goes a long way. You don’t want to go over the top, but when a student breaks a rule I will often make it clear that a single student’s misbehavior is a detriment to everyone around him or her. The most frequent instance in which this occurs for me is when a student refuses to sit correctly on my bus. Since it is both unsafe and illegal to stand on a moving school bus, I stop the bus and make it clear to all passengers that no one will be going home until little Johnny or Susie is seated correctly. After this occurs once, the students tend to regulate each other’s behaviour much more vigilantly. While this may be initially embarrassing for the offending student, I often find a significant improvement follows in that student’s comportment. In most cases, I observe later on that the offending student’s rapport with his/her peers and teachers has improved, and he or she tends to notice and correct deviant behavior in others more quickly and discreetly in order to avoid the delays these behaviors have been shown to cause. While this example certainly is not globally applicable, I believe it shows that beneficial effects can result from a minor dose of public shame applied with the child’s best interest at heart.

    • There is a HUGE difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is fostered by “I did something bad”. Shame is “I am bad”. Brene Brown has done some fabulous reserch on this topic. Her TED talk is brilliant and I highly recommend it. Shame has no positive consequences. Guilt can shape behaviour and can be positive.

      The bus example above seems to me to be based far more on guilt than shame. I think the distinction is important.

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