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10 Kids Punished by Their Parents ... in Public

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Parents resorting to public humiliation to discipline their kids is apparently a sign of the times. But does it work? 

"Kids are shamed enough," says clinical psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh. "Every parent unknowingly instills plenty of shame just by shooting a condemning glance or a critical word in the direction of a child. Punishment that involves additional public shame on top of private family shame can be dangerous, damaging and have lifelong effects." 

What do you think? Is public punishment an effective way to discipline?

10 Kids Punished By Their Parents ... In Public

Shopping Lifting

Earlier this month a 14-year-old boy, standing on a street intersection held up a sign telling the world he stole. Source

Smoking Pot and More...

A boy was made to stand on the corner holding a sign that said, I smoked pot and watched porn and got caught. So this is my punishment." Source


A seventh-grade girl got suspended from school in 2007 for a week for bullying another student. During the suspension week, her mom made her wear a sign for additional punishment. Source


As his father looked on, Dennis Baltimore Jr. walked along a busy street wearing a sandwich board sign as punishment for vandalizing his high school. Source

Shoplifting Cousins

When two cousinswere caught stealing, their parents punished them by making them hold signs on the side of the road proclaiming their crime.

Disprespectful to Teacher

After her 8-year-old son acted up in class, his mom made him stand on the sidewalk for three hours holding a sign telling the world he misbehaved. The boy had called his teacher a 'jackass.' Source

Dealing Drugs

In 2007, a father made his 14-year-old son, son wear a sign that said "I abused and sold drugs" standing on the sidewalk outsidethe boy's school. The father found out his son was using Oxycontin and marijuana by reading his son's myspace account. Source

Failing Grades

One mom was so fed up with her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson and made her hold a sign at a busy intersection. She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food." Source

Smoking Pot

a father who caught his son smoking pot and resorted to an embarrassing punishment to prevent his son from doing it again.He made the boy stand on the side of the road donning a sign that read, "I like to smoke weed and get caught with it." Source

Smoking Cigarettes

Four girls where made to carry signs that read ""I got caught smoking. Ain't I a butt?" This punishment apparently backfired as the media attention made the teen believe they were local celebrities. "She called me screaming, 'I'm famous,' " one of the moms said of her daughter,"They think it's funny. They think it's a joke." Source

next: Newsflash: Angelina Jolie Has Joined Twitter
57 comments so far | Post a comment now
momof3 July 27, 2010, 4:38 PM

I think it’s stupid and ineffective.

Adeniseb July 27, 2010, 5:37 PM

I don’t believe these kids will do the same thing again, the exception may be substance abuse. I would rather try this than let my child slide down a spiral of not accepting responsibity for their behavior. I have already had my pre-schooler apologize to our friends when she threw a world class tantrum.

renee July 27, 2010, 5:41 PM

my kind of parents.i loved the i will work for food one!

Kelly July 28, 2010, 6:28 AM

I think the 8 year old is too young, but the teenagers, I hope they learned something.

Anonymous July 28, 2010, 8:06 AM

8 is not too young to learn a lesson - if this had been done to the teens at age 8 they wouldn’t have ever done it again.

FINALLY people are beginning to control their children again and not treat them like entitled, special little snowflakes

AMY July 28, 2010, 9:51 AM

My parents used this kind of punishment in all different kinds of ways. I remember sitting in a lawn chair staring at the woods when camping once. My dad stood out at the camp site and brought attention to other campers that I was being punished. It worked.
All 6 of us kids still laugh with the parents about it at family gatherings and all 6 of us grew up to be great Adults.

XXXX July 28, 2010, 10:08 AM

I think it’s good.

Anon July 28, 2010, 11:49 AM

HA HA! Stupid kids

michelle July 28, 2010, 2:08 PM

If your 14-y-o is using drugs and vandalizing schools, you’ve already failed as a parent. Hard to see how this is going to help. The public shaming is just a desperation measure by parents who clearly already don’t know how to raise their children.

Kim July 30, 2010, 9:15 AM

While I am not sure I could make my children hold a sign on a street corner, I think parents have to do what they think is best for their children in any given situation. Every child or parent responds to and learns from events differently.

Michelle, how lucky that you and your many adult children were perfect and didn’t do stupid things or make bad decisions. Or maybe you just don’t know about their mistakes because they could not confide in you or live up to your standards.

These children may have done stupid things or made bad decisions but we can’t judge or assume they will be stupid adults.

Many wonderful people provide for, set good examples for, and love their children, only to have them grow up to make one stupid/bad decision after another.

We all have to do the best we can with tools and resources we have at our disposal. Then we pray that our children will be happy productive adults.

allen24 August 1, 2010, 8:28 AM

What do you do if your 12 year old son sends an X Rated text message…?

TV Host Rene Syler talks about her recent parenting dilemma - only on GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER

Liam August 11, 2010, 6:51 AM

If you honestly think that this will help? You honestly truly think that kids will learn something? All you’re making them do is doing whatever they did wrong, with more secrecy.
If you’ve already allowed t hem to smoke and vandalize, you’ve already failed as a parent.

pimpdoubt August 12, 2010, 1:57 AM

This is preposterous, When I was a teen I would have loved to have a sign that says “I like to smoke weed.” It’s quite similar to what my high school did. Printing up shirts that read “Dress Code Violator” and making you give up whatever you were wearing to wear one really wasn’t that effective. I wore some pretty damned out of dress code items purposefully before I finally got one.

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