Do You Agree With Embarrassment as a Form of Punishment?

Let me start this post by stating that I am not creating it to start an argument or to bring up controversy. It is honestly something I have wondered about and would love to hear different viewpoints, but will not tolerate fighting or name calling in comments. Everyone is entitled to their own parenting methods and  points of view, but I have heard a lot in the news lately about parents using embarrassment as a form of punishment for children, particularly older ones. So, I was wondering what other’s take on this was?

Effective or Degrading?

I don’t think that there is a clear cut answer to this one. In some cases, I have heard of parents using this method of punishment in a way that I could see as potentially being effective. For instance, a Miami father made his child stand outside with a sign that read that he was in 7th grade, had received three failing grades and to honk if it was wrong. I could see this maybe being effective for a child where you have tried everything else to help them get back on track.

However, there is another side to this spectrum. A side where parents do things like shave their daughter’s head and make her run down the street in a diaper for bad grades. This is clearly degrading and way way over the top. Just as with any other punishment, I think there is a line that needs to be drawn and of course in some cases it will be crossed.

Public Versus Viral Punishment

There is also another aspect to consider. While you may agree with embarrassment in a public setting like on a local street corner, it is also okay when they punishment is blasted all over the Internet for everyone to see? Like the girl whose mom made her hold a sign up saying she had posed with liquor on her Facebook page and would be taking a break? Is exposing a child’s deeds to the judgment of the entire Internet population okay as well, or should it be limited to a smaller population? Of course, it was the child that first blasted pictures of themselves with liquor all over the same page online, but should the punishment follow the same guidelines?

Again, this post is simply out of interest on the subject. I have never tried using embarrassment as a form of punishment and do not know that I ever will. I am simply curious as to the different viewpoints. So, what do you think?


  1. I honestly think I would do something like this. At last resort, if nothing else worked yes. I live in a small town, so yes I would. I have made my kids apologize to teachers, principal, bus drivers, and other parents and their kids. I feel as though they need to be shown it isn't right-their behavior. As far as school work, I have had to work with each of my boys, and it will not stop(they are in UPK, 1st & 2nd right now) for a long while. I have asked if I can sit in with their class too. I would do that no matter what age they are. So I think I would do this to them if they are honestly not trying and nothing else has work. But each kids is different. Thank you, I looke forward to reading others postings too..

  2. I don't see myself ever doing public punishment – like the signs and all that. That's beyond the line for me. But I can more easily see putting a notice on their FB saying they are on restriction, etc.

  3. I don't personally see myself ever doing any type of public punishment for my children. I don't like to be embarrassed so I wouldn't do it to my children either intentionally.

  4. I don't see myself doing something like that, but I do think that embarrassment that happens naturally can be a very effective deterrent of bad behaviour, so maybe there's something to it.

  5. I don't think embarrassment is an effective deterrent. I think it can cause mental damage to a child.

  6. I don't know if I would ever try this as a form of punishment. I might consider it if nothing else worked. I do think there's a line in making a point and downright degrading your child though.

  7. I don't think I would do this either. I feel that there are many ways to teach children a lesson without public humiliating them.

  8. I'd never do this. It probably would have taken awhile for me to forgive my parents if they did something like that. Publicly embarrassing a child is not going to give him/her an incentive to strive to get better grades. I think it would cause them to rebel instead.

  9. No I could never do it and I just can't see how it would be effective. Embarrassment isn't something we feel and I don't believe should ever be used against someone.

    Now this is coming from someone who absolutely HATES pranks and people that are "punked" I find no humor in it at all.

    So my embarrassment level is extremely low.

  10. I don't agree with publicly and purposefully embarrassing a child. I think it would have nothing but ill effects on that child. Discipline should be done in the home between the parents and child, not for everyone else to witness.

  11. I'm with Kenda — the posting a "I'm On A Break" photo was fine and I think fit the situation. The others you have described are humiliating and done for that sole purpose. That's not discipline… it's maniacal control.

  12. I think if kids are thinking its all a joke it won't embarrass them. most of the time they don't care that's the hardest part getting them to care and be responsible

  13. I don't know I guess until I was put in a situation to really consider it I can't say one way or there other. I would not want to embarrass them to the point of it hurting them deep

Leave a Reply to Tammy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *