Another Parent Decides That Being A YouTube Sensation Is More Important Than Good Parenting
Children need to be punished sometimes. We can all agree on that. And sometimes, that punishment requires some embarrassment. Unfortunately, yes, that’s also true. And so the best way to achieve that is to record your child’s punishment and post it on YouTube. Yes, that makes perf– hold on. Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope.
Publicly shaming your children has replaced “you’re grounded” or “you’re in time out” with “your name and face are all over the internet and will be for all eternity. So…stop cutting class.” That is what Jeanne Crutchfield of Caspar, Wyoming decided to do when she learned that her 14-year-old daughter had been skipping class.
One part of her punishment doesn’t seem that outlandish to me. She went to her daughter’s school, and told her that she would be attending all of her classes with her that day to make sure she didn’t cut any of them. I think that’s kind of awesome, and something I would probably do in a “mother pushed to the edge” scenario. But here is where Crutchfield and I differ: I would not then follow my daughter around the school loudly mocking her and record the whole thing on my cell phone. I would also not upload that video to Facebook. Why? Because I am not an asshole.
Seriously, people. We need to stop doing this. It is not okay to humiliate our children in front of the entire world in order to teach them a lesson. You’re their parent. You should be able to parent them without getting the rest of us involved. When Crutchfield decided to record and childishly taunt her daughter in that video, she was doing it for Facebook likes and for comments like, “Way to go,” not for her daughter’s well-being. Here is some of what Crutchfield said in the video according to the Christian Science Monitor:
“This is what happens when [child] can’t act right. Her mom has to come to the school to record her to get it through her head,” Crutchfield begins the video.
As she follows in her daughter’s steps, Crutchfield adds, “We’re going to hold hands and we’re going to go to class together. Isn’t that great? Yeah! We’re going to class together,” the mom rants in a sing-song taunt. “Now let’s see how cute you think is sit with mom during class.”
We warn our kids about the power of the internet. We tell them that what they put out there will be there forever. So how can we then use that against them in such a meaningless and cruel way? Who deserves to have the mistakes they make as a teenager broadcast on Facebook? Not a 14-year-old girl.
Take a break from your power trip for a minute and think about how you would feel if someone did this to you? What if the next viral video was “My Coworker Pam Spends Too Much Time In The Bathroom?” Or, “My Mom Eats Her Feelings (new video from 11:30 last night.)” I bet you’d learn a lesson, huh? Yes, you’d learn to never trust the person who took that video again. What will Crutchfield’s daughter do in the future, now that it is clear that her mother has no boundaries, no sense of privacy, and no respect for her?
Parents might embrace these types of punishments because I’m sure they put an end to the behavior in question. But at what cost? In parenting, more than almost any other area, the means does not always justify the end.
By the way, as of today Crutchfield’s video has been viewed over 30,000 times on Facebook.
(Photo of Jeanne Crutchfield via YouTube)