Monday, January 16, 2012

Have we all lost our minds????

So Sunday morning I open up my facebook to see a picture of a woman standing next to her son.  Her son is wearing a big sign that says "I lie, I steal, I sell drugs, I don't follow the law".

A local media guy was going to be presenting this story on his morning radio show and was asking what listeners thought about it.  His question "Are we too soft on our kids?"

This mom from Indiana is fed up with her 14 year old son's nasty behaviour (no doubt).  She says that when he's caught by authorities all he gets is a few hours of community service and she feels that punishment hasn't been enough since he hasn't changed his ways.
So, this story for me was shocking enough.  I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams no matter how badly my boys behaved putting a sign on them to shame and humiliate them into behaving better.

But then I read all of the comments by local followers, condoning this parental behaviour.  In fact going so far as to cheer this mother on, saying that our kids are 'too soft' these days, that the child deserves what he's getting, on and on and on.  Really? 

These might be the same parents that go to the school when their child is being bullied and take it out on staff.  Adopting kind of a 'no one else can bully my child but me' attitude.

As for the 'our children are too soft' comments.  Really?  Our children spend their days dodging bullies on playgrounds (and within their homes) and playing video games like Grand Theft Auto.  The lyrics to the songs they love promote violence, hate, racism and degradation.  The television shows they watch are putrid and further condone bullying and teasing of others and some of our kids are experiencing their friends taking their lives!

Too soft?  I think not!  If anything I think our children are in crisis and who is going to change this around if every parent in the world thinks that they need more humiliation and desensitization?

I shared this story with a friend who is a very talented, very caring child and  youth worker in the public school system and she said to me "and we wonder why we have a bullying epidemic".

Let me make this clear to you all.  Children are not born 'bad' they are not born with behaviours we don't appreciate.  They are born ready and willing to learn and guess who they are learning from?  You guessed it!  YOU!  If a child chooses behaviours that are out of this world nasty they are doing it because it's been shown to them and/or there is a deeper reason for it.  They are seeking something.  Usually they are seeking acceptance and love from the people in their lives.

I would love to poll the parents who responded to that facebook article and ask them how many of them have loving, strong relationships with their parents.  My guess is that very few of them do and even more, the reason would be that their parents shamed and humiliated them at some point in their lives and didn't accept and love them the way they needed.

I have taught children non-violent alternatives to bullying, peaceful thought practices for well over 10 years and everytime I see the light in these kids eyes turn on!  When we empower our children they make choices that enhance their lives.  When we degrade and humiliate our children they turn to other ways to get their needs met.  Simple as that.

I can't imagine how that boy felt, standing there with his head hung in shame.  I can't imagine the pain that he feels on a daily basis or how he is going to take that out on his future family or if he will even make it that far.

I think it's time we re-evaluate our positions as parents or the world is going to further into hell in a handbasket.


  1. Saw the image you're talking about. The only thing in my mind was where is her sign 'And I'm his mother'. I personally find that these days, some people are much more prone on blaming everyone else for what's not happening in their lives instead of admitting their own faults/failures. I still can not believe the amount of suing over things you'll normally consider common sense. Humiliating a child/teenager is nothing but a push further down a path they feel that's their 'only' choice anyways. If the whole world now knows 'he cheats, lies, steals, does drugs etc' why would he do anything else anyways, right? Why fight a lost fight? When those who are supposed to protect us, fail us miserably, what else is there?

  2. WHAT!!! I find it particularly interesting that this woman says, "she's tired of society not doing anything to help change her son so she is taking matters into her own hands"...HELLO!!!! This is her son...she should be taking matters into her own hands!!! It is not "society's" responsibility to raise her son, it's hers!

    But, now that I think of it, based on her deplorable public treatment of her son already, maybe society should step in & take him off her abusive hands....


  3. Hi Freedom Yoga Studio!

    Thanks for your comment. After posting I went back to read the article again and I was mistaken.

    In my passion to blog about this story I had paraphrased, when I went back for clarification after your comment I found her exact words were:

    “What else can I do?” Lax asked Fox News. “They put him on probation ... but nobody’s trying to help me fix my son.”

    It was not ill-intentioned in any way, I hope you understand. I'll be sure to not do that again :)


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