Ohio Mom Uses Facebook to Punish Teen: Is Humiliation an Appropriate Method of Discipline?

Facebook is a powerful tool for connecting, for sharing, and maintaining relationships with those we might otherwise have lost touch with, but is it also a tool for discipline?

One Ohio mom says yes. When Denise Abbott’s 13-year-old daughter Ava spoke disrespectfully to her in front of her friends, Abbott took to Facebook to teach the teen a lesson. She changed Ava’s profile and cover photo to a picture of the girl with a red “X” over her mouth and a message that said “I do not know how to keep [my mouth] shut. I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why.”

Abbott then forced her daughter to answer each time a Facebook friend inquired about the reason she was being punished. Abbott told NBC that the she knew the punishment was one her daughter was fit to handle and that she wanted to ensure that she reprimanded Ava in a way that would have an impact.

This is the second time in recent months that a parent has made headlines for using the internet to publicly humiliate their child in an attempt to teach them a lesson. Tommy Jordan attracted national attention in February when he shot his daughter’s laptop and posted the video on YouTube as punishment for a disrespectful message the 15-year-old wrote about him on Facebook.

When questioned, both girls said that they agree with their parents’ method of discipline and even that they understand why their parents reacted the way that they did.

Both Abbott and Jordan stand by their actions. In an interview with NBC Jordan said “She put it on Facebook, I put it on Facebook” and Abbott says “You have to adopt your parenting skills with the times.”

Personally, I don’t think punishment should be tit for tat. You aren’t “getting back” at your child for behaving badly. You are teaching them a lesson about right from wrong. The actions of Abbott and Jordan seem as juvenile as the actions taken by their children.

Would you ever use social media to punish your child?

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