RVA Parenting: The consequences of 'face-shaming'

RVA Parenting: The consequences of 'face-shaming'

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Facebook has changed a lot of things we do, and recently, you may have noticed parents using Facebook to discipline their kids by shaming them for bad behavior.

You've probably seen the viral videos, like the parent who shot his daughter's laptop or who made their kids hold signs for lying to police. Some parents just use their own Facebook feeds to tell embarrassing stories about their kids on social media, maybe venting to friends about unruly teens.

In several cases, these parents are seeing a lot of support on social media, but long-term our experts warn there could be serious consequences.

"I'm sure a lot of your viewers who are watching this have seen those videos and usually the children are crying," pointed out Dr. Catherine Mills, a Central Virginia psychologist. "They look very distressed and getting your child to the point of that level of distress is not an effective way to change behavior."

Mills says by "face-shaming," you're putting your child at risk of anxiety issues and long term relationship issues.

"Just think," said Mills, "if this is an example of a healthy relationship for them in the future of being shamed or embarrassed in public. What lesson is that telling them about what healthy relationships look like?"

She says when you deal with these tough parenting issues, you're also teaching your child a lesson about  what healthy relationships look like.

"Talking to your child, taking privileges away, having very strict, serious conversations about what appropriate behavior is, even talking to them about why they engaged in the behavior you're trying to change and helping them come up with ideas about how you want them to change," said Mills.

You may have more questions about face-shaming, and other disciplinary concerns. Join our RVA Parenting Facebook group and ask Dr. Mills your questions. She will answer them beginning Thursday at 7 p.m.

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