Shaming Your Child on Social Media Has Consequences
Published On: November 21, 2016
One growing trend on social media is parents posting pictures and videos of their children behaving badly. While it is one thing to post a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, it is another thing when it comes to older children, tweens, and teens. Part of the concern is these pictures and videos can live online indefinitely from other people sharing them.
It is only a matter of time before the child’s outburst ends up becoming a meme or even going viral. When this occurs, it is not uncommon for a child’s friends and classmates to tease, intimidate or even harass the child in person or online. As a result, the child can start to exhibit changes in their normal behaviors and could become withdrawn or even depressed.
In some rare cases, a few children have become so depressed, they have considered suicide. Unfortunately, some of these attempts have been successful, leaving their parents with feelings of guilt for using social media as a means to punish and shame their child.
Initially sharing their child’s bad behaviour, might help some parents to reach out to friends and relatives, who may have dealt with similar behaviours with their own children. However, publically posting it online often has far reaching consequences parents fail to consider.
Furthermore, some parents are taking how they respond to their child’s poor behavior to an extreme level. There have been posts of parents forcing their child to hold up signs, forcing them to confess, giving them an embarrassing haircut, or even damaging their electronics to humiliate them, while the child looks on in disbelief that their mother or father would do this, let alone record it to post online for everyone to see.
Once posted online, other people are actually congratulating the parents with positive comments and positive reinforcement for the way the parents dealt with their unruly child. Essentially, parents are using social medial to bully and harass their own children. From the child’s perspective though, the child sees these responses as hatred and loathing directed at them.
As a parent, it is important to consider what could happen if your child sees their picture or video circulate out of control through social media. The shame of a single outburst could scar them emotionally for the rest of their lives and be carried with them into adulthood. Here at Bayridge Counselling Centres, we want to encourage parents to seek more effective and private ways to deal with their child’s behavioural problems, like seeking professional counselling with one of our experienced family and childhood development therapists.
Our counselors are able to provide guidance and assistance to help parents find more effective ways to teach their children proper behaviours, as well as can work with children to help discover the underlying reasons for their negative outbursts and responses. For more information about our professional counselling services or to schedule an initial consultation appointment, please call Bayridge Counselling Centres at 905-319-1488 today!