The trends show that we all like to publicly praise our kids when they do something awesome, sweet, considerate, creative and/or silly. We even publicly praise our kids as they reach milestones, such as graduation, getting married or entering into a new job. Social media is full of amazing photos and stories of all these great memories compiled into hours of public praise.
The question posed now is: do we publicly shame them as well?
Remember, the internet is a permanent place filled with hundreds of thousands of people who you know and don’t know. I have to fess up because I am guilty of charge. Last year, my 9-year-old and 4-year-old were arguing non-stop and I decided to try an idea I too had seen online. I grabbed a giant pajama shirt of mine and told them to sit on the ground back to back and proceeded to put both of them in the shirt. Now, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t trying to be malicious when I posted it, I thought it was the cutest thing in the world seeing both of them with their arms crossed, their brows furrowed, and their lips pouted.
I was quickly corrected by my 9-year-old the next day when she had a meltdown about me posting the photo on Facebook. She was embarrassed, and this is where I had shamed her. I know there is a fine line with public shaming, and it sounds so negative. We may have all done it without malign intentions, however, I feel we should take into consideration our kids’ feelings, regardless of their age and regardless of what they’ve done.
Now, before I post things, I am prompted to ask my 9-year-old’s permission if I feel it’s something she may be embarrassed about, like a silly dance she did for me that maybe she didn’t want my list of hundreds of friends to see.