MotherTalkers

Where real moms tell it like it is.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

To teach her truant 14-year-old a lesson, a mother in Oklahoma had her daughter stand on a busy Oklahoma City intersection, holding a sign that read, "I don't do my homework and I act up in school so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."

Many Oklahomans wrote letters of disapproval to the local newspaper editor and one motorist even reported the mother to the cops. In her defense, the mother said:

"This may not work. I'm not a professional," said Henderson, a 34-year-old mother of three. "But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try."

Good for her! Sure, Henderson's form of punishment is humiliating -- as all punishment is intended. But her method seems gentler -- not to mention funnier -- than hitting. Also, she should address her daughter's truancy, which by the way -- according to the mother -- has improved since her daughter's short stint with the sign.

6 Comments:

At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:51:00 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I totally disagree with the statement that all punishment is intended to humiliate. Some punishment is intended to cause physical pain, or deprivation, or guilt. The ever-popular "time out" is not meant to cause humiliation.

Ms. Henderson may get her girl to be truant less often, but at what cost to their relationship? Humiliation wears away trust, understanding, and closeness.

Of course, I might as well wear a t-shirt that says "terrible disciplinarian" stamped in bold letters across the back. :-)

 
At Thursday, November 17, 2005 7:29:00 AM, Blogger Elisa said...

Yeah, but a little humiliation also builds character.

Actually, you are right about the time-out. I think it's worked with the boys and it's not intended to humiliate.

 
At Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:33:00 PM, Blogger Amy said...

You're probably right about building character.

However, humiliation is a powerful tool, and you can't always predict the outcome of weilding that tool.

It works different ways on different personality types. And it can back-fire, big-time.

-AK

 
At Thursday, November 17, 2005 7:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really mean that humiliation builds character? Did you mean to say that humility builds character? I think the character that humiliation builds is not positive.

 
At Sunday, March 18, 2007 9:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the mother. if i was the parent of a trouble maker i would do the same.

 
At Sunday, November 25, 2007 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Eric Ogunbase said...

As a father of four boys, I've come to realize that there are always going to be others who think they can parent your child better than you.

Some would say that I am harsh for having my older sons (ages 6 and 4) do pushups for some punishments. To them I ask, would you rather me provide them with a backhand or the belt like I received as a child?

Better yet, would you rather me just talk to them and be their friend, then leave them ill-prepared for the real world where there are consequences for actions?

Good for this mother in teaching her child a lesson. What happens if you're truant from your job? Do they put you on a "time out" or "provide you a lesson in humility"? No. They fire you. Which is more humiliating than this punishment was.

We're not raising good kids. We're raising good adults.

 

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