What do you do when your child keeps misbehaving and getting into trouble, despite your best efforts to discipline them and point them in the right direction? For one mom in Townsville, Australia, the answer was an old-fashioned public shaming.
According to a report by The Globe and Mail, the woman made her son stand in a public place with a sign that read “Do not trust me. I will steal from you as I am a thief” as a punishment for repeated shoplifting.
The “Tough Love Mum” as she’s being called by the media said that she had tried multiple other forms of discipline to stop her 10-year-old son from shoplifting, but nothing seemed to work. “We’ve had a process over the last three years of him shoplifting and stealing whatever he can get his hands on,” she said, according to a report by the Townsville Bulletin. “I have taken him to the police station, had the police officers take him around, shown him a paddy wagon, shown him all the cells, shown him the process of being charged. I’ve taken him to the court house. I’ve done all that. I have put him into courses, I have had counselling down, I have done everything I can. You name it. I’ve had him at the shops where he’s stolen from, I’ve got the shop owners to call the police and have the police come and have a talk to him.” When she caught her son stealing again, she had had enough.
But not everyone agrees with her extreme tactics. “This gives the child the message that they should be sneakier,” Townsville Child Psychologist Nicole Pierotti said in an interview with the Townsville Bulletin. “He’s learning ‘don’t get caught’.”
What do you think about this “public shaming”? What would you do in this mother’s situation?