There are many trends I wish would go away. The “how can this possibly be still cool” fashion of wearing your pants around your knees. Argan Oil in everything, although this is purely selfish as I am extremely allergic to it. I went to Red Door and all I got was fabulous hair and a trip to the E.R. Good times, good times. But the trend that I literally cannot wait to bid adieu is the prevalent trend of shaming.
We like to talk about how we have evolved as a race and a society from the days of public executions and putting people in the stockades to be taunted but really have we? Stockades may have been for a week, but the internet is forever.
We shame people without even waiting for the whole story. We shame people for one tweet. We shame them for making bad judgement call, having a bad day, And worst of all, we shame them for being children.
Yesterday I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook, like, literally mindlessly, at one point I thought “I wonder where I left my phone” while scrolling on my phone. A video popped up, one of the ones set to auto play and there was a man filming a young girl, her hair recently shorn. This is what happens when you misbehave, he says panning the camera to the garage floor where her beautiful hair lies in a tangled mess. Was it worth it? he asks her, she whispers no. You can watch it HERE but I’m warning you it’s heartbreaking. I can’t stop thinking about it.
Three days later, after her father had chopped her hair and uploaded a shaming video to YouTube chronicling her punishment she committed suicide.
I keep hearing her father’s voice, was it worth it? I can’t imagine how he feels. My heart goes out to him.
Thirteen. She was thirteen. I remember being thirteen, there is no future there is only NOW, and her now was destroyed. I’m not writing to shame her father, he clearly loved her wanting her to be safe, this wasn’t his intention, this is what people do now. It’s what’s done. I think it should stop.
Our kids will misbehave. No matter how good we are as parents, no matter how close we are to them, no matter how open the lines of communications are they will misbehave. They will sneak out, try a drink, they will lie, they will get caught. Hopefully their misdeeds are minor…like most of ours were. Hopefully we will bust them, like our parents did.
As parents our job is to be in their business just the right amount, not too much or they will be suffocated but enough that we know what’s going on (mostly). Our job is to know their friends, their interests, their boyfriends and girlfriends. Our job is to help them understand right from wrong, it is our job when they do wrong to help them understand WHY and sure, hand out punishments. My kids’ Great Grandma says “Better you cry than I do.” They might cry and say we are ruining their lives just like we said to our parents.
But it’s not our job to shame them. They’re still growing, learning, messing up and trying to make it right. We need to be in the trenches with them, not fighting against them.
Shaming our kids is a sure fire way to break their trust, possibly irrecoverably.
So, I will resist the urge to scream “pull up your pants!” and I will happily avoid any and all Argan Oil, if we can just put this shaming trend to rest.