Recently I have heard about some military spouses posting photos of other people’s children on their base’s military spouse Facebook pages. They are doing this because these children are misbehaving.
The children are doing things such as throwing trash in the park, picking on other kids or doing something else the poster feels isn’t right. I am not saying that what the kids are doing is OK, behaving that way clearly isn’t, but posting what they are doing on Facebook isn’t a good thing to do either.
Posting photos of other people’s kids on Facebook when your intent is to shame them is not OK.
Doing so is judgmental and you never really know the story behind why a kid is doing what they are doing. The better thing to do would be to notify the kid’s parent and leave things at that.
I know my kids do not behave 100 percent of the time at 100 percent of the places we go. No one has kids that do. I have carried a screaming child out of the PX more times than I would like to admit. Those moments happen.
We as parents do the best we can do to train our children. Sometimes they act out anyway. We can take those experiences to teach our children that we do not act that way.
If my son was throwing trash on the ground, it would be a good chance to teach him about why we don’t do such a thing. His photo does not need to appear on Facebook in order to get that message across to him.
I am glad that there was not Facebook when I was growing up. As an adult I can step away from the drama but our kids are growing up in a time where anything can be captured on camera and shared with others.
What are we teaching our kids and teens when we take part in Facebook shaming too?
Doing so teaches them that posting like that is OK. Posting those photos is telling them that it is fine to single someone out on a bad day and make that bad day last forever.
We need to step away from posting shameful photos on Facebook. Whether a kid is doing something they shouldn’t or an adult isn’t dressed the way we think they should be, posting about it on Facebook is being a bully. We want to be the people who our kids look up to and learn from. We as adults should know better and do better.
How do you handle kids who aren’t behaving in base housing? Do you talk to them? Do you talk to their parents? Or do you post your complaint about their behavior on a Facebook military spouse page?
Years ago, public shaming might have meant standing on a street corner holding a sign. The kid who stole a candy bar might be made to stand in front of the store. Yes, people saw the child and he learned his lesson, but then the whole thing was over.
His face was not shared all over Facebook. He was not turned into a meme about good parenting. He was not shamed like that for years and years by strangers.
We really need to think about what social media can do to kids. We don’t want to make things worse than they are by taking part in the Facebook shaming.
When we see parenting shaming being done, we need to speak up so that the posting will stop. That makes for a better world both on Facebook and off.
Cathy B. says
The only time Facebook Shaming is okay and even a little funny is when you do it to the dog or the cat. You should never do it to a child or teen and especially not a strangers child. If you are found out you can be sued by that child’s family as well.