Last week the news about a mother posting a picture of her cyber-bullying daughter on Facebook blew up. A North Carolina girl was cyber-bullying other classmates and was caught by her mother. The girl’s mother had caught her daughter doing this several times and after unsuccessful punishments she created a new one.
The girl had to pose for a photo holding a sign explaining who she was and what she did. She also had to sell her iPod and give the money to a charity for anti-bullying. Her mother posted the photo on Facebook and is now receiving a lot of negative attention. Individuals are quick to criticize the punishment as hypocrisy.
People are claiming that the mother is cyber-bullying her daughter just like her daughter bullied other kids. The mother is viewed as a bad parent. However, the mother stands her ground about how she handled the situation. According to the mother, her daughter has learned her lesson not to bully others, especially not through a computer.
The mother used the same platform for bullying as a platform for what she hoped would be a solution. After hearing about the issue, we believe that the mother was trying to show her daughter that cyber-bullying was unacceptable. The mother already tried other traditional forms of punishments like grounding her daughter. If other punishments were not working to make her daughter realize her actions, then what else was she supposed to do?
We don’t believe the mother was shaming her, but showing her that cyber-bullying is wrong. The mother is trying to teach her daughter how bullying is wrong by putting a face to the person who posted the comments online. She is showing her daughter how to take responsibility for personal actions.
Although the mother only posted a photo on her Facebook, she did not think her photo would go viral. This was her mistake. Anything can go viral these days. But we commend her for not backing down after all the negative attention that she has received. This woman was not abusing her child, but trying to teach her daughter that she shouldn’t hurt others.
Her daughter’s punishment matched the crime. Cyber bullying is a lucrative way to hurt people because of the anonymity that is involved. It’s the secrecy of the comments that can make the comments harsh because they can come from anywhere.
Punishments these days are getting softer because people think that many punishments are abusive. The younger generations are growing up thinking that they can get away with most things, because the punishments don’t fit the crime. We stand in support with this mother because we do not believe she crossed the line.
This was not a hard punishment nor did it bully the daughter. It created a precedent online that there are caring parents that are willing to come up with innovative ways to get their messages across. This message was heard loud and clear.