Another week, another parent going viral for exposing their children on social media.
This week, US dad Matt Cox uploaded a video to Facebook narrating his daughter’s walk to school as punishment for bullying a colleague.
The video quickly went viral and the 10-year-old’s walk to school – and running commentary by dad – went global with 18 million views in just a few days.
Matt Cox was very proud of his parenting, calling the video a “life lesson” (followed by a bunch of unnecessary exclamation marks).
“UPDATE: lesson learned! Still has all her extremities intact is happy and healthy and seems to have a new outlook on bullying as well as a new appreciation for some of the simple things in life she used to take for granted #HOLDOURKIDSACOUNTABLE #STOPBULLYING,” he wrote.
Now I wonder where his 10-year-old daughter learned her bullying tactics from? Could it have been from the parent who, instead of sitting down with her and talking about her behaviour or, at the very least, punishing her in private, decides to broadcast her punishment so the whole world can gang up on his young daughter?
Sadly, Cox is not the only one who uses this kind of dodgy parenting tactic. Over the last few months, there’s been a real trend of parents thinking it’s a good idea to post (and boast) about their children’s punishments on social media.
Just to be clear: it’s not funny, it’s not cute and it’s 100 per cent bad parenting.
Fair enough wanting to teach the child a lesson by making her walk to school (it’s one way to go about it). But what lesson is there to learn from having your dad post about it so 18 million people all over the world see it and judge you for it? What does that achieve?
You can’t keep trying to teach kids to be smart about what they post on social media and then do stuff like this. For the people who watched it, it’s just another viral video of the dozens they wasted bandwidth on this week. For this girl, it’s a shame she will potentially carry with her forever. Is that adequate punishment?
She’s 10. She’s allowed to make mistakes, to do stupid stuff. In fact, she’ll make a lot more over the years. She doesn’t deserve to have every mistake out there to be scrutinised by the whole world (and she certainly doesn’t deserve it to be put out there by the same people who should be protecting her from the dangers of over-exposure on social media).
The trend is growing so fast you can easily find these types of videos on sites like YouTube (if you’re into watching this kind of thing).
It’s not discipline, it’s not proper parenting. In fact, it’s lazy, misguided, uneducated parenting that serves no purpose.
In the case of Matt Cox’ daughter, maybe some good came from the punishment of making her walk to school. But one thing is for sure: no good came from her own dad uploading a video shaming her on Facebook for everyone to see.
There is a very real possibility that this girl will one day sit on a computer and read all the more than 70,000 comments that have so far been posted on the video, most of them from complete strangers applauding her dad’s decision to humiliate her on social media.
So who’s the bully now?