What are the pros and cons of “shaming” as a parenting tool?  

(1) All too often parents attempt to use shaming with their kids, often with frustrating results. This “old school” approach doesn’t work. 

(2) Family systems can be closed or open. In a closed system, kids are given orders, threats, and warnings by their parents. In a totally open family, kids are allowed to do what they want, and parents often throw up their hands when the going gets tough. The first approach puts kids on a short leash, while the second puts them on one that is too long. 

(3) The ideal system is somewhere in between. Kids need enough direction and control to guide them, yet enough room to let them breathe, learn, and discover. There must to be a balance between structure and flexibility. Shaming is a disciplinary approach that overlooks the need for growth and exploration during the childhood and teen years.

(4) Shaming is a poor form of discipline.  It teaches kids that putting a person down is an acceptable form of expression, and starts an unending cycle. Research has discovered that kids who have been shamed, then go on to shame others, including their own children. Parents who shame their kids may also coerce, pressure, use power, and give commands. All these techniques are less effective disciplining tools.

(5) What “tools” can parents use that are more effective with their children?

   a. Be more sensitive to a child (...continue reading)