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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Parents Force Girl to Hold Sign as Punishment for Being Disrespectful. Tough Love or Too Much?

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Is this too much or is it just what everyone does now?  I have seen so many of these articles and usually it is not this negative of a response.  Is it lash back time?


Worried about their 13-year-old daughter's increasingly disrespectful behavior, Gentry and Renee Nickell of Crestview, Florida, decided to make her punishment humiliating and public. On Saturday, the teen (whose name has not been released) spent 90 minutes standing at a busy intersection with a hand-written sign describing her sins.

It read: "I’m a self-entitled teenager w/no respect for authority. I’m also super smart, yet I have 3 'D’s' because I DON’T CARE."

Also on Shine: Is Parental Shame the New Spanking?

Passing motorists saw the teen, who was standing with her dad at the corner of Ferdon Boulevard and U.S. Highway 90 in Crestview, and snapped pictures of her with their cell phones. Some of the photos ended up on Facebook, where they were shared within the Crestview community (the Nickells said that they have not seen those photos; Yahoo! Shine was not able to find them online). Someone called the police, who showed up to talk to the teen and left after deciding that she was "aware of her punishment and she was not in any harm," Crestview police records show.

Also on Shine: To Punish Daughter, Dad Destroys Her Laptop -- On Video

Now, however, the parents are feeling a little public humiliation of their own.

“I wasn’t even thinking about what the public was going to think,” her mom, Renee Nickell told the Northwest Florida Daily News. “I was thinking about our daughter. It was for her to be in the public and recognize what she had done wrong."

"We spend so much focus on not wanting to hurt a child's self esteem that we don't do anything," the Nickells said in a statement defending the punishment.

"Walk a mile in someone's shoes," the statement read. "We must undo at home what the world tries to tell her is better."

Renee Nickell told the Northwest Florida Daily News that the family has had a hard time since Renee's brother was killed in Afghanistan in December 2011. Her kids were close to him and his family, she explained, even taking vacations together. Since losing her uncle, Renee's 13-year-old has become more defiant at home and at school, and her grades have dropped.

"We just felt like she just kind of gave up," Renee told the newspaper. The family did not say whether they sought grief counseling for their daughter after her uncle's death, or whether they thought her lack of interest in school was a sign of depression.

Holding a sign in public wasn't their first choice for punishment. They tried grounding her before, but it didn't help, they explained. They didn't forbid her from attending activities at church, they said, because the activities were supposed to reinforce the Christian values they were struggling to instill in her. They didn't confiscate her electronics because neither she nor their two younger children, ages 2 and 6, have any, they said.

"We just got to the point where we just didn't know what else to do," Renee told the newspaper. She said that she got the sign idea from a Christian counselor "several years ago," and decided to start with a 90-minute public punishment. The girl's dad stood next to her the whole time.

"At the end, she gave me a hug in front of the police officer and she told me she was sorry," Gentry said.

But on Tuesday the Nickells were surprised to find out that their daughter's punishment had gone viral, and were shocked by the anger leveled at them for their parenting choices.

"It makes me sad to think that this young girl had experienced such a painful loss recently and because she was acting out (as many, if not most young people do for a time) in response to that trauma, she was put on public display for her sins rather than receiving professional help/intervention," commented Katherine Rebecca Newlin. "How would her parents (or any ONE of us!?) feel if they were made to stand on a public corner with any number of THEIR sins plastered all over a sign for the world to see?"

"Worst parents ever," commented Asa Semaj of San Diego. "No one likes to be humiliated, especially a 13-year-old girl, by her own parents! 13-year-old girls have been know to kill themselves over less than this. The only thing she will learn from this is to hate her family."

While people are criticizing the Nickells for the punishment, some who saw the "self-entitled" sign say they support the the family.

"I saw her Saturday morning while running errands, and I thought to myself, great job mom and dad!" Aundy Blocker of Crestview said on Facebook. "Do everything possible to keep your child on the right track! Kudos to you!"

The Nickells likely meant to call out their kid for being "selfish," "self-centered," or "entitled" ("self-entitled" isn't a word) but even so, their message obviously got through to the teenager. They told the Northwest Florida Daily News that the girl's behavior had improved since Saturday.

“I asked her, ‘Were you scarred? Traumatized?’" Renee told the newspaper. "She said, ‘No mom, I knew it was coming'."

by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM
Replies (21-30):
kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM
1 mom liked this
Why is this stuff newsworthy? Who cares how parents are punishing their kids? I applaud this mom and dad, as well as any other parent that decides to get creative to get through to their kids. If more parents let their kids know they meant business, we wouldn't have the crappy kids we have today.
kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Shame is a normal part of growing up.  It has to be taught, it is not innate.  She should be ashamed of herself.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

I don't agree with shaming a kid for punishment. How about finding out Why they are doing what they are doing?


babiesbabybaby development

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I agree with these parents! I would do it to my own 16 yo, most times conventional punishments do not have long lasting impressions

Elkamelka
by Silver Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I think you have to know your children.  If this would work for your child, do what you must.  Personally, my daughter would have had a good time out there; therefore, it's not something I would have done to punish her. 

Jalestra
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM
1 mom liked this

Sorry, but shaming works. If they're misbehaving they should be ashamed of their behavior and if they think that society is not going to put up with it, then they know they have to change. Do we not shame people publicly? Yes we do. We shamed the chick-fil-a guy, we shame political candidates, we shame criminals, we shame radio hosts who say hateful things. We do public shaming all the time. It's a way for society to show we aren't going to condone this behavior. 

At least she was shamed on a corner with the protection of a parent and not in the hundred of other bad ways her behavior can lead to. She was held publicly accountable for her behavior. We all are, nothing wrong with that. Our job as parents is to prepare our children to live in the world on their own. She just learned a valuable lesson, your behavior isn't going to be tolerated in the real world. In the end, she learned it much easier than she would later.

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I support these parents 100%.  Raising teens is hard, tiring and a long process if you've got one that needs to learn the hard way.  With some it is a battle of wills -- believe me.  Sounds crazy, but some teens know you are right and will not concede for anything due to stubbornness.  With this type of child, you have to go down that road with them.  

Anonopotamus
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM
She shouldn't do anything she would be humiliated for other people to know about.

It's a better punishment than a lot of parents can come up with.
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TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Mar. 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

  Why isn't her parents disappointment shame enough? Why does she need publicly shamed? Is it really so hard to delve deeper into the issues and get your child some help than to publicly shame them?

Quoting kailu1835:

Shame is a normal part of growing up.  It has to be taught, it is not innate.  She should be ashamed of herself.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

I don't agree with shaming a kid for punishment. How about finding out Why they are doing what they are doing?


 

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Obviously it wasn't enough.  This was a last resort.  And it seems to have worked.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

  Why isn't her parents disappointment shame enough? Why does she need publicly shamed? Is it really so hard to delve deeper into the issues and get your child some help than to publicly shame them?

Quoting kailu1835:

Shame is a normal part of growing up.  It has to be taught, it is not innate.  She should be ashamed of herself.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

I don't agree with shaming a kid for punishment. How about finding out Why they are doing what they are doing?


 


babiesbabybaby development

bearsbabies
by Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 4:40 PM
Kudos to the parents
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