59. Shame Versus Guilt

Thank you for checking in again!

There is a new trend parents are using to discipline their teens: shaming them on social media. One father noticed his daughter in a picture on Instagram holding a cell phone in one hand and what looked like lemonade in a water bottle in another. The mom added to the comment stream, “Why are you drinking? Is that a pipe in your hand?” His daughter was mortified and commented back, “It’s my cell phone!” to which her father commented, “Hmmmm.” Needless to say the girl was embarrassed knowing the conversation was seen by all her friends.

Posting pictures of teens holding signs has become another popular trend. One mom took away her daughter’s social media after her daughter posted pictures of herself drinking alcohol—but not before she made her daughter post a picture letting all her friends know why. The mom took a picture of her daughter holding a sign that said, “I obviously am not mature enough to not post pictures of me drinking alcohol so until I mature, I will be taking a hiatus from Facebook.”

Cyberbullying is a serious problem in the social media age, and most parents are aware of the severity of peer-to-peer bullying. However, parental cyberbullying in the form of shaming on social media is just as bad, if not worse. Shaming on social won’t help fix a teen’s behavior but will likely increase sneakiness and resentment, which will only inhibit parent to child communication. On top of that, what you post may affect your child’s reputation and cause additional problems for them socially.

Though it might seem like an effective way to make a point to your teen, reserve reprimanding them for private conversations at home. The potential negative outcomes can be irreversible. Instead, look for proactive measures to prevent behavior you don’t agree with rather than using shame as a corrective measure.

We know parenting in this day and age is difficult, and I are here to support you. I am just an email away!

Your Parenting Partner,


Check out this month’s Online Parenting Class.

(Click on the image to open the video link.)

online parenting class


Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, suggestions or problems with these resources!

p.s.  Watch for more help in part 2!