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Why Shaming Your Dog is Okay, But Shaming Your Kid Isn’t

Kaitlin Mahar

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Lately, “pet shaming” has taken the internet by storm, as pet owners post photos with captions that range in hilarity and tales of misbehavior, from “I tore up all the pillows on the new couch” to “I ate my owner’s chocolate liqueur and got wasted.”
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All are harmless, albeit some outlandish, ways to effectively waste time on the Internet.

However, many parents of human children, as opposed to “furry children,” have recently decided to get in on the act and post photos of their children’s misdeeds, from not cleaning their rooms to talking back and being disrespectful.

Recently, some parents have been following the trend of shaming their children on the Internet (probably the same ones who think that those minion memes that have infected Facebook and other platforms like some sort of social media disease) by taking photos and videos of themselves punishing their children in a multitude of ways for various transgressions that range from getting a poor grade on a test, to talking back to their parents, to pretending to be an older version of themselves on Facebook in an effort to attract somebody older than them.

While some of these misdemeanors are more deserving of some form of punishment than others, there is nothing that warrants this kind of emotional abuse.

Because, yes, this is abuse. There are plenty of other less psychologically and physically traumatizing ways to punish your child without making an example of him or her by means of torture, and then posting said torture in order to humiliate them further.

There are plenty of other ways for parents to get across their messages to their children that what they did was wrong without publicly abusing them, not to mention airing their family’s dirty laundry.

What about the classic punishments, like taking things away and grounding them? Why must these parents opt instead to shave their children’s hair or shoot their video game consoles on and then post their child’s anguish for all of the world to see?

And, whether we believe in it or not, many of us facilitate this mistreatment. Sharing and commenting on these posts do nothing but encourage the practice and the abusers. These parents (and I use that term loosely) should not be vilified, but rather condemned for their actions.  Perhaps, somebody should make a video punishing them for mistreating their children, who are not fully grown adults and therefore are of course more likely to make such mistakes, unlike the people who are supposed to care for them and know better.

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Why Shaming Your Dog is Okay, But Shaming Your Kid Isn’t