Trending Now: Publicly Mocking Your Children Online

kidshaming, girl holding sign
Image adapted via iStock

Kids do some pretty funny things. I think we can all attest to that. I mean, little kids are just trying to figure how the world works, so of course there are going to be a few hiccups in the way. When my sister was little, she LOVED the smell of some perfume that my mom had purchased while she was in Paris. She loved the smell so much that she decided to do the only logical thing that you would do with a bottle of perfume:

She drank it.

When one of my brothers and my sister (they are twins) were a year old, or so, my mom would bathe them together. My sister hadn't quite grasped the idea of pooping in the toilet and not in the bath, but, hey, she was just a baby. My brother, as a 1-year-old, was so intrigued by this bodily discharge that he did the only logical thing that one in his position would do with a piece of poo:

He ate it.

Crass, disgusting, but not all that uncharacteristic of a baby that is unlearned in the ways of bodily waste. So what did my mom do on both of these occasions? She called up the local advertising company and made a billboard that said how stupid and inept her children were. What were the odds that her twins would be stupid enough to do the things that they did?

The odds were not very great. She figured that she could get a few laughs from her friends at the expense of her children's learning experiences.

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OK, so that was all a lie. After my sister drank the perfume, my mom made sure that she wasn't going to be poisoned and then explained to her that drinking perfume will make your belly hurt. After my brother ate poo, my mom drained the tub, cleaned out my brother's mouth, and explained to him that eating poop is yucky. Simple enough. I'm sure that she told some of her friends about what had happened because, after all, it was kind of funny. But she didn't announce it to the world at the expense of her children or their trust in her.

#kidshaming.

Have you heard of it? It's the new trend of documenting your kids' learning experiences and making them look like absolute fools in front of all 1,600 of your Facebook “friends” and Instagram followers. The whole #kidshaming thing is pretty big on Twitter, too.

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Essentially what it is is when your kid does something like, I don't know, throw up all of their dinner or put their shoes on the wrong feet, you would snap a picture of them holding a sign that belittles them and mocks them for their missteps—all for a few “likes” and “retweets” on social media. So in a sense, your are letting the entire world that know your child is stupid and incapable of making decisions that, quite frankly, they probably haven't even learned to make yet.

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Granted, some of the things that kids do are funny. But, come on, does the whole world need to know about it? Does the privacy of one's own home mean absolutely nothing?

What do you think? Is #kidshaming just a fun way of showing the everyday joys of childhood and parenthood, or is it a backwards way of humiliating your child for the entire world to see?

Let me know what you think!

What do you think?

Trending Now: Publicly Mocking Your Children Online

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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2 comments

  1. Julita says:

    I think Jace Whatcott is right. We might not see it but I can’t imagine my mother posting on Facebook all my mistakes as a new mother. I would be embarrassed. All the little mistakes I make are for me to learn and not for the world to know. So I agree, lets keep our babies leaning lessons to our self’s.

    Thanks for posting this eye opening article Jace. Have a blessed day.

  2. Jenny says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of kid shaming- but then, I don’t do Facebook or Twitter. I do a very little Instagram. Kids naturally do things that can be totally hilarious to adults, but I try to remind myself that, hey, they are humans and have feelings too! I remember very clearly being very young and sensitive to even being chuckled at for some little learning mishap.And my parents were very gentle and supportive, so I was probably a bit oversensitive. But I see some of the same thing in my daughter. To them, sometimes even being chuckled at over something cute can feel like being mocked. Which can easily lead to poor self esteem:( I think we need to remember these things. And I think kidshaming is a bad idea.

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