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Facebook Discipline: Like or Dislike?

A mom used Facebook to discipline her child resulting in national exposure. Was it punishment or cyber bullying?

Last week an Ohio mom’s method of disciplining her 13-year-old daughter hit headline news. Denise Abbott’s daughter had embarrassed her by acting out when with friends. To teach her daughter a lesson, she altered her daughter's Facebook profile picture so there was a red 'X' over her mouth and posted the following comment underneath “I do not know how to keep my... I am not longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why, my mom says I have to answer everyone that asks." 

She instructed her daughter to reply to every question posted asking why she was punished and she was not allowed to copy and paste previous replies. Abbott is quoted as saying she felt this was the modern day equivalent of being punished by writing 100 lines on the chalkboard at school.

Her actions have been applauded to by many, they feel it was an appropriate punishment because the daughter had used social networking and technology to embarrass her mom, so it was fitting that the punishment involved the same technology.

Others however have called Abbott’s punishment cyber-bullying. In one interview on the Today Show parenting expert Dr. Janet Taylor thought it was humiliating and inappropriate.

I am inclined to agree. Her daughter made a mistake, but she is still a child and I think her mom should have taken the high road and not stooped to a teenager's level when dishing out the punishment. My kids would have lost access to all technology as a punishment and, for a teenager, cutting them off from their computer and cell phone is devastating, but not humiliating.

Abbott’s daughter has since released statements in support of her mother’s actions, but would she dare say otherwise? She has been humiliated on a national level so she is aware of what her mom can do so maybe she has realized it’s better to go along with it?

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