In the interest of protecting the small child from public shaming, I will not post the images that the father posted on his Facebook page. I have also blacked out the father’s name and the daughter’s name. It is not my interest to shame the father either; I only hope to inform and share my thoughts.

The six disturbing images portrayed the little girl (not more than four or five years old, most likely) in three “mug shots” and then an image of her eating meager portions, standing on a chair to wash dishes, and a cot on the floor that the father claims she was sleeping on alone. In the photos, she is visibly upset, near tears wearing a large orange t-shirt that appears to possibly say “prisoner” on the back of it.

I am utterly disgusted with what this man has done to his little girl, not only publicly shaming her for all the world to see, but also for creating a “jail” for a child, barely old enough to be in school, by the looks of her.

Worse than this scenario that he has used to teach this little girl “a lesson” is the plethora of people that are in complete support of it, championing this father as an innovator of child care. How do they not recognize how terrible this is?

If you aim to raise a child who doesn’t think for themselves, who falls in line with the other sheep of the world, then this is the way to do it. I raise my children to be independent and creative thinkers. They are separate from me, with their own personalities. That is what I want for them- to be comfortable to make their own decisions. This means, that if I accept who they are, that they are allowed to disagree with me. It is healthy to disagree, rather than going along with everything someone says.

Does this come with issues? Well, of course it does? But, we raise our children in an atmosphere of love and understanding. Do they tell us no? You bet they do! And that is their right as a person in this world.

But, we also raise them to have compassion and empathy for others. We also raise them to extend a helping hand. We raise them to work hard and have respect. This can all be done without punishments and shaming.

We do not shame them or force them to obey. We are not dictators. We are family. Nobody is perfect. Everyone challenges boundaries. If we stifle the natural blossoming of children, they will become little robots. My children have healthy social relationships, are ahead in their age groups, and they are very creative problem solvers. Do we agree on everything? No! Should we? Absolutely not.

Children model the behaviors of their parents. If they are throwing a lot of fits, yelling, and they aren’t tired, over-sugared, or having a growth spurt, then the parent needs to recognize that their behavior is a direct reflection of their own and they need to make positive changes for the sake of the child. You cannot punish a child for emulating the person that you are. It is cruel and unhealthy.

Check these out:

10 Reasons to stop public shaming of kids

Public Shaming of Kids = NOT OK

Why you should think twice before shaming someone on social media

Google has plenty more examples of articles and studies if you want some more reading material if it isn’t obvious enough for you that shaming your children is a bad idea!

This little girl isn’t even old enough to have her own email address, and already, the parents have given her an identity for the world- and that identity is a very negative one. This is construed as the right thing to do?

I feel terrible for this little girl. Most times, it is an act of futility talking to these types of parents – to tell them that there is another way to help our children succeed at life.

We cannot criminalize our children for making mistakes, even when they make them over and over again. It is our job as parents to help them grow- to teach them how to go- to help them learn what is good by being that ourselves. Smaller portions at meals are not going to kill her, certainly. And having her do chores is a good practice. But, making her sleep on a cot on the floor, wearing an orange shirt as a prisoner, and then shaming her publicly with all of the pictures is really disgusting!