Mom pleads guilty to misdemeanor over punishment

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wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796
Mom pleads guilty to misdemeanor over punishment

Fridley mom enters plea to humiliating daughter, 12, with 'diaper duty' | StarTribune.com

Legal issue? Taking out the belt spankings, but leaving the rest.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Yes. This is abusive. Both physically with the belts and mentally with the shaving of the head and being outside in a diaper.

They are disgusting excuses for parents. PB&J sandwiches only (so punishing with food..awesome move) and preventing good hygiene by lack of showers...ugh. I want to kick them in the neck.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

Absolutely. "Discipline" should never involve humiliation. Nor should it involve beating with belts even though you said to disregard that part. I can't. That's abuse.

And I'm shocked that the family's case file was closed a mere two months after the first round in October 2010. That's shameful. There should have been multiple followups months later.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I just can't get on board with it. Where do we draw the line for being able to parent our children? Seriously? I said disregard the belt part because I think most people consider that abusive, but the rest of it I think should be up to the parents and I know I'm not the only one. Humiliation (or shame as we call it in the South) is by far the worst punishment a teenager can go through. If my child consistently failed, you better believe I'd shame the crap out of him until he got his **** together and started doing his work. I also don't think peanut butter and jelly is really all that harsh of a punishment; we had to eat it and/or rice cereal just because we were poor and I can't imagine someone telling me it's abusive. The lack of showers? Some of the mom's on this very board admit they and their prodigy don't shower regularly so I can't see that as something legal worthy either.

The *only* thing I can see as actually law-worthy would be the diaper/tank top combo. I can't imagine she was decently covered properly for running outside in that outfit. The rest of it doesn't fit the label of malicious punishment IMO.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Sorry I consider humiliation punishment is emotional abuse. I would definitely agree that they warrant investigation in the very least and I think they deserve punishment as well.

I'm sorry I misunderstood the disregard belt part. I read it differently at first. My bad Smile

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I think there are varying degrees of embarrassment as punishment. For example if I had a young teenager that was holding hands with someone (Something that I am not in support of at that age) in church, I would not think it would be wrong to go up to her in front of her friends and ask her to stop even though I am sure that would be embarrassing. That said, I think there is a fine line and shaving a girls head and forcing her to wear a diaper crosses the line. I think it would be a situation where CPS would need to investigate and see what is actually happening.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"wlillie" wrote:

I just can't get on board with it. Where do we draw the line for being able to parent our children? Seriously? I said disregard the belt part because I think most people consider that abusive, but the rest of it I think should be up to the parents and I know I'm not the only one. Humiliation (or shame as we call it in the South) is by far the worst punishment a teenager can go through. If my child consistently failed, you better believe I'd shame the crap out of him until he got his **** together and started doing his work. I also don't think peanut butter and jelly is really all that harsh of a punishment; we had to eat it and/or rice cereal just because we were poor and I can't imagine someone telling me it's abusive. The lack of showers? Some of the mom's on this very board admit they and their prodigy don't shower regularly so I can't see that as something legal worthy either.

The *only* thing I can see as actually law-worthy would be the diaper/tank top combo. I can't imagine she was decently covered properly for running outside in that outfit. The rest of it doesn't fit the label of malicious punishment IMO.

Well, we have to remember we are raising adults. I want my children to be emotional secure. The respect between parent and child should be mutual and as such, humiliation to this degree has no place as "discipline." It is solely a power play because Mom can't control her child. It hasn't worked before so why keep trying it?

Consequences should be natural and logical. Consequence for bad grade = more study/tutoring time and removing distractions such as phone. It's not meant to be punitive; it's meant to change the behavior.

I seriously wonder what the long-term results of this type of "punishment" will be for the girl.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Consequences should be natural and logical. Consequence for bad grade = more study/tutoring time and removing distractions such as phone. It's not meant to be punitive; it's meant to change the behavior.

It is not up to anyone else how to discipline someone else's child. The risk is though if you go too far CPS can and will take your child.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

We have an obligation as a society to protect minors. That includes extreme forms of punishment.

Even with your example, I think I would call my daughter over and explain that I don't condone X behavior and not address it in front of her friends. If I screw up at work, my manager doesn't announce it in front of all. I'm pulled aside privately. I don't consider it the same as this offense though just that I still think it has the potential to be harmful.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"Jessica80" wrote:

We have an obligation as a society to protect minors. That includes extreme forms of punishment.

Even with your example, I think I would call my daughter over and explain that I don't condone X behavior and not address it in front of her friends. If I screw up at work, my manager doesn't announce it in front of all. I'm pulled aside privately. I don't consider it the same as this offense though just that I still think it has the potential to be harmful.

That is how you would do it. (It really is probably how I would do it too, but for the sake of the debate) You can't tell someone else how to parent their child unless it crosses the clear line of abuse. I think shaving someone's head and making them wear a diaper does cross that line. Correcting your child in front of her friends does not.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

That is how you would do it. (It really is probably how I would do it too, but for the sake of the debate) You can't tell someone else how to parent their child unless it crosses the clear line of abuse. I think shaving someone's head and making them wear a diaper does cross that line. Correcting your child in front of her friends does not.

I agree. I don't think admonishing in front of friends is that terrible just not something I would do as I see harm in it. What this "mother" is doing is despicable.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

Abuse? Aside from the belt I think it may be hard to prove abuse in this situation. I disagree with this punishment, it doesnt seem to fit with the bad grade. I wonder how the mom came up with that?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I'm a firm believer in logical consequences. What was the point of shaving her head, except to embarass & humiliate her? If she didn't do well in school, I'd have followed her every single day to class to make sure she went, and she would have absolutely nothing to do at home except chores & homework, no computer time, no phone, no friends over. If she played a sport, I'd withdraw her from the team. Running around in a diaper? There's no point to that except to embarass & humiliate her, and that's not acceptable. That is not an acceptable part of "parenting."

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

This was just disgusting.
When my kids get older, I want them to look back and think, 'well i did something bad and deserved a punishment, and what my mom did sucked at the time, but helped me grow as a person'. Punishments should be like CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, whatever it is, it should help you do better the next time around, and make you grow. There is no way this will not leave this girl with emotional scars. And mother-daughter bonds have got to be damaged beyond repair. That's sad.

I really agree that punishing with food is a parenting fail. Eating Pb&J because that's what you can afford is different than punishing with food. I'm pretty sure no one suggested that it was child abuse to not be able to buy more than that.

One thing I wonder. If this was the third time it happened...maybe the kid isn't even capable of doing better at what she's failing? Why isnt the mom helping her get help with her grades and studying?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

I would not be on board with blanketly calling humiliation abuse and a reason to take children away from their parents. While it is a discipline method that I don't agree with and truly hate.....i don't think that means every child in every situation who suffers some sort of humliation at the mercy of their parents would be better off in a foster home.

However this is extreme, so i'd like to see some accountability in the situation.

But you know...those people who make their kids stand outside with a sign or other sorts of atrocious things? I am not interested in either the time, resources, or outcomes of taking these kids away and punishing their parents.

We have to find a point where we can disagree and leave it at that. While we all wish every kid could grow up in our own personal view of the perfect environment...its not going to happen. Save the legal stuff for the cases that really matter. But i do think that the one in the article fits, especially since its chronic.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I just read the article, and these people are abusers.

Besides diaper duty, the couple punished some of the children by letting them eat only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month and not allowing them to take showers.

How is this not abuse?

Putting a diaper on your 12-year-old and shaving her head is also abuse. It's also going to lead to some serious issues for that child throughout her life, as she deals with others, becomes a parent, etc. There is no doubt in my mind that these people should have their children taken away. While there are many forms of discipline and strictness that I may not agree with, I can see how they're not abusive, but this absolutely crosses the line, and yes, you DO have to draw a line, and here it is. I'm sickened by this.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I just read the article, and these people are abusers.

How is this not abuse?

Putting a diaper on your 12-year-old and shaving her head is also abuse. It's also going to lead to some serious issues for that child throughout her life, as she deals with others, becomes a parent, etc. There is no doubt in my mind that these people should have their children taken away. While there are many forms of discipline and strictness that I may not agree with, I can see how they're not abusive, but this absolutely crosses the line, and yes, you DO have to draw a line, and here it is. I'm sickened by this.

A child not showering for a month is neglet. I'm not sure how it could be viewed any other way. Isn't water one of those essential services that can't be shut off?