Huffpost Parents

April Mathison, Mom, Orders Teen To Wear Sign As Punishment For Smoking Pot

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"Smoked Pot, got caught. Don't I look cool? Not."

That's what was written on the sandwich board-style sign that Brandon Mathison, 13, wore as he walked back and forth along an intersection in South Carolina, Wave3.com reports.

"Time outs and taking things away just doesn't work any more. Sometimes a little public humility is what they need nowadays to get a point across," the boy's mother, April Mathison, told the news outlet.

Mathison said that if the display prevents even one child from thinking about smoking marijuana, then she will feel she has done her job as a parent. But she's not the only parent to use the tactic on her child.

Public shaming through sign-wearing has become somewhat of a trend recently, with several similar incidents already having made headlines this summer.

In June, two siblings from Indiana, ages 12 and 14, were forced to wear a sign that said, "We are disrespectful and nasty to our dad. We don't follow the rules and we only do what we want. We hit him and treat him like crap. We are ungrateful."

The children were initially going to have to wear the sign for 40 minutes, but their mother increased the time to an hour and 20 minutes after the girls laughed at the idea, WANE reports.

Though some parents have used the tactic as punishment for more serious offenses such as shoplifting, others have dished it out for seemingly minor things.

A 12-year-old boy was forced to walk around for two hours at a time with a sign that read "Homeless, won't listen to parents," after he called his parents to check in 30 minutes late.

Whatever the "crime," the consensus among experts seems to be that public humiliation can do more harm than good.

When HuffPost senior columnist Lisa Belkin wrote about the trend this past spring, Alfie Kohn, author of "Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason" explained that such disciplinary tactics can lead children to view parents as enforcers rather than someone they can trust.

Psychologist Jill Hunziker also told ABC news, "All it will do is produce more anger and resentment in the child."

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Signs That Kids Have Worn As Punishments
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