Some parents are out of control.
Yesterday I saw a video of a woman who chastised her teen daughter for having sex in the house by calling her a "b*tch" and then sucker-punching the teen in the face, twice. Someone taped the incident, and then uploaded the video to World Star Hip Hop. I saw the video on Facebook.
Last week, I saw another video of a father chastising his teen daughter (who had been missing for days) by whipping her with a belt in the middle of the street. Someone taped that incident and uploaded it too.
The commonality in these beat-down videos is that, according to the videos' captions, the parents uploaded the videos to show the world how they handled their wayward teens.
I'm not saying that the teens were not wrong; to be clear, teen girls shouldn't have sex in their mothers' homes, and they shouldn't go missing for days -- such acts would cause any parent to lose it.
But the parents were wrong, too. A mother shouldn't sucker-punch her teen daughter and a father shouldn't attack her with a belt in the middle of the street. If you are the kind of parent who believes these forms of discipline is okay, well, then, you shouldn't upload your beat-down videos to shame your child online.
The teens' beat-down videos are viral now, and that could lead to video memes, jokes and more public shaming for weeks -- or even years to come.
What if these teens want to apply to college or interview for a job? Will the beat-down videos playback in the interviewers' mind?
As a reality show alum, I can attest to the fact that people have great memories.
My colleagues and I appeared on Oprah Winfrey Network's Iyanla Fix My Life show two years ago, and people still recognize us and know our story. On Fix My Life, Iyanla got in our faces, but it was corrective; we were not called bitches or beaten with a belt. Instead, we were challenged to remove our makeup and communicate our truths to one another.
We were also grown women, fully aware that our experience on Fix My Life would be televised; we were not teenagers easily influenced by peer pressure, unlike the two teen girls who have become viral sensations for all the wrong reasons.
The lives of these two teen girls have been forever changed. What if the shame of it all is too much to bear and the teens drop out of school or run away from home? Or worse?
Social media teaches us that there is no buffer between what people do in their daily lives and what is put online.
However, parents must see the bigger picture, and opt not to publicly shame their children on social media; to do so may cheat their kids out of the opportunity to become great adults.
(PS: I won't share the links to the beat-down videos here, to do so would only continue the attack against the teen girls).
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