Is it healthy to embarrass a child as punishment?

My grandson's step-mother sends him to school with a pink Barbie backpack as a form of punishment.

Sonya Wilson
Sonya Wilson
Licensed Professional Counselor

Parents are to teach discipline to children, not punishment.   Punishment is another word for wanting to cause hurt.  There is a different in discipline and punishment.  Punishment could have long term affects on a child's self image and growth.  It can lead to others issues such as bullying from peers as well.  Whatever your grandson has done, there is a much better way of getting him to understand that his actions are not acceptable.  Punishment is not one them.  Encourage the step-mother to build a positive relationship with him, this way he will learn to respect and trust her.  His actions would improve.  She may need to attend a parenting class for blended families. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Candice Lawhorn
Candice Lawhorn
Online & Text Therapy

Absolutely not! 

It is never in a child's best interest to use humiliation as punishment. This can lead to issues in the relationship between parent and child as well as the child's social relationships. Kids have a hard enough time. To then go and cause them embarrassment is unconscionable. 

The entire job of a parent is to prepare their child to become a successful, healthy adult. You do this by using healthy ways to teach a child when they make a mistake. Discipline shouldn't be seen as punishment. It should be seen as a way to teach a lesson. What lesson could this possibility be teaching him? Absolutely nothing. 

Meanwhile, she is most likely damaging her relationship with him and causing great distress in his school day and peer interactions. 

She should be one of the people he can come to when he's hurting; not someone who causes him pain.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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