What do you think about this???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by donna723, May 24, 2008.

  1. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member


    OMAHA, Neb. -- A single mother said she is at her wits' end with her children's behavior, so she's making them hold signs at a busy intersection as punishment, reported television station KETV in Omaha.

    Christina Wilcox and her children stood at an Omaha street corner on Thursday night. One son held a sign that said: "I'll never have a girlfriend. I can't respect my mom." Another son's sign proclaimed him a thief.

    "They'll learn by embarrassment," Wilcox said. "They'll learn. I've tried grounding them and disciplining them in every form and way, and this the only way I can get through to them."

    Mason, 7, is being punished for stealing. "He's starting down the wrong road of thieving and then lying about it," Wilcox said. "He's thieved from a couple of friends, from a store, and I just don't want it to proceed." Wilcox said that 5-year-old Elizabeth is following in her big brothers' footsteps, so she held a sign, too.

    "They're not going to want to do it again, so there will be no more lying and no more thieving," Wilcox said.

    Some drivers honked and gave Wilcox the thumbs up. Others shouted profanities. Wilcox said that everyone has a right to their own opinion, but she said she didn't know what else to do. "I'm a single mom of three. I work full time, so time outs and everything else don't always work," she said.

    Dustin Wilcox said he's not fazed by the punishment, but he said it does get him thinking. "It really doesn't bother me standing out here doing this," Dustin said. "I've been trying to work on being more respectful, not yelling at my mom and not arguing with her."

    The children held the signs for about and hour and 45 minutes. Wilcox said it was the last time they would hold the signs, and she thinks they got the message.
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm fine with the idea in general. In fact I think it's a great idea. But using it for kids that age? I'm not so sure that's the best thing to do. I understand her frustration though, just not sure that's an age appropriate thing to do.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My gut feeling is that while I think punishments like this might serve a purpose for adults or older teens, I think those kids were a little young for this and I would not have done it with my kid. I think it is too humiliating in front of too many people for kids that age to process and deal with the long term effects of. But then , I could be wrong- we aren't exactly living the lives I would have chosen right now.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I think it is indecent and inhumane. Would you change if you had to hold a sign for the world to see about your issues? You would either die inside of shame, or become angry. There is not a model in human behavior that would suggest this is a benefit to anyone of any age.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I understand and sympathize with the mom. Do I think it will do a bit of good? Nope. Do I think it was the right thing to do? Nope. Do I blame her for doing it? Not even a little.
  6. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    I totally agree with Steely. Unfortunately, there will probably be a lot of people who applaud this parent and think there should be more like her. I feel sorry for those kids.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    This sorta reminds me of the thread about people putting videos of their kids on youtube.

    The older son's sign said "I can't respect my mom." (Interesting wording, by the way.) I wonder if mom is teaching respect by example or simply demanding it from him.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If she can get them to hold the signs, they probably are compliant enough to benefit from other forms of discipline.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    That was my thought exactly.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Shame and humiliation are powerful motivators. Just that they are negative ones. I understand that she may get just as good a response using her tactics as all of us who try hard to do right by the kids and leave them with some dignity. Lord knows, there were days when this was a kind action that passed through my head. The difference being I wouldn't do that to my son.

    I would hope once does the trick but I am absolutely against and horrified if this was a repeat behavior.

    Maybe if she is late on a rent payment or car payment she should be made to hold a sign publicly that says "I will never be responsible because I didn't pay my bills". It's the same mentality.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    The fact that she actually GOT them to stand out there and HOLD the signs tells me they ARE NOT difficult child -

    I hope it works for them.
  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Hmmm...lots of thoughts about this.

    First, I don't think anyone one of us could not imagine a parent's frustration. When you're frustrated and angry, you might not make the best decision. We're human, even in our old age.

    The one quote that said it all to me is Dustin saying that 'it does get him thinking.' Well, maybe this is what he needed.

    You have to admit. Many of us have gone to the end of the Earth to find things to motivate/correct our kids. Some are good...some a bit sketchy, but you're desperate. There is NO guide book.

  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sounds mean-spirited to me. Mom should be more proactive (and yes I know this doesn't always work). I could never humilate my child no matter how frustrated I was by his behaviors.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Star, my thoughts exactly. How did she get them to do that? They must be at least partially compliant. I doubt it will do much, except she could hold it over their heads as threat of future punishment.
  15. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I agree that since she was able to get them to do it, they are probably not difficult children. And because they are not difficult children, it might work, at least if they were older. I have no problem with the idea of this if they were older kids, but I think they are just too young for this. However, I don't think it will scar them for life or anything like that and if it does help, so much the better.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't see this as an effective strategy.

    I CAN see some of the kids one of my cousins hung out with (and even some of Wizard's friends) trying to see who can get the most outrageous thing on their sign. The whole one-upmanship that seems to happen in some groups.

    I can understand how a parent can get so frustrated that something like this might seem worth trying.
  17. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    I guess she cares enough to try and get them to understand that their behavior is unacceptable. I give her a lot of credit for that.

    I hope it works!
  18. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    mixed emotions on this one, I wouldn't be able to get either of them out of the car to hold the signs to begin with.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    If I had EVER done anything like that to dude ? I had BETTER be able to pull a Jesus-like life off for the rest of mine because I could see coming home from work and having my ENTIRE LIFE spelled out on signs for ALL the neighbors to see OR Dude standing at the busiest intersection in town with a sign spelling out ANY mistake I ever made.

    Yeah - that's not happening here. However - I DO like the pictures I've seen on the internet of the women who are jilted by their husbands and write or paint things down the sides of their cars in front of their girlfriends houses - NOW THAT is creative. lol.
  20. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I have to say up front that I wouldn't do this to Duckie.

    I want to add, though, that she tends to learn best when I let natural consequences take their course.

    Ex: She is is warned not to do A, B, or C when we go somewhere. She does one or more anyway. She is hauled out of there whether she'll be embarrassed or not. I just tell her it's embarrassing to me to watch my daughter behave that way. (This doesn't tend to happen much anymore.)

    Ex: She is rude, demanding and disrespectful to me at home. Everything stops. No activities, play dates, movies, video games. Nothing. Because I allow these things to happen for her as her mother. And she should appreciate it.

    This only works because there are some things I'm really willing to put up with a rage over (basket A). Plus, I believe Duckie does have some control over her behavior or is at least able to find a better way to deal with her issues. To not challenge her to do better or protect her from consequences just isn't an option.