Parent ‘cybershames’ daughter for bullying, but is that bullying?

I’m not completely sure it’s real but it’s probably still worth a discussion: A mom supposedly posted a photo of her daughter on Facebook with a sign describing how the child bullied other kids online. The idea being that the post would shame the daughter for her behavior. However, is the mom truly teaching a lesson or just cyberbullying her own daughter? Here are more details from Yahoo Shine.

From Yahoo Shine:

On Sunday, a redditor called AngryCommGuy posted a picture titled “Mom Catches Daughter Cyberbullying,” he says it was posted by a “surburban mom” on Facebook.

“The image shows a girl, who appears to be in her early teens, holding a sign and an iPod. The sign reads: “My name is Hailey. I am a kind, caring, smart girl, but I make poor choices with social media. As a punishment, I am selling my iPod and will be donating the money to the charity Beat Bullying, in hopes of changing my behavior as well as bringing awareness to Bullying. Because bullying is wrong.”…

I like that author contacted a family therapist and here’s what she said.

From Yahoo Shine:

“Family therapist and parenting expert Karen Ruskin praises the mother for taking action and says she sees many parents who have a “not my kid” attitude when it comes to bullying, but she feels this kind of punishment both perpetuates the problem and doesn’t teach a kid about real empathy. “Without realizing it, the mother is actually doing what her daughter did to another child,” she tells Yahoo Shine. “Cyberbullying is psychologically hurting someone using social media. Now you are putting your daughter in a position where she is being shamed.”

“Ruskin says it would be more beneficial for everyone if the daughter went to the victim’s house and apologized face-to-face: “Standing there with a note doesn’t help the other person.” While Ruskin feels that parents who use this type of punishment may mean well, they won’t get the outcome they seek since they are contradicting their own message. “And giving her iPod to charity? I’d rather see her donate her time. One day, I’m certain, the daughter is going to get another iPod.””

So what do you think? What is an apt punishment for cyberbullying? Is the mom bullying her daughter?

21 comments Add your comment

Atlanta Mom

January 7th, 2014
12:42 am

I have observed many times that bullies have bullies for parents.


January 7th, 2014
8:26 am

You are right on Atlanta Mom. Bullies create bullies, so if this story is true it’s not surprising.


January 7th, 2014
8:48 am

We observed the “not my kid” mentality when ours were getting more independent as they got their driver’s license. We mentioned to our son’s peers parents, ” We should check in with each other about where our kids are and what they are up to.” Response, ‘ My kids…oh they are great kids and we do not expect any trouble…no need.” Um, yes there was a bit of trouble. We did not mention it though, as they did not want to know. We did not bring it up with our daughter’s friends at all.

Luckily that is behind us now and we did not have any major issues besides a few speeding tickets. Not on our dime anymore.

Truth…there is a lot out there that can cause more trouble than what I had to deal with when my two were in MS and HS.


January 7th, 2014
8:48 am

I am so sick of this bullying crap. Bullies will never go away.
What you need to teach your child is how to stand up to these bullies.

Also, this is my last post here. The topics are insanely stupid, y’all are idiots, and MJG is your leader!

Happy new year! I’m out!


January 7th, 2014
8:58 am

I see nothing wrong with what the mother did. She wrote that the girl was kind and caring but made poor choices. I don’t see this as a mother slamming her child, but holding her accountable. Also, I think public acknowledgement of public wrongdoings against another person is called for. If a journalist wrote untrue and derogatory comments about you in the newspaper, would you be happy if the journalist went to you privately and apologized? Or would you want the journalist to write a retraction in the newspaper?


January 7th, 2014
9:14 am

The daughter should post a photo of her mother, and explain that she raised an imperfect child, and should also be shamed.

Oh! I forgot! The perfect one with the power and control does the shaming! Mandatory reading of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne for everyone involved!

Anton Chigurh

January 7th, 2014
10:34 am


January 7th, 2014
10:59 am

I’ll miss you Mayhem!!


January 7th, 2014
11:21 am

Parent who saw this for real

January 7th, 2014
12:44 pm

This is indeed something that happened. This mom posted this on a Yard Sale Facebook page. Never once in the replies responded on a price for the item.


January 7th, 2014
2:39 pm

Socialists bully using Social media. They currently call this “News”.


January 7th, 2014
3:18 pm

A BULLY is someone who believes in Behaving Ugly, Looking Lame, Yelling Ignorance, and Needing Game.Bullying is different from aggression. Whereas aggression may involve a single act, bullying involves repeated attacks against the target. Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. Let us be the change we always wanted let bully be control. Keep safe don’t let your child be one of the victim bring protection with check this out at!/page_home.


January 7th, 2014
3:27 pm

The last thing I worry about is the feelings of bullies.

Hit them, literally or figuratively.


January 7th, 2014
4:47 pm

I was more impressed with the dad who destroyed his daughter’s laptop when she was disrespectful and videoed the destruction:

As far as this goes — I guess I don’t see how holding your child up for short-term ridicule is an effective long-term solution to a fairly pervasive mind-set of bullying. Someone else ridiculing them — especially someone who is supposed to be teaching empathy — doesn’t erase the need/perception that a bully has that someone is a prime target for the bully’s aggression and spite. Bullies lack a certain empathy — an ability to feel what their victims feel. I suspect that all she did by imposing this “shaming” photo and taking away her daughters iPod was to embarrass her daughter and drive the behavior further underground. I don’t think it made the child a nicer child or a better person. I agree with the therapist — unless she is actually apologizing to her victim and making a conscious decision to see her victim as a person with feelings, then this was basically an interesting stunt, not a long-term behavioral modification.

just me

January 7th, 2014
6:03 pm

I would have made a do a video apologizing and posted that to social media. Not only apologizing but also explaining why she decided to do it in the first place and then making a verbal commitment not to do it again. Would that work forever? I have no idea, most parents don’t know what’s going to be a silver bullet for each and every problem especially when dealing with teens. However, I would know that I did the RIGHT thing. When you wrong someone you need to acknowledge what you did, apologize for it and commit to not doing it again.


January 7th, 2014
8:01 pm

As a teacher, I have been taught that bullying is is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. To me there is no power imbalance here and this behavior hasn’t been repeated over time by the parent who is trying to parent.


January 7th, 2014
10:12 pm

My parents whooped my tail when I was out of line and that was all the “behavior modification” I needed. Sheesh!! Don’t do that again! When I had a bully we got in a fight and I didn’t have one after that. Never bothered again. My mom said you should never fight but my father was like “not so fast….”


January 7th, 2014
10:32 pm

@newmom: You don’t think there’s a power imbalance between a mother and a child? You think they both have equal power in the relationship at that age? I don’t.

Samantha Langford

January 8th, 2014
8:59 am

This is real. I live at Ft.Bragg, NC the girl is from here. I think the mom is doing a great job. Good for her! I bet the girl won’t be a bully again!


January 8th, 2014
6:47 pm

@ DB – Of course there is a power imbalance between child and parent. Parents should be in control!


January 9th, 2014
8:42 am

This is kind of like kids swatting (younger years) at other kids. Parents say, “Don’t do that!” And then they spank their kids. Do as I say, not as I do???