Effective Parenting? One Dad’s Punishment For His 9-Year-Old

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Tough love gone wrong?

A northeast Kansas dad created a stir along US Highway 36 last month.

After his 9-year-old son stole a video game console and games from a nearby home – which he later lied about - Richard Fulton made his boy stand on the side of a highway for two hours holding a sign that read, “I like to steal and lie about it.”

“He decided he wanted to steal some things that didn’t belong to him,” said Fulton. “I want him to understand this behavior will not be tolerated.”

The boy covered his face in embarrassment and shame of those passing by.

“I think it sucks,” said one passerby, Marshall Belzer. “He’s got a sign out there with that kid embarrassing that kid to death. It’s child abuse. I won’t put up with that for a poor kid or a dog.”

“We’ve had some people that have indicated they thought it was a good idea and that it may teach the kid a lesson,” said Raymond Hall, Wathena Police Chief.

“I think I’m doing the right thing,” said Fulton. “There is no rule book on parenting. Of course, if there was, I would buy it.”

Didn’t public shaming end in the days of the Scarlet Letter?! You know, in the 17th-Century!

I feel this father’s parenting style is cruel and emotionally abusive. By publicly shaming his son, he has created a world of distance between them. One can only imaging the future years of therapy for this kid — exploring his rage, anger, humiliation and feelings of betrayal by his own father.

Or is it just me?

In a world where kids have a nauseating sense of entitlement, and lack of hard work ethic, one might argue this father is doing his son a favor?

What do you think? Is this parenting style effective or cruel?

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  1. I do not agree with this kind of punishment. When a kid does something like this, as parents we want to let the kid know that it is wrong. There are so many other ways in which it can be done. Firstly the kid needs to be explained that stealing is not a nice thing to do. Kids are very sensitive and very intelligent too. Did the dad even try to talk to his boy before doing something so ghastly? Does he really believe that the punishment is going to stop the child from doing it again? It could have the opposite effect. A gree with what the passerby said. It IS child abuse.

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