Does ‘kid shaming’ work or does it go too far? Psychologists say it depends

Amber Biggs (Photo: WKRN)

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SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Smyrna woman calling herself the “world’s worst and meanest mama” sold her 12-year-old son’s video games after he misbehaved.

She posted the ad on Facebook along with the reason why she was selling her son’s most prized possession.

“He had gotten in trouble a couple different times, but then he had stolen almost $200 out of my wallet,” Amber Biggs told News 2.

“In the past, I’ve tried everything from grounding him to taking things away, and nothing seems to get through his head. So I figured I’d try something else,” she explained.

Biggs says she received dozens of phone calls and text messages for the gaming system, which sold in one day.

She also received a lot of support from other parents.

“Mostly, I’ve gotten an outrageous amount of support,” Biggs noted, saying, “There has been a little criticism.”

 (Photo: WKRN)
Click photo to view full size. (Photo: WKRN)

A parent using social media to discipline their children is not a new thing. However, there is still a lot of controversy about whether “kid shaming” works or if it goes too far.

“I would encourage parents to start off with the least intense or least restrictive consequences first and then work their way up,” said Sarah Kmita, a counselor with Pysche in downtown Nashville.

She and her partner Dr. Stephanie Vaughn work with parents on how to discipline their children.

“By publicly shaming kids, you could scare a kid,” said Dr. Vaughn. “That could make them afraid to come to you. At the same time, some kids have a higher tolerance, so we’ve got to up the ante a bit.”

The psychologists say it’s up to a parent to decide what is right for their child.

For Biggs, she says she believed she did the right thing and hopes her son learned his lesson.

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