Facebook Discipline: Like or Dislike?

A mom used Facebook to discipline her child resulting in national exposure. Was it punishment or cyber bullying?

Last week an Ohio mom’s method of disciplining her 13-year-old daughter hit headline news. Denise Abbott’s daughter had embarrassed her by acting out when with friends.

To teach her daughter a lesson, she altered her daughter's Facebook profile picture so there was a red 'X' over her mouth and posted the following comment underneath “I do not know how to keep my... I am not longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why, my mom says I have to answer everyone that asks." 

She instructed her daughter to reply to every question posted asking why she was punished and she was not allowed to cut and paste previous replies. Abbott is quoted as saying she felt this was the modern day equivalent of being punished by writing 100 lines on the chalkboard at school.

Her actions have been applauded to by many, they feel it was an appropriate punishment because the daughter had used social networking and technology to embarrass her mom, so it was fitting that the punishment involved the same technology.

Others however have called Abbott’s punishment cyber-bullying. In one interview on the Today Show parenting expert Dr. Janet Taylor thought it was humiliating and inappropriate.

I am inclined to agree. Her daughter made a mistake, but she is still a child and I think her mom should have taken the high road and not stooped to a teenager's level when dishing out the punishment. My kids would have lost access to all technology as a punishment and, for a teenager, cutting them off from their computer and cell phone is devastating, but not humiliating.

Abbott’s daughter has since released statements in support of her mother’s actions, but would she dare say otherwise? She has been humiliated on a national level so she is aware of what her mom can do so maybe she has realized it’s better to go along with it?

Starfishgirl May 12, 2012 at 03:24 AM
I think the mother clearly needed to humiliate the daughter in order to elevate her own tattered ego. This is a sad example of a power-over scenario.
Starfishgirl May 13, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Starfishgirl May 13, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Speaking of mean bullies, it appears as if Mitt Romney may have assaulted a prep school classmate. Apparently Romney cut the poor boys hair off... Click on the above link for more information.
Don Charles May 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM
This has been proven to not be true but starfish does not care about that she only comments and tells what she thinks is true. Poor person who really needs lots of help. We should really take up a collection for her to get her the help she needs. Psychiatrists are expensive and Obama care won't pay for this.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) May 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Starfish & Don Charles: If the name-calling and bickering between the two of you does not end on this — and other — comment threads, the next step will be a temporary account suspension. Thank you for your cooperation.
Starfishgirl May 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The story was featured on ABC news. As usual Don Charles resorts to personal attacks rather than dealing with his disappointment in a constructive fashion. He clearly finds abuse enjoyable. This is a common personality trait of sociopaths. I am healthy. Don Charles is not. The sexually harassing, dishonest, abusive behavior Don Charles chooses to embrace indicates that he is not only dangerous, but beyond help.
Starfishgirl May 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Thank you Julie. I will restrain myself from responding to abusers.
Don Charles May 13, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Okay, Happy Mothers day Julie. Hope you did noticed how she always comes back with vindictive comments, however I am a grown up and not a child so I shall restrain myself.
patriot76 May 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
post link to obama bullying girl in high school also, lets be fair. can't find any report about it? read his book.
Starfishgirl May 13, 2012 at 04:39 PM
"You can tell a lot about a person's character by how he or she treats the vulnerable." ~John Becker
Starfishgirl May 13, 2012 at 04:41 PM
CitizenVoice May 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Don Charles is wrong. Fact: 5 of the participants were interviewed separately and gave the same horrible story. Example: “It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.” “It was a hack job,” recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.” Fact: The boy who was attacked is dead now and his family came forward ONLY to denounce the accusation that he was gay. Only Fox News and the Glenn Beck web site is trying to report that the family denies the incident. Unfortunately, at the time of the attack the young victim looked different and a little on the feminine side, with longer blonde hair that swept down over one eye, so (gay) accusations were hurled at him. Finally, a phyical assault led by Romney resulted in his hair being cut and the poor boy being traumatized. Bullies like Romney don't grow up to be very nice people. He is known for his quick temper and every once in awhile you can catch traces of that when he is involved in a confrontation.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM
CV, I am giving you a standing ovation as we speak. Bravo!
CitizenVoice May 14, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I diagree with the author on this one. Humiliation is a hard word to describe to someone. This child needed to feel what humiliation was like to appreciate the humiliation she put her mother through. Age 13 is not too young to learn such a lesson (girls are "so smart" at that age, lol.) What she learns from this now may save her from making a huge cyber mistake (ie ruining her own or someone elses reputation) in the future. Just taking away all her techno-toys for a spell would not prove effective as she can log on at anyone of her friends' homes or even the library. Kuddos to Mom for being a creative disciplinarian. I also think the term "cyberbullying" gets thrown around a little to loosely.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I respectfully disagree with you CV. Two wrongs do not make a right. The child made a mistake. To what degree we may never know. Adults need to rise above the dysfunctional "get even" mentality. The consequences of this sort of thinking eventually results in animal abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, and finally war. Purposefull humiliation is abuse. We punish children to give them a time out in order to learn how to empathize with the offended party and make amends, not to elevate our own self esteem.
Don Charles May 14, 2012 at 03:51 AM
CV you state that only Fox News and Back have brought out the truth. Wrong Wrong , The mother and sister of the young fellow said it was not a problem and the so called witness who originally gave the story to the post also has recently said he was not an eye witness when he at first said he was there. CV we all know the media is running with Obuma this is a fact.This post story was ready to go, do you think they put it out within a day they were ready to go with it come election time. This happened, if it did as said, over 50 years ago wow that is news. Hell Obuma and his radical friends radical ideas are most recent and nothing is said in the media about that. There is a double standard. Gee I wonder why?????The media abc, cbs, nbc never say a word about the wrongs of Obuma. The problem is the economy and jobs yet Obuma and his people will try anything to try and get people to forget these problems. Furthur you say that bullies like Romney don't grow up to be nice people come on you know that is bull all you Obuma lovers will say and do anything to get Mr. Incompetent reelected. To this day no info is available on YOUR president no school records no SS number except the one from a dead citizen from CT. The man is a Chicago thug and a dictator and you can see his meaness and vicdictiveness whenever he is rubbed the wrong way. Guess you are in favor of his czars too. As a registered Democrat I am embarrassed that he is the president of the USA.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 04:30 AM
CitizenVoice May 14, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Sounds like someone's been lacing the tea at the tea party again. I can't debate any of these issues with you as your reality seems to be a bit altered and I don't see the benefit in attempting to break through that. I remember making that mistake once before and your rhetoric was quite low brow and insulting. Besides, this is not the topic for this thread.
Lise Cavallaro May 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Humiliated on a national level? I think that's what the media did to East Haven. I think the mom definitely went overboard. She should have taken the computer away.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 03:56 PM
President Obama pushed a girl. She did not fall or get hurt. He simply pushed a girl away from him. The circumstances involved a gang of kids surrounding him and taunting him. Apparently they were teasing him about being her boyfriend. He felt terrible about then and he wrote about his feelings of remorse in his book. This hardly compares to pinning down a vulnerable class mate and shearing him like a sheep. Romney bullied other classmates as well. Most of Romney's bullying episodes were tainted by homophobia.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Charles please provide some credible sources to back up your wild assertions.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Romney apparently had a nasty little habbit of interrupting vulnerable class mates speeches and presentations by repeatedly yelling "atta girl!" Cranbrook was an all male school.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 04:09 PM
The Bush administration destroyed our economy by going war. President Obama is bringing the troops home. This will undoubtedly result in lower intrest rates and a stronger economy.
Starfishgirl May 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM
John Lauber, the young man who Romney assaulted was scarred for life. He died in 2004 of liver cancer. And Romney can't even offer his family a proper apology. Even though five different classmates clearly recall the event, Romney claims amnesia. Either Romney is lying or else he has Alzheimers. Clearly, Romney is not qualified for the job of U.S. President.


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