Tough love or too far?

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reality Orlando, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Reality Orlando

    Reality Orlando Verified Aquaculturalist

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    With a 1.222 GPA, I'm glad to see this Mom taking steps to get her son motivated, but are her tactics acceptable? What would you do differently?

    "A frustrated mother in Florida is using some tough love to push her teenage son to get better grades.

    Ronda Holder forced her son, James Mond III, to stand on a Tampa Bay street corner with a sign stating:

    "I DID 4 Questions on my F-Cat AND Said I Wasn't Going to Do it!" said the sign, written in black marker on a large piece of paper hanging around the 15-year-old's neck. "GPA 1.22... Honk if I NEED [an] Education."

    The 33-year-old mother said she wanted to embarrass her child into taking his education seriously.

    "You take the phone. You take things from them... It don't work," Holder told Fox 13 News in Tampa Bay. "So embarrassing is the best thing. He don't like to get embarrassed."

    She plans to make him continue standing on the corner every day until his grades improve." (More at link)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/02/21/2011-02-21_florida_mom_uses_humiliation_to_get_teen_son_to_do_better_in_school.html
     
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  3. LolaMoon08

    LolaMoon08 Active Member

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    I read about this earlier and I am 100% behind the parents.
     
  4. Jaxson

    Jaxson Your barkin' up the wrong tree

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    I am not sure that embarrassing a kid will motivate them to do better in school, however it sounds as though the mother could use a better education too. 'don't' instead of 'doesn't' ?
     
  5. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    I am kind of on the fence about it too. Maybe if he did something he should be embarrassed about, like stole her car one night or something stupid like that.

    But bad grades often mean a kid needs help. And even if the mom says it is only because he is not turning in work or studying for tests, that is often because they give up and are already embarrassed because it is too hard.

    Instead of standing out with a sign he should be sitting with a good tutor imo.
     
  6. sherbetjello

    sherbetjello Where is Kyron?

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    Shaming, which we all have our view on if this is or isn't in this case, never works. It's aversion, at best... imo.

    The child will have to be motivated from within, not a street corner.

    I don't see how embarrassing this child will bring about any self esteem that is obviously need. You know, the kind that pats you on the back and says "You can do it! I believe in you!!"

    My question is, where was Mom when the fundamentals for this child's education was building its foundation? Say in kindergarten?
     
  7. Gozgals

    Gozgals New Member

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    I don't like this method to get the 15 yr old to improve his grades. I find it harsh and to embrass is not the way to motivate. At that age, it won't work but could cause some emotional issues. As stated, where was all the care lavished upon him years earlier? Habits that have to do with school are usually reinforced at a young age.

    I think it won't work and I do not like it at all.

    Goz
     
  8. keeponsearching

    keeponsearching The mighty Oak was once a little nut that stood it

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    Im not so sure.. But I will say maybe the mom wants him to have a better education than her. Now that being said. I always wonder if kids have anxiety over school. I know I did. I did great on school work, but during test time, I would not do so well. I didn't even realize it untill I was much older. Not to mention talking in front of the class. I know there is a huge population that does not like standing in front of people. Maybe for the kids in school that re flunking, they should at least give a chance to see if thats really the case, or if it is stress. I'm reading the shy child, I have a very shy child. And its tough. Reading about what she might be thinking, when she goes into an uncomfortable situation, reminds me so much of myself. I just want to help her, so she can go farther. I would hope all parents would want to help there child... So really Im not so sure about this embarrassing, it could just be his problem in school.
     
  9. Kimberlyd125

    Kimberlyd125 Softball is for everyone. Fast pitch is for athlet

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    I think she knows her child better than we do. If she thinks this is the best way to make him straighten up, who are we to say it's not.
    I see nothing wrong with what's she's doing.
    As far as critiquing her grammar, maybe that's why she cares so much. She wants him to get a better education than she did. Maybe she didn't have anybody who cared enough when she was in school.

    JMO
     
  10. IWannaKnow

    IWannaKnow New Member

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    From Reality Orlando's link in first post:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...n_to_get_teen_son_to_do_better_in_school.html
    Florida mom Ronda Holder uses humiliation to get teen son James Mond III to do better in school
    By Michael Sheridan
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Monday, February 21st 2011, 11:39 AM

    He just thinks standing on the corner is embarrassing now. Wait until he is doing it for food and shelter because he can't get a job, when it is the real deal not just momma trying to make a point. She obviously knows her child and is trying to get him to straighten up. If the kid dropped out of school, joined a gang and did something illegal to get noticed on this board, her mothering abilities would be impugned then too and all would be wondering why she didn't try to do more.
     
  11. MCDRAW

    MCDRAW New Member

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    At least she is smart enough to know that her son needs an education.
     
  12. MCDRAW

    MCDRAW New Member

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    Sometimes they are just lazy. My son had a very high IQ, yet he graduated High School barely. He is now in College and doing well but mainly because he is in competition with his girl friend.
     
  13. MCDRAW

    MCDRAW New Member

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    I have a son that drove me crazy. I tried everything. When he was 16 I gave up. I told him I didn't care anymore he had just pushed me so far and I had tried everything. I told him if he failed he would have to work and pay his own way through summer school. He did just enough not to fail. Maybe that Mother is in the same place I was. I don't see embarrassing him working either. And I wouldn't have done it but I know that feeling of just hoping you will find something that works.
     
  14. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    She is clearly frustrated. Maybe the kid will get a wake-up call, who knows. Or maybe he will drop out as soon as its legal. She'll probably get blamed either way. Sounds like if he wouldn't finish the test, he wasn't even trying. I just hope she isn't charged with something. Maybe she went overboard but I doubt it is because she doesn't care about her child.
     
  15. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    I didn't read the responses, but wanted to say this is wrong on so many levels. The first rule as a parent is to break no spirit. By humuliating a child like this, you break their spirit. It teaches them they are worthless, no good, and they can't possibly be winners.

    Many of you know, I have a teen. He's not perfect by any means, and comes home with the occasional F and D. I attribute it to laziness. I now keep in touch weekly with his teachers, know what his weakness are, and we take steps to fix it.

    As parents, we are the most important teachers. If our child fails, or if my child fails, guess who I blame? ME! I need to make sure he has the tools to succeed. This means a strict schedule, a quiet place to study, no distractions, and plenty of interaction. Yah, I had to learn this the hard way when I began to fail him as a parent.

    Don't give up on your kids - please. Humiliation, neglect, or just turning your back does so much harm.

    MOO

    Mel
     
  16. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    It makes me wonder how many distractions remain in the home... does he have a TV in his room? Video games? Does this mother check his homework? Does she make sure he has a good breakfast and an adequate lunch? Dinner? Is there a routine in place that insists on schoolwork? Is a good night's sleep a priority?

    If not, I'd like to stand her a$$ on the corner with a sign that says: I'm a lax parent and I'm failing my child-- Honk if you think I need an education!
     
  17. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    Amen Quiche! The bedroom is for sleep, though my son does have a 13" that he will watch for a bit before going to sleep (and yes, he still has an 8:30 bedtime, as his wakeup time is 5:30). The x-box is in the living room, as is the computer. I don't always make breakfast, as most mornings it's a bagel or cereal. Dang, this child is hard to get going in the mornings (but really, how much earlier can he get to bed).

    It's hard work -- but that's what I signed up for as a parent. I can't just throw it to the wayside. Only 4.5 more years until he's 18! That's nothing looking back at the last 13.5 years :) I just keep saying - "yes I can, yes I can, yes I can".

    Hugs,

    Mel
     
  18. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I don't think this mother's decision would be MY style with MY children, but good parenting comes in many shapes and sizes. This might be exactly what her son needs, and I support her in giving it a go if she thinks it could have a positive ripple effect.

    Like all of us, she wants her son to have a better life and better opportunities than she had. Any parent knows how difficult it can be to raise a child. She obviously cares a lot about her son or she wouldn't give a damn about his GPA.
     
  19. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    In fairness, Quiche, the mother admits her own education is lacking. She may not even know what study habits are necessary for academic success. She's just trying to make sure her son does better.

    Personally, I think shaming her son on a street corner is the wrong approach; I hope the entire family gets the help they all need to see the younger generation improve. Your list above is a good place to start, IMO.
     
  20. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    Well, at least what she is doing isn't illegal....but I'm not sure her approach is going to profit much.

    Induced public shame, IMO, causes a teen to harden his heart even further, to put on a big show that standing on the street corner wearing the sign is "funny" rather than "shameful." (I know that is how *I* would have reacted: I'd have been bowing at cars and being the clown, nobody would EVER have known that I was uncomfortable or ashamed! Could be that as a child of the 60's, I'm just super rebellious!)

    I don't know what the home life is like for this teen and his mother, but I do suspect that the problems go far beyond his grades. Regardless, I believe his parents are trying their best (with their limited base of experience) to help their son. I have found that the very best way to make a child "honor" education is to get that kid a summer job laying fiberglass insulation in the attics of South Louisiana.....it's sort of the "suffer your decisions" approach. I haven't had one kid decide he wants to be a manual laborer after a summer spent in the Hot Hot Hot attics of Louisiana!

    I wish our children could learn from our experience, because this mom and dad have experienced what life without an education has to offer, but our kids won't learn until the experience becomes their own.
     
  21. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    I spent the last week blasting the mother who handcuffed her son to the chair (daytime) and desk (nighttime) so no one can say I am "pro parent no matter what." I think in this case, however, I am landing firmly on the momma's side of the fence.

    In reading the article, I get the feeling that these parents have had poor educations, are suffering because of that circumstance, and they recognize that a good education could have made a huge difference in how they are able to work and live. They want their children to OVERCOME their limited beginnings in the only way that they know how---by becoming educated enough to escape the lifestyle they are trapped in. It is very hard for me to believe that this mother is lax in other areas of her son's life, but (as I have repeatedly said!) I have been wrong before and I may be wrong right now!

    Not all parents are smart, not all parents are educated, but ALL PARENTS DO FAIL THEIR CHILDREN IN SOME WAY. None of us are perfect! I *feel* (an important word!) that this parent is doing the best she can with limited resources and a limited education.....

    Unfortunately, I think she will fail. Because I truly, truly don't think you can shame someone into doing the right or profitable thing.
     

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