A viral Facebook post about punishing kids is giving parents plenty to think about. After Rosie Lamphere’s daughters were “messing around” at home, one of them managed to put her body through the drywall.
“My 9-year-old came downstairs crying and frantic saying she had to show me something,” wrote Lamphere, who is co-founder of Play at Home Mom, LLC. “I walked upstairs to the damaged wall. The remorse was already displayed all over her body.”
Lamphere said she knew that she had to deal with the situation in a certain way — and it wasn’t by screaming and shouting. “She didn’t need me to make her feel guilty. She didn’t need me to shame her. She didn’t need me to make an already crappy situation worse,” she wrote.
When her daughter yelled, “I’m sorry!!!” and expressed her concern that Daddy was “going to be so mad,” Lamphere responded, “That is OK. When you are ready, you will tell him.”
“She knew,” she continued in her post. “She knew that he was the one most impacted by this. He would be the one taking time from his day to fix this.”
Lamphere figured that she and her husband had two choices: “Scream and yell and make her feel more awful than she already does,” or “[a]ccept that little girl for each bit of awesome that she is … even in her mistakes. To realize that it was SO hard for her to come down and tell you how she made a mistake.”
“Our response will 100% determine how she comes to us with mistakes in the future,” Lamphere wrote.
She and her husband opted for the second response, and Lamphere believes this decision strengthened their bond with their daughter, instilling trust, love and a sense of safety.
Lamphere also revealed that her daughter still feels sorry, offered not to get any Christmas presents this year and volunteered her time and money to help repair the damage.
Lamphere concluded her post: “She didn’t need screaming parents to make her feel this. She did it all on her own. #givelove #givegrace.”
Naturally, her tale has divided opinion. Over 26,000 people commented on her post, and not all of them agreed that this was the right approach.
“I dont think dad getting mad for these kids putting a hole in the wall is going to ruin their lives,” wrote one person. “You can preach all day long about your parenting techniques and the bottom line is the most proven method is holding kids responsible for their actions.”
The commenter dismissed all the “wishy washy feel good stuff,” saying that’s not what builds up a sense of accountability in a child. “Let them know they can always do better,” the commenter summed up. “Be compassionate in passing moments but dont forget the overall trend of responsibility for one’s actions. (sic)”
But others felt Lamphere and her husband handled the situation in the best way, and shared their own, similar experiences in the comments.
Whether you agree with Lamphere’s approach or not, how to bring up kids the “right” way is a debate that will never end.