In the News – Mom Shames Daughter for Racy Facebook Page
Denver—After discovering that her 13-year-old daughter was pretending to be 19 on Facebook and posting inappropriate photos, mom Val Starks berated the girl in a video she posted to the social-media site.
“You still have a bedtime,” Starks said, making the girl admit she has to be in bed by 10 and still watches the Disney Channel. As her daughter cried, Starks said, “You wasn’t crying when you was posting pictures on Facebook, was you? In a bra, or some little girl in some lace panties you know you don’t own. You still wear panties that say Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.”
To the men who’d been communicating with her daughter, Starks said, “She’s a kid, and she’s gonna stay a kid. And as long as she’s under my roof, she’s gonna do what I say.” Starks concluded by grounding her daughter for the summer. “Say, ‘Bye, Facebook!’” she told the teen.
Within three days, Starks’ video had more than 10 million views. The single mom appreciated the support she received for her tough-love style. “Now that’s how you parent,” one person wrote.
Others said the public humiliation was unnecessary, though. “This is why children rebel,” read one comment.
Starks, who says her daughter isn’t mad at her, says she was motivated by love and concern. “I would rather embarrass her and done this than to go to a morgue and verify my child’s body,” she said, referring to the dangers of Internet predators.
Starks advises parents to always be aware of what their kids are doing. “Don’t trust nothing they say. They lie, and they’re going to be sneaky,” she says of teenagers.
A convicted felon who’s had trouble finding work, Starks says, “I’m an adult who made a bad decision, and I had to suffer the consequences, and I’m still suffering the consequences. And you’re a kid who made a bad decision, and there are consequences to that.”
Sources: abcnews.go.com, dailymail.co.uk, thedenverchannel.com
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Discussion Starters for Student Small Groups
What’s your reaction to this mom’s discipline strategy? Did the punishment fit the “crime,” in your opinion? Why or why not?When, if ever, is public humiliation appropriate? Is it justified if it teaches the person a lesson—and steers others from making a similar mistake?
When is tough love necessary, and when does it cross the line? Do you think teenage rebellion results from the type of punishment Starks doled out? Why or why not?
How do you suppose Starks’ daughter feels about the video her mom posted—and about her punishment? Have you ever been grateful that your parents punished you? Explain.
To what lengths do your parents go to protect you? Are you grateful for their concern? Do you ever wish they’d back off? Explain.
Do you agree with Starks that teenagers can’t be trusted? Why or why not? If parents assume their kids are deceitful and sneaky, how might that affect their relationship?
Should parents try to protect their kids from suffering severe consequences? Or is it best to let kids face—and learn from—consequences once in a while?
Why do teenagers often want to appear older than they are? In what ways are you still a kid? In what ways are you “older” than your parents want to admit?
Can parents force their kids to stay kids—or does that usually backfire? Explain. How do you usually act when people treat you as a little kid? when people treat you as a responsible adult?
Have your parents ever shared their mistakes with you? If so, what have you learned that you can apply to your own life?
Have you ever misrepresented yourself online? How much of what you do on the Internet do your parents know about? If you were grounded from the Internet for an entire summer, how would you cope—and what would you do instead?
Scripture links: Proverbs 3:11-12; Proverbs 13:24; Matthew 7:13-14; Acts 3:17-19; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; and 1 John 3:1-10.