Parents are resorting to signs, think sandwich boards, to punish their children.They're making their kids stand on street corners or the side of a road wearing signs professing their guilt. Examples on YouTube show some kids wearing signs that read: "Don't be like me, stop bullying," "I stole from Wal Mart" and "I was rude to my teacher."
These kids admit they did wrong, but does the world need to know about it?
"That's humiliation. You don't humiliate your kids. You love your kids," said a valley grandmother, Carol Gonzales, but not everyone disagrees with this kind of public punishment.
"There's worse things than being humiliated," said a valley father, Jerry Walker, who added if the punishment is effective than it is acceptable.
There's nothing illegal about these types of punishments. In fact, judges are often handing them down as sentences, but are they effective or are they more harmful than helpful?
"Punishment can be effective, no doubt. All of the research shows that punishment is effective in reducing the behavior," said Fresno State University Behavioral Analyst Marianne Jackson who stopped short of saying punishment is helpful, especially public punishment.
Another example is the dad who fired nine rounds into his daughter's laptop because he was fed up with her profanity-laced Facebook posts about having to do chores. He posted the video on YouTube and instantly became an internet sensation met with praise and derision for his "tough love" parenting.
Jackson says shaming a child in public can have negative side effects such as damaging the child's relationship with the parent. It might also encourage bad behavior because the child's friends may think this form of punishment is cool or funny and lead to emotional problems or bullying.
Experts suggest others types of discipline like focusing on and rewarding good behavior, timeout for young children or taking away privileges. "Docking their pocket money by a certain amount or you don't get to have this privilege of going to this particular activity," said Jackson. Also, allow a child to explain why he or she did something bad, they just might surprise you.
One mother who was interviewed in one of the YouTube clips said she had tried every other kind of punishment and sending her son out to the street corner wearing a sign admitting his guilt was the last resort.
"Then they're giving up. You never give up. Keep trying, don't give up," said Gonzales.
But even a few of the publicly punished kids forced to wear the signs said themselves they learned their lessons.
"I did like to lie and steal and disrespect others, but I'm going to try not to now," said one of the boys in the YouTube clip.
"If I had tried everything else and there was some evidence that it's effective I would try it," said Walker.
Experts say there are more effective ways; but, ultimately, how you parent is up to you.
What do you think: is public punishment effective or too extreme? Share your thoughts on KSEE Sunrise Carina Corral's Facebook. Also, feel free to contact her with any story ideas.