A Newfoundland mom is being both praised and panned for what some say are extreme measures to punish her daughter for apparent bullying behaviour — and then discussing it all on social media.
Amanda Mitchell posted three pictures on Facebook of her nine-year-old daughter's room after she stripped it of everything except the young girl's bed and a single change of clothing for the week. The post has since been deleted or made private.
Mitchell said the near-empty room — along with the same outfit of an anti-bullying T-shirt — was punishment for acting up in school and being mean to a friend.
Welcome to Mommy's Juvenile Detention little girl
The mother of two also planned to make her daughter copy phrases — 50 times apiece — including "I will not lie," "I will be kind to everyone" and "I am responsible for my own actions."
"Welcome to Mommy's Juvenile Detention little girl," she said in the post.
"Harsh? Not in my opinion. If she grows up to break the law then the result is jail and that's not what I want for my children. I think the problem with this generation is inadequate punishment. Punishment is bad, we should only use positive reinforcement and ignore all bad behaviour — NOT in this house."
If she grows up to break the law then the result is jail and that's not what I want for my children.
Mitchell said she was just trying to dole out what she thought was adequate punishment, adding that her daughter is usually very well-behaved.
She told Global News the little girl was a bit shocked when she first saw her room, but was contrite after they talked about why the behaviour was happening.
"She's been very apologetic, very remorseful," Mitchell said. "She wrote a letter to her friend she was mean to. She wrote a letter to her teacher."
Mitchell, who declined to say where she lives in Newfoundland, said she initially posted the photos Saturday to share with her local "mom friends" because she figured they could relate.
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What she didn't anticipate, was the overwhelming interest and response.
As of Monday afternoon, the post has about 59,600 shares and more than 98,000 reactions. There were also a couple hundred comments — many from fellow parents.
She's been very apologetic, very remorseful
"Excellent ... this is how to teach children there are consequences to their actions. This is how they learn," read one.
"Wow! Awesome parenting!" read another.
There was some backlash to the post
The majority of comments were favourable, though some did question her decision to make the public post.
"Wow. I really feel that this is extreme ... How old is your child? I feel that taking away toys, electronics etc. But making your child wear the same outfit to school for a week and stripping her entire room ...overboard," wrote one person.
Mitchell said the feedback caused her to re-think her punishment, a bit.
Her daughter won't be wearing the same outfit every day and instead will rotate through four anti-bullying shirts. As well, the little girl has to copy 25 lines instead of 50.
Mitchell said 90 per cent of the comments were in favour of the action, with about 20 messages calling her "nasty and telling me I'm a terrible parent."
She said her daughter has already earned a few of her belongings back, including some books, her side table and lamp.
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