Child Beating Videos Go Viral: Is Discipline Entertaining?

scared child

Last week, The Root published an article about a father who grabbed his daughter by the hair and proceeded to beat her with a belt in a clip when she finally came home after being out and about for three days. For 19 seconds she is whooped Joe Jackson-style all the while being called derogatory epithets and being asked: "You wanna be a grown woman?" while being filmed--and put on Facebook. Since it was posted, the video has accumulated over three million views.

There are quite a few of these types of videos that have gone viral recently. Many have been extreme forms of discipline, such as the father who beat his teenage daughter's for twerking, and my personal favorite from a few years ago: the dad who shot his daughter's laptop after coming across her vent session on social media.

Today's a new day. Social media is prevalent in most of our everyday lives (First World problems). While I am all for disciplining children for major infractions, I think there's a fine line. We're in the information age and for better or worse, many of us share our thoughts, feelings, relationships, and personal business on these "internet streets." As a teenager we all rebelled against our parents in one way or another. We mumbled things as we stomped out of the room, when they reprimanded us, danced suggestively/drank at parties, thought we were grown having sex, and even some of us became parents as teenagers. There's virtually nothing new under the sun except the internet. As opposed to just sweeping it under the rug and parents not knowing about it, kids now post their lives on social media.

Why do parents share their disciplinary actions? Everything these days is about sharing. Social media has changed how we do everything from how we receive our news, it's the primary way that advertisers try to reach consumers, and even dating is a social media game. In that same vain, I think that's one reason why parents post these videos. I think the other reason is the public shaming. The thought process is that by virtually tarring and feathering their offspring it will make them think twice about their behavior. But like I said as we get older we forget that teenagers are rebels and will only get sneakier by trial and error.

Why do we as viewers partake? Honestly, I think that it's because it's entertaining. We as parents get a little of a laugh and maybe a portion of us vicariously live out our feelings of: "I'd kill my kid if they did that" knowing that we really wouldn't. We let it become water cooler talk to share horror stories that in hindsight are funny moments. Those who aren't parents get to laugh and say: "That's why I'm not having kids" or "If my kids did that I'd do the same thing."

It's the kind of things we see in movies and think they're funny or terrifying but it's palatable because it's not us. We love viral videos from Youtube, Vine, and Instagram because it's what we loved about reality television because it's "unscripted" drama. We get to see others acting a damn fool, be entertained by it, and then go our own merry way. However, for whomever is the recipient of these incendiary actions it's no fun at all, embarrassing to say the least. Not only did they get publicly reprimanded but they are humiliated for their friends, family and the world to see. I'm sure someone has walked up to these children at one point or another, looked at them for a long time, and someone may have even said something to them that reminded them of their moment of infamy.

In the end, what good does blasting these beating videos do for anyone?

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  • manboy

    Wicked parents….jail them…

  • natturnfreedomrider

    Nobody knows if the parents have already tried to talk with this girl. the media is so quick to vilifies good parents. Yet Child services ignores abuses cases right under their noses ornever intervenes in real abuse cases until its to late. So when the girl gets found dead or over dosed or pimped out then they’ll say the father should have done more. Your damned if you do and damned if you dont.

    • PolkaDots

      Yeah, the media SHOULD vilify them…well as a matter of fact, the parents are doing a great job at showcasing their PROGRESSIVE parenting methods while clowning themselves at the same time.

      No one’s saying DON’T DISCIPLINE your child but to publicly MOCK them for their infractions? Yeah, okay, now let’s check on these families in 2 years and again in 5 years and then in 10 years and let’s see the IMPACT that beat down ON CAMERA made.


      • natturnfreedomrider

        They need to get embarrassed!!!. Maybe they’ll stop thinking the BS they are doing is cool and cute. Some of the Sh$t these kids do today is way over the top. Juvenile murder convictions are more triple what they were decade ago.Young girls are choosing to be hookers and strippers rather than going to college at an alarming rate. GTFOH with puh-lease ish

        • PolkaDots

          All of those stats YET they STILL go home and get “beatings” — so really what are you saying?

          It’s not doing anything to HELP the situation.

          • natturnfreedomrider

            Half of the people on drugs and other ish come from excellent homes where they never been told the world no let alone a spanking. Spankings and beatings are two different things. No a child should not be beat. Yes they should get smacked or spanked if all else has failed.

  • PolkaDots

    Shameful – this whole ALL THINGS VIRAL PHENOMENON is ridiculous. (So now the parents are the ones wanting the attention just as much as the kids eh) – Sad.

  • True G.R.I.T.S

    welp…azs whoopings just changing with the times…#shrugglife that whoopin didnt kill her to me if anything it taught her something, 1) wait til u get grown to trick off, or 2) get smarter at trickin off too young…ijs cuz im not bout to front if that was my daughter…me, my mom, all my aunties, my sisters, AND my ob gyn gone jump her lmao we wouldv been crouchin tiger hidden dragon all on her azs…

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    What teenager hasn’t done something they shouldn’t do. I know I’m ashamed of a lot of the things I did during that time. And I’m sure these “fathers” did things they shouldn’t have done when they were kids. But you grow up and it stays in the past. Now these girls have to live in shame forever.

  • Matt Seifman

    Discipline: there are many definitions. In parenting and education, Discipline is about the education of proper social behavior. Discipline is meant to correct a behavior so it is not repeated. Beating your child with a belt, pulling their hair, and “whooping them” is NOT discipline. That’s assault and abuse. Many people WILL disagree and say “oh, it’s just strong discipline and that’s how it’s done in our culture”. Our understanding of behavior management HAS evolved just as we as a society have evolved.

    Along those same lines, posting your “discipline” online is taking it too far. If you want to post an educational video on discipline and proper behavior management techniques for the purposes of parent education, GO FOR IT!! However, anything aside from that is not discipline.

    When we act out of anger and frustration, or to appease our egos, that’s not discipline. That’s the same as punching someone in the face because they said something you didn’t like. I think we all know what would happen if we did that, and we can all agree that calling it “discipline” won’t hold up with the cops, or the courts.

    We, as in We as a society, need to start looking at what we want to teach our kids. If we’re willing to take a stand for our children’s academic and sometimes even social education in schools then we need to take a stand at home as well and exercise proper discipline. We need to act not out of anger, frustration, to soothe our egos we need to act out of love, care, compassion and a desire to provide our children with a proper social education.