April Mathison is a terrible mother. After her 13-year-old son got caught smoking pot, she decided to dress him in a sandwich board that read: "Smoked pot, got caught! Don't I look cool? Not!" —proving that her humor skills aren't any better than her parenting skills. She then made him march up and down a busy intersection so as to properly demean him.
Look, I understand that finding out your 13-year-old got caught with weed is distressing, but trotting him out in public to be mocked and ridiculed in the public square isn't exactly a solution. The worst part is that she's going to be hailed as a creative disciplinarian. There's nothing creative about public humiliation. It's been in vogue as long as their have been human beings. The public shaming never has and never will go out of style.
Her being pissed about her 13-year-old smoking pot is a normal reaction. Especially, given the news today that smoking pot heavily in your teen years negatively affects your IQ as an adult. It can decrease your IQ by up to eight points at age 38, the new study out of New Zealand says. Her wanting so badly to stop her son from smoking anymore makes complete sense.
But why would someone want to visit this on their child? Who invites the world to look at their child with disgust?
Mathison claims, "We as parents have to step it up, we have to protect our children and if this is what it takes, it's what I'm going to do." How is this protecting your child? Instead of protecting him, you're throwing him to the wolves.
How about instead of attempting to very publicly shame your child you have a conversation with him? I know, it's a crazy idea, but hear me out. Maybe you want to find out what caused him to act the way that they did and let them know how you feel about it while informing them of the appropriate dangers. Might that be better than talking to the f**king news about what a horrible thing your child did.
The problem isn't the woman herself, although I hope she's happy with all the attention she's getting, but with a culture that applauds humiliation as a great way to discipline children. All we care about is punishment and the greater the punishment and more humiliating the better. We don't care why children do what they do or trying to help them, we just want to beat the stuff we don't like out them. Since we can't do it physically anymore, now we do it through bullying and the public eye.
Does no one see how this treatment could backfire? Sure, he says he's done, but what's he going to say to the news reporter? All this is going to do is breed more distrust. I don't see how this is good for that kid or for that family.