Tot Sauce: Public Shaming

by Amy Nance

So you find out that your kid has been stealing, from friends, from stores, from you. She actually seems proud of it, and even brags about how she likes to steal. You tell her that stealing is wrong and not at all acceptable. She continues to steal. You punish her by taking away toys and privileges. She still steals. Now what?

That's exactly the dilemma that a Colorado mother recently faced. So she came up with a creative punishment tactic. She sent her 8-year-old daughter to school wearing a t-shirt with the message "I steal. Please watch me." written on it in marker.

The school intervened and made the girl cover it up because they said it was demeaning, and the girl was being ridiculed by her classmates. But the mom said it worked. She reports that, since wearing the t-shirt, the girl hasn't stolen again.

So what's your opinion? Do you think the mom went too far by making her child wear an embarrassing t-shirt? Or do you think it was a creative and effective punishment when nothing else seemed to be working?