Punishing Your Kid for Bad Grades?

What's a parent to do?

A Florida mother is defending her decision to stick her teenage son on a street corner with a sign that says, among other things, "GPA 1.22 ... honk if I need education." [Click the video]

Is that an appropriate response?  The parents say they've tried everything to make their kid shape up.  His indifference at a school meeting last week was the final straw.

Add your thoughts in the comments box below.

Joseph February 23, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Don't think it is wrong at all.
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Joseph, Join us in the online chat at 1 p.m. It might get lively.
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:03 PM
Welcome. If you've viewed the attached video, you've seen a mother at her wit's end with a teen who just doesn't care. Did she do the right thing?
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 09:04 PM
How do I get into the Chat?
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Just click on the headline, scroll to the bottom of the story and write in the comments box. Then click Submit.
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 09:11 PM
I don't think the kids life was in danger so I don't see how it would be wrong. Sometimes you have to think out side the box to get kids attention.
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Does the humiliation of the situation factor in? Look at all the public attention the kid got.
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:17 PM
Is there another way to motivate this teen, or any teen?
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 09:26 PM
I would guess the parent tried taking things away or grounding, sometimes humiliation gets to kids
Joanne February 23, 2011 at 09:28 PM
I think that the punishment was inappropiate. Does she realize the emotional and psychological effect that this might have on his son, humiliating him in front of many people?
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:29 PM
The Department of Family Services was investigating whether this was child abuse. What do you think?
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:31 PM
It seems that this teen is incorrigible. Is there another solution?
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 09:37 PM
@Joanne so this would be far worse then possibly being a drop out with out an education roaming the streets with no security in the work front? It's not any worse then having to do cal trans cleaning up on the side of the freeway
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Did you ever hide your report card because of a bad grade? How did your parents react?
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Of course we don't know how this teen's classmates reacted the next day, but is it possible he was actually craving attention? And he sure got everyone's attention. Is there another way to to turn him around?
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Boarding School. I never hid my report cards. I wasn't a great student and I failed classes but I was honest about it. I just had to find my nitch.
Joanne February 23, 2011 at 09:47 PM
It is hard to comment on someone that you do not really know that well. First and foremost have she had her son evaluated? Meaning not all children are the same. There are children that are really smart, some are just average and some below average. If her son was doing well in the past and his grades started to go down then she should be worried. But if his son is consistent of having bad grades since elementary, then maybe that's all he is capable of. No matter how hard he tries. It really depends on your child's ability.
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Well, judging from the news reports and the body language in the video, it appears this teen just doesn't care. Assuming that is the case, the mom is taking drastic steps to turn him around. Apparently the "last straw" was his obvious boredom at a meeting with parents and school officials. What's a mother to do?
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 09:56 PM
I agree to a certain extent. I also believe that sometimes kids are getting lazy and parents are quick to place them under a L.D. and fill them with pills. We need more mental stimulation in the schools
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Here's a little more info: TAMPA, Fla. (KABC) -- A mom in Tampa, Fla., is using the tough love approach to get her son to study. The mom has ordered the 15-year-old to stand on a street corner wearing a sign. The sign says he has a 1.22 GPA and asks drivers to "Honk if you think I need an education." The mom said she's tried everything to get him to get his grades up, including taking away his cell phone. "Until he straightens up his grades and gets his education on track, he's going to work that corner," said mother Ronda Holder. And it's not just her son she's trying to influence. She said she hopes other kids see him and are scared into getting good grades.
Saul Daniels February 23, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Thank you all for participating. I'm going to leave the comments window open if you'd like to contribute later today or beyond. For further reading on this issue, see http://www.parentdish.com/2011/02/22/smackdown-would-you-publicly-punish-your-child/?icid=maing|main5|dl5|sec1_lnk1|45622
Joanne February 23, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Joseph, don't get me wrong. I am not encouraging bad grades. I am actually against that. I do punish my children if they get bad grades. But the punishment that she did was to harsh. What if your employer ask you to stand on the corner of a street carrying a sign saying that I made a terrible mistake that cost my company a million dollars. Can you still look at your co-workers straight in the eye? What would they think of you? Imagine how that kid showed up at school the following day?
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 10:08 PM
@Joanne I see your point but at the same time it's not my boss' place to do that while it is the parents job to get them on the right track. Sometimes a simple pep talk doesn't work. Yes classmates might have poked fun after words but hey kids poke fun at one another any ways. I see it as a motivator.
Joanne February 23, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Joseph, as i have said it depends on the kid's personality. I agree that it could be a motivator but what if its the other way around? What if now he thinks he's a looser, he's not good at anything and even my mom is embarass of me? Instead of turning him around, she's just pushing him to go on that direction further. There are other ways...
Joseph February 23, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Joanne, I agree but like I said earlier sometimes you need to think out of the box. I would also like to add that sometimes kids don't like to disappoint their parents. It's a hit or miss but I applaud her for at least taking the shot.
Joanne February 23, 2011 at 10:35 PM
Joseph, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. As Saul metioned, look at all the attention that the kid got. I just hope that the mom really did this for her son and not for her own attention. I won't be surprise if she gets invited to talk shows with all these publicity.....
Tara Payor February 26, 2011 at 02:39 PM
You may want to look up the work done by experts like Bandura and Pajares. Then, see if your viewpoint changes.


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