Mom Made Son Wear Sign on Streets for Low GPA

Is it socially acceptable to shame your kid into performing better academically in school? Here's what one fed-up mom did to her teenage boy:

Ronda Holder is so disappointed with her son's poor academic performance that she's resorted to shaming the 15-year-old on the streets of their Tampa Bay, Florida, neighborhood. Holder said the last straw was when her son, James Mond III, failed even his P.E. class. That's when she made a sign detailing Mond's abysmal grade point average—1.22—and forced the boy to walk up and down a busy street corner for hours on end.

Neither Holder nor her husband graduated high school, but she says she wants better education for her son, who she says seems to have no interest in academic achievement. "You take the phone. You take things from them—it don't work," she said. "So embarrassing is the best thing. He don't like to get embarrassed."

How in the world can you flunk PE anyway? Link

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It may provide more positive outcomes within the context of an environment home to much hostility, but that doesn't mean that it is any more effective than authoritative parenting in those same environments. In-fact, regardless of the efficacy of authoritarian parenting being greater in subpopulations such as African American communities, authoritative parenting still predicts better psychosocial outcomes (Steinberg, Dornbusch, & Brown, 1992; Steinberg, Darling, & Fletcher, 1995) The authoritarian parenting might work better in those subpopulations because of the cultural mileu, and continuing in that vain certainly isn't going to change the culture.
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@Ryan S, the prevalence and efficacy of parenting style differs across race at least within America. Research has generally shown that authoritarian parenting is both more common and provides more positive outcomes in African American families than it does in causasian American families.
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Didn't realize P.E. meant physical education. (Who's looking dumb now? ;) In my defense I'm not from the USA or an English speaking country.)

Still, I don't think public shaming is the way to go.
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I think her heart may be in the right place, in that she wants a better life for her son than she or his father had, but there may be better ways to go about it. Making her son stay in and study or work on homework might be as much of a punishment, if the son wants to go out with his friends, but it would also be productive. Besides, if he doesn't turn things around, he'll get more than enough embarassment when he finds out what jobs are open to someone without a high school education.
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