In the age of social media, discipline has taken on a new form, and it includes going viral. Over the last couple of years, parents have posted videos of children being spanked and of themselves sitting in on their children’s classrooms after reports of them being unruly. Now one father from Louisville, Ky., is getting a lot of attention when it comes to his form of “tough love.”
According to Kevin Jones’ post on Facebook, his 10-year-old daughter is lying to people about her age, and he took to his social media account to discipline her. Jones, along with posting photos of his daughter, wrote on Facebook: “Since my beautiful daughter Janiya wants to be grown & lie about her age. Saying she is 14,15,16,&18 years old. She claims to be in love and going out with a boyfriend which is completely against my rules!!!! I uncovered that she has been doing this for quite some time. She also has snuck and obtained social media accounts, also against my rules!!!! Heres the consequences behind her actions. An age defining shirt. Yes people she is 5’9 & 10years old. #BuddiesBarrettesBallBalls.”
Jones posted photos of his daughter, showing her face, with her hair styled in barrettes and what he referred to as “ball balls.” He also dressed her in what one can assume is age-appropriate clothing for a 10-year-old, with the words “5th grader” on the back of her T-shirt.
Shortly after Jones’ photos of his daughter went viral, the critiques started rolling in. Some people stated that he publicly humiliated his daughter and could actually make matters worse. But there were others who praised him for being proactive in his child’s life.
Did Jones have the right motives, or should he have kept his daughter’s image off social media and disciplined her behind closed doors? Going viral isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be and it has to be equally hard for a young child. Imagine what her classmates and friends are now saying after seeing her image posted on the Internet. I would probably cower in shame, but would that make me change my ways? Or find better ways to hide what I was doing?
For a 10-year-old, there isn’t any excuse or reason one should be chasing after boys and lying about your age. But as someone who was tall at that age as well, I understand the feeling of having older boys, and even men, approach me. But I definitely knew better than to engage them.
In addition to holding his daughter accountable, Jones needs to gather up her cellphone and social media accounts and put these older boys on blast with their parents. Sure, that little girl is tall for her age, but if you can’t see the face of a young child, then there’s something wrong. Hopefully Jones and his daughter will be able to deal with this situation offline as the viralness of it all wears off.