Alternative punishment is proactive move

Getting children prepared for the future is an important part of a parent’s job, especially if that child is engaged in behavior that may be detrimental to his or her future.

That is exactly what Tasha Henderson did with her daughter, Coretha. Henderson saw that her daughter was acting out in school and not performing to her full potential in her classes. So,

Henderson gave Coretha a preview of what was to come in her future if she was to continue on the path that she was on.

Henderson stood with Coretha at a busy intersection in Oklahoma City, nearby Edmond, Okla., where they reside. She had Coretha hold a sign that read, “I don’t do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food.”

One person who drove by was so shocked at Henderson’s method of punishment that they called the police to report psychological abuse. Some experts agree this punishment may have severe psychological ramifications and enforcing positive behavior is a better alternative.

“The trick is to catch them being good,” said Donald Wertlieb, a professor of child development at Tufts University, in an Associated Press story. “It sounds like this mother has not had a chance to catch her child being good or is so upset over seeing her be bad, that’s where the focus is.”

Psychologically, this type of punishment may not be ideal. However, this was the act of a mother who was trying to show her daughter what the consequences of her actions could be. Henderson is like many parents out there, learning by trial and error and doing what she thinks is best for her kids.

“This may not work. I’m not a professional,” said Henderson in the AP story. “But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try.”

Through this seemingly horrible punishment, Henderson was showing her daughter that she loves her and cares about what happens to her in life. If more parents took a vested interest in guiding their kids, all of society may improve as a result. To be productive and continuously improving, our society needs to be one of accountability, holding people to their actions and words.

As for Henderson’s experiment of punishment with Coretha, only time will tell if the exercise in being a bum for an hour worked over the long-term. Henderson can only be applauded for her efforts – acting proactively is always a better approach than being apathetic.