When Parents Bully Back…


Let me just state for the record what you already know about me – I am a BIG believer in the fact that every family is different, and there is no one perfect way to parent.  In fact, I truly believe that if we all focused on parenting kids as individuals, the world be a better place.  When I provide information here there and everywhere, it’s not to judge.  It’s simply to share my expertise and perhaps alleviate some of the stress that naturally occurs when parenting kids of all ages.

That said, I have very little tolerance for shame and humiliation as a parenting tactic.  Like none at all, really.

When the Utah stepmom who turned to shame and humiliation to put an end to a bullying issue starting making headlines, I cringed.  Some are calling it “creative parenting”.  Virtual high fives are coming in from around the world.  This stepmom, who knowingly attempted to humiliate her ten-year-old stepdaughter, is being praised for her actions by many.

I do believe in giving credit where credit is due – I believe that this woman was upset that her stepdaughter was bullying a classmate and wanted to take meaningful action.  I just don’t think that she sent the right message.

It’s time to send you over to HuffPost Parents to read more about the cycle of bullying.

About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)