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Controversial Punishment for Child's Poor Math Grades Has Parents Divided

The Short of It

Reddit user FistFullofCookies recently posted a photo of his or her daughter's cell phone inside a glass frame. The parent wrote, "My daughter is currently pulling a D- in math. This is her phone." The framed phone has hand-drawn flames around it, and below it, the message, "In Case of 'B' Break Glass."

The Lowdown

Currently, the photo has had more than 3.6 million views and over 900 comments. Everyone either seems to love it or hate it. Here's a small sampling of what they're saying:

For the punishment:

  • "Fine parenting in progress."
  • "A good move. I hope the parents are also helping as much as they can as well. Sitting down and tutoring a bit."
  • "That's grade 'A' parenting."
  • "As a teacher.. THANK YOU GOD!! Can I hug you? We need more parents like you."

Against the punishment:

  • "Reward for the effort for the grades, not the grades themselves."
  • "Or you could, you know, try to help her with her problem and not exacerbate the problem."
  • "Ah yes negative reinforcement, always proven to work... or wait maybe she'll just hate you for it."
  • "Motivating with a monetary reward only works for manual tasks. Spend the money on a good tutor instead."

The Upshot

In the end, we don't really know this parent or the daughter. Sure, it's possible the parent was being too harsh, and the daughter really does just need extra math help. Or maybe she's normally great at math but skipped studying in favor of texting her friends, in which case, the punishment makes sense to me.

It's hard to make certain parenting decisions, especially when it comes to disciplinary action. Plus, what works for one kid doesn't always work for another, so a lot of time we have to go with our gut. But all serious things aside, I like the sense of humor!

What do you think of the cell-phone-under-glass punishment?

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