The Short of It
If you're not one of the nearly 12 million people who have viewed a video of a Denver mom blasting her 13-year-old daughter for lying about her age and posting racy photos on Facebook, you can watch it here. Then, decide if you think Valerie Starks did the right thing by publicly shaming her teen online.
When Starks found out her young daughter claimed she was 19 years old on Facebook and shared photos of herself in a bra and panties, she didn't just reprimand the girl and demand she remove her account. Instead, she made her daughter stand outside their home and endure a verbal lashing that she also filmed. Starks then posted the video online, where it has since gone viral.
"You're 13. So why does your Facebook page say that you're 19? Are you 19?" Starks interrogates her daughter, whose face is blurred in the over 5-minute clip.
She goes on to demand, "You've got a Facebook page and you're on there with your bra on, right? Is that what you do?"
When her daughter begins to cry, Starks really lays into her:
"Don't cry now. You wasn't crying when you was posting pictures on Facebook, was you? In a bra? Some little girl in some lace panties that you know you don't own. You still wear panties that say Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday."
When asked why Starks decided to discipline her daughter in such a public way, she explained to Denver 7NEWS, "I wanted to make a statement and a stand for all parents that this is not going to be tolerated."
She went on to say:
"It was really hard for me to do, but I didn't want to be another parent on Facebook putting out a video where I beat my child or anything like that. I wanted it to be something that showed from one mother to another mother, to the fathers out there struggling, trying to raise a child or a teenage child, just to get them to be aware and to understand how serious it is and how important it is to be aware of what your child is doing at all times."
The video has received mixed reactions from commenters. Some praise Starks for her brave parenting. Others say shaming her child was not the way to handle an already upsetting situation.
But it's a good thing Starks found out about the photos and that her daughter lied about her age. Apparently, the girl was connecting with grown men on Facebook, which may have led to a potentially dangerous encounter.
Meanwhile, Starks says her daughter isn't mad at her, even though the video has had a much more overwhelming response than the mom could have ever imagined.
"Her friends are not bullying her at school, and she's OK. Next time she thinks about Facebook, she's going to remember this day," Starks said.
ATTN ALL PARENTS PLEASE WATCH WHAT HAPPENS TO A GROWN ASS 13 YEAR OLD... MY CHILDPosted by Val HairLyfe Starks on Sunday, May 17, 2015
I'll admit when I first read about this video, I thought Starks was completely wrong to publicly shame her daughter in this way. But after watching it, I may have changed my mind a bit. Starks definitely let her daughter know her actions have serious consequences and also reminded her who is in charge in that household.
Still, some of her comments to her daughter were very harsh, even cruel: "You barely know how to wipe your ass," she says. Nice.
I'm not sure a video for all to view was the right forum, or if those are appropriate things to say at all, in any context. And I think it's also fair to say the lesson not to post racy photos and lying online could have been delivered in a briefer fashion.
What do you think?
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