Cyberbullying: Did this mom take things too far?

Can parents dish out discipline via Facebook or does that make them cyberbullies?

By Jenny Charlesworth
Cyberbullying: Did this mom take things too far?

Photo: njphoto/istock

You hear stories all the time about distraught parents trying to protect their child from a cyberbully, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a mom cyberbullying her own child. And, quite frankly, I’m horrified.

An Ohio mom decided to teach her daughter a lesson in public shaming via Facebook. Denise Abbott uploaded a profile picture to her teen's account after the two had an argument. “I do not know how to keep my [mouth]," read a message posted below a picture of 13-year-old Ava with a red X photoshopped across her mouth. "I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why. My mom says I have to answer to everyone that asks.”

If this was the handiwork of another teen, both sets of parents would be on high alert and the topic of cyberbullying would be front and centre. So do the rules change when the cyberbullying happens under the guise of parental discipline? I sure hope not.

And thankfully, according to the CBC, the women of The View are just as concerned about Abbott's actions. "Do you want to be the first person that publicly defames your child on Facebook?" Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked on a recent show.

Denise Abbott, the mother in question, doesn't see it that way though. "You have to adapt your parenting skills with the times," she told NBC.

But her defense doesn't hold up for me — even if her daughter is backing her up, claiming: "I feel like I deserved it because I was mean to my mom and spoke disrespectful to her in front of my friends."

So what do you think? Did this mom take things too far or is she just, y'know, keeping up with the times?

This article was originally published on May 07, 2012

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