In a rather novel approach to her daughter’s poor grades Tasha Henderson of Edmond, Oklahoma stood by as 14-year old Coretha stood at a busy Oklahoma City intersection holding 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.” Whoa!
Henderson wasn’t sure the tactic would work but she felt she owed it to her child to try. And to a certain degree it has.
The public’s reaction has been mixed with letters to the paper and phone calls to talk radio both praising and blasting her for her actions.
Actually all was going along quite well until a passing motorist called police with a report of psychological abuse which resulted in an Oklahoma City police officer investigating the complaint and asking the mother and daughter to leave the street corner. But she wasn’t doing anything criminal so the police won’t investigate any further but the Department of Human Services might. Watch out for those child protectors.
Daniel Wertleib a child development professor from Tufts University said that this type of punishment could do extreme emotional damage and that it would be better to reward positive behavior.
“The trick is to catch them being good,” he told the AP, “It sounds like this mother has not had a chance to catch her child being good or is upset over seeing her be bad, that’s where the focus is.”
Professor if you have to try and catch your child being good, you have a problem. As for any psychological damage Coretha admitted it was humiliating but that she won’t be talking back anymore and her attendance has been perfect since she stood on the corner.
Was the punishment harsh? Probably. Is the mother guilty of psychological abuse? If the definition includes refusing to coddle your child, then yes. Liberal educators want nothing better than for all parents to protect our children from the realities of the world so that it doesn’t hurt their self esteem. If this keeps up we are in real trouble.
Tasha Henderson is guilty of loving her daughter and wanting her to succeed so that she doesn’t wind up without any skills and on the street. What’s so bad about that?
Don Irvine is the chairman of Accuracy in Media, Accuracy in Academia’s parent group.