12-year old Caught Out Wanted Spanking Over Instagram Embarrassment

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

This is yet another tale of social media being used as a parenting tool that has gone viral –the story that has captured the imagination of the internet is the punishment that prominent Houston area author ReShonda Tate Billingsley dished out to her 12-year old daughter after she saw an inappropriate photograph that she posted to the photo-sharing website Instagram. The photo that left Billingsley aghast featured her daughter holding an unopened bottle of vodka accompanied with a caption which said, “I sure wish I could drink this”.

The mom from Texas was mortified and knew something drastic had to be done to show her daughter the error of her ways. So Billingsley used the same medium in which her daughter had posted the photo in which to exact her punishment. She had her post a new picture of herself on Instagram, holding a sign which said; “Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor, I am obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what I should (and) should not post. Bye-bye.”

Billingsley then posted the same picture to her personal Facebook page – probably not expecting that it would go viral and receive a staggering 11,000 shares on Facebook as well as being picked up by several news websites.

Billingsley explained to ABCNews.com that her daughter had already been spoken to about seriously considering the kind of things that she posted to Instagram and that was why the alcohol picture had given her quite a shock. She said: “I thought she knew better, but in her mind, she thought, ‘I’m not drinking, what’s the problem?’” Billingsley explained that what her daughter had failed to realize was that the photo could still be easily misconstrued, sending completely the wrong signals to a future employer or even attract predators who might believe her to be vulnerable because she liked to drink.

After Billingsley explained to her daughter how she intended to reprimand her for the photo, the girl was ‘devastated’ for a short while. Billingsley said: “She actually asked for a spanking instead; she begged for a spanking.”

Hitting back at the critics who might be tempted to say that embarrassing her daughter online in this manner was too harsh a punishment, Billingsley explained that she knew her daughter could deal with it and says that after a few days, her daughter had ‘brushed off’ the incident. She believes that this kind of punishment will ensure that the next time her daughter is allowed to use social media outlets again (she is on a ban at the moment) she will certainly think more carefully about anything she posts.

Experts in the behavior of teens and young children have mixed opinions regarding Billingsley’s actions, some have said that publicly humiliating your child online will only have the desired effect if the child’s actions and the adults reactions are clearly explained to them. It is not enough just to shame the child on Facebook or Twitter (resorting to their level) and then let them deal with the consequences of it – it has to go hand in hand with a mature explanation.

Others however have argued that sometimes the long-term teasing/ridiculing that a child may suffer due to an action like this by a parent may have drastic consequences and that parents should instead consider banning their child from using their laptops, iPhones, etc.

Billingsley strikes me as an incredibly intelligent woman, so I’m pretty sure that she thoroughly explained her course of action to her daughter. Although I bet the girl isn’t particularly pleased that her punishment photograph has been bounced to the ends of the internet and back again.

I’m just glad that social media wasn’t about when I was a kid, because I know for sure that I wouldn’t have been able to help myself from posting something incredibly inappropriate and getting caught. I doubt my mum would have had the cajones to make me post a response picture like Billingsley did – but I’m sure she would have thought up a different kind of fresh hell to punish me with (like household chores)!

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About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!