TODAY

TODAY   |  April 25, 2012

Mom responds to Facebook discipline controversy

After Denise Abbott reached her limit with her daughter’s complaining on Facebook, she decided to punish her by banning her from the social media site and posting an embarrassing photo of her. Did she go too far? TODAY’s Amy Robach reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> creative punishment or did it cross the line? an ohio mom has raised eyebrows for the way she dealt with her daughter's disrespectful behavior. "today" national correspondent amy robach is here with this story. hey, amy, good morning.

>> ann, good morning to you. the 'tween and teen years can certainly be a time of rebellion. but when an ohio teen decided to post her gripes on her facebook page her mom took to the same venue to set her straight. denise abbott is the first to admit raising a 13-year-old is a challenge. her daughter ava was acting out, being disrespectful, denise says, and too much drama with friends aired on facebook for all to see.

>> when you put everything on facebook , you have to realize that there's consequences for all of your actions.

>> reporter: so when denises repeated attempts to curb the behavior failed, she turned to facebook to teach ava a lesson.

>> i decided to do something that i know would totally impact her and that the next time she started that she'd think, i don't want my face all over facebook again with a red "x" over my mouth.

>> reporter: denise changed her daughter's profile to read, i do not know how to keep my -- the red "x" is meant to finish that sentence. i am no longer allowed on facebook or my phone. please ask why. my mom says i have to answer everyone that asks.

>> you have to adapt your parenting skills with the times.

>> reporter: but what some call creative punishment, others may see as a bit extreme.

>> this right here is my .45.

>> reporter: like the north carolina father who unloaded nine rounds into his teen daughter's laptop when he discovered what he felt were nasty postings on her facebook page. tommy jordan appeared on "today" with his wife and daughter to explain himself.

>> i got down on to her level, on the exact same format she used. she put it on facebook . i put it on facebook .

>> reporter: but experts say public humiliation may not be the best teaching tool.

>> we know parenting is tough and kids push our buttons. but at no time is it a reason to humiliate your child.

>> reporter: denise told nbc news that every parent needs to pick a punishment they think fits their child's personality. she said she felt her daughter was well adjusted enough to handle it. and wanted to offer discipline that would reach ava in the social media world that's such a big part of ava 's life. as for ava , she said in an e-mail, i feel like i deserved it, because i was mean to my mom and spoke disrespectful to her in front of my friends. it made me realize that i didn't want my picture on there like that, because all of my friends were asking me what happened and what i did. now denise accepts that some people are critical of her methods but says in the end she feels her daughter learned a valuable lesson and she adds, she now regularly talks with her daughter to make sure all her facebook friends are people who she actually knows, and she encourages other parents to do the same. one more note, in a poll on her website, more than 70% of parents admit to spying on their teens facebook page, ann.

>> all right, teenagers be warned.