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While most social media feeds are flooded with viral images and videos of parents disciplining their children through embarrassing public displays involving humiliating t-shirts, smashed cell phones and uneven haircuts, one Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dad is going viral this week with a video of his own, in which he shares an opposing view.
“I’m here to teach my son a lesson,” begins Wayman Gresham in his video, filmed with his young son, Isaiah, seated in a chair beside him.
“I’m pretty sure you’ve seen many videos with parents cutting their kids’ hair,” he continues, clippers in hand. “And today, I’m gonna follow suit…”
Before Gresham turns his clippers on, however, the video, which has received over 19 million views on Facebook, takes a turn in the opposite direction. Gresham stops, tells his son to stand up, and gives the boy a hug.
“There is no way in the world I would ever embarrass my son like that. It doesn’t take all of that. Good parenting starts before he even gets to the point of being out of control,” says Gresham.
Gresham goes on to add that, in his opinion, the answers to the challenges of parenting are not using profanity or putting down your child, but praying for them and modeling appropriate behavior.
“Good parenting is letting your child know you love them regardless of what they are and who they are and showing them a good example,” says Gresham.
Dr. Barbara Greenberg, an adolescent and family psychologist, agrees with Gresham’s statements, adding that there is no worthwhile lesson being taught to a child by using such a barbaric and humiliating method of discipline as public shaming.
“Public humiliation and shame may be an even worse form of discipline than hitting a child,” Greenberg told TODAY Parents. “Humiliation and shame teach nothing but fear, and destroy parent-child relationships. Humiliation also leads to lying because who wants to be shamed yet again?”
“Kudos to the father who did the parody. Love and warmth are much better teaching tools,” added Greenberg.