Tommy Jordan did it- he shot his daughter's laptop on Facebook Live after seeing a post where she complained about her parents. Danita Michaux did it- she posted her son's 12-year-old ex-girlfriend's nudes on social media out of spite. And most recently, Shanavia Miller has done it- she took to Facebook to broadcast her beating her daughter, Nia Green, for posting a picture in a towel with her boyfriend and urged all who came across the video to share it because "she wasn't done".
In an age where younger folk are constantly being advised to watch what they post on the internet, I can understand a parent's logic in thinking the best way to get your point across to a teen is through social media; use their own weapon against them, right? However, what many parents fail to realize is that the internet is forever. Your anger towards your child shall not last, but that punishment you chose to share with the world will.
In Miller's case, this was no regular beating where her child Nia was spanked and was on her way. No; in the video, Miller is seen beating Nia with a stick at times, and at others, taking a closed fist to her daughter's body. Throughout the video, she is heard demeaning her daughter, most notably with the word "thot" while Nia is backed into a corner whimpering and trying to shield her face.
I think many fail to see the line between disciplining and abusing, and honestly it was probably never drawn out to them as children. Allow me to simplify it; if as a parent, your fist is hitting your child's face, that's abuse folks. If as a parent, you want your child to feel large scale embarrassment not limited to your home, but with the whole community/world, that's abuse folks. And demeaning- this isn't "The Scarlet Letter". The whole town does not have to be involved in the punishment.
Since the beating, both Nia and her mother have made posts regarding the situation. Her mother posted (from Nia's account):
At the moment, Shavania Miller is being investigated by both the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Family and Children Services. It has been reported that Nia has said she feels safe in the home.
There is no handbook on parenting, and I certainly am not a parent myself. I'm sure Shavania does in fact love her daughter and was embarrassed herself to see Nia posting pictures of that nature on Facebook at 16. I'm sure Shavania probably acted on impulse feeling such blind rage, but her actions did more harm to both her and her daughter, than help. Both now and in the long run.
The video shall continue to be shared and reproduced even if the original post is deleted, it's detrimental to Nia in any social setting, especially school, come late August, and now the family is being investigated by the state. Surely the video was not worth all the trouble.
Shavania had Nia at 15. I'm sure she did not want Nia going down the same path, but the truth is, teenagers have sex. Even when I was in middle school lots of my peers were having sex. Not the best thing a parent can hear, but it's true. If not taught at school, often times the word sex is not uttered at home. There are so many different ways the situation could have been dealt with, but it was not.
All I will say is when a child is living in the short term, be the one to provide them with the long term perspective. Do not reciprocate with a "now" punishment totally disregarding the "later" repercussions.