“Kid shaming” videos are something that have inexplicably grown in popularity in recent years. In case you’re unaware, the videos usually start with a parent speaking into the camera about something their kid has done that deserves reprimand. Then, the parent will punish the child in an over-the-top way and publish the video online.
A video shared by a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, father appeared to be headed towards a similar end. As Wayman Gresham stands over his son authoritatively with a set of clippers in his hand, he says, “I’m here to teach my son a lesson.”
“I’m pretty sure you’ve seen many videos with parents cutting their kids hair. And today, I think I’m going to follow suit.”
Wayman Gresham appeared as if he was about to give his son a ridiculous haircut as punishment for his bad behavior.
As his son sits in the chair, his head hung with apparent shame, Gresham says he doesn’t “teach him to be a fool.”
“You’ve heard of the ‘ice bucket challenge,'” Gresham says in the video he posted to Facebook. “You’ve heard of the ‘cinnamon challenge’. Well this is the ‘give my son Isaiah a bald head, messed up haircut challenge’, because I’m not happy with him.”
Just as Gresham is about to start shaving his son’s head, he tells him to stand and promptly gives him a hug.
As it turns out, Gresham isn’t making a “kid shaming” video, but is actually making a PSA against them.
“There’s no way in the world I would ever embarrass my son like that,” he says as he sits in front of the camera.
Gresham, who is an educator at a magnet school in Florida, said he hopes the video raises awareness for parents using the internet as a way of publicly embarrassing their child. He said his son didn’t actually do anything wrong, and was just helping him make the video.
Rather than shaving his son’s head, Gresham tells the viewer what he thinks “good parenting” really means: Love.
“Good parenting starts before he even gets to the point of being out of control,” Gresham said. “Good parenting is letting your child know that you love them regardless of what they are, or who they are, and showing them the way by example.”
Parenting experts and psychologists agree with Gresham. Dr. Barbara Greenberg told Today.com that public shaming isn’t a good way to teach kids a lesson.
“Kudos to the father who did the parody. Love and warmth are much better teaching tools,” she said.
Gresham regularly cuts his son’s hair, and passes the time by playing catch and teaching him to play the bass guitar. He later wanted to clarify that he isn’t against disciplining his kids, but when he does, he keeps it private and off the internet.
“It doesn’t take all that,” he says.