Teen's punishment goes viral on Internet
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A local mother found an unusual way to punish her young daughter who got into the family's liquor cabinet and posted a picture of herself - with a bottle - online. Now, her punishment is going viral.
You've heard of judges sentencing convicted defendants to stand at the scene of their crime with a sign. This is the social media equivalent.
Like most parents do -- or should -- ReShonda Tate Billingsley had the big talk with her daughter about the do's and don'ts of social media.
"You know what's right and wrong, no inappropriate pictures of you half naked. Inappropriate pictures are what I called them," Tate Billingsley said.
Just over a week ago, she learned the lesson didn't take when her daughter posted a photo on the tween picture-sharing site Instagram. She was posing with an unopened bottle of vodka captioned "Wish I could drink this."
"Even though we'd had the conversation, her friends were posting much worse than that so in her mind this was tame, I'm not doing anything," Tate Billingsley said.
Mom disagreed and this was the consequence -- another picture of her daughter, her face not shown, holding a sign that read "Since I want to take pictures holding liquor, I'm obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what is and isn't appropriate to post. Bye-bye." Then Billingsley hit send to her daughter's Instagram site and her own Facebook page.
"If social media is where you wanna show out, then social media is where you'll get shown out," Tate Billingsley said.
It went viral on Facebook as her friends shared it 11,000 on the first day. Billingsley said her daughter had a melt down on Day 1. By Day 2, she was reading parents' posts on her mom's Facebook page in support of the punishment.
"And she was just like 'Wow, I didn't really think about this,'" Tate Billingsley said.
"There's a better way and that's building on positive things, helping kids make better choices and understanding consequences," said Dr. John Vincent, a University of Houston professor and clinical psychologist.
Tate Billingsley says her daughter is now planning to start counseling her social media friends about what's acceptable behavior, although she did tear up the sign that her mom made.
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