Some children might complain about their parents’ punishment being like “jail.”

For Hannah Mitchell, that was intentional.

Pelle Martin/Unsplash

As Insider reports, Canadian mom Amanda Mitchell set off a controversy when she posted on Facebook about her disciplinary methods. Amanda’s 9-year-old daughter, Hannah, had been acting badly in school and was unkind to a friend. 

Her concerns about Hannah’s behavior prompted Amanda to lay down the law. In a post that has since been deleted, she explained that she had stripped Hannah’s room of everything except the bed and a single set of clothing.

According to Global News, Amanda introduced her punishment by writing, “Welcome to Mommy’s Juvenile Detention little girl,” then continued:

Harsh? Not in my opinion. If she grows up to break the law then the result is jail and that’s not what I want for my children. I think the problem with this generation is inadequate punishment. Punishment is bad we should only use positive reinforcement and ignore all bad behavior — NOT in this house.

During her punishment, Hannah would only be allowed to wear a single outfit — an anti-bullying t-shirt — that her mother would wash nightly. In addition, she would have to write “I will not lie,” “I will be kind to everyone,” and “I am responsible for my own actions,” 50 times each.

Amanda says her daughter is usually well-behaved, but she wanted to be sure that there were no deeper issues behind Hannah’s actions. The mom of two told Global News that the severity of the punishment was a surprise to her daughter:

“When she came home to find it, she was a little bit shocked at first but once she got over her shock, we sat down and we talked about why this behavior was happening.”

To Amanda’s surprise, her post about the punishment went viral, and was shared more than 50,000 times before she took it down. The majority of responses applauded Amanda for being a good, strong-minded mother.

However, there were those who felt that Amanda went to far. Global News reports that one Facebook commenter wrote:

Wow. I really feel that this is extreme and [borderline] abuse. How old is your child? I feel that taking away toys, electronics etc. But making your child wear the same outfit to school for a week and stripping her entire room … overboard

Amanda told Global News that she’s “not really going to entertain” the messages that suggested she was a terrible parent because of her disciplinary style. She added:

“I know that I’m not doing harm to her. I’m doing everything I can to help her. I told her I’m doing this because I love her and want her to grow up to be a well-rounded individual.”

Despite her defiant stance, Amanda did moderate the punishment slightly after reading the online responses. Instead of one outfit, Hannah will be able to wear four different anti-bullying t-shirts. And she will only have to write 25 lines per phrase instead of 50.

And Amanda has already seen results. She told Global News that Hannah understands what she did wrong and is making amends:

“She’s been very apologetic, very remorseful. She wrote a letter to her friend she was mean to. She wrote a letter to her teacher.”

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