PUBLISHED: 12:25 EST, 20 May 2012 | UPDATED: 13:57 EST, 20 May 2012
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, the highly-successful author of 25 books, is in the spotlight – not for her prose, but her parenting style.
After seeing her daughter, 12, share a photo of herself holding a bottle of vodka Mrs Billingsleysprung into action, forcing her daughter to pen a public apology for her actions and upload it to Facebook and Instagram.
Within hours, the photo had more than 10,000 shares and Mrs Billingsley had to answer for her actions too.
‘The majority of it has actually been positive,’ Mrs Billingsley said to Fox.
‘There were some, however, who told me I was scarring my child for life, who said they couldn’t believe I was [resorting to] public humiliation.’
Mrs Billingsley said that she had discussed the use of social media extensively with her daughter and was shocked to find the girl abusing the privilege.
‘We talked extensively about proper etiquette in the cyber world,’ Mrs Billingsley wrote on the website My Brown Baby.
‘So imagine my surprise when I see my bright, intelligent child smiling as she held up a bottle of Vodka with the caption “Wish I could drink this Vodka”.’
She asked her daughter why she had chosen to post such a salacious image of herself and her daughter insisted she had done nothing wrong because she ‘wasn’t drinking, just posing.’
At first, Mrs Billingsley thought about taking the girl’s phone away as punishment, but she said that traditional punishment was no longer sufficient.
Peculiar Parenting? Within hours, the photo had more than 10,000 shares and Mrs Billingsley had to answer for her actions too
MrsBillingsley is a highly-successful author of 25 books that span several genres
She forced her daughter to hold up a sign that said:’Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor, I am obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what I should + should not post. BYE-BYE :(.’
The idea of publicly humiliating children for their transgressions is nothing new, but Mrs Billingsley never imagined her spin would acquire such an audience.
‘When it comes to my kids, I don’t play. This is a new age. We have to meet kids where they are. I’d rather you talk about me now than talk about my child later.’
ReShonda Tate Billingsley
‘I never expected that photo or my choice of discipline to go viral,’ she said, but refused to back down to her critics.
The mother of three said that she wants to be their ‘mama, not their friend’ and will do everything she can to make sure they grow up to be productive members of society.
‘When it comes to my kids, I don’t play. This is a new age. We have to meet kids where they are,’ she said.
‘I’d rather you talk about me now than talk about my child later.’