Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mom Makes Son Wear Sign Saying “I Steal, I Sell Drugs, I Don’t Follow the Law

abc mom punish sign nt 120112 wblog Indiana Mom Forces Son to Wear I Lie, I Steal Sign

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

A mom was entirely fed up with her son's behavior.  Feeling that she'd run out of options, she then made the decision to humiliate her son in the most passionate way she could imagine.    She forced her 14-year old child to stand on the side of a busy street wearing a sign that said, "I lie, I steal, I sell drugs, I don't follow the law."

Dynesha Lax, of Fort Wayne, Indiana said that she had to use drastic measures to get her son under control.

"I decided he broke the law and they only gave him a few hours community service so I decided that we were going to wear a sign that says you looking for attention, we're going to get you attention," Lax said.

Lax felt that the court punishment wasn't enough.  So, she then took matters into her own hands.

"What else more can I do?" said Lax. "They put him on probation and when they did probation they were quick to talk about the 300 some dollars you have to pay in fees, but nobody's trying to help me fix my son."

While passers by were shocked by the sign around her son's neck, police officers said there was nothing illegal about what Lax had done to her son.

"I'm hoping that having him out here is going to make it sink in," said Lax. "It wasn't for it to be a joke or anything funny. He just had to stand out here two hours and suddenly it blew up. Then again they've got their way of parenting and I've got mine. My object is to save my son."

Dr. Christina Edmondson says that the adults in the young man’s life may need to adjust the manners through which they give him love and attention.

“The adults responsible for loving, guiding and disciplining this young man need to get real about whose attention he is most earnestly seeking. Ironically, this mother is modeling attention-seeking behaviors through this desperate cry to get the system to work for her son,” says Dr. Edmondson. “The reality however is that parenting requires more than one or even several dramatic acts, but rather continuous modeling, reinforcement, and correction.”

Parental advocate, teacher and social commentator Miranda Kincaid also expresses concern about the mother’s behavior.

“At first, I was cheering ‘Go Mom’;however, the multiple felonies this young man already accumulated in his whopping 14 years, caught my eye. How does this happen?” Kincaid asks.  “Mom thinks the courts aren't doing enough, but where is her role in this "wayward teen's" life? If she has time to monitor him holding a sign for two hours, she had time to guide him somewhere in his life.”

This desperate mother's efforts to manage her son's behavior appear, on their surface, to be hurtful and destructive.  But while she might take criticism for her efforts to discipline her son, this is nothing to the criticism she might receive later if her son ends up a convicted felon.  The criminal justice system isn't very nice to young black men, so there's no point in sugar-coating the amount of humiliation this child will receive if he continues on his current path.

Perhaps what this family needs is counseling.  It takes a village to raise a child, and it usually takes a village to destroy one.  It’s hard, from the outside, to look at this family and put all of the responsibility for this unfortunate situation on the mother, the child or anyone else.  What is definitely clear is that there is a problem and serious intervention is necessary to keep from ruining this young man’s life.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here


Anonymous said...

To the mother : I commend your bravery and tough relentless love for your son. I pray that the omnipotent Lord who knows your motives and intentions would rehabilitate your son to the right path, I pray more importantly that your son would give his life to God and serve Him for the rest of his life. I pray that God would help you to stay focussed on your goal for your son and not let people's criticism get to you. Most importantly I encourage you to draw closer to God and surround yourself and your son more with Godly people/influence.

To the son : You are a very handsome young man and to me intelligent and ambitious; I would appeal to you to please put your talents into living uprightly and proudly. I pray that the Lord would meet you and help you say no to bad influence, I encourage you to seek God by seeking out His people to help you. I encourage you to thank your mom and hug her for the step she has taken to help you turn around while I commend you for doing what she wanted you to do even as humiliating as it may be. We will keep both of you in our prayers.
With love from a Christian mother of 5 adult children.` `

R_U Serious said...

This sign from a LOVING Mother seeking Solutions is far better than ; a striped or bright Orange jumpsuit , Give her some support and options , & clean your snout before peering DOWN on her , The SYSTEM won't be SO kind to him.

R_U Serious said...

Love the 1st post. positively on point

Anonymous said...

This mother is afraid if her son, continue to do what he is doing, she may lose him too the streets or worse, I commend her for this courage for standing up and saying this is my son I love him but I do not like what he is doing. Once he realized this he will get on the right track, maybe by letting people know her son is not doing what a kid his age should be doing in a positive way. Perhaps her motive will turn his life around for better. I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I for one am glad to see this mom take some positive action to ty to turn her son around. Better her to do so while he is free on the outside of cell doors. I get tired of those who over evaluate the effectiveness of tough love. Those are the ones who also complain about Black youth not chieving goals and turning their lives around. You don't know the heartache this woman has endured and neither do I, however I dare to say she has reached a point where she felt like this action no matter how drastic and negatively viewed was necessary. Kudos to you Ms. Lax.

Elliott said...

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Edmondson doesn't realize that you can't be with your child every waking moment of the day, escpecially if you're a single parent. That mom did the right thing, if her son wasn't embarrassed to do the things he did so he shouldn't be embarrassed by his mom making him stand for 2 hours with a sign exposing his actions. It may take a village to raise a child but who says that village have contain therapist that you have pay to be apart of that village. I'd rather see my son with a sign on his neck, than in a mugshot with some numbers and his name under it. This mother is doing the right thing, because if she wasn't she wouldn't do what she did. She deserves a round of applause and a standing ovation. While Dr. Edmondson questions where this mom were while her son was committing these criminal act; she was probably where most are or should- at work. If the kids get a break from school the parent still has to work. We don't get to take break from work just because, we still have bills, still have to take care of our children and still have to put food on the table. Some parents have it harder than others and having to compromise and raise their kids solo and it's not always by choice. Look at all aspects of why and how things happen before scrutinizing and shunning her for her actions to protect her child.

alicia banks said...



we need millions more parents like her!

Anonymous said...

Great Job Mom! No child likes to disappoint their parent. By your actions you let your son know exactly how strongly you feel about the unacceptability of his actions. I am glad you are not making excuses for him but rather making him take responsibility for what he did. I hope he gets the message. The fact that he is doing what you said shows he does respect and revere you. You are a great mom and I know this is all Love. Stay steadfast and strong.

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