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Is broadcasted discipline child abuse?

In recent days, parents, seemingly pushed to the limit by trouble-making children, have chosen very public forms of punishments, causing an uproar on the internet and airwaves.

Earlier this month, an Ebay user identified as Daney21, put her sons' toys up for auction after they scraped and chipped her bathtub. But that's not all. She also posted pictures of her two tearful boys and wrote: "We received a quote of $500 to replace the tub" and "the kids had $125 in their piggy banks that will go toward the cost."

"Hot Sauce Mom" charged with child abuse

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The listing became a heated topic of debate in the blogosphere. Users ganged up on the mom, sending her irate messages while upping the bidding to a million dollars to ruin the auction.

Just days ago, a teen in Tampa, Fla., was forced by his distraught mom to display his low grade point average while standing on a busy street corner for hours. The message on his sign read, "GPA 1.22 Honk if I need an education."

The mother told CBS News, "In the long run, he'll thank me for it."

And then there's the disturbing home video of Alaska mom Jessica Beagley disciplining her 7-year-old adopted son by making him hold hot sauce in his mouth before enduring a freezing shower.

Beagley appeared on "Dr. Phil," seeking the host's help. After the show aired, the video sparked a flood of outrage. And back home in Anchorage, Beagley was charged with child abuse. She has a March court date.

Hill observed, "While these mothers may have had the best intentions, the public nature of these punishments in this digital age means that long after these incidents have passed. The images will live on for all to see."

"Early Show" contributor and psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein also weighed in on these situations. She said parents are putting these videos and stories out there because "they have a skewed idea of the idea that it takes a village to raise your children."

"We're reaching out to get additional help, to get support, to get some sympathy or empathy, even validation," she said. "... The fact (is) that it ends up being very harmful to your children. But these mothers seem to be at the end of their ropes, really frustrated and seeking any outlet they can to get some support or guidance."

As for the kids affected, Hill said they will suffer the humiliation forever.

"Everyone's seen something in the grocery store and you cringe for the child at the other end of that tirade," she said. "As a parent you wonder, too, what's really going on. What is the public humiliation do for the child?"

Hartstein said, "It does depend on the level of the public humiliation. And we have to start to think about what does that bring to the sense of shame? It does shame them. It embarrasses them and shame is an incredibly powerful emotion that can be carried through their lives. So they may be more sneaky in the future. They may internalize it and become depressed or anxious. So it's really important for a parent to stop and think about what's the long-term effect, even though in the short-term it seems to be effective."

But when does it cross the line and become abuse?

"It's a really, really tough question to know," Hartstein said. "It's that fine line between tough love and abuse. And I think we have to stop and think about, is the child being harmed? What are the long-term effects? ... We say about marks on the body but the emotional part we have to keep in mind."

So what's a parent to do when you're at your wit's end? Click on the video below for Hartstein's tips for parents.

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