Dad forces teen to stand on corner with shame sign as punishment for joyride

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BILLINGS, Mont. – A Montana man decided part of his son’s punishment for stealing his parents’ car was to embarrass him.

The Montana teen’s father, Sean Ronlake, made his son stand on a street corner wearing a “shame sign.”

“I love him a lot; I love him dearly but this is kinda why I’m out here, ’cause I love him and don’t want him to think he can do it again,” Ronlake said.

Sitting on the corner of a busy intersection isn’t how most parents punish their children but Ronlake is an exception to the norm.

Ronlake said, “In my mind, at this age, embarrassment can do a lot more good than grounding him from TV or their iPod, which he doesn’t have an iPod or phone anymore, so a little bit of embarrassment goes a long way now days.”

The embarrassment is for the New Year’s Eve joy ride Ronlake’s son took while roads were covered in ice.

“Not everybody’s gonna agree with it,” Ronlake said. “I mean, he put people at risk. He put himself at risk.”

Though it appears most are giving Ronlake the stamp of approval for his disciplinary actions.

“He’s actually making that little boy, who did something very wrong, pay for what he did,” one witness said.

However, one woman didn’t approve of the situation and told the father to talk with his son, not parade him on the corner.

But no matter what others think, this Montana father said he believes the punishment fits the crime.

“I just want him to feel a little ashamed, a little embarrassed and I hope that I can burn the sign afterwards and never have to worry about it again,” Ronlake said.


  • Christine lamoreaux

    I did the exact same thing to my children years ago when they were fighting. Meister on the busiest street corner with my supervision holding signs that said I am mean to my brother and this is my punishment. people reacted in different ways but for the most part it was all positive.


      It might work for some or possibly most kids but there are those who might decide that suicide would be a solution to their problems. One quick step into the street in front of a driver laughing at the boy’s embarrassment would end the punishment and get the father’s picture on national news.

  • ezzowise

    I do not punish my children and I make it a point to protect my children from shame. I have 8 kids…ages 6-27…and guess what? None of them has ever “acted out” this way. You have to ask, “Which came first?” Perhaps this type of reckless behavior is a “natural” reaction of a child who has grown up with the type of parent who would proudly publicly shame their child…

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