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Zoethe

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That dad on Facebook [Feb. 10th, 2012|07:59 pm]
Zoethe
Unless you live under a rock, you have at least heard about the dad talking about his disrespectful daughter and then shooting her computer to get back at her for some nasty things she wrote about him and her mother and stepmother on Facebook. And many people are applauding this dad for his treatment of the girl.

To me, it's a horror story of bad parenting.

It's not that the daughter should just get away with writing terrible things about her parents on social media. There should be a serious discussion with her on the consequences of writing things on social media and the possible repercussions, and some serious talk about respect, and appropriate discipline.

But this dad didn't make this tape to accomplish any of these things. This dad made his tape as a kind of showboating show-off of how cool and awesome he really is.

And that's a problem.

Maybe it's because I grew up with a dramatic parent, but I was immediately put on edge by this tape. This is a dad who is about control, and getting his way, and obedience at all costs. His reaction is not a measured response, but an overreaction on a scale that speaks to me of abuse.

Here's the thing: teenagers blow off steam. They say HORRIBLE things about their parents on a regular basis. I know I did. I know my kids say them about me. But you know what? Wives say them about husbands, husbands about wives, siblings about each other, employees about bosses, bosses about their subordinates, friends about friends. We all have those moments when we blow off steam about the things that rub us the wrong way--and things DO rub us the wrong way, because we are human and solipsistic. This kind of complaining is kind of like plate tectonics: if we let off a little pressure now and then, it's only a small rumble; if we have to hold it all in, then when it comes out it's cataclysmic.

So, yeah, it's different in the age of social media where instead of it being a rant in the school cafeteria it's a rant written down that has staying power. And kids need to be warned about the dangers of writing things down and how it can follow them for the rest of their lives. But seriously, does an adult read, "OMG, they are so lazy and make me do all the work" and really think that anyone is going to take it seriously? How childish does a parent have to be to go that far into orbit over a teenage rant? Sure, you get on their ass about their disrespect, but you have to have a kind of self-awareness and not take it all too seriously.

And the father's reaction just screams to me of disproportion and control-freakishness.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2012-02-11 01:15 am (UTC)
Wow. Apparently I do live under a rock. I hope the rock will serve as a good defense against zombies but doubt it.

And I will openly admit, always, to being just like that as a teenager. It was more rants to other kids in person than Facebook, but it's the same idea.

They also need to have grade school classes that teach about privacy and password security but that is only a mildly related rant.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 01:52 am (UTC)
It's hard to make kids understand the danger of social media's long-term effects. It's all very new, and we have to keep learning.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 01:43 am (UTC)
The number of people who are applauding this guy just horrifies me.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2012-02-11 01:21 am (UTC)
Which is probably where his daughter learned it in the first place.

The whole thing is icky. I'd bitch about this dad on FB too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 01:44 am (UTC)
Even if she didn't, the reaction is like hunting fleas with a hand grenade.
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[User Picture]From: sapphirescarlet
2012-02-11 01:44 am (UTC)
While I found it amusing at first, the more I think about it, and the more I read about it, the more I see your point. Over-reaction on the part of a parent is detrimental to the relationship with the child. There are times when I'm angry enough to do something over the top like that, but I am far more controlled, and I'm glad to say so. I still say things I wish I could take back once in a while, but I don't allow my child to feel unsafe with me. And if my dad had used his gun to shoot my computer? I'd really feel unsafe with him. And that lack of security with a parent is not something you can get back right away - if ever.
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2012-02-11 01:54 am (UTC)
this!!
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2012-02-11 01:52 am (UTC)
imho he's a total dick.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 01:55 am (UTC)
The showboating, and the need to justify himself, just really got to me.
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[User Picture]From: tylik
2012-02-11 02:00 am (UTC)
What you said about having a dramatic parent hit home for me - my mother was (is) all about the drama, but she kind of oscillated between being actually abusive and kind of pathetically ineffectual. (Like once she decided that my sister shouldn't be watching TV. So instead of asking her to turn it off, she threw a fit, then grabbed the scissors and cut the power cord. To her own TV. Except then it turned out that it wasn't even the right power cord, and she'd just destroyed the cord to her VCR.)

I suspect being so ineffectual some of the time just made her want to be more controlling.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:04 am (UTC)
I think you are right. It's frustrating how hard it is to parent these days, no doubt. But this is way out of line.
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2012-02-11 02:04 am (UTC)
Wow, this is the first I've seen that.

If I didn't know how the video ended, in the beginning at least, I thought, "OK, this is reasonable. He's mad and reading her letter and scolding her in public.

He gave her the whole, "I walked up hill to school in the snow both ways speech", typical parent stuff.

The moment he pulled out the gun he lost me completely. It's one thing expressing anger and disappointment, it's one thing to administer discipline. I'll even say that if you're child is under age a parent has to exert a certain amount o control (be it curfews, house rules, etc).

that wasn't parenting, I wouldn't even call it anger. That was intimidation, instilling fear and violence. It was as much of an show of power and dominance as if he had burned her clothes or taken her bedroom door off of its hinges.

Just wow. How inappropriate.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:17 am (UTC)
Like you, I started out thinking he was being a bit outrageous but sensible. It was well before the gun that I had flags flying in my head. It feel for her, because she is not going to have an easy life.
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[User Picture]From: autographedcat
2012-02-11 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm glad it wasn't just me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:18 am (UTC)
Definitely not just you. But the number of people who are all, "yeah, go for it!" is terrifying. Where are the adults???
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[User Picture]From: heathrow
2012-02-11 02:33 am (UTC)
I was horrified.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:34 am (UTC)
Glad I'm not alone.
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[User Picture]From: ldygwynedd
2012-02-11 02:35 am (UTC)

I agree

I thought it was a mistake, too.

He wasn't looking to changing his daughter's behavior or attitude, he was angry and was reacting to his mortification, not the fact his daughter needs calm guidance.

At that moment was a pissing contest and he was determined to win.

Well, he won this battle but if he keeps on like that, he'll lose the war.

If I had been in his place, I would have sat down with my daughter and my spouse, shown her the letter I was able to access and asked her what she thought was fair. We'd discuss this and her role in the family.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:43 am (UTC)

Re: I agree

A much better and more measured a response.
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2012-02-11 02:40 am (UTC)
Your post is making me very glad I hadn't watched it yet. Growing up in an outright abusive household with a parent who reacted like that (she couldn't find her lingerie bag once. She was convinced I had it, and made me tear apart my room while she watched and screamed at me. Six months later I found out through my cousin that it had turned up at my aunt's house, where she sometimes did our laundry so she wouldn't have to pay for the quarter machines in our apartment complex. She never apologized, of course.)

I couldn't have gotten through that video. Just your description of it is making me uncomfortable.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:44 am (UTC)
Ferrett was playing it in the living room while I was doing dishes. I don't know that I could have made it through if I had been sitting and watching it. It's horrifying to me.
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[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2012-02-11 02:48 am (UTC)
I don't even want to watch that video. My eldest and I are at odds, to the point that I called the child crisis team today and they sent someone out. We should have therapist from family crisis stabilization services here to work with us within a week.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 02:59 am (UTC)
Good luck. We had difficult times with our eldest. My thoughts are with you.
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[User Picture]From: dragondances
2012-02-11 03:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for posting this. I had to stop the video around when he was saying that she'd have to pay him back for the super-expensive bullets, and thought it was just me. This is literally the only place on the internet I've found where people aren't congratulating him for "parenting done right" and saying she deserved it. It makes my skin crawl almost worse than the video itself.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 04:03 am (UTC)
That disturbed the heck out of me--that people think this is an appropriate response. Yes, a response was needed, but wow, this is NOT the right one.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2012-02-11 03:51 am (UTC)
Good point. I agree with you. Although I do think that maybe the Dad should have taken the computer away he brought himself down to her level by shooting the laptop.
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2012-02-11 04:01 am (UTC)
... That's not "down to her level". Destruction of property and deliberate attempts to intimidate with a weapon, public humiliation by reading something she meant to be semi-private (she tried to lock it down) in public on the Internet -- these are not on the same level with some bad language and teenage bitching. Daughter definitely has the high ground.

Edited at 2012-02-11 04:08 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: sparkfrost
2012-02-11 04:04 am (UTC)
I could understand his anger about her post, and was with him on scolding her in a public manner. But shooting the laptop was way too far. Not only is it bullying and fear-inducing, it is stupidly wasteful. He just spent 10 minutes complaining about how much work he'd done on that computer and how much money he'd spent on it, and his next "logical" step is to shoot it? Stupid. Very, very stupid.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-02-11 04:08 am (UTC)
Bully. Scary bully.
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