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.
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.
The number of people who are applauding this guy just horrifies me.
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.
Even if she didn't, the reaction is like hunting fleas with a hand grenade.
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.
The showboating, and the need to justify himself, just really got to me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm glad it wasn't just me.
Definitely not just you. But the number of people who are all, "yeah, go for it!" is terrifying. Where are the adults???
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.
2012-02-11 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: I agree
A much better and more measured a response.
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.
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.
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.
Good luck. We had difficult times with our eldest. My thoughts are with you.
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.
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.
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.
... 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)
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.
I think it's horrifying. If an adult acted that way toward another adult, it would be considered abuse. Destroying inanimate objects in retaliation for perceived slights is classic abuser behavior.
It speaks of a whole childhood of abuse for this girl. It's sad.
I really like it here under my rock. I still have the first computer I ever got (well, okay, the identical replacement I got when it died), and nobody's shot it yet.
Don't forget the implied violence by shooting the laptop! Honestly I haven't even watched it for just this reason.
Oh, yeah, I think it speaks to his entire parenting style. I feel bad for the girl.
Thank you. You've nailed exactly what bothered me about it. The narcissism of the parent involved.
Of the people I've spoken to who've seen the video, all but one of them thinks it's awesome to go out and showboat and destroy the kid's computer, rather than having a serious talk with her and, y'know, cutting off her internet for a couple of weeks as a reminder of what rude public rants get you.
And they don't see the irony. Which kills me.
I was horrified by this. Using a gun in any disciplinary setting is beyond outrageous. In fact, I think it may be criminal (would be in the UK). I do wonder, though, if there isn't a little Jerry Springer syndrome in the response -- seeing people act out our private secret revenge fantasy is somehow cathartic. I have been apalled by children who complain how difficult their middle-class white privileged life is, how normal expectation of civil behaviour is impossible parental abuse, etc etc etc. I suspect the "you go, dude" responses are in part born of this frustration. But really? Does he wonder where she gets the outrageous public grandstanding from? Discipline, yes, but also compassion and good example, not ranting like an 8-year-old bully. Everyone in that household needs to grow up, it seems to me.
Teens always think their life is SO HARD. They lack perspective. It's part of their immaturity. They grow out of it, eventually.
Unless they are like this dad, who may have had a harder life, but still has no sense of perspective or proportion. The violence is out of place.
I'm glad to see others who feel roughly about it the same as I. Did you know there was a follow up in which he attempted to soften everything with a practically tropish bit about, "I never expected so much (negative) publicity. I want everyone to know that after this was over, I had a long talk with my daughter, and she's perfectly ok! I offered my daughter the chance to respond, but she decided not to." Hey, maybe all that is true. He also explained, and I can kinda believe this, that the way he found out wasn't by hacking. It was because their dog has a joking facebook of it's own, and after posting some pics as the dog, he went to look at comments, and his kid had forgotten to take the dog off her list of viewers. That's so dumb it's probably true.
But in any case, I too have seen the back patting, and rahrahing, and found it worth a face palm. I don't believe though that the world is full of would be abusive parents. It's really the same sort of cheering one does when a woman who's been cheated on burns all of her soon to be ex's belongings. Women, most of whom have been there, cheer. They cheer because it's cathartic, in spite of the fact that it's positively crazy pants, and to do it yourself in real life never makes the situation better. For that reason I choose to try and blow off the comments in support of Dad. Those are people who've probably been through a lot of teenaged guff, and have fantasized about doing something similar.
Teenagers are rough, especially if you're doing your job *right*. If you're lucky, you'll just get a know it all smartass who suddenly wants to dress like an alien. That's an ideal. It means the kid wants to grow up, and possibly leave the nest on schedule. And believe you me, if I had a kid who actually made her bed 4 times out of ten, and did half her other chores competently, she could bitch on Facebook to all her little friends all she wanted.
The followup is frightening to me, because it redounds of abusive relationship patterns. I fear what this girl will believe is an appropriate relationship with a man. She is a prime candidate for being abused.
At least you are willing to rethink your position. Most people remain entrenched.
When I saw this video, I wasn't shocked, nor did I find it funny. The kid I used to be saw this as completely normal. I was raised by this sort of all-or-nothing type of parenting, so it wasn't until I mentally switched gears to a parent that it even struck me as extreme. I guess that means I've properly broke the pattern of abuse.
I will say that he redeemed himself (in the follow-up stories) a bit in my eyes by his refusal to sell the story to the media/talk show crowd.
He's at least that smart.