Saturday, February 11, 2012

Daddy's Got A Gun?

I've been seeing this gem floating around with much praise from supportive parents. Personally, I'm appalled at the number of people who seem to think this is an example of good parenting:

In the video a father smokes a cigarette and gets real serious with his daughter via a monologue to his camera and then wraps things up by emptying the clip of his 45 semi-automatic into the the laptop. He lambastes the 15 year old in his video which he posts on to her account because she complained about her chores and used some curse words to describe her parents' "mistreatment" of her. He opens by saying "This is for my daughter, Hannah, and more importantly for her friends...." Really? The most important recipient of this message is your daughter's friends who thought the post was "cute"?

Basically he hacked her account or gained access to her private writings with his prowess as an IT professional. The moaning about her parents was obviously not meant for him to see... she was talking among her friends in a restricted audience list. You know, kind of like we all used to do at school or while hanging out with our friends away from the prying ears of adults. Can any of us honestly say we never said something about our parents that was disrespectful and probably a twist (at best) of the true situation? It's called teen rebellion... and it happened 20 years ago and I'm sure it happened 50 years ago, the only difference is the delivery and the way kids communicate now. I'm not saying the behavior is acceptable or shouldn't be addressed, but there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it and this guy illustrates the wrong way.

With that said, if my parents had caught me talking trash about them by hiding in the bushes to spy on my conversation they probably would have embarrassed me in front of the group I was talking to. Perhaps they would have grounded me or taken my birthday away... who knows? I do know what they wouldn't have done though, they would not have reacted like a juvenile delinquent with dreams of being the next Jesse James bad ass of the local parent clique. Parenting is not about what other kids think of you, its not about what other parents think of you, its about what kind of model for an adult you present for your children. If you think teaching your child that being vindictive, thin skinned and a "macho man" who shoots things when they make him angry is the way to go then you are not doing them any favors.

Is the daughter in the wrong with her actions? Yes, of course... as are many, many teenagers with bad attitudes and a skewed view of reality when it comes to their parents (I know I was, what about you?). I wouldn't be happy about it myself. If I stumbled across a similar nasty-gram from my daughter I would let her know I saw it and that it was hurtful and wrong. I'd discipline her in private just as I praise her in public. She might even lose that laptop under the right circumstance and depending on her reaction to the discipline, but I would set aside the computer for later or sell it to provide for my family... if we have enough then I'd consider donating it to a needy family. Maybe this guy could have used his IT superpowers to keep her from visiting the internet, or certain sites or to let her know she is being monitored on it then she could still use it as a tool for school. I have no need to show what a big bad man I am by shooting something and publicly humiliating my daughter for disliking something about the way we parent. Judging by this guy's over-reaction, demeanor and general ignorance I'm not surprised he doesn't have a kid who thinks highly of him and I see no reason why he should expect his actions here will change that for the better. Don't emulate this parenting style, be an adult and teach your child about consequences that don't involve exploding .45 rounds.