Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parenting gone wrong.....

So I guess I wasn't on the planet when the news came out about the 'redneck' dad who shot his daughters laptop for a post she made about how fed up she is with doing chores. 

I hadn't heard about it at all until today when a friend wondered why I hadn't blogged about it yet and wanted to know what I thought about the issue.

This stuff fires me up!

For those of you who were away on vacation with me while this was going down.  A father was fixing his daughters laptop (he's an IT guy) and upgrading software when he hacked into her facebook and found that she wrote a lengthy note about how she was overworked and underappreciated (though she worded it quite a bit more brightly than I am here) in her home and she was sick and tired of doing everything for her parents.

There are so many levels of wrong in this little story that it makes my head spin. 

First, I don't know a fifteen year old on the planet that at one time or another hasn't had a beef with their parents.  (note to parents; don't take everything your kids say to you or about you seriously).

Secondly, a gun?  Really?

Third, you just posted a video on YouTube of yourself shooting your daughters laptop as a consequence of her sensationalizing her family relationship and exposing your 'secrets'.  Hmmm, I wonder where she got the idea that that was appropriate behaviour?

Let's review.  Teenagers have not yet developed the prefrontal cortex, this is the part of the brain that weighs outcomes, forms judgments and controls impulses and emotions.  So any extreme consequence will most likely result in another facebook post about how fucked up her dad is.  I wonder if he bought more bullets?

I know we all have opinions about how we need to parent our children and one way is not necessarily better or more right than another because we need to address situations individually as they pertain to our family.  However, I have to say that if this parent is willing to get 'fired up' (no pun intended) about a facebook note that most likely only her friends saw what else is he willing to lose his cool over?

What he did was react emotionally without really thinking about where those emotions were coming from.  He obviously doesn't like being disrespected and I have to say neither do I.  Though I've never thought to use a gun on the XBOX when I've been frustrated to gain my child's respect.

It makes me wonder how different this situation could be and how different this girls future would look if instead dad sat her down and spoke to her about how it made him feel and how much he would prefer it if she came to him directly if she was feeling this way.

Oh yes!  You parents who think this is the fluffy, sucky baby way to parent are going to have a BIG problem with that.  But let's be honest here, if you are trying to prepare your child for what you call the 'real world' you must know by now that managers, heads of companies and employers DO NOT shoot computers to gain their employees respect!  You HAVE NOT prepared your child for the real world if you are using corporal punishment to get them to obey you! 

If you want someone in your life that will obey your every word, get a robot.

Yesterday's post addressed the 'monkey see, monkey do' aspect of parenting.  If you want something different from your kids, do something different for you.  If you want respect, show respect.  If you want a facebook note that says how appreciated you are for the love you give, then it might be a good idea to abandon the thought that using a gun and videotaping a consequence is appropriate.

Have you heard the quote "how you do anything is how you do everything"?

In this case, I'd be hardpressed to see why this dad shouldn't be investigated for his behaviour since afterall his prefrontal cortex has been developed for some time now.


  1. Go Jenn!!!
    Awesome article. You make your points eloquently and with wisdom.


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