Putting a bullet through your kid’s laptop

Recently making the rounds on all social media outlets via YouTube is this weirdly fascinating video of a dad’s response to his daughter’s disrespectful tantrum thrown via her status update. She took advantage of FB’s blocking feature and blocked family from reading the update that was clearly written to them. By sheer accident, the dad found the update that wasn’t meant for his eyes and came up with his own video response to his daughter, her friends and their parents to show them what happens when you mess with the bull. ::warning – there is foul language::

Let me back up a bit. My husband started playing this video on his phone and we watched it by ourselves Saturday morning. I freely admit I laughed through most of the video. First, I have a daughter who is precisely the age he is addressing in the video {15, going on 16}; second, I was firmly convinced this was not only recorded in Texas, but more than likely East Texas where I grew up. Then I found out I was wrong. He’s not. But I still like the “good old boy” perspective. His accent, while not as drawn out as a proud Texas accent would be, transported me back to my childhood and I could completely relate to his firm parenting choices. Third, he appears to be pretty close to my age. I think this gives me a vantage point that is similar to his…except I’m a chica.

The point of this post? Well, it’s definitely not to harshly judge his parenting, as many have come to do. What I want to do is offer some of my own observations and maybe an explanation as to why I laughed, why I agreed and where we part ways on parenting styles. My post is a collection of thoughts based on the video as well as the followup statement the dad made – you can read here to see where I’m coming from.

Why did I laugh? Well, the video is just AWESOME if you are or grew up in an extremely red neck part of Texas…which, is probably most of Texas, but notably East Texas where the accent is about double the rest of Texas. I laughed because most of his reaction was pretty similar to what I would do.

My observations? Drama teen gives a soapbox statement that wildly dramatizes the extent of her chores – while he read her update, I thought to myself, um, yeah, my teenager would do EXACTLY the same thing by turning a one room chore into the WHOLE house, complete with a fainting couch for dramatic exit. I remember telling my husband, watch, he’ll set the record straight with what her actual chore list is and sure enough! He did! The chore list was pretty decent, in my opinion, but then, I am probably a LOT more strict than he is. I’ll get to that. Stay tuned.

Where we part ways on parenting styles? While I completely respect his parenting style,

  • the idea of public humiliation of a child does not sit well with me. He says that back in his day {which was probably the same day as mine} if he publicly acted out he got his rear end tore up in front of God and everyone. This does not surprise me. We grew up in an age where corporal punishment wasn’t considered cruel, it was what you did if you wanted children to behave in public…or at all, for that matter. What bothers me is the idea of taking what was limited to a grocery store punishment in our day to exposing it to the entire world.
  • parenting does not always require tit for tat, especially when we are comparing the maturity of juvenile behavior from someone who is the perfect age to demonstrate that kind of behavior. Just because a child publicly acts up does not require parents to do the same. My parenting should always strive to reflect the maturity of not only how old I am, but the difference between the immaturity my daughter is working through. I am the example. Responding to her immature public rant with another immature public rant does nothing to uphold the values of the family.
  • every person who watches the video is free to come to his/her own conclusions {probably wrongly because not all information is given about the family structure – not that it is expected to be given}. This is the risk you run when you post a video online. When you put private information on the website, you have to expect that people will come up with some wild opinions based on the information that you give them. That’s just the nature of the beast.
  • I have to wonder if an IT guy would actually not be aware of the potential for his video to, at minimum, go beyond the friend list of his daughter’s Facebook page. I’m sincerely curious! I think it’s reasonable to conclude that he didn’t foresee the potential for it go viral, but did he not at least understand the “share” button on Facebook??
  • I disagree with destroying {supposedly} expensive items to make a point. I laughed when I first watched the video because he was following up on what he promised would happen if her behavior continued. I’m not disputing following through with consequences…what I’m disputing is making threats that involve the destruction of expensive items in the first place. Wipe it clean and have her donate it to someone in need. Or, wipe it clean and have her pay for it all over again with money she earns from a job she gets herself. See…I’m not really against his style of parenting, just the execution. To his credit, at LEAST it was a PC computer and not a Mac…cuz if it had been any kind of Apple product??? Hoowee doggie!!

Why I might be more strict when it comes to the expensive stuff. My kids don’t outright own certain electronics in our house and the ones they do own outright {gifted or paid for themselves} still come with consequences of loss of use of said electronic device. The idea that a teenager in my house would own her own laptop {i.e. free to roam around the house online unsupervised} or cell phone or any other device is where I am a proud mean momma. They have access to these devices, but do not outright own them. So the idea of putting a bullet through what is essentially a family laptop makes my eyes fill with dollar signs.

What did you think of the video and the dad’s subsequent followup response?

From a Catholic point of view, would you have done the same or would you have done things differently? 

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