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Feb 10

Not my idea of a hero

 

So by now, you’ve seen the video.  It’s gone viral ….  nearly 3 million views on my last check.  A father, angered by his daughter’s rant about him on her Facebook page, video-taped himself berating her, laying out her punishment, and ultimately taking his gun and shooting nine bullets through her laptop.

I don’t want to talk about that man.  All I can do is feel sorry for him.  Happy, well-adjusted people don’t go around taping themselves shooting holes in other people’s property.

I don’t want to talk about his daughter either.  I feel sorry for her too.  Being a teenager can be hard, and I can’t imagine that having a father who publicly humiliates you is helpful in that regard.   She obviously has an unhealthy, broken relationship with her parents.  And knowing first-hand what it’s like to have a GOOD relationship with my children… my heart breaks for her.

But no, the people I want to address aren’t the father or the daughter.  I want to address the people, the tens of thousands of people, who lauded him as father of the year.  Here are just a couple of remarks from his recent viewers:

This father ROCKS! Parents need to enforce more discipline with their kids these days instead of trying to be their friend or act their age.

This guy should be voted FATHER OF THE YEAR in the US and Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAD OF THE YEAR! I think this is amazing!

Dude…you are my HERO.

Seriously, I applaud you. A parent who is a parent and not the subjugated slave to the child. Love it.

Awesome! Well done.

You’re my new, best friend!

Has the world gone completely mad?  I don’t mean that facetiously either.  I am quite literally shocked and sickened that this is the behavior we as a society hold up as model parenting.   I hear people crying that kids today are too entitled, too spoiled, too disrespectful…. and this is going to help with that?!   If this girl IS in fact acting too entitled, spoiled, and disrespectful, where might she have learned that?

Yes!  Let’s strive to be more like this man!  Let’s belittle and humiliate our children.   Let’s destroy their property.  Let’s respond to hurt and frustration with violence.  Let’s throw discussion and mutual respect and love out the window and grab our gun when it’s time for conflict resolution.  And let’s tape ourselves doing it!!  Let’s make parenting into nothing more than a schoolyard fight, a tit-for-tat war of words in which NO ONE wins, in which we stoop to the lowest common denominator, and we see who can throw the biggest tantrum.  Yes, let’s look to this man in awe.   What a hero.   What a father.  What a MAN. 

In all sincerity, I want to ask you this:  If you agree with this man’s actions, if you think this is something we should emulate… how would you feel if you were his daughter?   For that matter, how would you feel if he’d taken this action against you as a co-worker, or a relative, or a friend?

And if you tell me it’d make you see the error of your ways, if you tell me it’d make you have new respect for him… you’re lying.

All of us – as parents, as children, as friends, as citizens – respond to kindness, not to cruelty.  We respond to gentleness.  We respond to patience.  We respond to feeling that we are being heard.

This man was no doubt hurt by his daughter’s words on Facebook.   Was she wrong in posting them?   From the little that I can tell, this was a child venting to her friends, not unlike something one would write in a private diary.  Her words were strong, yes, which only shines light on how deeply she was feeling when she wrote them.     I saw many comments that said something to the effect of, “Oh she was just trying to get attention.”  And I agree!  She probably was.  It was a probably a last-ditch, desperate attempt to say, “Hey.  Mom.  Dad.  I’m hurting here.”  If that were my child writing that letter, I would first take a good long look in the mirror.  Then I would TALK TO MY CHILD.  I would try to heal that relationship before it was too late.   I would not put the final nail in the coffin (or the bullet in the laptop as it were) by publicly humiliating her, mocking her, and destroying her things.  I would not act with a knee-jerk reaction that would almost certainly ensure that she’d be pushed further away, possibly for the rest of my life.

Our job as parents is to protect our kids.  To love them, to guide them, and yes… to model appropriate behavior for them.  This man called his daughter disrespectful.  Were HIS actions respectful?  He called her immature.  Were HIS actions mature?

Parenting is hard!  I won’t argue that.  Just as with any other worthwhile relationship, there are bumps.  There are ups and downs.   There are tough spots, and sweet spots, and every-other-kind of spots in between.  It takes a lot of heart, a lot of patience, a lot of listening, and a lot of give-and-take.  What I saw in that video wasn’t heart.  It wasn’t patience.  It wasn’t listening.  It wasn’t give and take.  It was a bully of a man having a public meltdown, and making sure he took his daughter down with him.

His behavior is not something to emulate.

It’s not something to aspire to.

It’s not something to praise.

It’s a sad, angry spectacle by a sad, angry man.  It’s a cautionary tale about what not to do if you ever want to have a close, mutually respectful relationship with your child.

(If you want to read more, check out Demand Euphoria, A Bona Fide Life, and freeplaylifeThank you for being voices of reason in the midst of insanity)

 

 


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  1. Christie Haskell

    Love love love.

    Thank you.

    1. Bente Heggedal

      You are my hero today, Jennifer. Thanks for reminding me that its some kind people left out there.

  2. Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources

    This breaks my heart, for the father, for the daughter, and for all the people who applauded this man because they must all have deeply hurting relationships to believe this kind of action by a father is good and right in any way shape or form. Discipline is guidance, not revenge. I’m just so saddened by this evidence of so much pain and brokenness.

    1. Erin

      I couldnt agree with you more. Makes me sad to see this. All teens hurt and want to vent about their parents to friends. I did and I told my parents after seeing this video that I did. Looking back now I know I had it easy just like this girl did but as a teen I didnt think of it that way. I think living a teenage life is hard and to have a parent post something like this to where all your frineds and the whole world can see is just sad. It should have just been between him and her. Now this is the biggest debate I have even been in with people and I cannot see how people can think this guy did right. Her posting on Facebook then him posting on facebook because of what does did doesnt make his story right. In fact I think th dad made himself look stupid. Ugh, its just all sad.

    2. Jedman

      Breaks your heart? Do you have kids?

      1. deuce

        Doesn’t seem so..

      2. KBean

        It breaks my heart. I have kids. There is no respect for this girl as a person. The father has lost her. Truly tragic.

      3. Tikatu

        It breaks my heart, too, and I have teenagers.

      4. Marlene Pannenbecker

        Have you raised teenagers ? Whether this man was 100% right or not is not the question, the questions is this – Do you know what other things he and his wife tried first ? Were you there to witness how badly and how long the daughter treated her parents like this ? Do you know if his daughter is humiliated or do you just think she is ? If you can answer YES to all these questions – I am on your side. If your answer is NO , my question to you is this …. WHO are you to judge ? Maybe he tried sitting down and talking, maybe he tried taking his daughter out on a father/daughter date to try and work things out, maybe he fixed her computer because he loves her and it is something she wanted…..MAYBE he tried all other avenues and got no where…maybe he did not know what else to do !!

        1. jen

          Thanks for the comment, but the “who am I to judge” angle has been well covered. I have a teenager, yes. I choose not to treat my children this way.

          1. jen

            And regardless of whether or not he tried all other avenues and “didn’t know what else to do” he still chose to broadcast it all over the internet. He’s set up a Facebook fan page. He’s using his notoriety to advertise his products. He’s claiming to want to show his daughter that you should never profit off of someone elses embarrassment, and he’s doing exactly that. That’s not me judging. Those are just facts.

        2. David

          Were you there to witness the upbringing that created this “monster” child? All the times she was powered over, spanked, threatened, yelled at, ignored, coerced, manipulated and spoken down to (oh, please correct me if I’m wrong, but I am confident after hearing this man speak, that I’m NOT)? THIS is the parenting “norm” today and is what people still think is the right way to parent. And THIS is what is creating these “monsters”. Children ONLY LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE. This child didn’t come into the world “spoiled” or “selfish” or “entitled”. I’d bet my LIFE this has been modeled to her in overt and covert ways for her first 15 years. I bet it’s so internalized and she is so damaged that she doesn’t even know what it means to be heard or respected. So how the hell can she POSSIBLY respect others?! And yet, SHE is the monster? SHE is the one who should learn to respect? SHE is only a product of her parents’ doing. I don’t know these people but I see it ALL the time. I am not surprised at all at her “rebellion”, it is the natural order of things. This man should never, ever have had children. I’m so disgusted I can’t even begin to say all that needs to be said about this. This man oozes resentment, bitterness, anger, rage, tyranny, as well as all kinds of pain that no doubt stems from his own abusive childhood (abuse/spanking/demanding respect doesn’t = “good parenting”). He is going nowhere fast and I feel so sorry for him and his daughter who will, no doubt, perpetuate the cycle on her own kids if she doesn’t get help fast.

    3. Pascal

      Sorry, but for the most part, I agree with the father. I don’t see a deeply hurt teenager, I see a rebellious teenager who is lazy and thinks only of herself. I can relate to your question about the world going mad. But it those parents who don’t discipline their children who have gone mad. There are times to be angry with your children, there are times to refrain from anger. I do not have all the facts in this case to determine which time this was. He obviously thought it was time for drastic action. I notice that when it come to discipline there is a gender divide with women wanting to be softer and more tolerant while men tend to discipline. Some kids need to be lost (prodigal) for the real world will teach them that maybe mom and dad were not so bad; then they come to their senses if they humble themselves. I would probably disagree with your definitions of respectful. Our courts throw people in jail for being disrespectful to judges; it is called contempt of court. This daughter showed similar contempt for her folks. I am not sure what the appropriate punishment should have been, but this was not a sad, angry man. Rather this story represents a microcosm of what is happening to our young people. Many of them are sad, disrespectful, rebellious and angry because they think of only themselves. Sorry, but I could not disagree with you more.

      1. Raised3Teens

        The word ‘Discipline’ has the Latin root ‘Disciple’ which means ‘To Teach’. This does not equal ‘to punish’.
        Some o the best Christians believe in the harshest discipline (punishment)…the bible tells them; ‘Spare the rod, Spoil the child’ and they tend to go with their own parents’ ways o disciplining the next generation – without question.

        To all commenters stating ‘back in the day, punishment was more severe/parents were more strict…..’ etc,

        TODAY 85% o PRISON INMATES were ABUSED AS CHILDREN!!! And illegal/ Rx drug/alcohol abuse is out o control!!! http://www.naturalnews.com/011353_bad_medicine_psychiatric_drug.html
        Where do we draw the line??
        It is PROVEN that parents abused by their parents -say believing in corporal punishment for example – (with no one guiding them as to how much is TOO much) -might drink too much also, trying to escape the pain o being treated harshly & disrespectfully by their parents (the Grandparents) will go to punish their children too harshly, and they might grow up abusing drugs & alcohol, taking antidepressants, treating their children too harshly and they…. You get the picture.

        This is a generational pattern until someone BLOWS IT and ends up in prison either because they are an addict in 2012, or drove drunk, causing an accident & killing someone. Or has a psychotic incident brought on from years o drug abuse/ alcoholism/ antidepressant use – pulls out their gun and shoots their teenager whom they cannot control!!!
        Think about it.

  3. Eden

    Playing devil’s advocate:
    I could understand where this father was coming from. He felt very disrespected. He feels that he has done all this stuff for his daughter and has asked little in return. So, why should she have this stuff if she’s not going to “earn her keep”? He thinks he’s trying to instill self sufficiency, responsibility, etc etc etc.
    If I were this father, instead of shooting bullets into the laptop, I would have made her take it and donate it to someplace like a homeless shelter or a place where people could look for jobs or resources. Maybe a library or labor department. He’s acting kind of entitled by making something that apparently is now at the top of it’s game (because of the updates and software that he just spent $130 on).
    That could drive home the piece of “look at all that you have while others go without”.
    But I remember what it’s like to be a teenager. When our parents asked us to do things, it seemed like they were asking us to do SSSOOO much. Hell, I remember times thinking it boarded on abuse. Looking back, I know that it was no where near abusive, and it was completely normal stuff. But teenagers over dramatize things. So I agree with you, she was probably venting. Probably also a cry for attention from her parents, which is why she did it in such a public forum. (we as a society and as parents need to teach our children not to put EVERYTHING in such a public forum).
    I see where he is coming from, but I do agree with everything you said. I don’t think he’s a hero. I don’t think he should be voted father of the year. But I do think he was doing the best he could with what he had (knowledge, experience, guns…)

  4. Arlene Green

    Wow. I had a horrible relationship with my parents. Precisely because of this kind of vindictive, out of control approach to discipline. I cannot even fathom how anyone with two braincells to rub together would ever think this was an acceptable thing.

    Also, the act the daughter committed? Not worthy of discipline in my view. Children do that kind of thing. Especially teens whose brains are undergoing a complete change over and are filled with hormones that make them emotional. Sure, sit her down and say “This hurt my feelings…” and talk about it. But you don’t need to go full metal daddy on her.

    Honestly, what parent has not had a child do or say something similar in a fit of pique? Most kids do at least once.

    1. Susie

      “Not worthy of discipline in my view.” You still sound like an angry little child instead of a parent.

  5. Erin

    I had heard of the video but had not watched it until now. I am truly wishing I had not seen it. I feel very sick after having watched it. It is clear that this mans daughter learned her behaviors from emulating her fathers behavior. What a childish reaction to a childs post. I agree- a TALK, a sincere heart ot heart was definately in order here. Not a curse filled rant belittling and mocking his daughter. I am certain their problems will not be solved now, nor likely ever with the attitude I witnessed. Very sickening. :(

    1. Jenny

      The father was not the one cursing, it was the daughter’s rant that did all the cursing.

      1. jen

        Did you listen to the father? He used all the same words his daughter did…

    2. Pascal

      So Erin, according to your logic, it was Samuel’s (the prophet) that his sons turned out bad, and it was Jacob’s fault that his sons turned on Joseph, and it was all David’s fault that his sons turned away from him. Sorry, while there is truth that children will follow the example of their parents, this is not always true. Look at the kings of the Old Testament and see that a good King will have a bad son and a bad king will have a good son. How can this be???

  6. Kelli

    For the record, I don’t think this man is proud of how he handled this situation, either and he needs to be given credit for that. I don’t agree the way he dealt with his daughter’s brattiness, but I also don’t think we can judge him when we know nothing about their family dynamics and the situation at hand. Would I have handled it differently? Yes. In retrospect would Tommy Jordan (the father in question) have handled it differently? Yes. He has learned a lesson, too and I, for one, admire his willingness and humility in admitting that posting the video online was a bad idea.

    That said, I don’t think he’s sorry. And I don’t necessarily fault him for it. I think it was a hard lesson learned all around and I have a feeling his daughter Hannah is going to come out alright for it. Let’s not judge this family too quickly…

    1. Kaylee

      I could not have said it better myself! Thank you for taking a neutral side and not getting ride or judgemental.

      1. Sammy

        Thank you! Exactly how I feel about it. What angers and sickens me is the fact that so many are willing to judge without knowing the family dynamic. Shame on you all.

        1. jen

          I never claimed to know the family dynamic. But is what they chose to show us (both the daughter’s words and the fathers actions) what a healthy, stable parent/child relationship looks like to you?

  7. Kelli

    FYI – here is an article with Tommy Jordan’s responses to his video going viral and his daughter’s reaction:

    http://www.litefm.com/cc-common/mainheadlines3.html?feed=421220&article=9744152

    1. jen

      I tried to read the article, but he lost me…. going on about how his daughter had to learn the value of a dollar. He destroyed an expensive electronic because he was mad! Is that going to help her learn the value of a dollar?

      1. Raised3Teens

        Also, his ‘daughters’ response were in his words. We cannot read her words since she no longer has a computer, nor do I think she would ever dare to post anything other than agreeing with him! I imagine she’s scared as hell! I would be. My dad got over-the-top harsh a couple o times – once he stomped on and broke all the toys on our bedroom floor because we did not clean them up within his time limits. He disciplined thru fear! And I also tended to agree with him, to say whatever he wanted to hear just to get him outta my face with his lecturing! That was in the late 50′s, ‘back in the day’ o stricter parenting! I was just plain too scared too act out. My siblings however ended up like this: 1 became an addict/alcoholic/child molester with 2 sons as alcoholics- he followed dad’s pattern as far as harsh punishment goes, one an alcoholic who raised an alcoholic abusive daughter, she went the complete opposite and was overly permissive, one used alcohol/cocaine/valium and ended up dead at 36 (in 1979), one is an alcoholic sex addict. And we ALL got into abusive relationships!!!
        I on the other hand, chose to educate myself PRIOR to having children and to ‘discipline’ (read: ‘To Teach’) them in other ways. And it worked!! Even as a single mom, working a lot! My children grew up to be intelligent, respectful, caring, responsible adults- my youngest is 22.
        Here are some resources that made this tremendous shift and saved my children from alcohol/drugs/abusive r-ships:
        “Parent Effectiveness Training (PET)” by Dr. Thomas Gordon
        “How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk”.
        “Non Violent Communication; The Language of Compassion” by Marshall Rosenburg, PHD.
        It takes work and joining support groups, but it is well worth it!!
        My mom complimented me one time as she saw me in action with my 4 yr old son throwing a fit because he couldn’t have ice cream before dinner (sound familiar?) I acknowledged his feelings; ” I know you really want that and you are so disappointed I said you can’t have any – until after dinner”. He stopped crying immediately and nodded yes, then went on to play. I heard his feelings and kept my boundary at the same time. Mom asked where I learned that and said she wished books like that were around when she was a young mom! People have complimented me in the grocery store while observing my Teaching (disciplining) my screaming (normal) children. It also teaches kids how to articulate THEIR feelings instead o acting them out and making us guess!! Try it, you might like it and could lead to a peaceful time and enjoyment o your children during troubled times too!

  8. Carma

    TOTALLY spot on, Jen. That video is a sad statement on the relationship that father and daughter have, but the responses make me even sadder … does NO ONE out there have a peaceful and respectful relationship with their own children? No one who does could possibly applaud this hissy fit as good parenting.

  9. Christy

    You have all written wonderful responses, speaking exactly what so many of our hearts have felt. I contemplated sharing the video on facebook with my thoughts as well, but I just can’t bring myself to give this video any more attention. Thank you for putting in to words what so many of us feel!

  10. Cindy Foster

    Before ranting about her bad language, he should have been more careful about his own public, 3 million plus, use of it. That spoke volumes right there. Furthermore, someone should inform him that “the ‘problem’ is never the problem”. A conscientious parent would be seeking out the reasons behind such a breech in their relationship before it becomes an ocean.

    Cindy@Baptist Taliban and Beyond

    1. jen

      Thank you for this. I had the same thoughts exactly.

  11. Jessica gutierrez

    Maybe shooting the laptop was extreme…He should have sold it. And made her pay him back AND get a job AND buy her own computer when she earned the priviledge of getting on fb. Closing her fb down definatly needs to be done. No one is a perfect parent…or perfect kid. I bet she learned her lesson.

  12. LemurKat

    I am not a parent but I totally agree with you on this one. The video was somewhat entertaining in an “oh my goodness, I cannot believe that after ranting about spending so much money to fix her computer he would destroy it” way but goodness, that is SO not going to help the family situation. What happened to having a quiet talk and actually listen to one another airing their concerns?

    If my father were to willfully destroy my property because of something I said, then I would totally and utterly lose any respect I had for him and one thing that you need for a strong family relationship is respect – not fear and subordination.

  13. Joy

    Thank you for writing this post. I can’t begin to tell you how sad I am by the responses I’ve seen in support of this dad. I wanted to let you know, I shared your link on my facebook page and along with these words:
    “As a parent, I stand against public humiliation and revengeful discipline of my child(ren). What you sew, you will reap. What you teach by example and life, they will learn. If you wonder where this daughter learned to be so spiteful to her parents (and in a public way), it is because she was taught this response by her father. I believe that if this is what he shows to the public, that much worse goes on inside the home. I’m disgusted by his tactics and I’m saddened by those who feel his response is to be cheered on. There are ways to let your child know that their actions are unacceptable without shaming them and pushing them further away from you.”

  14. Catherine

    Hear, hear!! I couldn’t believe the horrible comments either, even though I do not personally know anyone who agrees with my gentle parenting style, I still cannot believe that no one sees how vindictive this is. As parents it is our job to teach our children, not exact revenge.

  15. Kelly

    You say the daughter’s words were meant to be private, much like a diary, if she truly believed that, then better she learned that what gets put on the internet can be accessed by anyone with knowledge about the Internet, like future employers, predators, and EVERYONE else she thinks won’t see them. Oh, boohoo, her laptop that she did not pay for is ruined. Fucking spoiled little brat.

    1. B

      Calm down and get the point of this message.

    2. Amy

      Well, if her father had not done what he did, then a couple hundred people might have seen her post, and it would have been forgotten. Could a prospective employer have pulled it up and seen it one distant day in the future? Sure. But now, just about every prospective employer (and predator) in North Carolina and beyond has seen it. And what people have seen is not easy to forget. Thanks to her father, she may have learned the lesson that what gets put on the Internet can be accessed by anyone, but also thanks to her father, it is too late. The horse has left the barn. She will never have anonymity again. In fact, what her father did was quite reckless for an IT man. I could see his daughter being in real danger from predators thanks to this stunt.

      1. Raised3Teens

        I can see her running away asap and being an easy mark for Perps at worst or getting into abusive relationships! She is learning thru her relationship with the main man in her life, dad – what to expect from men!! No respect, no autonomy, no private property, no emotional support….

        1. mema

          I agree raised3teens…I was raised just this way and I did just what you mentioned. I am almost 30 and I still am learning to think for myself, what food do I like ( I was raised you eat what I tell you to eat whether you like it or not, forced to sit for hours for not wanting to eat peas which were cooked horribly!) not allowed to make my own choices or learn how many amazing choices/opportunities there are out there, or never allowed to actually WANT to HELP out around the house because they were too busy hounding and forcing us to do more than a young child should “have” to and never helping along with us or teaching/showing us the way. I never saw my mom clean house, I only remember her rants about us not doing “our job” etc… But I can forgive her now, I see it was the product of how she was raised, a child of 7 on a farm with a harsh, unloving parent who was treated the same as well.

          I was never TAUGHT how to deal with my emotions because neither of my parents could deal with theirs! Just like this dad. …

  16. Elena

    I don’t think any of you are right. I think this man may not be father of the year but I think that if my child acted like that, they would be seriously punished. He feels humiliated and belittled as a parent and you have no idea what his daughter acts like normally. Maybe as HER FATHER, he knows what will get through to her and what will work. Some kids are just awful. I think this video should never have been seen by anyone but his daughter but step off. Who are you to not only watch the video (which I have NEVER seen but only been told about) and then judge him, judge his family, and judge others reactions to it. Your article is the same reaction all the supporters have but just on the other side: extreme and out of line. You’re not better than them. You’re adding fuel to the fire on the haters side.

    1. Raised3Teens

      On the other side o the coin, YOU do not know how much disrespect, belittling, control/coersion…. even how much she looks like her mother who divorced him (IMHO) and he’s still angry about it. How many times she has heard ‘you’re just like your mom’ every time she’s misbehaved! that this girl has had to endure for 15 years. Do You?? There are 2 sides to every story, BTW.
      Also consider this, my kid’s step-mom was mean to my kids, I think because she has a weight problem and I was slender. I think she worried my ex was still attracted to me, so she took it out on my daughter! And it was hell for her during her time with her dad.

  17. LovingEarthMama

    Agreed: sad. One does not wonder where she got her language… or her anger… where her behaviour was not exemplary, she was talking to her friends (not her parents) and, yes, she said some things she should not have (and would not had they been in the room) and, sure, she should not have done it in such a public way and in writing… but shoot (wrong expletive!) she is a teenager. They have been known to bitch, including about their parents. It happens. And how you react – with love, compassion, empathy, understanding or not – offers your measure as a parent. Not that I want my own measure ‘tested’ right yet, thank you…

    1. shadowspring

      (((loving earth mother)))

  18. Andrea Graham

    Thank you for being a voice of reason in the midst of the whole world applauding an emotional abuser for taking cruel vengeance on his child and only escalating violence he probably began in the first place. He’s a responsible adult who knew what he was doing; she is a troubled, hurting child who likely thought she was privately talking with her friends over at Facebook’s house. It disgusts me that so many are falling for an abuser’s smokescreen and actually applauding him for such despicable, unacceptable behavior. Sadly, emotional abuse really is reaching pandemic proportions today–the favorable response to this instance of it proves it. Loving discipline and vengeance are two different animals, and it is sad that so many are unable to discern between appropriate, loving discipline and a deliberate, vengeful assault.

  19. Frank Maier

    This guy is a fucking waste of life. A couple of decades from now when he’s dying of emphysema or lung cancer and Hannah has end-of-life authority, I hope she’s become a better person than he is, or I am, cuz I’d let him die slowly and in agony.

  20. Deborah K

    My initial reaction was that when he acts like this, how can she hear is real message, which is that she hurt him and her mom and they are worried about her future if she continues to act in this manner. I still stand by that, and would work hard so that my relationship with a child would never get to this point of not being able to hear each other.

    I read the reply articles somebody posted the link to above, and it sounds like they may have structured the family so that only big gestures mean anything. Well, this was a big gesture. And apparently (from what the dad says) the message got through.

    I learned as a classroom teacher not to back people into corners. I tried to never make a consequence that I wasn’t willing to follow through on. The harder lesson was to make sure the consequence flowed naturally from the action and taught my intentional goal, not “don’t get caught.” Sounds to me like he made the threat during an earlier discussion about appropriate internet behavior, felt he had to follow through, and wanted to make sure the same audience that got her original message got his message. For a guy in the IT industry, he sure didn’t set the privacy settings well…..

    I could go on and on. I understand why he did it. I understand why people applaud. Its because we are all broken. But in no way can I see how it works toward bringing them closer together in a (almost) adult healthy relationship, or will underline the main point being anything except “don’t get caught.”

  21. Brooke Allen

    I doubt that that laptop was actually her property. She doesn’t have a job; how would she be able to pay for it? I personally wouldn’t have shot at it, since that would be a waste of good money, but I don’t think that she really has the right to call it “her” property if she doesn’t pay for it. If it had been a gift, then it would be her property, but if it hadn’t been a gift, then I think that the dad had every right to do whatever he wanted with his laptop.

    That being said, I was personally bothered by the bad language on the video. It’s not difficult to wonder where she got that from; she sees it modeled in front of her every day.

    The video is unfortunate. I am not in their shoes and don’t have a fifteen year old (my 9 year old is still a pretty nice girl), so I’m not sure what I would do if I was in their shoes. Unfortunately, the video going viral probably isn’t going to help. It might make good TV if it was staged, but these are two real people (three if you count the mom).

    1. jen

      If he bought it *for her*, then it was her property. None of my kids (4, 7, 11, and 14) have jobs. So we buy them what they need, and many things that they want. Those things are gifts. They are theirs. To me, saying that she didn’t own it because she didn’t pay for it is like saying I – as a stay at home mom – don’t technically own anything since it was my husband’s job that paid for it.

  22. Meaghan

    I totally agree with you. It is so sad how everyone is supporting this behaviour. Thank you for standing up and speaking your mind it a great encouragement and reminder for us as parents.

  23. Rania

    OMG thank YOU! I was highly disturbed at the thousands of comments applauding this maniac for a father. And i thought i was the only sane person left.

  24. Amy

    Usually when people get angry or hurt, they fight back. It’s called defensiveness and it kills relationships. It starts to develop a brick wall between the people who truly want to connect. Instead of being vulnerable and saying “Hey, that really upset me and hurt our feelings”, he attacked back in the way he knew how. Now, I believe that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know…but I don’t believe that is the only way, nor the best way. All too often I see teenagers, and their parents, who are hurting just like these two are. I am overwhelmed by how often I hear “He doesn’t respect us” yet they yell, swear, demand from their child, rarely allowing their child to be a child or have a voice of his/her own. I hope this relationship can be mended and that they both learn from this experience.

    1. Raised3Teens

      I remember a Dr. Phil show about 3 yrs ago where the parents were on the show because their son & daughter, both teens (I think) were out o control, disrespectful and obnoxious. They agreed to have a video camera installed in the home for a couple o days, then have Dr. Phil help them work things out with the kids. These parents thought their behavior was completely normal & loving, because obviously they did not try to censor themselves. It was completely appalling how the parents acted towards each other and to the kids. Dr. P really let them have a piece o his mind!
      The dad was the worst and it was so clear to see the kids acting EXACTLY like him! He made the dad cry, he was so ashamed, but he could not see it on his own!
      I wish Dr. Phil would invite Tommy BigEgo on his show & set him straight!!

  25. Nance Confer

    He regrets publicly humiliating his daughter? How big of him.

    I hate to think about what this young girl has to put up with every day.

    May she overcome her family life and do better by her own children some day.

    Nance

  26. Chrissy

    Thank you for writing this, Jen. You put into words what I was thinking! :)

  27. shadowspring

    http://www.domesticviolence.org/violence-wheel

    Check out this link and the wedge marked “intimidation”. Defaming the character of your victims, so that people will say “she deserved it” is just one tool abusers use to tie their victims down with hopelessness. Domestic abuse never gets better without intervention. This man is sick, and the fact that so many in our country cheer him on is scary as hell.

    1. Kelli

      Have you seen any of his posts since the video went viral? He hasn’t once said “but she deserved it.” Not once. In fact, i deeply admire and respect the way he is taking responsibility for his actions and has admitted that what he did was foolish. In retrospect, he wouldn’t post the video, although I think he would still shoot the laptop and personally, I don’t blame or judge him for that. He wanted to make a statement and he did. He just shouldn’t have made it publicly.

      This man is not sick and, in fact, I think he’s a pretty good dad. He made a mistake and he is not only learning from it, but he’s allowing his daughter to see how he, too, has to face consequences for making a poor decision. In the long run I am willing to bet she’s going to learn a whole lot more from watching him walk through this situation with grace than she is from the punishment she’s received for her own immaturity.

      Please, please do not make judgements when you don’t know that whole story.

      1. Raised3Teens

        This is not a judgement it is real live fact that is backed up statistically. I am a Social Worker who has worked with parents & kids affected by Domestic Violence. CPS got involved with this situation. It is nearly 100% common that parents who are ‘caught’ in their dysfunctional/abusive behavior will do & say ANYTHING to get CPS out o their lives! I can guarantee he will be good & conciliatory for a while until the heat dies down, then he will be back to his old ingrained controlling, childish behavior. He will need to do a great deal more work on himself and his r-ship with his daughter than just posting his regrets on facebook!
        This is my opinion & intuition based on professional as well as parenting experience, not a judgement.

        BTW, people making ‘Values’ (I would not choose that) based judgments are being discerning in expressing their opinions. ‘Moralistic’ (good/bad/evil/pious) judgments are another thing all together.

  28. Jen

    Thank you for writing this! Last night I was sitting here wondering if the entire world had gone mad for praising this as a good parenting decision! I even found a post about this video on a news website in the UK…they were praising him too.
    It is a shame that we live in a society where the majority of public opinion seems to agree with this “tit for tat” type of discipline.
    It’s good to find others who see the big picture!!!

  29. Amy M

    Thanks for this post Jen. I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think that was good parenting, and your thoughtful and insightful response is just what is needed.

  30. Mindy

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve read several blogs about this video and the responses and yours really hits the nail on the head for me. While I was upset by the video, I was far more troubled by all the positive and cheering responses it got. I get having a bad day, going through a difficult time with a challenging child and can even chalk this up as something this guy did in the heat of the moment that he might regret.

    What I can’t fathom is how so many people, in the light of day, relish this kind of behavior as good parenting and not a mistake by a hurt father. This kind of tit for tat retribution is exactly the wrong message to send to a child who has displayed this behavior and if you aspire to treat your child in the same way, maybe you should take a good look at your own parenting choices.

    I asked my 15-year-old son what he thought about all of this. His initial response was she got what she deserved. Noone should talk about their parents that way and definitely not on FB. Interesting, I thought.

    But then I asked him if he could ever see himself doing that, if he was really really mad about something we had done. He said no. I asked him why. Was it because he was afraid of being punished? Afraid of losing his computer? No, it was nothing like that. He said he wouldn’t do it because he loves us and wouldn’t want to hurt us that way. And I said, “Do you think that girl feels the same away about her parents?”. “Obviously not” was his answer.

    So what does that kind of punitive, vindictive parenting get you? An angry, vindictive kid acting the same way she has been treated.

    I don’t think my kids would likely ever do something like this. Why? Not because we would punish them if they did, but because we love and respect each other. Do we get angry with each other lash out? Yes, of course we do. Am I always proud of my parenting choices? Not by a long shot. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. But I don’t strive to parent in a punitive way. And to me, that’s the difference.

    And you know what… I had the same relationship with my parents growing up. I did some stupid things and made some bad choices, but most of the time, there was voice in my head reminding me that this would upset my parents and that wasn’t ok, and I would stop. I always wondered how my mom did that, how she always there, in my head, giving voice to my conscience. I guess I must have learned something from her, because at least my oldest kid seems to have that voice too. (Or maybe it’s a split personality disorder) But I’m going with the voice of reason and love and earned respect for parents who love them and try to parent in a positive way.

    1. shadowspring

      Thank you Mindy!

    2. Vicky

      I’ve enjoyed reading this article and the posts. Thanks, Mindi, for sharing this real-life example of your and your son’s respect for their parents. Kids can learn life lessons and apply them when there is mutual respect. We need to remember that “hurting people hurt people.” That never makes it right to hurt people, but generally the most mature one should take responsibility to find healing and then pass it on. Hopefully this family has some mature friends who will not laud their behavior, but be an example in showing how to deal with hurt and with hurting people. We recently saw the movie, “Exceptionally Loud and Incredibly Close” in its opening weekend. In it, the nine-year-old main character, a borderline autistic boy, makes an incredibly hurtful comment to his mother in the heat and culmination of his grief (more than a year after his loss). A full theater gave a collective and audible gasp. But, wow! The quiet and mature response of the mother, Sandra Bullock (also grieving), was so counter-intuitive and amazing. I felt that this movie had much to say (and demonstrate) about positive parenting and relationship-building. (You don’t learn until near the end of the movie the complete and compelling reason for this boy’s overwhelming grief and regret. He doesn’t share it with his mother in the movie, but one is left with the restful thought that the boy’s breakthrough in comprehending his mother’s understanding will lead to his some day being able to share it with her. And when he does, she will likely have her wish: to hear her husband say one more time, “I love you.” I like adding to the end of movies in my mind!) Though a tear-jerker, it was such a “feel-good” movie that I want to see again. It has a great perspective about what’s still good in our world. We don’t hear about all the quiet acts of kindness going on all the time, so I like to keep my eyes open to them.

    3. mema

      precisely, well said Mindy!

  31. Trish

    First off i agree with what this father did. He was humiliated on facebook, so ya give it right back! Too many parents now a days ‘talk’ to their kids but never do anything to discipline them. And that would be why so many teenagers now adays have no respect for anyone, themselves included. I think it took alot of guts for this guy to post his reaction online and maybe he should have just saved his video for home veiwing but i think he made the right choice. Bigger inpact on his daughter to show what social media really is about and how it effects everything. I am planing on showing this video to my teenagers and telling them, see im not the only parent who takes action so watch yourself or this type of thing may happen to you as well. My boys are very much loved and cared for and know this, and are in no way disterbed because they get grounded and yelled at when they do somethign stupid they know they shouldnt. My kids get displined just as i did growing up. As far as im concerned those people that are ‘sickened’ by this probably dont have kids of their own or dont ‘beleive’ in disciplinary action towards kids and their kids probably run the house. My opinion. If the father does happen to read this, i say good job to you for being a father who cares.

    1. Jennifer

      AGREED!!!

      1. Erin

        I have 5 children. 2 are now adults. 2 are teens in high school and one is in the 2nd grade. I am one of those sickened by this fathers behavior. Our children do not “run” the house. Nor are they humiliated, looked down upon, treated w/out respect or cussed at in our home.Regardless of the “excuses” for the fathers behavior- his reaction was childish and demeaning and less than adult.

    2. jen

      You do realize that there is a different between discipline and punishment right? Discipline does not need to involve yelling, grounding or any other type of punishment.

  32. Jennifer

    All of you people that agree with this blog post are EXACTLY why teenagers and children today are so disrespectful towards EVERYONE!!! You’re going to punish a child for being disrespectful towards by talking to them about it and leaving it at that? Seriously? I know for a fact that with my son it would go in one ear and out the other and five minutes later he would be doing the same thing he had just gotten into trouble for. This father had every right to take HIS property away from this ungrateful child. As being that it was HIS property (he states this fact in the video if you are paying attention!) he has the right to do anything he pleases with it. I was raised in the same fashion as this, and my sister was not. We could not be more different. I take nothing in my life for granted, I have worked for everything and have a very strong and healthy relationship with my parents. She on the other hand takes everything for granted and acts as if she is entitled to everything without having to work for anything, and is also estranged from the family (by her choice because she was “treated so awful as a child”- getting almost anything and everything she wanted and not being held accountable for her disrespectful actions). Talking to a child (anyone under the age of 18) is not a form of discipline and for ANYONE to think that this is going to solve their problems they are seriously fooling themselves. Now do not get me wrong I discuss my child’s behavior with him, however he gets more than just “a talking to”, he gets actual discipline as well. I think its outrageous to berate this man for doing something (probably the only thing) to open his daughter’s eyes to her disrespectful and inappropriate behavior. I would be willing to bet that if you were to go back and “talk” to the girl about this in a month or two that she would agree that it needed to be done and that she was in the wrong and she would more than likely feel REAL remorse for her actions, and maybe it won’t be in two months or 2 years but definitely when she becomes a parent and sees how much she does for her child and how little they appreciate!

    1. shadowspring

      That is completely untrue. Both of my teens (well, ones twenty-one now) have never been anything but respectful to people outside of our home. They have been occasionally disrespectful to their parents, but we never grounded them for months or destroyed their belongings. Nope, we insisted they apologize and told them that we treated them with respect and expected that they treat us with respect in return.

      My oldest is about to graduate college with honors and begin her career as an Air Force officer, in intelligence no less. Boy, did she make some doozy mistakes as a teen, including being snotty and lying, but we never stopped loving her or expecting better, modelling better. She calls me almost every day to talk now, and we have a warm and supportive relationship.

      Her little brother wants to be a doctor and work with third world communities bringing health care to where its most needed. He’s also an amazing poet and a kick-boxer. He gets lippy and disrespectful at time; teens are moody. But he always sucks it up later and gives me a hug and apologizes.

      If I were to find such a rant on my child’s facebook, my husband and I would have a good laugh over it. We would wait until a peaceful moment in time, and just say, “Hey, we read your note on facebook. Ouch.” That would be all that would be necessary to have our son apologize and admit he was ranting at the time.

      Punitive, demeaning, overbearing parenting does NOT produce obedient, respectful children. It produces perrenially immature adults who like their parents are punitive, demeaning and overbearing. I want better for my children than that. They deserve a good life.

      1. jen

        Thanks, Shadowspring. <3

        1. Rose

          What I find interesting is that everyone just assumes that their style of parenting is the best or only style of parenting. Every child is different and so is every parent. This isn’t how I would have handled it but who knows maybe she will get the point. I actually had a terrible childhood but guess what, I am a grad student with a 4.0. I have a great job working with at-risk youth and I have three kids I love and adore. Obviously I am not saying being a bad parent is the answer to creating successful children I am saying that children have overcome much worse situations and still go on to be great people. Adversity has created some of the best people in our world. I believe her dad does love her and if anything may have spoiled her too much and this is extreme but we don’t know the whole story. She may grow up and laugh about the whole thing. Parent plays a big role but it isn’t the only defining thing that determines how children turn out. Plenty of decent parents have done the best they could only to see their children become drug addicts or worse and plenty of horrible people have had kids that gone on to be successful. Kids are resilient and parenting is hard. It doesn’t come with a manual and honestly parents have become so judgmental of other parents that those who don’t know what to do about problems their kids might be having don’t feel safe enough to voice their concerns. I meet parents all the time just doing the best they can. They didn’t have good role models and they just need encouragement.

      2. Amy

        Shadowspring, I could not agree more! Thank you!

      3. TealRose

        Totally agreed shadowspring!! This man is a perfect example of someone who cannot take any kind of disparaging remark about himself! He couldn’t just read it and go … ‘Hey dear, look what she’s written now !’ ….. and talked about it with her later. What sensible person grounds a child for THREE months either for something similar! No wonder she is angry !!!

    2. Jodi

      Really Jennifer?? I was never spanked, publicly humiliated or verbally abused as a child and I would never have written something like that in a public forum. The reason is because I had a RELATIONSHIP with my parents and would never want to hurt them in that way! I would never bring shame like that to my parents. So, just because a person doesn’t agree with what this father did, doesn’t mean they’re raising spoiled brats.

      I have 3 teens myself and they would never write something like that because we have a decent relationship. Now, does that mean I never mumbled comments about my mom to a friend under my breath or that my kids don’t get mad at me ever? NO. Heck, I get mad at my husband and say things I don’t mean at times, but because we love each other, we work it out.

      My brother is the same way…he would never hurt our parents like that, either and he was treated with respect and kindness, just like I was.

      If I was this father, I’d be more worried about fixing our relationship than shooting up a computer for everyone to see. I realize he regrets posting the video and that’s great of him. That’s a step in the right direction. Now, go talk to your daughter and treat her with love and kindness! I’m not saying be her best friend. Be a loving parent.

      I’m also not saying she shouldn’t be punished. There are better ways of handling the situation and hopefully, he’ll learn from this, seeing that this whole incident has made him think about what he did and how he may have better handled things. I, for one, am glad this video went viral. It makes me want to work harder on obtaining my own children’s hearts.

    3. Michelle

      I agree Jennifer. I too was raised with a similar background and I have nothing but love and respect for both of my parents. I have never once taken anything for granted, nor did without. I was the first of my friends to have a cell phone, new car, etc. but the day I took those things for granted I had to learn the hard way that you have to work for what you have and you shouldn’t expect to be entitled to anything.

      Everyone agreeing with this blog amazes me. Have you not thought back to your teenage years and remembered how you felt? What happened when you broke the rules? Did you actually learn your lesson? Or would you rather sit on this self entitled throne and keep pretending your life is perfect?

      I can remember countless times what I did and how my punishment seemed like the end of the world. Its not though. Those years pass in a blink of an eye and his daughter is learning a lesson the hard way. Life isn’t fair and things aren’t just given to you as an adult, you have to earn them.

      The blog mentions “my heart breaks for her”…. UM, can you honestly say if your child wrote the same post on a social networking sight you would feel the same? The cursing, publicly humiliating you, etc.? A cry for help? She is acting like a spoiled teenager… If you don’t agree with his parenting, use your own method, but that doesn’t make his wrong.

      Its funny, I imagine Dr. Spock would have most likely agreed with this post and we all know his parenting skills weren’t as effective as he thought….

      1. jen

        Your comment honestly confuses me. I never said I had a perfect childhood, and I don’t believe anyone agreeing with my post did either. No one here is claiming perfection.

        And if cursing and publicly humiliating someone equals acting like a spoiled teenager…. then by your own definition, he acted like a spoiled teenager as well. She IS a teenager. He’s an adult.

      2. TealRose

        Virtually ALL teenagers ‘act spoiled’ .. feel hard done by, it’s the way their brains work – they aren’t fully adult wired yet – and they are doing school work all day, homework all evening and at weekends and there DOES come a point for many when they feel overwhelmed..I know I did. Especially when my mother kept piling on the chores… and I had a hard bedtime. No lee way. Which meant I had a really hard to impossible time in handing homework in on time. She complained and moaned. SHE is allowed to her opinions. What she did was foolish … what HE DID as an ADULT was completely idiotic, uncaring, unfeeling, violent, premeditated, and ….. as the adult … HE should have known better. And yes…. no matter what, my heart too DOES break for her as she is going to have to live with this all of her life as the ‘bad teen’ while her father is no doubt going to be laughing about it with the ‘guys’ in the bar and dining out on it for the rest of his. Way to go dad …

  33. B

    To the above comment by Jennifer:
    “All of you people that agree with this blog post are EXACTLY why teenagers and children today are so disrespectful towards EVERYONE!!! ”

    Um…WRONG.

    How blind can you be?

    We all know that EVERY SEED REPRODUCES AFTER ITS OWN KIND even when talking about seeds of respect, of gratitude, of righteousness, or of injustice.

    Obviously you are the exception since you wrote, “I take nothing in my life for granted….”

    It is of NO surprise to see that you confessed just a few sentences before that you “know for a fact” that with your son by talking about it “would go in one ear and out the other.”

    The next time you face a conflict with your son, I challenge you to give respect first, before your son gives it. YOU do the work. How can you expect person to give what they don’t have? You are doing so much for your son already. Why not add a little respect and see what comes back your way?

    1. Trish

      just because we dont just ‘talk’ to our kids does not mean we dont respect them! Im with Jennifer, i talk to my boys they tune me out, i get harsh they hear me! So am i a bad parent because i ground them, yell at them, take their stuff away to make a point? I can tell you right now, my boys know there are consequences to their stupid decisions and actions and alltho mad at first, know they have to deal with them and are just fine with it. My boys respect me as i respect them so dont go saying that because some parents do actual disipline we dont respect our children.

      1. Mindy

        Trish, I would not say you’re a bad parent for punishing and grounding. But I do think it’s lazy parenting. It’s taking the easy way. The “Do this because I said so and I’m your mother” approach. If you do the work ahead of time, you don’t need to parent through threats and punishment.

        Yes, kids have their moments, teenagers especially. But my kids (and most of the kids I know who are parented “gently”) are not disobedient. Things don’t go in one ear and out the other. Our relationship is built on trust and respect. So when I ask them to behave a certain way (or stop behaving a certain way), they usually listen, because they know I have their best interest at heart and my advice and counsel is usually pretty good.

        When kids are parented with lots of threats and punishment, they will often tune out their parents. So maybe you do need to look at how you may have contributed to that part of your kids’ behavior.

        1. Trish

          I know of a lot of parents who ‘talk’ to their kids and have seen their kids rule the house hold and get everything they want. My kids will not expect everything for nothing. My kids know ion order to be respected they are to respect, my kids know in order to receive what they want they need to work hard in order to get it. My kids have chores they do without receiveing an allowance. They live in this house too, they can help maintain it. They know how to do laundry, they know how to feed themselves, my oldest happens to have a love of cooking and quite often offers to cook the family dinner. All this with my ‘harsh’ parenting of grounding, yelling and punishing. On top of all of this, i have always received compliments on how well my kids behave in stores, restaraunts and other peoples homes. This is because i have taught them to respect themselves and others, and also because they know if they do misbehave there will be consequences to their actions, not just a talking to but they lose their ipods, gamming system, computer access. My boys are both teenagers, ages 13 and 14, and neither of them have a laptop or a cell phone because they are not able to pay for them or the use of them. They both want to upgrade their ipods and know in order to do so they need to save up their money and pay for at least half of it. This is teaching them the value of money as well as respect for stuff. My oldest son wanteda new bike, so he saved up his money, looked around for the best deal and bought a used one on his own. I really dont think i need to look at how i parent my kids, they are very good, well adjusted children who respect themselves and others as well as their stuff and other peoples stuff. They are teenagers and therefor have the teenage attitude that comes with every teenager and we deal with it. They know they can talk to me about any issues they may have about any subject. I am their parent, they have rules to follow and they have consequences to deal with if they step over the line, but i am also someone they can come to with their problems so we can figure them out together. I parent my kids the same way my parents parented me and i love my parents more then anything and dont think they went wrong anywhere and i have no hard feelings towards them at all. In fact i thank them all the time for all they did for me and taught me through their ‘harsh’ parentsin. So no i dont feel i need to look at how i contributed to their behavor because they are their own person as i have allowed them to be. They make their own choices as i do allow them to do, but if they screw up, they get punished as they should be.

          1. Maria

            Trish, when kids “rule the house” like you say, it is not because the parents dont punish, yell and all that jazz. It is because somewhere along the line, they forgot to assert their OWN feelings/wants/needs too and became focused on the childs alone. This is not “gentle parenting” this is misunderstood.
            Children in a no-punishment, no yelling etc household do not “have all they want”. Instead, they learn to make agreements, give a little-take a little, they learn to discuss options that will make everyone say “ok, this works for me”. This does oftentimes involve not getting “what you want”, in part or entirely.
            But like someone commented – this is HARD work. much harder than just taking away a “privilege” or grounding someone. And then, in these households – those things weren’t considered “privileges” in the first place. When we parent like this, we don’t think in these terms to begin with.

            Also, respect is not “taught” – it is exemplified and emulated. Like with so much else.

            I disagree completely with the “teenagers have the attitude that comes with every teenager”. Really, i wish you would open up to the fact, that it does not have to be this way. People have the attitude that you can expect from them, according the attitude that you display towards them, yes. Respect, kindness, attention, support, help breeds….well, respect, kindness, attention, support, help :) :)

          2. Raised3Teens

            Gentle respectful parenting does not mean NO boundaries, NO consequences. The consequences are ‘natural’ ones; you don’t brush your teeth, you end up with a cavity, the dentist’s drill, pain and a possible expensive root canal you have to pay for later on as an adult. Boundaries are about safety primarily. This takes a lot o communicating, parenting classes, reading books & blogs like this one.
            A scared parent just shrieking and slapping a little hand away from the hot stove creates children who do not trust themselves or their parents, it teaches nothing except poor communication and emotionally abusive r-ships. We had a wood stove when my kids were little and never had a gate around it. I’d build a fire and as it heated up, I’d have the wee ones touch it with me, they could feel it getting warmer, then hotter as I explained this is dangerous when it gets too hot; This is what ‘HOT!’ means. At the right time they snacthed their hands away and with big eyes said to me ‘Hot’. As they gazed in wonder at this new discovery, they could feel the heat radiating onto their body and they would step back, I would too (I was kneeling, at their level). This took only one time o a patient modeling/explaining/teaching (read: Discipline) session and they were forever cautious about getting too close after that! Honest to GD!! I’ve shared these parenting stories with friends who complimented me on how great my kids listened, and usually got the reply, ‘I don’t have TIME to talk about every little thing like that’!
            It usually only takes one or 2 times to remind them, since everyone makes mistakes and kids don’t always remember.
            These were the friends I eventually left behind cuz I couldn’t stand trying to visit, they were always yelling at their kids and smacking them, while complaining what they said went in one ear & out the other! They had plenty o time for that! I’ve also seen those kids running around the living room and crashing into the fence around the stove, getting burned, bruised and spanked!! More TIME wasted. More self esteem crushed.
            I have felt panic and shrieked sometimes, especially around cars & streets, but I have also picked them up hugged & told them how scared I was, how important it was to not run off from mommy, etc. I taught them a healthy respect for dangerous things and for me, not fear o punishment.
            I seldom had to raise my voice and once my 4 yr old running thru the playground at the park got clipped by a child on a swing (I was running & yelling that time hoping the other parent would snatch him out o the way), so he had to learn that one thru natural consequences – unfortunately, but once he stopped sobbing, he was very willing to listen to me.

  34. Nicole

    Thank you for posting this and putting this sad situation in a way that more people should see it. I think what he did was awful and sad. And I saw way too many people on my own facebook that thought he was awesome. Your words will make me think first before I say something to my own kid, I’ll make sure they are positive and never degrading.

  35. e. v. a.

    Honestly, i think most people are projecting onto this man, his daughter their own personal stuff. It is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to draw fully truthful conclusions about the complexity of this family dynamic from this one video alone. The video triggers a lot of our own emotional stuff, our own buried family issues, our own desires in how we want to be good parents…etc, and validly so,I don’t deny that each of us is entitled to our response and our opinions. But for me it is incredibly important not to assume that what we think is happening in this family is in fact the case. we are looking at it through the lens of our own ideology, our class position, our educational position, our experience and our own personal parenting styles. it’s so easy to say “i would never do that” or “he is a X person” or his daughter is a X person” it’s our natural response. however having read his additional posts (link posted below) I certainly do not dismiss this man as a bully, as the relationship with his daughter as broken and all the other kinds of melodrama i see people generalising into them.

    Honestly, I am not “disgusted” by this man. I grew up in a small town where many people are like this – gruff – and although I am not like him, I know for a fact that just because people like that might not have access to all the best attachment parenting literature, all the online liberal humanist materials nor possibly the inner resources to be the parent I am trying to be, that does not mean he is a worse parent, a bad parent or stupid, unloving, ignorant or violent. Nor do i have the right to assume i am better than him because i would not have made the choices he made in how he pursued this course of action.

    just because i am educated, liberal, not living in the south, not choosing facebook as my venue to express my frustration with my teenage daughter and not pro-gun doesn’t necessarily mean I am more loving, better parent than he is.

    i suggest we all read his response to the internet impact he has had and his feelings about his family. i certainly empathise with how he feels, in all honesty his response is not the one i would have chosen but that does not mean i can assume I understand why he chose that course of action or what it means to him and his family in the context of their lives. in the end, our response to this video i think think says far more about us, than about him or the daughter… and that is perfectly fine, as long as people take ownership and responsbility for that and don’t confuse their subjective interpretation as superiority or a right to indict him for behaviours we might not choose for ourselves or our families. http://www.litefm.com/cc-common/mainheadlines3.html?feed=421220&article=9744152#.TzW5BZ1r_Yo.facebook

    1. jen

      Please reread my post if you think I said any of the following: I never said he was a “worse parent, a bad parent, or stupid, unloving, or ignorant” I also never said I was “better than him”

  36. CC

    We have two daughters, the best girls in the world. We have used only one rule, “treat others as you want to be treated.” And, guess what, it works. Both our girls are teenagers, loving, respectful, law abiding, caring, and confident. We are so proud of them.

    1. jen

      The best rule to have!! :)

  37. vj

    From the Dad himself:

    “Update:
    This may come as a wild shock to some.. wait for it.. wait…. (I need that guy who did the awesome HD youtube parody to do me an intro here. Where is he when I need him?)

    I’m NOT a hero… of ANY kind… at all.
    I’m not a super-dad, or awesome parent.

    I’m a normal guy with reasonable a moral compass that I try very hard to keep pointed north. I make a LOT of mistakes. Did I say a LOT?”

  38. joshua

    Who cares I stand with the dad on this one, we don’t know what led up to this type of behavior, but she certainly wasn’t miss innocent, she was probably very deserving of this treatment, the golden rule is treat others how you’d like to be treated, its always the parents fault whenever a child acts out, why then can’t the child be the at fault party when something like this happens, when a child disrespects an adult they should accept whatever consequences follow

    1. Jai Robinson

      Really? What kind of a person even ask that kind of question?

      “..why then can’t the child be the at fault party when something like this happens…”

      Because: They are children. Juvenile? Does that word mean anything? There is an age of accountability for certain things. And maturity is never something people expect from young children or teenagers.
      It isn’t rocket science. Take any basic psychology or anthropology course. Behaviors are learned throughout life and TAUGHT to the young. The young are often wiser than the old through innocence, but they are NOT to be held accountable for the actions of the old.

    2. jen

      If the golden rule is to treat others how you’d like to be treated, how can you excuse his behavior? Do you really think HE would want to be treated how he treated his daughter? The golden rule should apply BOTH ways. Parents should treat their children with respect, too.

      1. Raised3Teens

        That’s correct. Respect is a two way street. Children are taught how to use the potty, how to eat, how to walk. That’s the purpose of human babies NEEDING parents for a lot o years!
        It is a parents’ responsibility to teach and model respect through discipline (means: To Teach) not through fear o punishment, IMHO.
        So many o the “Spare The Rod, spoil The Child” attitudes I read in the comments and promotion o ‘discipline (punish) as in the good old days’ makes me wonder if this is the root cause o the US being labeled ‘PROZAC NATION’?!?

  39. Kelly

    Thank you Jennifer. You put into words all the things the discomfort I was feeling. How horrible that anyone feels this is good parenting. I feel very sad for the young woman. Who cares whether it was real or faked, his words actions and attitude were disrespectful, arrogant, cruel and completely void of self-awareness. I don’t understand why people continue to use violence to deal with conflict when it never works in the long haul. People resort to violence because it is the easier (i.e. less work) choice – in that split second it accords them a desired result – but what follows is resentment, guilt, recrimination and alienation from their “loved”one: ultimately the opposite of what they had hoped to achieve. And they continue to resort to violence. Someone once said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action hoping for different result. I too fear for the sanity and safety of our world. Thank you Jennifer for being a voice of kindness and compassion and wisdom in all of this jungle of anger.

  40. Eric

    Hmm… funny… not helping a child live up to their popular social status at school is considered a type of cruelty now a days. Passionately removing an unearned privilege is now the most shocking thing you’ve seen? Did the scary noises disturb your tranquility? To avoid going down the path of ‘when i was a kid’ I’d like to reinforce the idea that if the worst thing you experience as a child is your father shooting your $1600 laptop with a 45 then your parents did an excellent job keeping you safe and healthy. But on the other hand, it’s nice seeing a parent not censoring their child and throwing away their art supplies because they don’t like what they’re drawing. Or medicating them with drugs you don’t know anything about for conditions you don’t know anything about. Or raising them as a racist or a chauvinist, or subjecting them to religious or national indoctrination. Oh what, did I accidentally point out 3 socially acceptable types of child abuse? Yeah well it doesn’t make lots of noise and give us a nice focal point to aim our fuzzy logic and underdeveloped sensibilities at, so kids who are actually being abused just have to wait a little longer, we’ll get to you.

    1. Jai Robinson

      I was subjected to religious indoctrination that made me socially awkward and refused me a proper education so that my adult life is hampered perhaps permanently. I am now working 3 minimum wage jobs to get by and save money to someday get myself an bit of college to add to my empty resume.

      I saw shame, violent reaction to being spoken badly of, anger unchecked by maturity, and an intent to permanently hamper a child’s life. I think that counts as ‘abuse.’
      I am pro-gun, but I think if you whip it out to prove your point and need it to drive it home you are someone who does not use a gun wisely.
      Children do immature and irresponsible things. As an adult, he should not be acting this way. Much less be applauded for his behavior.

  41. Tavon

    Oh blah blah. Judge not let ye be judged. It isnt your Dad or your Daughter. Who are you to dictate whats right and wrong. His punishment is not for you? Fine. Move on. Who cares? Its other peoples lives at work on this social media driven pipeline. Live your own life before youtube lives yours for you.

    1. Jai Robinson

      For shame.
      If you were not moved with compassion at the shame and anger heaped upon a mis-guided and outspoken young girl, you have no heart.

  42. Erica Barnett

    I was just talking with a friend the other day, who was a high school guidance counselor saying the reason some girls struggle so much with promiscuity is directly linked to the father-daughter relationship; that the father needs to show love and respect in a tangible way or their daughters are going to go looking for that in the wrong places. Regardless of whether or not one feels the father was humiliating his daughter, it is clear he does not respect her, and I seriously question his love for her–he obviously loves HIMSELF more. Try and do what he did to a co-worker, or non-relative he’d be fired or worse, have criminal charges against him. The bottom line, we can get a lot further by responding to hurt, frustration, and anger with gentleness, and then discipline in a constructive, self-controlled way. Ours is not the wisdom the world teaches or celebrates, but are you really surprised?

  43. Dee Taonax

    Jenn:
    Thank you for writing your thoughts on this video.
    I agree one hundred percent with what you have written.
    We have come to an age where technology seems to surpass ‘common sense’..and I wonder what would happen if mums/dads/adult caregivers actually had to go back to ‘basics’ of raising children to become well-adjusted humans in today’s world. The fact that this *ahem* man needed to use a computer to post his rebuttal to the world really sums up how much he disrespects not only his daughter, but himself as well.

    As a single mother of a growing boy, I value each and every moment he is willing to be open and tell me what’s on his mind. I know that as children, some days the *last* thing we want to do is talk to our parents, no matter how much they tell us they are listening. Although he doesn’t always tell me everything that he’s going through, I pay attention to his changes in attitude, socializing, vibes..and would *never* resort to what this neanderthal did. People praising him, sadly is where we are heading, like it or not. The only thing we can do, as people stunned by his actions, is to not feed into it, and raise our own with a moral compass, and help them up when they stumble, and let them know that being angry is acceptable, but learning to work through it is a far better solution than escalating anger for anger. (everything written, obviously, is my own opinion)
    But thank you for your post.

  44. Rachel

    We certainly are a judgemental society! And, with the ability to “see” into people’s lives, it really is sad that everyone seems to have the “right” answer. As a teacher, I certainly see my share of parenting styles. As a parent, I am constantly reflecting on how I can maintain the balance between raising independent, responsible, respectful kids while still creating happy childhood memories. Is there really one way to do this? No. However, the idea of creating mutual respect as early on in a child’s life as possible sure seems like it may help alleviate some of this teenage angst. Modeling respect toward others would certainly be a step toward creating a better place to raise our kids in. This video (I have not watched) sure seems to play on emotions and I wonder if it is because we are missing respect in our society as a whole. Maybe we parents should be thinking more about showing our kids respect and remembering how it feels when our peers judge us.

    1. Raised3Teens

      I think we are missing respect in our society as a whole and I think this “Spare the rod, Spoil the child” attitude o a lot o commentors speaks to that issue. Resolving conflicts thru wars, is the global attitude o most governments. It is so ingrained in our society, many don’t even realize it! See my other comment about the parents with out o control teens on the Dr. Phil show.
      I also think the majority who go by the bible translations erroneously think children are somehow their property, are to be molded, are wild little things needing to be controlled – especially so the parents NEVER have to feel EMBARRASSED. I witness this every time a child in a store wanders into my path while looking around at all the bright colored interesting things; a mom looks ashamed, mumbles sorry and yanks the kid out o my way , speaks harshly –after I have already stopped, smileing to make way for this other human being, a child. I always tell those parents they don’t need to apologize, I can make way also.
      I remember being brought up strictly & harshly and I had NO ONE to talk to about it. Mom & Dad were on the same page, a united front and I grew up with a troubled r-ship with my mom because I could neer go to her with my hurt feelings; she thought she would be disrespectful to my dad or the teacher, etc if she let me cry on her shoulder. Adults were to be respected NO MATTER WHAT!! Consequently molestation was going on right under our noses, and this is why abuse wasn’t talked about in the ‘good ole days’ at least in my family, because I didn’t trust or respect my mom.
      Children need to have other adults they can talk to that they trust. Many aren’t comfortable going to a school counselor or teacher especially in small towns where people gossip a lot.
      I think this girl chose her post on facebook deliberately to expose her dad to other adults. Otherwise why didn’t she just tell her girlfriends at school? I see her behavior clearly as a cry for help or support.
      Children are not evil, nor do they have mal-intent. Sometimes they feel hopeless to get anyone to pay attention, especially in a highly controlled home/ environment.
      Another thing, I think the dad’s response was quite defensive, which indicates guilt on his part. If she was truly over-exaggerating, what’s to get so mad about? Unless there is some truth to what she said. Maybe the girl got what she needed and he’s loosened his grip a bit. If they truly worked it out, it’s all for the best and I hope they will have a better r-ship as a result o her taking a big risk.

  45. Melissa

    THANK you!!!

  46. Aylyese

    Sadly, all I see is a bunch of women projecting their own insecurities on another family based on very little information. Keyhole judging at its finest. You advocate respect and then prove yourself an utter hypocrite by not respecting this mans choices in parenting. You make unsupported claims about his daughters mental state and pretend like your an expert on how things work I his house… Now pretend someone rad your blog, and made a post about how you are one of those horrible mothers making self entitled children and how your boys are going to grow up and then have a breakdown because people I the real world AREN’T nice and WON’T always respect them? Would it make you see the “error of your ways”… No, I didn’t think so. Hypocrite.

    1. jen

      What’s interesting to me about this comment is that you accuse me of “projecting my own insecurities” and yet you are basing your claim on things I simply never said. I never made claims about his daughter’s “mental state” and I never claimed to be an “expert on how things work in his house.” I based what I said on what I SAW, what they choose to share with me – and 15+ million other people all over the internet. Yes, I advocate respect… respect for children, and respect for each other as adults. But I will not respect someone’s being cruel towards someone else. If it makes you feel better to call me a hypocrite for that, so be it.

      1. Raised3Teens

        You’ll like this one, Jenn:
        BITCH.
        Being
        In
        Touch
        Creates
        Healing.
        Yeah, go ahead, call me a Bitch! I love it!

    2. Rachel

      Just a thought…if we do strive to lay a foundation of mutual respect, then is it possible that children will learn to be better equipped to handle situations in adulthood that require a greater level of self-control, respect of another’s opinon, and the ability to be more emotionally stable? Children that learn how to understand their emotions while developing empathy for others seem as though they would handle situations in adulthood with an ability to control their anger, face the issue with more rational thought, and find a solution without having a “breakdown”.

      1. Raised3Teens

        Absolutely! I’ve proven this with my children – now adults with families. As well as many clients I’ve worked with.

  47. Sue

    As many of your readers have already pointed out it truly is an issue of respect. Unfortunately both parties have lost that for each other. Only time, love and honest discussion can cure the problem. Not guns and videotapes shared with the world. I pray they find an answer and that all mankind can learn to be just a bit more respectful of each of through this viral mess.

  48. Steve Goerger

    I too am very amazed by the support this Dad is getting from any where…folks here or elsewhere. This father clearly, simply, has no concept of the term unconditional love. He sees love as some system of expectations and enforcement of them – his aggressive act and sick need for revenge show him to be more sociopath than anything. He wants to be paid back for a computer, bullets, etc etc – what kind of sadistic, reverse-psychological parenting is this? If you want your daughter to not have facebook and a computer, that is quite easily done – turn off the Internet at your house, take away the laptop without feeling the need to shoot it, have a fucking conversation with your daughter. You’re the parent – act like one.

  49. Ivan Tucakov

    I am so glad that you spoke up and wrote this post. Beautifully written too. I hope one day we have majority of people reacting in this way to videos like these. I’ve been equally speaking up as well. It is so important.

  50. Bryn Boese

    I have this and only this to say:

    Our insight into this particular home is extremely limited. We have nothing more than this video to go on.

    And yet it seems that that is sufficient evidence from which to conclude that their relationship is broken. Obviously this is not a happy man; obviously he has no respect for his daughter (though isn’t respect something that must be earned?); obviously he should have done it this way, or that way, or etc. etc.

    Probably the only thing he should have done is not posted it so publicly. That way he could have avoided the intense scrutiny and judgement calling that he is now under, both from those who rabidly support him and those who believe him to the spawn of satan.

    Yes, I’m exaggerating. I find this whole thing exaggerated.

    We have all of a few minutes of one-sided contact with this man, viewing his angered response to a disrespectful action on the part of his child towards him. We do not know what their relationship is normally like. We do not know how she received the video. We do not know the details of their home life, how she normally acts, what lessons have been learned and what lessons have not.

    We know exactly what happened in this video, and the rest is all conjecture.

    Before anyone passes judgment, consider first your own reaction to such a thing. Then remember that you are you, and the rest of the world is not you, and cannot be expected to do what you would do. Remember that nobody is perfect, and to expect perfection is pure hubris.

    Remember that hindsight is 20-20, and it is easy, so very easy, to say what should have been done after the fact. It is also so very easy to pity the idea that we create in our heads, fabricating it so that it is, indeed, worthy of pity.

    But that idea most likely has very little to do with reality.

    This video and this man’s actions deserve neither praise nor degradation by the great majority of the world. To do so is to pass judgment on a family that we do not know, and that is not our right.

    1. Rachel

      Well said!

    2. M.

      Excellently stated. Thank you.

      1. Raised3Teens

        However, children often times need protection and awareness of other adults in tightly knit communities, in highly controlled homes. We do not know the big picture, sure and that being said, her post could be the tip o the iceburg, so to speak about worse things under the surface o what might look like her snotty spoilt over-exaggerations. Thing are not always what they appear to be. That’s why there are ‘mandated reporters’; doctors, teachers, police, social workers, etc. Think: Gerald Gorrido! I think we all need to be more aware o the presence o child abuse. Jaycee Lee Dugard didn’t try to escape, she thought her life was ‘normal’. And the neighbors made only ONE phone call??!!
        I am a mandated reporter thru my work and based upon my training and experience if I was the only person on earth who saw this video, if I had been walking by on a Sunday & saw/ heard him…I would report it to Child Protective Services, based on this one piece o interaction. There are too many ‘red flags’ present to ignore, go merrily on my way and MYOB.

  51. Ryan D. Barnes

    This is so sad. I don’t claim to have any idea what life is like in that house. And, as we all know, there are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth. I recently had a similar problem with my 14 year old daughter. I took her out for what I thought would be a fun day-trip up to Tortilla Flat. Later that night, when I heard her in her room talking in the phone 2 hours after she said she was going to bed(yes she had been on the phone for the entire time) I took her phone away. As I was looking through her recent text messages(something she knows will happen from time to time since I am her Father) I saw a text where she told her friend that I had played a “dirty trick” on her an took her up into the mountains where there was no cell phone service. I’m not too proud to admit that this both broke my heart and made me furious. The next day I told her as much, face to face. I also told her that I would be keeping her phone indefinitely. About a month later she got her phone back, with some hefty restrictions put into place through the service provider, and she still owes me $20 for the overages she incurred on our calling plan. While I did feel the need to punish her I definitely did not feel the need to humiliate her in front of her friends(and make myself look like an ass to the viewing public I might add). Yes, I still check her phone when I feel like it because I feel that is my right and duty as a father who loves his daughter. I must say that since this all happened I feel like our relationship has been strengthened and I can see a difference in her that I am very happy to say looks a lot like increased respect for her father who she KNOWS loves her. As I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t know what happens in their him but I can bet that man doesn’t have the same warm & fuzzy feeling about how his daughter looks at him. And, sadly, I don’t even think he cares.

    1. jen

      Ryan, thank you for sharing your own personal story, and your thoughts, without ever once calling me judgmental. If he’d handled it rationally – and privately – like you did with your daughter, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. The thing is, I can understand frustration, hurt, and anger for sure. I would think any parent would. It’s hard sometimes! And I don’t always handle every situation with my kids with as much grace as I would like. But I really believe that as parents we should always be trying to do better. To have more grace, more patience, and more compassion. When I screw up, I tell my kids I’m sorry, and vice versa.

      What bothers me the most about this isn’t even what the guy did, but the overwhelmingly positive public response, like this is the kind of parenting we should aspire to. I think it’s going in the WRONG direction.

  52. lucy

    Totally agree with this blog post! Women I know loved the way he “took charge” and wished their husbands would be more “manly” like that. That’s not what makes someone a man. His were the actions of immaturity. Teenagers write stuff like hers on their facebook pages all the time. The solution isn’t pulling out the gun that you think makes you look like a man, and putting bullets into a laptop. It’s getting these kids off facebook, off their cell phones, and spending time actually talking with them.

  53. Marcus

    Wow. You didn’t even take the time to read all his follow ups and his noting that after this video he and his daughter sat down and talked things out. Unfortunately this was the only thing that got his daughter to her ‘listening point’. I love how you all, without knowing the dynamic of the two, cast judgement upon him and his actions. Judge judge judge judge judge. The amount of ‘Oh, I would have done this”, or the “I would have done that”, or “I feel so sorry for this girl because her father is evil”. You all sicken me, and I’m amazed you don’t sicken yourselves. You COMPLETELY missed the fact that the mother WANTED a bullet put into the laptop for her too! That should tell you just how frustrated they were with their child. But no, let’s not look at that part at all. “Oh, poor girl was just crying out for attention….boo hoo”. You know what? This is the attention she was craving. And since NONE of you have the guts to read the follow ups and understand that after all this, he and his daughter are closer than they have been in a VERY long time. Not out of fear, but out of the extensive amount of communication the two of them were able to have AFTER he put bullet holes in a computer he was spending hard earned money on (of his) on a computer that HE bought. But see nothing from his point of view. Just be callous and judgmental and go on saying how perfect parents you all are. Make yourselves feel better. Make yourselves feel important and godly by casting judgement by looking at a very very very small part of a very large picture. Sound like none of you have yet to pull your bottle out of your teenagers mouths yet.

    1. jen

      Actually, I have read his followups. If it’s true that they are talking and “closer than ever” than I’m glad. And NO ONE on this thread, including myself in my original post OR in any of my comments, ever said we were perfect parents.

  54. Amanda

    I was shocked by the video. I am saddened that so many people believe this man is an excellent father. If each of them had kept everything off the Internet, all of the extra attention could have been avoided. I hope they have both learned a lesson from their actions, especially that father.

  55. Nicole

    Your post just makes my heart feel all warm and fuzzy again. I have been in shock since I saw the video and all of the praises. I am sad for so many families in this world. Love is the answer. Love always wins. xoxo

  56. Tina Kacirek

    Did you watch the same video that I saw? He READ what SHE wrote and replied to clarify for all of the people who were going to see that so they would know that he does NOT abuse her by forcing slave labor upon her. He was actually setting her lies and messed up thinking straight. That is NOT abuse. While I would not have put something like that in a public forum, the video itself illustrated to me a father who loves his daughter enough to hold her accountable, call her to higher standards and draw the boundary line very clearly….HANNAH is MORE important than a computer. And if THINGS ever become more valuable than people it’s a deal breaker. I am astonished that I watched a video that nearly made me tear up at the time and effort he took to pour a lesson into his daughter. He LOVES her! Listen to him write about her strength and the support he has given her to speak and do however she chooses in response to all of this. How someone can go to abuse, actually shocks me. I have known abuse. I have nurtured my own adopted hurt children from past trauma. Wow…this is NOT trauma. This is a shot at ego. And Hannah has been embarrassed I am certain but embarrassed by HER words and the public attention. I would really love to hear from Hannah herself because something tells me she is not the least bit afraid of her dad. Tommy himself said he was imperfect and makes mistakes…he’s not even calling himself an incredible parent. So why all of the evil attacks? Completely mystifying to me.

  57. Tina Kacirek

    Not that YOU are “attacking” but I am completely surprised at the posts calling him evil. Human with flaws, yes. Abusive? Wow…

    1. Amy

      Tina, he was abusive. To destroy something with a gun and show that act to others is intimidating, and he meant for it to be intimidating. At about 6 minutes and 45 seconds into the video, he even says his motivation for putting it on her facebook wall is so that, “All the parents may get an idea to put a bullet up their own kid’s ass.” How could his daughter not be intimidated after watching him shoot his gun and listening to him say those words? Do I think he is evil? No. But his actions are unacceptable. The part that I find disturbing is that he is being celebrated as a hero and as a model for parenting. Now, THAT is revolting.

      1. Raised3Teens

        I completely agree, Amy. He is acting defensive as if he is guilty at being exposed to his daughter’s friends & their parents. He is acting immature & irresponsible, blaming his daughter for his behavior. He calls her names and what you said at 6:45. He has no understanding o typical teenage talk. He disrespected her privacy – her post was to her friends, not the whole world. What? did he not complain sometimes to his buddies as a teen? Does he think his daughter does not talk to her to her friends and say the same things as she wrote?
        Why doesn’t he express concern that his daughter does not respect him enough to talk to him (or her 2 moms) about her
        o erwhelm between chores & schoolwork?
        Ha e her feelings been dissed to often, ha e they fallen on deaf ears too much?
        *The letter between the B & the N on my keyboard just quit working….
        In his follow up comments, he mostly goes on & on about himself and his money raising project!

  58. IDGAF

    This guy is parenting in his own way, my parents did similar things in disciplining me as a child I turned out fine. When I have kids I’ll do the same. All I read was wah wah wah. Spank your kids that works. Also why bother talking about this when our world governments are going to kill the Internet and enslave its citizens?

  59. Hanna

    For all you guys saying that it “breaks your heart” that’s stupid he’s being a good father and not letting wr daughter do stupid shit like that when colleges and jobs can see that when she applies anywhere. She’s lucky to even have a laptop it’s her fault she abused the responsitbility that she was given.

  60. Maria

    Hmmm.
    I’m not convinced of the authenticity of this – so many people today are ready to invent all sorts of things to get their 15min of fame, so who’s to say this is even for real….but that’s another topic of course ;-)

    Let’s say that it is real, well – I think it’s pathetic on both sides. It’s appaling that at 15yo, someone would think it’s “slavework” to do a few small things to help out. Even if you don’t agree with the system of chores or the chores themselves, what is listed here could hardly be called slavework. As for the father, I think it’s stupid to ruin a laptop….even more so when he apparently just spent a considerable amount of time and money on it himself. The logic in that completely eludes me!

    We must remember though, that he’s probably trying to be a good parent, doing the best he can with the information and knowledge he has at this time. Afterall, the idea of chores and punishments as an essential part of good parenting is widespread, and while he’s taking it to a weird extreme, he is really just applying the same “techniques” as everyone else.

    I was fortunate to meet an extraordinary lady at age 19, before I had children of my own, who introduced me to attachment parenting and unschooling. I’m forever grateful to her and to God for making our paths cross!
    This guy obviously hasn’t met a bunch of enlightened people to show him a different way yet!

    It’s just a shame that this displays yet another family living the confrontational way – life could be so much more simple and enjoyable otherwise…

  61. SAHMmy Says

    “Let’s make parenting into nothing more than a schoolyard fight, a tit-for-tat war of words in which NO ONE wins, in which we stoop to the lowest common denominator, and we see who can throw the biggest tantrum.” Well said. Great essay; thanks.
    [linked to you.]

    1. jen

      Thanks. Just went and read your post…. LOVED it. I’m so glad to know that there are other people out there who recognized this for what it was.

  62. kel

    I wish I had never seen the video. It triggered memories in me on my own upbringing. We never knew when my father’s anger would explode and we would be the recipient of that anger. My brother and I were humiliated and the recipients of his anger. As a child you don’t forget things like this, EVER. I very much doubt that Hannah is okay with this. These people that applaud Tommy for what he did make me sad at the state of parenting in this country. I actually am disgusted that they call him a hero and think he should be president. According to Tommy, Hannah is in honor classes, and it sounds like she doesn’t skip school or is into drugs. We live in a social society. For God’s sake, all she did was rant about she was feeling. I can’t for the life of me see how that would bring MORE punishment. This could have been resolved in an adult way. Sure his feelings were hurt, but he needed to put on his big boy pants and act like the adult he is. Instead he decided to retaliate and act like a 15 year old bully. I am 51 years old, and have raised a child that was VERY rebellious, 100 times more than what this father’s daughter was and my husband and I never felt the need to use a gun or resort to violence or public humiliation. My son is now a loving, wonderful man. And yes I do consider Tommy brandishing a gun violent, and completely childish. Oh, and by the way, on my 51st birthday last year my father told me he had not been a good father when we were children and young adults and wished he would have LISTENED more to us.

  63. TealRose

    This man just showed us exactly how NOT to parent. How to be a bully. How to lose your temper because YOU feel embarrassed by your teen saying something you don’t like, and how to then use violence to ‘solve’ the problem. He used pre meditated violence and has probably put a spade between them forever. How is this teen not allowed to have a few moans/complaints about her parents? Let the one amongst us who is totally innocent of even thinking a bad thought about there parents throw the first stone. What SHE didn’t do was take the gun and put a number of bullets in HIS computer, HIS car or anything owned by him. So she feels hard done by – teens often do and sometimes they are right to feel that way .. and often not – but she is entitled to her own feelings. Would he have shot the bank manager’s computer if he had done something that the father didn’t like ? Of course not, or at least I would hope not.

    I don’t NEED to see the full story here to see a father who is out of control, who is vindictive, and who is never going to understand and treat his daughter with care and help her grow up. He doesn’t seem at ALL caring to me. He seems more interested in his own petty feelings of upset – than using this as a learning time for his daughter AND himself. BTW …. who the heck grounds a child for THREE months for a ‘similar stunt’ that she had done earlier ? And he wonders why she seems to be angry !!! Who the heck wouldn’t be?

    Thank you Jen … YOU rock !!!

  64. Ed

    I agree that the dad was foolish for shooting the laptop, and that this entire drama should have remained a private matter. Frankly, I feel that way about much of what I see on social media. Dad could have easily restricted his daughter’s social media access and taken back the laptop he paid for. However, though I respect your sentiment, you lost me with a scarlet neon red herring.

    “In all sincerity, I want to ask you this: If you agree with this man’s actions, if you think this is something we should emulate… how would you feel if you were his daughter? For that matter, how would you feel if he’d taken this action against you as a co-worker, or a relative, or a friend?”

    That simply doesn’t track. He did not shoot a coworker’s property or a friend’s. He shot his own property, something he paid for that was given to his daughter with conditions regarding her use of it. She forfeited rights the moment she transgressed her agreement. Now, let’s look at this non sequitor from the opposite side. If the daughter had constantly complained about her job duties and posted a denigrating, profanity laced diatribe about her boss on Facebook, she would be summarily unemployed. Certainly not sat down and talked to.

    The world cares little for the feelings of people. That is why family bonds are so very important. Humans need ports in storms. So, yes, the dad acted silly and immature. But to connect that with how someone may feel if a coworker had done the same is a reach …Why even bring that up?

    1. jen

      My point in bringing in the co-worker thing just went back to the issue of respect, and points to how truly absurd what he did really was. With a co-worker, a relative, or a friend, adults can generally solve conflicts rationally, without resorting to intimidation, public humiliation and destroying property. Why should it be different for how we deal with children? That’s all.

      And I do disagree that he shot his “own” property. He’d bought that laptop for his daughter. When I give things to my children, those things are THEIRS, without condition… I would say it’s just the same as when I give a gift to a friend or other relative, but I know you don’t like that analogy. ;-)

    2. Amy

      But Ed, when her boss fires her for the profanity-laced diatribe, do you believe he will also take her company laptop, fire nine bullets into it, and then post the video on youtube and link it to her wall in retaliation for her facebook indiscretion? If he did, would anyone in his company want to work for him any longer? If my boss did that and posted it on my facebook wall, I would be speaking to the authorities!

  65. Valkyrie

    Thank you for writing this. I found that video disturbing, but like you, I was even more disturbed by the number of people who seem to think pulling out a loaded gun and shooting things up is an example of great parenting. Yeah, a loaded gun will solve everything. That’s just what we need to be teaching our kids. I don’t understand how anyone can defend this man’s actions.

  66. Heathermama

    what i am not getting is when people say “kids these days…” or comment on her lack of respect as proof that gentle parenting doesn’t work and think this guy is the cats PJ’s… well she wasn’t raised in a gentle parenting home. she is behaving like she is being treated. her behavior isn’t because she was raised by parents who respected her, she was raised by people who would shoot a computer to teach a lesson.
    and also since when does a kid have to earn their keep? you gave birth to them for goodness sake. there is no keep to earn. and when you give someone a gift it is now theirs, it is no longer yours.
    i can’t even imagine the outcry that would have happened had he done this to his wife. she is a SAHM so all the stuff is his? she talks some shit about him because she is pissed and he humiliates her on-line and shoots up her stuff? how would any of you feel who think this was a good parenting move?
    and BTW, i am a mom of 6 children two who are teens.

  67. Susie

    I remember a quote that said something to the effect of ‘don’t make the mistake of thinking that having a well behaved child makes you a good parent’
    That girl publicly humiliated her parents. I would be devastated if one of my kids wrote those things about me. Who wouldn’t be angry??? Good for him.

    1. jen

      Wait. She vented to her Facebook friends. He publicly humiliated HER to the tune of 30 million people. His being the parent does not make that okay.

      1. Susie

        And HE posted it on her facebook wall. He used the exact same forum. It was not his intention to go viral and he is sorry for that. How could he possibly have known that so many would see it? I think he showed her that personal property is nothing in comparison to respecting your parents.

  68. Danny

    At last somewhere on the Internet where the majority of commenters agree this is wrong. Even on the left wing UK websites the smaller number of comments praising him had the highest votes.

    Thanks for restoring some faith in humanity.

  69. sharon caparas

    Hello i am sharon caparas ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how i got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to Prophet Osula Ogwa the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Prophet Osula Ogwa about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Prophet Osula Ogwa at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ayelalashrine@gmail.com. and get your problems solve like me..

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