My Response To Facebook Parenting

I have two daughters, 4 years old and 6 months old… I can’t even begin to imagine what parenting them through the teen years will be like.

Today I saw this video and after the initial shock settled, I had to respond.

Social networking sites and the internet create huge obstacles for parenting. Children have a forum to behave in a way contrary to face-to-face exchanges. How do parents navigate this? How and when do they draw the line? As I watched this video I asked myself what would I do? I don’t think I would have chosen this route of discipline. Hopefully things wouldn’t have gotten to this point because I would have been talking to my child and navigating through her feelings of frustration before she decided to vent to the world. However, I couldn’t help but think what if my child did this, what would be my reaction?

While this dad’s rant is a little long, I thought the idea of him disciplining his daughter publicly by grounding her (via a video posted to her Facebook page) was unique, logical and undoubtedly memorable. She publicly humiliated her family (and apparently this wasn’t her first offense), why shouldn’t he post a response for her Facebook friends to see?

Then 7:20 into the video, my jaw dropped and my stomach flipped as he unloaded a round of bullets into his daughter’s laptop. WHAT. WAS. HE. THINKING.?

Call me a typical Canadian, but seeing a gun, let alone witnessing it being fired several times made me feel ill. Moreover, the message took a violent turn for the worse. Yes, he was firing the gun at a laptop but I felt it to be a rather threatening position for a father to take. As my screen reverted to the static YouTube page, I had a overwhelming sense of pity for this girl.

Am I being too sensitive here? What do you think?


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Comments

  1. says

    After viewing this, all I can do is shake my head. Yes, a lot of what he said was true with regard to how spoiled kids are these days but that’s the fault of the parents. Children learn what they live. We have no idea what the child’s background is and what she wrote on FB was definitely disrespectful. However, shooting up your daughter’s laptop for all to see, to me, shows the true character of the father that this young girl is dealing with. If this doesn’t scream “REDNECK” then I don’t know what does. Please, as a Canadian, do not think that this is the American way. I assure you it isn’t. So, so sad.

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

  2. says

    Wendy,
    Thanks so much for your response. Guns frighten me and I’ve never seen a handgun in real life. This shocked me… glad to know I’m not the only one bothered by this behaviour. Thanks again for your comment!

  3. says

    You’re very welcome. I just posted this on my FB page to see what my friends think of it. I’m not sure where this man lives but he should be investigated to at least make sure his gun is legal. There’s got to be something illegal about shooting a gun like that. I can’t help but feel sorry for that young girl. She was definitely disrespectful but kids need an outlet to voice what is bothering them. Was he snooping on her FB account to see what she was writing? We, as parents, don’t need to know every little thing that our kids are doing and saying. There has to be an element of trust. I have four children and two of them are teenagers. One is the same age as the guy’s daughter. He’s far from perfect and is grounded right now, as a matter of fact, for his school work. But there is an open line of communication and I make it a point to remember how I was at his age. I wouldn’t go back to being a kid if you paid me. : )

  4. says

    I think your being a little too sensitive its his property if he wants to shoot at it its his right not any where near violence. if he was shooting at his daughter or anything but like he says in the video he warned her he was making a point that he will follow through with future punishments once an unnecessary and disrespectful action has occurred. I think its brilliant . and his daughter bounced back strong she was upset at first but she got over it and actually learned a lesson later her dad nd her sat down nd talked all this video showed her was he is serious and that him nd her mother do alot for her and dont deserve the disrespect apparently she learned her lesson and came back stronger than ever .. But most people in the public can just be so weak stomached

  5. says

    I am also not used to seeing guns very often. The few times I’ve seen them have usually been in foreign countries where it is for protection. That being said I wasn’t terribly shocked when he shot the gun, maybe it was because you had already mentioned it was coming. My question is, would it have bothered people if he had just smashed the laptop on the ground? Or used a baseball bat? If you take the gun out of the situation do you still feel pity for his daughter?

    As mentioned in an above comment we actually don’t know very much about their family situation. He could be a very loving, hardworking father who felt like this was a huge slap in the face from a daughter he does many things for. Or he could be a father that rules with a fist. We really have no idea. I’m hoping that what we saw was the brunt of his anger, which is a much safer way of dealing with his anger than physically hurting his child.

    Personally I would take the Wayne Gretzky approach and just make my daughter post a retraction or apology! There wasn’t really a need for the gun, or even damaging the laptop at all, he had already made his point.

  6. says

    @Breebreeutiful and @One Practical Woman:
    First of all thank you for your comments. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s perspectives.

    You’re right that we don’t know the family situation. The action of firing a weapon is really what bothered me here.

    I am sensitive to guns, I know that. I think if he smashed her laptop with a baseball bat, I wouldn’t be as rattled but I would still feel unsettled. As parents, it’s so important to take a stand and to be a positive role model. A temper tantrum, whether it be firing a gun at the laptop or hitting it with a baseball bat is not teaching your child the proper way to deal with frustration.

    @One Practical Woman – I love the idea of getting her to post a retraction. That would be a brilliant consequence.

  7. says

    I think the use of the gun is definitely a shocking measure to take. But it does also depened on your upbringing too – I grew up on a farm and seeing guns was a regular thing. I even had my own BB for target practice. And now, I am married to a cop and see his Glock all the time (um, not an anatomy reference…his actual gun!), so this is not that shocking to me other than “wow, I can’t believe he actually did it. he wasn’t bluffing.” It is a violent response though – you can’t really argue against that.

    So, on one hand, I applaud the fact that he didn’t bluff – that he followed through with his consequence and that he wasn’t afraid to be the parent he wants to be – even though he might get slammed. But on the other hand, yes, I kinda wish his threat would have been more along the lines ” I will donate your laptop to someone who will truly appreciate it.” I think that would have provided a better opportunity for the daughter to learn respect and to realize how blessed her life is.

  8. Jules says

    Terrible example and reaction by the father as it shows first that he reacts to a family situation by pulling out a gun. Does this mean that the daughter is justified in pulling out a gun when she is frustrated with her life situations……..also what’swith the smoke?is this encouraging the daughter to smoke in stressful situations. No lessons learned with this video except this is a poor example of parenting!

  9. says

    I don’t think you’re being too sensitive.
    A gun should neverever under any circumstance be used in anger. I don’t care what the target is. He’s being highly irresponsible and a little bit irrational.

    The daughter will learn nothing from this aside that public humiliation is the proper response and that her father doesn’t have her back.

    really sad.

    I think his behavior is sufficient to show why she felt she needed a secret outlet for her rage over her complaints. He doesn’t seem very approachable. I’m not justifying what she did, but goodness, look at her example!

    crazy and disheartening.

  10. says

    @RoryBore, Jules & Laura Emily

    Thank you so much for your comments. Your perspectives are greatly appreciated.

    @RoryBore If you, a woman who has been around guns her whole life, found his response to be violent, then I’m not too sensitive for having this affect me the way it did.

    I understand he said that her punishment would be much worse next time but did he say he would unload his gun into her laptop? It’s good, as a parent, to follow through on consequences but the parent ultimately decides what those consequences will be.

    @Jules I know… the smoke thing bugged me too! You think he would have at least finished his smoke prior to doing his videotaped rant! His intentions were to post this on her Facebook page for all her fellow teenage friends to see! What kind of role model is that?!

    @Laura Emily I think his use of a gun was irrational too. I can’t help but think; his daughter embarrassed him on Facebook… to a group of friends. He humiliated her, in front of the world! This video has gone viral and is a hot topic and clips of it are being shown on the news… no matter what she said, no one deserves this level of public humiliation.

  11. Anonymous says

    The laptop was infact owned by the father, as he paid for it, the “element of trust” issue was already broken by the daughter…i.e. she had already in the past been grounded for 3 months prior to this.

    Its frustrating to try to explain these next points without sounding demeaning… so if i offend anyone.. oh well, *shrugs* get over it or grow thicker skin.

    1) She was “bravoding” for her friends sake… look at it this way. No one does anything without a reason right? With that in mind … she set her settings so her parents wouldnt be able to see it from their accounts but addressed it…”To My Parents” why? She wanted her friends to think she was a rebelious harda$$.
    2) By above point shes already a liar… definiton of lying… intent to deceive. So im almost 100% positive that she drastically embellished her list of chores… a point that the father in fact had addressed.
    3) If this was the 1st step in discipline then yes… wow drastic. However… it was already covered in the video that he had previously grounded her. You then ASSUME that this is step two? How sure are you of this? Ever consider that this is actually link # 128? i.e. everything that you do NOT know culminated to this point. People are so quick to assume he read something and flipped. You have no background whatsoever.

    He took HIS laptop from his daughter and shot it after probably dealing with her crap far longer than anyone else ever wouldve. He in fact set a very strong message…. dont f@#$ with me. So what that he used his gun? Lots of people who own guns like to shoot them… he killed two birds in one stone… detroyed her laptop sending her a very clear message and got to pop off a few rounds in the process.

    P.S. im commenting as anonymous only because you dont have yahoo as a choice…
    But i am [email protected] if you would like to respond.

  12. says

    @m_scritchfield

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I would like to address your points because I think you missed my point.

    1- I am in no way saying that the girl did not do wrong. Undoubtedly she made a very poor decision and probably has made quite a few poor decisions through her teen years!

    2- I am sure she did exaggerate her list of chores… I don’t think anyone is arguing this point.

    3- We all know she was previously guilty of this offense. Her dad says so at 0:36 that she was “grounded for three months for doing something very similar to this.” You’re right, we don’t know the family’s situation, history, etc. BUT I can’t justify or support a parent who shoots his gun off in anger/frustration. I agree with Laura Emily’s statement, “A gun should never ever under any circumstance be used in anger. I don’t care what the target is. He’s being highly irresponsible….”

    This was a VERY irresponsible action. A gun should be handled responsibly… he is teaching his daughter (and any other kid watching this video) that it’s okay to hastily fire off a weapon when angry or frustrated.

    Once again, if I haven’t been clear enough, I DO think this girl needed correction but I DON’T think firing a gun at her laptop was responsible or appropriate.

  13. says

    I have never seen a gun either and I don’t want to. But I don’t think this dad went overboard. It was his property, and he is obviously used to handling a gun. I would never want a gun in my house or around my kids, but I might find another creative way to destroy the laptop. :)

  14. says

    I totally agree with a lot of it. If I were in her situation, I’d be intimidated.

    It’s disappointing to see how many people just applaud this guy, too. I actually made a rap response, if anyone’s interested in hearing a similar opinion in music form. There’s some swearing, so you know.

  15. says

    @NoCinnamonForYou
    I almost didn’t watch your rap… your disclaimer about swearing made me hesitate because I find swearing to be crass; but since you took the time to read and comment here, I thought I would reciprocate (and I’m glad I did). Great rap, good message and love the tune. I like that you posted your lyrics too! Thanks for sharing!

  16. says

    Thanks for listening. I’m of the opinion that swearing should only be used sparingly, and to a degree that doesn’t detract from the art or it’s statement. I actually almost never swear in my music I’m more serious about; it’s posted on a music sharing site, and isn’t rap at all. It’s more “Post-Hardcore-Electronic”.. Or something. I mix genres into a musical puddle of glory.

    Sorry for what felt like my musical life’s story, but I didn’t want to comment once and ne’er return. Felt impolite.

  17. Anonymous says

    Some kids just don’t listen to what you say. Even if your using extreme methods, it will teach her a lesson she will never forget!!!

  18. says

    Jennifer, I have been following along as people have commented on this post (but can’t comment on my phone for some reason so I had to wait until I could sit with the laptop). I love that everyone responded with such passion! Whether they stood on one side or the other, it evoked thought and emotion. I love the sharing of opinions and ideas; I think we can all learn something from each other’s perspectives.

    As for me, I can not say whether you are being too sensitive because we are all a culmination of our unique history and life experience. I personally did not grow up with guns and quite frankly, up until last year, they terrified me. But I now live in an area where people grow up learning to shoot, women I know carry for protection. Its only because of this that my views have softened a bit.

    However, this is more about parenting a teenager than it is about guns. For me, anyway. I try not to judge another person’s parenting, ever, but it does happen sometimes ;0 . I think our parenting philosophies are also unique so I don’t think its a good idea to try and cut & paste our philosophy onto another situation. The only thing I can say is that my 15 or 16 year old will not have a facebook account. Period.

    My hope for my children is that if they don’t feel like they could come to me or their father, for whatever reason, that they have other adults in their life that they would feel safe with. And that those adults would guide them in the right direction. My hope for myself is that I would be a proactive parent, not a reactive one. But no one is ever perfect. Least not me.

  19. says

    I dont think you are being sensitive to guns. It is your opinion and something you are not comfortable with. I used to be the same way till I met my farm boy husband. Now he is in law enforcement and my theory is- what is one more between the hunting rifles and our reenacting weapons and now his service gun lol. That said- I dont think shooting the computer took a violent tone. He told his daughter if she did it again he would put a bullet through the computer. Extreme- yes, tempermental- yes but he was just following through. It wasnt like he was pretending it was someone. I dont think I would of gone as far as shooting a laptop (well because I am cheap like that and hate wasting things) but I definately would of done something to follow through.

  20. says

    Ringing in a little later here, but felt compelled to comment. I saw the video a long time ago. I felt very uncomfortable with it. I grew up around guns, learning to respect them early on. I am also married to a hunter. I am American *and* Canadian. I think I have a pretty balanced view of the gun situation.

    With that said, I do believe what he did was abuse. Pointing a gun at his daughter would be abuse. Pointing a gun at a symbol connected to his daughter is abuse.

    Obvsiously, we don’t know the entire story. There is an article out there somewhere saying that his daughter took it well and they had a good laugh about it. Well… I think that says a lot about the situation. People always say, “it works for them,” when they see people “getting along fine” in volatile situations. People use to say that about Jon and Kate Plus 8 when they fought so much. Well? Did it really work for them?

    Children are taken out of abusive homes and put in loving foster homes. The abused children often want to leave the foster home for the abusive home. Why? Because it’s what they know. That doesn’t mean it was working for them. It means children want what is familiar. Now that’s an entirely different topic that would take ages to work through. My point is this. Just because she laughed about it doesn’t mean she has a happy family.

    Good post. I enjoyed reading your reaction as well as others.

    Blessings!

  21. Anonymous says

    Wow! Hold on! I wasn’t able to make it through the first two comments without needing to chime in.

    First off, there is NOTHING scary about a gun. In and of itself, it’s just a piece of metal. If people do scary things with it, well, that’s a different story.

    There is nothing wrong with firing your own handgun on your own property to destroy your own property. Honestly, if I had shown that level of disrespect publicly to my family growing up they might have done the same thing.

    I’m at 27 year old female who owns a handgun for protection. Honestly, it never occurred to me once I came of age not to purchase my own firearm. I am a responsible owner, it is locked and loaded by my bed and since there are no children that visit my apartment, no issues there.

    It just suprises me that viewers were so bothered by this video. Different perspectives, I guess. It is a waste of a laptop, but you know what? Bet she’ll never take that attitude on Facebook again!

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