Friends Don’t Let Friends Parent Batshit Crazy.

When I’m not shaving my head, cleaning bathrooms, or drunk facebooking, occasionally I read the news. Then, immediately regret it. Last night I didn’t even need to watch the news to be depressed, I was just innocently drunkbooking when the video of the dad that shot his daughters computer posted on all my friends walls. I’d put the video from youtube up here, but I’m very protective of my blog feng shui and don’t want that messing with my vibe. I’ll put a little picture up, just to give an indication of how nasty the video gets, but that’s my limit.

I almost don’t want to even talk about it, I had nightmares of all the batshit crazy people that have ever been in my life, like the ghosts of douchebags past. However, all the comments and blogs being written that support a parents right to treat their child in a demeaning, angry, vindictive, immature, derogatory, mean spirited, violent (at least towards her computer) way…all while holding a lit cigarette in his hand for the love of worst example ever…all these supportive comments sent me over the edge. I just have to put in my .2 cents to try and restore at least a little balance to the universe. This is going to be quick because I don’t want to dwell on this and I have a park day to go to. And you all know what happens if I miss a park day with my unschooled kids–they miss out on being socialized! (bwahahahahha)

Unlike the dad responding to his teenage daughter’s letter on facebook (that was supposed to be private but he snooped around and found it)…I’m not going to name call (asshat and douchebag come to mind). I’m not going to take sides. I’m not going to answer hate and frustration with my own hate and frustration.

Freeplayparenting uses the force. To sum up: Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to douchebaggery and bad relationships. Truthfully, I didn’t watch the whole video because it literally made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack I got so worked up. The pain!!!! So I didn’t see him actually take out a gun and shoot a computer dead. But of course he did. It makes perfect sense. That’s what happens when you walk down the road of one upping a kid of yours, tit for tat. It gets ugly, people. I’m not saying that freeplayparenting releases you from ever having conflict with your children, but what I am saying is that effective parenting leads to connection and a deescalation rather than bullets in computers and shattered trust.

Freeplayparenting is leading by example. You want a respectful, balanced, happy, mature kid? Model that behavior no matter how many buttons they push. You are the adult. It’s tough, I’m not saying you have to be perfectly composed all the time. Vent to your friends. Pull yourself together for your kids.

Freeplayparenting doesn’t take sides. As soon as parenting becomes you versus the child, it’s over. Parenting is so much more effective on common ground. What I wish both the dad and 15 year old girl could see was that they are both feeling exactly the same way. They are both on the same page of frustration, powerlessness, and sadness. When you can find a common ground, then you can find compassion. And parenting with compassion is a good solid place to stand.

Freeplayparenting doesn’t demand respect or make kids earn it. It’s parenting with respect, though. Respect for our shared human existence. Respect for the inherent awesomeness in both parent and child. Age doesn’t have a role to play in it. Parent/child dynamic becomes person to person dynamic, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and wisdom.

Freeplayparenting isn’t about teaching lessons or making a point. It’s not “I’ll show you” or “I bet now you’ll learn” or “you’ll be sorry…” It’s about living a good life. Exploring what makes happiness and what leads to sadness and gently finding a path from one to the other with minimal trauma. It’s about accepting a wide range of emotions in yourself and in your child, and not being threatened by them.

Freeplayparenting is win/win. Negotiating isn’t a bad word. Neither is compromise. I choose connection before rules. Actually, I choose principles over rules anyway, but that’s a post for another time. Kids are constantly in flux. Something that works one day doesn’t work the next. The relationship between kids and adults needs constant tinkering and adjusting.

Freeplayparenting chooses love and joy above all else. This isn’t to say that it’s love and joy all day long, 24/7. There’s conflict and bad behavior from everyone and hard feelings and frustration. We are living in the world, after all. We are flawed human beings, after all. But in the midst of things that are beyond our control there is one thing we are always in charge of…what choices we make and how we respond to the shit that happens on a daily basis. And when my kids throw their shit at me (I’m speaking figuratively but I have had a fare share of my kids shit and other bodily fluids on me) I take a breath and remember that I invited them to my party. I made them. I love them. I work my ass off 24/7 for them. I want them in my life for as long as I’m living it. I choose not to humiliate, degrade, diminish, talk down, disrespect, and alienate them. If I wouldn’t say or treat my best friends how I treat my kids, then I choose another way.

It’s complicated, but simple. I parent not just for today, tomorrow, and 5 years from now. My parenting isn’t a sprint…like, how am I going to get my kids to college. It’s a marathon. How am I going to get my kids to adulthood? How am I going to help them handle big things…death, birth, love, loss, grief, exuberance, dreams and fears? How can I turn this into a lifelong partnership of unconditional support and love?

That’s freeplayparenting. Choose play over guns, people. Simple as that.

Now, go.

Play. Laugh. Love. Embrace.

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133 Comments

  1. I wonder who paid for the computer. Because either he’s blatently distroying someone elses property or he’s shooting $1,000 or so of his own hard earned money.

    Either way he looks like a moron with unresolved daddy issues.

    • Jenna – that is the exact thing I was thinking…what a dumbass.

    • HE paid for the computer & HE did what he wanted with his property.

      • So if someone gives you something, it always belongs to them?

        • No, but you own all your kids belongings until they turn 18. Crazy part of the whole kids aren’t full people until age 18 view of the courts. Of course it wasn’t always that way.

    • B. Reader /

      He taught his child a lesson alright – the opposite of the value of money. He could’ve accomplished the same ends by putting the machine in a lock box or selling it on craigslist or ebay.

    • According to the dad’s FB, his daughter paid for the laptop with her own money.

      I loved this blog post! I definitely think you should at least treat your children as well as any random adult in the world and there’s no way this father would have treated one of his co-workers this way.

  2. Actually, he runs a laptop repair business, so I highly doubt out cost him 1k. He might have used a dead laptop that wasn’t even hers to shoot.

    That being said, what would you propose to do? She had already disobeyed, how would you handle it?

    • Disobedience is not an issue if obedience is not the goal.
      -Daron Quinlan

    • Moi, how had she disobeyed? She posted a PRIVATE blowing-off-steam post on her FB page. She didn’t say those things to her parents. Not a great idea, but not disobedient either. Shooting her computer was revenge, pure and simple.

      Even if she had been disobedient, how that a remotely productive way to handle it? Did it model the good behavior they want the child to emulate? Did it resolve any of the issues? Did it do anything other than escalate the ill feeling and resentment on both parts? Don’t think so.

      I don’t know which party was acting more like a toddler having a tantrum, but I know which one had a lot less excuse to do so.

      • I think he had specifically asked her not to post that kind of stuff on facebook, iirc. That was what I meant about being disobedient, maybe I should have used a different word?

        Anyway, I really would like to know in specifics how you would propose to deal with the situation, considering that he had already asked her not to do it.

        • there are many ways a parent could respond to this without pulling out and firing a GUN!!! what does this teach children about how we deal with our anger? be creative. THINK. for god’s sake.

        • We don’t own a gun, so how on earth am I to raise these kids? Actually, I have an 18 year old, and have gotten by without revenge, hitting, or shooting. Personally, I never cared what he posted on facebook or my space, as long as it didn’t endanger him or anybody else. If he wanted to post that his mom was a freakinhoggawogga – so be it. He would just be blowing off steam, and trying to make his friends laugh or something. I wouldn’t take it personally and get all bent out of shape over it. I certainly wouldn’t shoot a computer and model such terrible behavior. Then again, I can’t say I’ve ever actually been angry with him like that, nor that he has ever been angry with me like that. I think we have a pretty good relationship. For that, I am happy – I paid $1,500 for his computer as a gift for working hard and getting all As in high school. Breaking it would be a huge waste.

        • Just off the top of my head, he could take the laptop away saying if she can’t use it respectfully then she wasn’t responsible enough to have it.

          This still probably isn’t how I would handle it, but I’m trying to think of things from his parenting style standpoint. Really though he could have done anything… I’m having trouble thinking of a worse example to set for a child then “When someone pisses me off I shoot things”.

      • Honestly, Moi, I can’t answer that. I cannot begin to imagine being in such a situation with my own children. I’m not talking completely out of turn: I have a 16, 14, 10, and 8yo.

        What I know is that a humongous great big major chunk of this problem is of his own creation. It is up to the parent to create a situation where the child feels safe, loved, and valued. It is up to the parent to teach the child to respect him as a parent by first respecting her as a person. It is up to him to model the behavior he wants to see from her.

        So, he laid down an edict (“don’t gripe privately to your friends”) then invaded her private space (equivalent of searching her room and breaking open her diary) to find out if she disobeyed him. Maybe he should start by apologizing for creating such a dysfunctional atmosphere within their family.

        But to answer your specific question: while I think his edict was unreasonable to begin with, a sensible consequence for such disobedience would be to ban her from FB or from her computer for a period of time. What he did was have a temper tantrum and destroy her computer in revenge. That was not a remotely reasonable consequence of a minor infraction.

        He called it “her” computer, so if she owned it, then he just destroyed someone else’s private property. If a friend makes you mad, do you sneak into her house and break the vase you gave her last Christmas? I repeat what I said before: I don’t know which party was acting more like a toddler having a tantrum, but I know which one had a lot less excuse to do so.

        • Just A Mom /

          He didn’t invade her private space, though. If you’ve followed the story, she shared the post with the family dog’s Facebook page and he went on the dog’s page to post a picture and saw her post. He didn’t go looking for her post, he stumbled across it.

          I’m not condoning his use of a gun or destruction of property but I can understand his feelings of frustration at her attitude. And yes, that attitude comes from somewhere.

          I guess I don’t agree with him but I feel sympathy for him, is what I’m saying.

        • Your children dont have private property until they get a job and pay for it themselves. I completely agree with his handling of the situation. As for his embaressing her, what teenager has not been embaressed by their parents at some point? It’s like a rite of passage. He taught his daughter consequences. She was disrespectful and ungrateful and in this day and age parents have to do more unconventional things to get their children’s attention.

          • so if someone gives you a gift, it is not yours to keep unless you pay them for it?

          • I’m embarrassed that you can’t spell embarrassed.

          • Why don’t your children have private property? are they less of a person because of their age? Giving things and taking them away does not teach responsibility, it teaches fear and mistrust. “Right of passage” is ridiculous, like hazing, or tough love… its all just meanness because meanness happened to you.. Try being a positive influence and not a repeat of what happened to just because…. You cannot teach a person respect by not respecting them, each person has to earn respect from another and it has no matter of age or status. Parents must earn respect from their kids just as much, if not more so to set an example.. As far as gun safety, there are not stronger lessons against it. Guns are for killing… The only reason a gun should be used when not defending your life is at a range when you are practicing to do just that.. Unless you are in some sort of entertainment gun show to show off your shooting skills in which people CHOOSE whether or not to see you shoot things.. and those things are not your personal property…
            Nothing gets accomplished in a state of anger. only after the anger subsides can things be dealt with in a positive way. while in a state of anger everything is a power trip plain and simple…

        • “If a friend makes you mad, do you sneak into her house and break the vase you gave her last Christmas?” Actually, maybe if people knew this was an option they would be really super nice to me all the time. You’ve just given me a great idea…. ;) bwahahahah

        • Right On.

      • cheese coney /

        she posted a private message on facebook wall ? are freekin kidding me do you ever think before you type?

        • Hawthorne /

          I’m not sure what you find confusing about that statement. I’ve posted many things that I made only visible to certain people. If you know how to use Facebook, it’s pretty easy.

      • I’m sorry to inform you, but NOTHING is private once posted on the internet. He found the post by posting a picture on their dogs facebook page. Apparently she does talk to the dog.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I was so pissed when I saw the video and then floored when I saw how many of my friends thought it was awesome. Apparently I know some pretty immature people. My dad used to think humiliating me was going to shame me into losing weight, getting good grades, going to college, when it really did the exact opposite. This didn’t really teach his daughter anything except that her dad can say ugly things on the internet, too.

    • Maybe she should learn to respect having life handed to her.

      • B. Reader /

        I always respect people who treat me respectfully. I assume the same is true for my kids, and so far I seem right.

        If you have to throw tantrums, destroy property, and throw a fit on facebook in order to get respect, you probably do not deserve it.

      • Tim, you learn the the behaviors modeled by your parents. SO why would she respect something they don’t?? I treat my children with consideration and respect and we haven’t had to fire any weapons at their toys to get them to be respectful in return.

      • If a seed of a lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly. ~Buddhist proverb

    • You are very curageous person to stand up to your friends when they are being asshats towards someone else.

  4. Very concerned /

    Lead by example? And your example is positive any more than your judgement of him? Hypocrite comes to mind ! Privacy? I live by the rule trust then verify when it comes to my teens? As for his behavior is have taken a sledge hammer to the computer!

  5. I am so thankful that I surround myself and my children with people who treat their children with respect. It gives me hope for the world to have friends like you.

  6. lovena carrillo /

    I think he has the right to do whatever he wants to his own property. He probate ly bought that laptop for her anyways!. SHR got what she deserved. You should always respect your parents. I grew up thinking just like she did until reality hit me…. I agree 110% with him. That’s just my own opinion. Kids now days are so disrespectful and think life is so hard!! They are wrong.

    • I would NEVER treat my children this way and because of that they would never have to feel the need to say the things she did about her parents. See how that works full circle. I treat her good she treats me good around and around we go.

      • C.Pratt /

        I’ve never complained about work, or customers, or my family. If I ever did I should expect people who “care” about me to take my property and destroy it, then post sniveling bitter compaints online.

        Ok, crazy dad, duly noted.

    • Kids have no respect for anything/anyone these days sounds like the daughter got exactly what was needed!

      • Oldmother Hubbard /

        Sounds like some of you who agree with this bullying display of anger that only shows, “I can do this but CANNOT because *I* am the parent” need a hug.

        I am sending loving, healing vibes to you. I doubt it will penetrate your wall of hate, but I can try.

    • dadOf2girls /

      As a dad in my 30s, I look back on being similarly bullied by my father figure, who had also bought the computer. Well, now, I air all the family laundry, because secrets of abusive families aren’t worth keeping.

      The thing here is that he’s being controlling – she didn’t get what she deserved. I’m appalled that you think so, and that you would voice such an opinion. She’s a young woman, and will be out of the house in <150 weeks. Now is the time to learn to respect her as a young adult. To help her make the transition, to be sure – but respectfully. This was certainly not respectful. Ot was vengeful for not being respected. Way to teach.

      • “She’s a young woman, and will be out of the house in <150 weeks. Now is the time to learn to respect her as a young adult. To help her make the transition, to be sure – but respectfully. ” Beautifully said, thank you.

      • EXACTLY Dadof2Girls!!!

    • Yes but the disrespectful children are the ones with parents like this. They go out of their way to make their parents mad cause their parents go out of their way to make their life difficult. It is very hard being a teenager these days but adding shit like this to the list cant make it any easier.

      All those hippy, non violent communication, attachment parenting types.. have children that respect them. Love fosters respect more than fear.

      • “Love fosters respect more than fear.” thank you for this <3

      • Love and a proper amount of fear/respect. As with our love and fear/respect of the Lord. Not saying I”m God, but same concept

        • C.Pratt /

          I don’t know who’s “our” you are talking about there, but I don’t FEAR god at all. I fear ignorant people who are controlled by thier own fear, if anything.

    • The proper way of handling it would be to ask her why she feels the way she does.

      What you call “respect” is just bullying.

      • EXACTLY!!!!!!! Does the man EVEN care how his daughter feels or WHY she felt the need to type and post such a rant?

        It breaks my heart the replies about her that are on her dad’s facebook page the HE read with her on his computer. Scary stuff….I cringe at the negative effects of all of this. Maybe a positive thing might be some sane soul donating therapy sessions for the whole family. They need it!

    • The statement that “kids nowadays… blah blah blah” is a total cop out and every generation makes the same claims. Respect isn’t “yes maam and no maam”, it’s about how you treat a person in general. You MODEL respect to your children. If you give something to somebody it is THEIR property, and who is to say that she has everything handed to her? My son has a laptop, but he hasn’t had everything handed to him… he earned that laptop, and it’s HIS. I purchased it, for HIM. If I had a temper tantrum and destroyed it, I would be an douchebag.

  7. Nicole Harlow /

    THANK you. Perfect words, summed up nicely.

  8. this world is getting just so unbelievably ugly, i can’t stomach it all. but i love what you had to say here, and wholly agree. <3

  9. I think ya’ll are nuts hope your kids have fun mooching off ya thinking everything in life should just be handed to em. Well it will be in Prison!

    • Oldmother Hubbard /

      I think that *your* children will likely end up in prison or therapy at least…such anger and hate. How do you live?

      • C.Pratt /

        Don’t you know that if kids act like children it is because they want to manipulate us? Don’t ever give them even one ounce more than they earn, and when you do, make sure they know it was still more than they deserve. Because life is hard and misery loves company.

  10. HomeSchoolDad /

    I was glad someone pointed me to your blog. I saw part of the video last night and the rest today. I was so saddened to see a parent proudly bullying his child with a weapon whose sole purpose is to destroy life. His pride in describing hollow point rounds which essentially are designed so that the recipient cannot live through a gunshot wound underlined his mean-spirited nature. But what disturbed me even more than his video, was the number of posts supporting his behaviour that followed. On yahoo.com I did not see a single comment condemning this. I was beginning to lose heart. I asked on my FB wall if I was alone in my condemnation of this guy. The first reply I received was short. All it said was “Yes.” I despaired. But after my wife replied “No. ” (and said more!) I soon received a flood of messages in protest against this brutal man. Not only did it swell my heart, but it reaffirmed that those I number as friends are likeminded in a profound way. Thank you for also posting your opinion!

  11. First and formost I think if you are going to write something you should make sure that you get your facts right. He wasn’t snooping. He had made a facebook page for the family dog to upload funny photos and such. The daughter forgot to list the dog’s facebook page as family. So when the girl blocked family she did not block the dogs facebook page. The dad went to upload photos and on the dogs status feed he saw what his daughter had wrote. This was the second time she had done something like this and had been warned if she does it again she will punished more harshly. If you also went on to read the updates, the daughter is fine. She knows what she did was wrong. Did you not listen to how disrepectful the message was that the daughter left on facebook? Sounds to me like this girl had it pretty good and felt the need to bash her parents on facebook because she had to lift a finger and do some work. Now what exactly would you have done if this were your teenage child? Children need consequences to their actions if they are ever going to learn right from wrong. I may not have put a bullet in a laptop but if that were my child, there sure as heck would be a punishment.

    • I do want to add however, that my choice to punish my child would not be going on facebook. I do agree in some aspects that what he did was a little over the top. However, I think in my case I would not have my teenager on facebook period. There really is no need for them to have a facebook page.

      • oh good luck to you re: you don’t want your teenager on facebook.

      • you have strong opinions. other people have other strong opinions that don’t agree with you. It doesn’t mean they are disrespecting you when they verbally disagree.

    • So, the consequence of your action is that your dad will be posting a vitriolic, hateful post about you on youtube for millions to see and humiliate you and then he will shoot your computer???!

      The guy has some serious issues and I’m sure this is not the first time that they came out. I’m sure that if the daughter is unhappy in her home, it might have something to do with a batshit crazy dad.

    • If my child posted on facebook for all their friends to see, a complaint about her parents because she actually had to lift a finger, I would probably respond with something to the affect of suggesting to her that she might want to read it before she posts it, because it isn’t very becoming of her. However, it seems that this parent/child relationship is more one of “one-upping” each other, revenge and anger. Doing a few chores doesn’t make the parent look bad, and complaining about doing them only makes the child look bad…. so what’s the problem? I still don’t get how anybody can support this disgusting douchebag behavior from a PARENT.

      • yes because telling a child “it isn’t very becoming of her” is real effective…

        • Heather /

          It is when you and your child have mutual respect for each other.

        • Heather /

          It’s about the only thing that worked on me, actually. When you’re raised to “act like a lady,” and taught respectful decorum, when you are taught to assess every decision with the question in mind, “How will this reflect upon me in others’ eyes?” Yeah, “That’s not very becoming of you,” works really well.

          Studies have shown that people who are concerned with others’ perceptions of themselves and their character are more successful* than those who are less/un-concerned with how others feel about their behavior. (*where success is measured by the person in question, meaning whether or not they meet their own goals in their desired timeframe–not inherently related to money or power.)

          Therefore, teaching your child to behave in ways that are “becoming” and positive reflections of their character result in happier, more successful, more respectful adults. This man is in no way modeling becoming, respectful behavior, so I don’t see how she can be expected to do so without an appropriate role model.

    • Alex, how in the world is anyone supposed to know how he found it without knowing them personally?? If he didn’t want people’s judgement then he shouldn’t have posted his business on the internet for the world to see. In the video, he implies that he was crafty in finding it so he is the one leading folks down the “snooping” road. I don’t follow this guy on FB, don’t know his name, don’t care to either. What that daughter wrote sounded like something any teenager would say within the safe boundaries of their ring of friends. Who hasn’t acted with a sense of bravado when they were younger and feeling powerless??

      Sounds to you like this girl had it pretty good? Well, I don’t know that because I don’t live in their home. All we can go off of is what Dad put out there for the world to see. So, don’t lecture anyone here about getting their facts right please.

  12. Silver Fang /

    I think there were underlying problems which led to the present situation with the computer. I think the family needs to sit down and talk things out like reasonable human beings instead of using bullying and coercion to get their way.

  13. Get the gun out honey! our child complained about doing chores on facebook! and this is the second time!!!

    that sounds like great parenting. sigh.

  14. I don’t agree with how he handled this, but from what was said on his FB page, he was not snooping. Apparently she blocked it from her parents, but the family dog has a FB page. He logged on to post a picture of the dog and because she didnt block the dog from seeing it, he saw what she had posted.

  15. Really? If any of you were, knew, or had a teen age daughter like this, you would relate to this dad. At whit’s end. He already suffered through a 3 months grounding. Spent half a day upgrading her computer, to find out she did the same thing! I am not having kids. My friends and I were HORRIBLE teenagers! I did similar things (pre internet). I was grounded. My parents were rightfully furious. Had I not respected this, and cleaned up my act, my parents would wish they coulddo what he did ! And they raised a scientist, teacher, and pharmacy technician!!

  16. Great post. And honestly, to those of who are supporting this guy… he got out a GUN and shot his kid’s laptop. Think that through for just a minute. He shot it. He didn’t take it away. He didn’t tell her that they needed to talk things through. He didn’t ground her. He SHOT her laptop with a gun. This is heinous! If we did this video and edited out “daughter” or “Hannah” and replaced those things with “my wife”, people would be screaming about how this is horrifying – but when it’s a kid, it’s parenting. I don’t get that. Respect goes both ways. And fear doesn’t teach respect. It teaches fear. And anger. And hate. Resentment. Pain. Detachment. Bitterness. She might not post things about her parents on facebook anymore, but that says nothing about the condition or her heart.

    • <>

      YES!! Love how you expressed that. And I was thinking the same thing — if he had done that to his wife everyone would be LIVID!!!!

    • cakeums /

      Thank you for this! It saddens me when parents demand respect but do not show it to their children in return.

    • oh yes it’s so horrible!! How dare he murder a laptop that he bought and graciously provided to HIS daughter! It’s Horrid! How can we live in a world where laptops are being senselessly murdered! wont someone think of the laptops!

      (This was entirely sarcastic, in case you’re too thickheaded to understand)

      • (that comment was entirely douchebaggy too, in case you’re too thickheaded to understand)

    • Thank you!!!!!

      A GUN! And shot it not once but EMPTIED the gun! And put one in as he said “And this one is from[for] your mother because she asked me to put one in there for her.” There are so many red flags waving and sirens going off it is frightful!

  17. I’ll post here, the same thing I posted on EVERY Friend’s wall who shared this video…..

    This video makes it rather apparent just WHERE she learned to overreact, don’t you think?

  18. With all due respect you are making judgements on this man and his family without knowing all the facts. Do I agree with how he handled the situation? No. But in retrospect, he isnt proud of it either and I respect his humility immensely. He and his daughter are going to be just fine. For all the facts, read this response that he has given.

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

    • Maurine /

      I don’t like guns, I don’t believe people should be able to shoot them in city limits or anywhere that isn’t designated a shooting range but I have to say… some kids just don’t get it. If your child constantly disregarded what you said and did it over and over… well guess what? She deserved her things taken away first which they were for three months and when she got them back she continued. It doesn’t stop until you stop until you do something drastic. I don’t pity her at all. He obviously paid for that computer himself because he stated she didn’t have a job. Sometimes you have to take it in your own checkbook to teach kids what being responsible is all about. As for the disrespect she shows her parents she should be grounded until she’s 18. I know if I gave my daughter an inch she always took a mile. I’m not a parent in denial. Her punishments may have seemed harsh (took her cell, books, radio’s away)but all she was allowed to have was school books in her room with her bed, clothes and lighting. She is now 27 and will be giving me my second grandchild in April and told me that if I had not been so tough on her that she would probably be dead of a drug overdose. Seems the way she is acting is the same as my daughter. It all starts with disrespecting your parents and then following the others that are too. That’s where drug taking and alcohol intake starts (with most teens). Don’t let it happen to your children. And remember, don’t make their punishment more than YOU can handle.

    • well, the facts are pretty black and white. Words, attitude, behavior are all right there on the video that he condoned making. I don’t think he’s a bad dude, but I do think people can be educated that there’s another way to parent a child without resorting to all that douchebaggery.

  19. I have to say that upon first watching the video, I made my husband come watch it because we have a 15 year old who expects everything to be given to him on a silver platter. We both laughed as he shot the laptop, thinking about taking our son’s Xbox out to the back yard and playing soccer with it. Personally, we would not use a gun, but if taking away the something that is a privilege did not work the first time, what makes you think it will work the second time? I think this is what the man was thinking. He was not bullying his daughter, he was proving a point. So many people these days walk around with blind eyes to reality because as parents they know that EVERYTHING is considered child abuse now, kids get away with WAY too much. When I was her age, why dad would have beat my butt with a belt until it left marks for doing something so disrespectful! She deserved what she got, even SHE admitted to that. And, as previous responders have stated, there is more to the story, check out all the facts…. he is being very open with it!

    • Gwyn, I’m sorry that you were hit until you had marks, especially if it were for something like voicing your own opinion like this young girl did privately (or so she thought). I’m sorry that you may not even consider this abusive towards you. I believe that all people deserve kindness over anger, forgiveness over hate, gentleness over compulsion, and love and joy above all else.

    • Exactly

  20. Hypocrite much? Bashing him publicly for him publicly bashing his daughter puts you on the same exact level. Bashing him for cursing, when you do the same? Judging him for his tactics doesn’t at all conform to your “freeplayparenting” now, does it? I’m not a smoker, but snubbing your nose at him for smoking a cigarette, really? Do you think you are better than him because you don’t smoke? This holier than thou, my parenting style is better than yours attitude is appalling. And disgusting. And to comment on your “I’m not going to take sides” diatribe- its painfully obvious you did just that. While I may not agree with the end of the video (I would have just taken the laptop away), this father had every right to do what he did. She disrespected her family repeatedly and deserved her punishment.

    • I’m pretty sure I’m not at his level until I pull out a gun and destroy something he owns. And that’s not going to happen. So….no.

    • She’s not bashing him, simply engaging in dialogue around an area of controversy that is currently being discussed around the country if not the world right now. There is a huge difference between that and bashing someone. By your same logic you’ve created a huge double standard for yourself for “bashing” the author of this post. I get that for some reason you feel personally connected to the dad in the video, I’m not sure why.

  21. Talk about bat shit. Do you not realize the epidemic of entitlement that is happening in front of your eyes? Wipe the freakin’ counter and make your bed, then go to school and love the fact you have a home with a daddy and mommy that loves you enough to see your ass through college. Good GOD people!!!

    • “lucky to have a home with a daddy and mommy that loves you enough …”
      Lucky? Are our children supposed to wake up feeling lucky and grateful to us if we “love them enough”. Stop having negative thoughts, feelings, expressions of us if we “love them enough”. Never question or complain about their role in the family (or anything else) if we “love them enough”. It’s ridiculous, selfish, disrespectful for them to ever feel, and then express their unhappiness/discontent for what *they* believe is unfair treatment. Sit down, shut up, and feel what I want you to feel? To do otherwise is considered entitlement?
      If so, I can honestly say my children are entitled out the ass … and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      *I* invited these children into my life; into this world. It is *my* job to show them unconditional love and respect. And in the unconditional love and respect, it is my job to give them the space and freedom to maneuver through this life questioning and answering their role in it. The freedom to feel whatever it is they feel; free from fear of “losing my love” (because they’re supposed to feel lucky to have it, right?). My children know they can come to me if they feel I (or Dad; or anyone else) is treating them unfairly. They are allowed to come and vent out their grievances about us (or anyone else). We listen. We talk. We come up with solutions together. We respect them … they show it right back. If I refuse to give my children that safe place to constructively and “respectfully” express their feelings; what right do I have to get upset that they express their anger else where?

      Bottom line … this Father didn’t like or approve of the way his daughter expressed her anger.
      After watching the video, and seeing *him* express *his* anger in the *exact same way* … there’s no question where she learned it from, is there? She gets punished for the expression / he gets praised. Nice.

      • thank you for this, Meli <3 I really really love what you wrote here.

      • Heather /

        “*I* invited these children into my life; into this world.”

        This. This is what I want to express when I hear parents complain that children don’t appreciate anything enough. I realize it can get out of hand (not having gratitude for anything), but only if you don’t model gratitude to begin with. Otherwise, your children don’t owe you for providing for them or even buying them a laptop so they can maneuver through the modern school you make them go to. Since when are parents “entitled” to respect anymore than children? Just because you reproduced?

  22. One more thing..you are seriously making this about guns? OMG!

  23. “Ghosts of douchebags past.” I like it. Scanning the comments, you have some live douchebags online.

    This guy is a fucking waste of life. I feel sorry for the girl and probably anybody who knows him; but I don’t need to waste one more second of my life or energy on such a vile creature.

  24. Kristine /

    Thank you for this post! I too was feeling so dismayed at all the positive comments (still am for all the ones on this post!) The gun got to me – but then I read a comment from a woman from the south in the states who was so shocked that everyone was so upset about the gun – she had 2 on top of her bookshelp here…another loaded one over here…. guns are just a part of the culture there, and so I TOTALLY don’t get it or agree with it – but mabe it isn’t seen the same way in his family
    What really got to me is that she was just venting FEELINGS….. and all this was about her not being ALLOWED to have her OWN FEELINGS! So many of the posts are about “she SHOULD respect….” “she need to learn to APPRECIATE…” you cannot not teach or demand FEELINGS!!! I can bet that she will pretend respect now, and perhaps …maybe …have the guts to write in her journal her true feelings – but as a parent you have to be okay with the fact that if you are going to DEMAND that another person do something (chores, whatever) then that person has the inherent RIGHT to FEEL about that situation however they want to!!!!! And they can even tell as many people as they want about it!!! Yes they can!!!! It is my inherent right as a human being to have my OWN FEELINGS and to share them with WHO I WANT. My children have the same rights!!!! If it hurts my feelings that they feel negatively towards me or the things I have forced them to do, then I can certainly share that with them or others, and we can work it out, or not. But no one should ever have the right to tell me that what I feel is WRONG

    • “What really got to me is that she was just venting FEELINGS….. and all this was about her not being ALLOWED to have her OWN FEELINGS! So many of the posts are about “she SHOULD respect….” “she need to learn to APPRECIATE…” you cannot not teach or demand FEELINGS!!!”

      word.

      <3

    • I think though that in someways you can teach feelings. For instance misguided feelings. You can teach people to see the root cause or understand the other person, and the feelings change. Very few people learn respect on their own, without it being modeled for them. The same with many other complex feelings. However, you can not teach them through fear, and force like so many of the pro-dad comments seem to suggest.

  25. I’m with you. How the heck is this dad going to teach his daughter appropriate ways to deal with someone you’re angry at if his only solution is to escalate the fight?

    When I was a teenager, my parents trusted me and I tried to live up to it. I had my own email address which they would very carefully not read (my dad would avert his eyes if he came near the computer!) and yes, I ranted about them to my friends from time to time. It was a way to get my frustrations out of my system and not lose it with my parents. I’m pretty sure my parents ranted about me to their friends too. All of these parents who are up in arms about a teenager ranting about her parents on Facebook … can they honestly say they never rant about their kids on Facebook? How is that different?

    And to the mom who is sure her daughter would have been a drug addict if she hadn’t been kept on total lockdown during her teenage years … the world will never know, now will it? Apparently, though, the mom even now thinks she owns her grandkids too. There are two ways to keep kids off drugs: to be so incredibly strict that they never have any access to them (which is risky, because they’ll always get away from you sometime), or give them healthy ways to stretch their wings, develop independence, learn personal responsibility … all while they’re in your home and you can keep track of what they’re doing and talk through the problems they experience.

    I know WAY too many people who were kept in strict subjugation till they turned 18 and then escaped to drink themselves silly and destroy their lives. They would think, “Hey, without my parents here, no one can make me do anything!” And they’d be addicted to drugs or flunked out of college before they discovered it was possible to have another motivation to do things. I prefer my parents’ route: give me responsibilities within the home, encourage me to take up responsibilities outside the home, lend me the car when I wanted it, encourage me to hang out with my friends, and trust me with a little independence. When I was 17 or 18, I went to a dance with a friend of mine. It was a good group of kids and plenty of chaperones, but my friend and I drove together. We got stuck in traffic and construction and weren’t home till 2 a.m. When I got home, my parents weren’t freaking out … they had gone to bed at midnight because they knew I could take care of myself and would call if anything went wrong. You don’t develop that kind of trust in your kid overnight. You slowly relax things and let your kids go farther and farther from you — so that when they are ready to take the step into adulthood, they know what they’re doing.

    You simply don’t get this by overcontrolling every aspect of their lives. And you certainly don’t get it by throwing a childish temper tantrum (with guns, no less!) and posting it on the internet.

    I am so sick to death of the syllogism, “Kids today are badly behaved. Parents today aren’t as strict as they used to be. Therefore, being stricter is always better and will guarantee me good kids.” How about this: parenting is difficult and the easy way (which so many parents take) doesn’t work very well. Doing dramatically destructive things isn’t going to fix your parenting problems. Actually finding out why you have those problems and modeling good behavior for your kid will.

  26. Thank you for your inspiring post. I could not agree more. And I am appalled at how many people are willing to believe this jerk when he says that his daughter deserved it. I have not read any corroboration of his story from someone on HER side.

  27. Jennifer /

    Private space?? On the internet?? On Facebook?? Bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think??

  28. Wow. You obviously didn’t read his postings, or follow up. 1. It was HIS money, HIS property. 2. She was disrespectful, unappreciative, and needed way more than a “video”. 3. And he wasn’t “SNOOPING AROUND” to find the post – she hid the letter from her “family” and “church” groups, but failed to add the page for her DOG. Dad got on to post a pic as the dog, and saw it. There was no “NOSING AROUND”. 4. As a child – or ANYone for that matter – if you post on FB – you have given up ALL rights to privacy of those thoughts FOREVER. Another lesson she learned through this (him too)

    and last, but certainly not LEAST 5. The daughter is OVER it. She agreed with it ALL. She actually wants him to shoot her phone and ipod now, just to shut up the haters. People like you, who only pay attention to the ‘media sensation’ and don’t do any follow up – spread the hate. Educate yourself about his family and what’s happened since then. It was actually a really good thing.

    (and as a side-note – I hated the smoking part too – but until you have an addiction you can’t break – don’t judge).

    ~ Misty

    • oh awesome! Now she wants him to shoot even more things! What a happy ending! Let’s pass around the cookies and have a tea party!

    • honestly, someone pulls out a gun to make a point and I’m not going to say, “yes, master?” catch a clue. i believe in gun rights but this guy used a gun in ANGER against his own CHILD and you’re freaking okay with it. ate up world.

      • Umm….He did NOT use his gun against his child. He used it against a computer. If you don’t see the difference….well…*sigh*

        • If you don’t see the implied actions he conveyed to his daughter when he pulled out that gun then….well…*sigh*

    • Uh, correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t YOUR entire response fall into the category of “….people who only pay attention to the ‘media sensation’ and don’t do any follow up”?

      Did you sit across the table from the daughter and hear an honest, sincere account of her saying she’s feeling real good about the whole thing now and is delighted at the idea of having her other possessions “shot” as well? Because if you didn’t actually sit with her a spell and really get this from her, then all the “follow up” you said is also based on “media sensation” that you pulled from a web page.

      I for one don’t believe for an INSTANT that he or his daughter are emotionally healthy, happy, balanced and connected individuals, who feel safe with each other.

      Judging from the small window we’ve all seen so far of this family, there are some serious, deep-seeded problems there. I don’t trust that anyone can honestly “brush off” treatment of themselves or their things this way and feel OK about it.

      The dad, included, who I’m betting is still (underneath the macho surface) hurting (on many levels) after what his daughter publicly posted about him and his wife.

      They all need counseling, lots of it, as anyone would when relationships get THIS out of hand. Don’t trust the daughter’s “pfft” for a second. There’s no way she is going to give him an honest account for what she’s really feeling after what HE did (and how obviously NOT OK he is with her expressing herself).

      Call it “media sensation” or whatever. To me, this conclusion that they’re more messed-up than they’re admitting is just common sense and obvious.

  29. Drifter /

    Well I am a father of five two girls and three boys and I watched the whole video and I don’t remember him asking for your help or two cents the fact he posted it for the whole world to see it can’t be a secret and all the property in his home is his responsibility and for you to say you know what is really going on in his home is ignorant you see ten min of the last fifteen years and you act like you know you type of people are the problem I might not like what he did because people like you want to take my guns bad enough already but that was his decision to make not yours and to act like you know makes you all look like asshats to me and that’s all I have to say

  30. My comment was too long so I referenced your blog post in my own. I agree with your post in general, but still think you’re missing a key component. http://sweetslings.blogspot.com/2012/02/batsht-crazy-parenting-or-consequences.html

  31. This one one of the most wonderful posts ever! Linking to this on my blog.

  32. Ummmm.... /

    Bullying? Really? What would you call someone posting derogatory comments, lies, accusations, using swear words in a public domain, yet specifically goes to the trouble to prevent the person from seeing them and having a chance to defend themselves? Isn’t that bullying? Doesn’t bullying escalate? Isn’t that what you’re saying? Then good for dad for stopping it. In the exact format that she used.

    When she broke the rules early on, he stated “I’ll put a bullet in it”. She understood it. She wasn’t intimidated by it, hell, she wants her own .22. Guns are a way of life in that family. Now if dad didn’t follow through, don’t you think he’d quickly become a pushover? And her behavior would escalate?

    No where have I seen allegations of abuse or neglect with this family. I’ve seen information repeated again and again that both father and daughter have discussed this, and even the daughter reads blogs(like this) and responds “Really? It was JUST a computer.” In fact, she has since suggested that since she can’t use her cell phone, they shoot it too. The spent casings will be ebayed and the money used for her college fund. The family has gone on to use the notoriety to raise funds for charity.

    Dad took her one sided, disrespectful tirade, meant to humiliate and hurt her parents, turned it around, and is having an open conversation with his daughter about the consequences of her actions. He did not physically harm her, he did not swear at her, as she did to them, he did not limit his communication only to outsiders, as she went to great lengths to do – he showed it and explained it to her and very effectively reminded her of his promise to “put a bullet in it”.

    SHE, at least, gets it.

    • Bullying requires power. Children should be taught how to effectively communicate and handle the power entrusted to them by their parents. His daughter tried to use that power and failed. Bullies use that power quite successfully. In the end, all he did was teach his daughter that the biggest bully wins. That is what happens when you respond so harshly. Bullying escalates yes, but has the aim of making life so unpleasant for the other party that the behavior stops (at least temporarily) but showing the other party that they will make their life miserable. Should the victim respond in a way that doesn’t back down it quickly escalates until either one of them backs down or there is a serious enough injury to cause the cycle to stop. Here the daughter was of an age where testing her power is common and misusing it with unforeseen results is also common. Her aim was most likely not to hurt her dad’s feelings but to articulate her feelings and form her own identity. Parents of teenagers often forget that. We all said harsh words to our parents (some of us harsher than others) and were often mellow-dramatic.

  33. Drifter /

    The point is be strait forward with your kids and demand nothing less I think the getting payed to do house or yard work is up to the parents not the children and all the house and yard work I do pays nothing so what are we teaching our kids that you don’t have to do anything unless you are getting payed nice no wonder I sit by the side of the road broke down and noone stops to even try to see if there is any way they can help and people have no jobs look at the attitude always want something for nothing and want to be payed for simply helping arround the house you will not see that in my house and the lines of comunication are wide open

  34. Jennifer Campbell /

    I do not blame this parent for doing this at all. His daughter is nothing but a disrespectful ungrateful brat who has absolutely no respect for her parents or the rules they have set up. The letter was full of foul language and total disrespect. She was ranting because she had to do a few chores around the house and thought she was ENTITLED to all the latest gadgets that teens want, WITHOUT working for it at a job and earning it. Her father actually tried to do something nice, by installing $130 of new software she requested. By all indications, she never ever expressed her appreciation for him doing it either. This kid thinks that everything in life should be handed to her. She was warned once before about what would happen if she posted that stuff on Facebook ever again and she didn’t listen. Back in the old days, her rearend would have been worn out with a switch for that kind of behavior. Parents no longer have the power to discipline their children, because kids are told that if their parents try to discipline them, all they have to do is tell someone, whether it is true or not and a Social worker will get involved on their behalf. The point is that teens and young children, no longer respect adult authority in their life. My cousin learned that the hard way. All his life, he was told there would be consequences for his behavior if he didn’t straighten up. They would never follow through on it, so he learned that they didn’t really mean it. he learned he could talk back to them without consequences. Flash forward to right after he graduated from High School. He got his first job working at KFC. One night, his manager told him to take out the garbage at the end of shift. He told her that he wouldn’t do it and didn’t have to do it. The results were predictable. He was shown the door. This happened to him for the next four jobs he had, every time he was told to do something. He FINALLY got the message and actually got a job that he held on to for more than a week or a month.

    • heathermama /

      i completely think this line of thinking is ridiculous. i have such a hard time even believing that a parent really thinks this way. since when is venting your feeling disrespectful? do you NEVER get pissed about something, vent, use bad language and say it to your friends? you don’t give a gift to someone (even a child) with the expectation of a thank you, that isn’t a gift. you don’t give stuff to people with a condition that they must do what you want with it, not even with children. children will learn to be grateful when they see the adults in their lives be grateful for the things they have. it happens. beating a child, humiliating them, and acting like a jerk to them on the internet will NOT in anyway make her more respectful. children act as well as they are treated. if you want a child who is respectful, grateful and loving… surprise, you act that way yourself, in all that you do. i have 6 children two of who are teens and they are very grateful and respectful and loving because that is how they were and are treated and they know what it looks like. but hey i am a radical i think kids are good people and i don’t think my children are any less then a real full on person.

  35. Danielle /

    According to what I heard about the family, this girl has been very materialistic, lost about 4 phones and expects to have her things replaced which are unnecessary and not even paid for by her. Her dad was making a point about how unimportant her computer is, her material things, compared to being honest with her family instead of ranting about them where they can’t even address the issues. The purpose of destroying it, instead of selling it or locking it away is that the latter options imply that it still has value. He was trying to say, “I want you to be honest with me, compared to that, this thing is worthless.”

  36. “You have to give them unconditional love. They need to know that even if they screw up, you love them. You don’t want them to grow up and resent you or, even worse, parent the way you parented them.” Alfie Kohn

  37. heathermama /

    your post is amazing and i just want to thank you so much for saying so well what i have been thinking since i heard about this.
    what i don;t get about the “team dad” people is how is it disrespectful of her to vent her feelings? is she not allowed to vent? i just don’t get it and honestly it makes me sick to my stomach that so many people hate children this deeply that what this father did is considered good parenting. as a mother of 6 children (2 teens) i am floored by this behavior. i can not even begin to see this as helpful or a way to get respect or find out what he hell was going on in that girl’s head. you can not make your children respect you by fear mongering and being hateful towards them/ i saw a post recently that went something like this “children behavior as well as they are treated” ( i can’t remember who said it). and i truly believe this, because we live it in our house.

  38. I love this post. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the video because I know it will bring us bad memories. Hopefully the daughter is seeing all these blog posts in her defense and feeling the love and acceptance from the wider community. I’m so grateful I have found a different way to parent my children instead of falling into the habitual parenting style of my parents.

    Love .

  39. To me, it’s not only what this man did in the video that is troublesome. He also made the video and then posted it on You Tube and Facebook where MILLIONS of people could (and did) see it. He used public (GLOBAL) humiliation to “discipline” his child. People who are supporting him seem to be forgetting that.

  40. Oddly enough, the comments i read (all of about 50 or so) all sound like the kind of parents that will sit there and try and reason with a tantrum throwing 2 year old in the middle of Wal-Mart, or are from the kind of people that do not have children, or that ugly combo of both the latter or former with people who had parents who were strict with them as children. The man sat there and said, “do not do this” with multiple reasons in mind as to why not to do it in mind. he gave her a rule, and consequences if it wasn’t followed. the first time, she obviously wrote something WAY worse and got grounded for 3 months. He told her “do it again, the punishment is going to be worse.” There are parents out there that do the same thing, but do not follow through with their threat of consequences. That is why children do not respect their parents. you tell your kids that if they are disrespectful, they get a time out. they test you, and get the time out. you tell them the punishment is going to be worse the next time, and the next time all they get is a time out. how does this prepare them for real life? it doesn’t. you break a law, you get a fine. do it again, go to jail. that’s life, right? now all of you whiny new age parents that negotiate and compromise need to get off your blogs, stop looking down your nose, and realize that not all children respond to your touchy feely ways. my mom tried that when i was little, and i was a little hellion that ran roughshod over her. she toughened up, i straightened out. I thank that woman for that every day of my life. damn hippies need a wash and a haircut and to KEEP THEIR FEELINGS TO THEMSELVES, especially if it doesn’t HELP anyone. “my son posted something disrespectful on Facebook about me for all our family and friends and the general public to see. I think i’ll have a dialogue with him to see if we can’t get to the root of this passive-aggressive behavior. Then we’ll go out for a fat free organic sherbert before we sit down and practice crying.”

    you people sicken me. the ones who can afford to parent like that, are the reason why society is going downhill. pseudo-psychology does nothing to prepare a CHILD for the harsh reality of the real world. “play nice and talk pretty, and everyone will love you” teaches them nothing. makes them the target for bullies, or makes them bullies in their own right. let them make mistakes, stop padding everything, and for chrissakes, PUNISH them if they break the rules, don’t baby them. makes it seem like a reward for bad behavior. “go to your room and think about what you’ve done with your video games and laptop and internet access and computer games and expensive toys.”

    • heathermama /

      you are funny! wow parents who talk to their kids and treat them with respect sicken you?! holy crap. i mean, wow, just wow. as a mom to 6 kids myself who actually does talk to my kids and has kids who are actually really great people i am shocked. but i guess if fear is what you want t o call respect and treating kids like shit is what you call good parenting then maybe, JUST MAYBE you are the reason society is “going down hill”. which it actually isn’t. but hey if you feel that regular beating and humiliation makes good kids, well… damn, i have nothing to say to that. i am sad for your children and for our future. what was done to you as a child that makes you truly believe this ugly way of being? how badly where you treated that hate is what you call love? when you look at a child what do you see?

    • Bravo! :)

    • See things they way you want to. I hate to break it to you, this crowd isn’t the ones trying to plead with their 2 year old in Walmart. That crowd by 3 either have learned an effective method or are giving their kids toys every time they break down. Disagree all you want and pretend everyone you disagree with is the reason the world isn’t how you want it. Those you hold out some much hate for will still be here when you want to have an actual discussion.

  41. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to douchebaggery” – I don’t know which I love more: your quoting Yoda or the excellent term douchebaggery!
    I linked to your post http://www.sahmmysays.com/2012/02/dad-shoots-daughters-laptop-dude-i.html
    It is heartening to see that your audience (for the most part) disagrees with the stunt and understands that the issue at hand is Not a “disrespectful” kid who doesn’t want to do chores.

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