So, a video has gone viral today of a father punishing his daughter for a post she put up on FB about him and what she saw as her unfair life.
A teenaged girl, who knew her parents couldn’t read her Facebook status updates, bitched about her parents nastily on Facebook. And her friends commented. And Daddy “You should remember that I’m an IT guy” found out.
I posted this on FB myself because I was actually shocked and appalled by it. The conclusion (SPOILER ALERT—he SHOOTS her laptop and tells her that she’s off electronics for the foreseeable future and, oh yeah, she has to pay him back for the bullets) really stunned me. But there are those who have been praising him for giving his daughter a wake-up call from her delusions of “privilege”.
Okay, I’ve been thinking about this for a while…and here’s my thought. What wake up call did she need? He does say that she hasn’t applied for any more than one job—but we know nothing of this girl. I had the same problem with my oldest trying to get him to find work—he finds the process incredibly difficult and overwhelming. He is terrified of every step of the process of job hunting, of applying, of interviewing. After months, I literally walked up to a buddy who managed a comic store and said “Hey, when are you giving my kid a job?” and when he did, my kid worked and worked and worked. He wasn’t lazy—he was scared and confused.
And, I don’t believe that the father says that she did not do any of the chores assigned to her—he does say that they have to be on a list for them to get done. But again—we don’t know the situation. No teenager alive wants to prioritise chores over phone calls, computer time etc. so if a list gets her to do them fine. (One of my kids can’t even follow lists—he has an LD that affects his sequential memory and we literally have to tell him things one or two at a time. Over and over again).
What he’s mad about is that she bitched about him on FB. Was it rude? Oh, lawdy yes. Was it obnoxious and hurtful? Yep—but she was a silly angry teenager giving into impulse and saying ridiculously stupid things to make herself feel better, to build herself up and feel like she has power in a world where she doesn’t.
So her dad made an 8 minute video to post on FB, and YouTube, and in that video he shot her laptop. (It’s worth noting that Daddy “I’m an IT guy” has no privacy settings whatsoever on his FB account. More than a few people have wondered aloud if we’ll eventually discover that this is some fake for reasons not yet clear).
So…tomorrow, if some kid at school makes fun of her (and by golly, someone will after all THIS), what does she do? Does she get to trash the kids’ locker? Does she get to pour a drink over the person’s head? (A friend said, “It’s no wonder the kids acts badly—look at who she’s learning from.”) ALL this kid do was post a stupid rude rant on her FB wall to her friends. Her child-friends. How many of them are there who read her posts? At most, maybe a couple hundred teenagers? Now, the entire world gets to read her post.
This, at the very heart of it, is still about a grown man’s feelings being hurt by a child and the reactions of other children (her friends).
And…here’s the thing that just weirds me out the most: he posted this in public. On YouTube. Why? he wanted to tell his daughter that she was being a spoiled brat? Tell her. Hell, shoot the laptop in front of her. But he made a video and posted it to YouTube. (And on the YouTube video, he links to his Facebook page so that viewers can read all the comments there! He is not at all shy of the publicity here.) To me, there’s no way around the fact that this doesn’t get past being about his ego and feelings.
This isn’t parenting. Parenting doesn’t require an audience.