I recently saw a video titled Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl1ujzRidmU of a father getting so upset about his daughter’s saying some very childish and spoiled comments about her parents on her Facebook page. I have to say that it made me really sad. I saw a lot of video replies suggesting what the man did was good because his daughter needs to learn a lesson and stop being so spoiled but I just didn’t see it that way. As a father of two young girls I couldn’t think of a worse way to teach them a lesson.
In all cases with a child you have to react with love and understanding first. So his ego was a little bruised by his daughter’s rebellion, what does he think caused this? Did he make an honest effort to talk to her about what she wrote or did he just decide he better use intimidation and threats of violence to show her he was the boss?
He shot a laptop!
What does that prove? Does he truly believe that because it was something of value to her that he had to destroy it so that she would somehow respect him more? Did he stop to think that this would be seen as a threat to her safety and make her fear her father not in a normal respect of him as an adult but in an unhealthy fear that if she disobeys him he might actually shoot her next time? I cannot understand why this symbolism seemed like the appropriate answer to him.
I would like to propose another healthy course of action that could have brought true respect to this family as follows:
The father could have read the post and come to the daughter. They would talk in front of the whole family about what her true responsibilities and expectation are in the home as far as chores, Facebook, respecting her parents and their family’s privacy. Then the father could express his sadness in how she would make the family look bad in public and how after his efforts to gain her approval through the upgrade of the laptop he feels she basically threw it back in his face.
He could then explain how he wished she would have reacted and come to them first before going to her friend and explain how all teens may have anger but expressing it publicly would only bring about frustration while speaking to him directly might actually get some results. After that if he wants to teacher her a lesson about being spoiled he should have made her take the laptop to a program that gives computers to kids that can’t afford them.
I can see that he seemed to have enough money to pay for the laptop that he could teach her a lesson in giving and also donate some of his own things. In this respect she is learning there are people less fortunate then her, that donating is beneficial and that she needs to appreciate what she has and her parents. Maybe this charitable act would have changed the way she treats others and start her helping families in her community giving her less to complain about and no time to even worry about Facebook. Additionally, this volunteering could lead to experience and character building that might get her a job he thinks is so important for her to have.
Instead, he destroyed a perfectly good laptop, threaten his child and showed everyone in the world just where she got her spoiled selfish attitude, dear old dad.