I just finished watching a YouTube video (not a usual past time) that one of our staffers forwarded to me. The subject was parenting and my interest was piqued as it showed it had received over 13 million hits! So I sat down and started to watch.
The 8 minute video is of a father (unfortunately talking while smoking a cigarette) who opens the discussion with the admission that he had been on his daughter's Facebook and found a lengthy letter written by her to her friends . He is shocked and appalled not only with the content of the letter but with her language. The letter is essentially parent bashing as his daughter complains about her hard life and all of the things that her parents make her do, which she describes as slave labor.
The letter is rather lengthy and itemizes her every complaint peppered with expletives as well. As the father reads the letter directly into the camera he occasionally ads his own editorialization, but you can tell from his body language that he is about at the end of his rope. He also comments that this is not the first time his daughter has gotten into trouble over her Facebook postings.
After finishing her letter he responds to her comments, again point by point, addressing how easy her life really is. He makes the argument that her daily chores take about 5 - 10 minutes to complete, sans complaining. He states that her most important daily task is getting to school each day.
He also points out all of the trouble and expense that he had recently gone to to get her computer up and working again after she had recently been grounded (which included banning Facebook for some time).
He sounds like so many frustrated parents who are concerned that their own children have a sense of entitlement and do not have any perspective as to how hard their parents work to provide them with not only food and shelter, but with the computer that allows them to have a Facebook page.
I think many parents would like to write a rebuttal letter to their own children's complaints and many probably have, but those are not typically shared on U-tube or posted on Facebook. These discussions are usually family matters within each teen's own home. His disappointment in her behavior is real and raw. While it may be riveting, is this really an appropriate means of addressing his daughter's behavior? His own comments are also peppered with expletives. What about a parent's need to model behavior they expect in their children?
But just when you think he is finished venting, he takes out a gun and shoots her computer, not once or twice, but numerous times. It is almost as if he cannot stop himself. Really, a gun? How about taking away the computer again rather than destroying it?
There are many moments in the video where I share his frustration and anger, as I have had those moments with my own teens (more than once.)
But, his posting on her Facebook page seemed both immature and bullying rather than a conversation that should have occurred in the privacy of their home.
A parent cannot discipline with an eye for an eye. His point would have been better taken had he showed more self-control, which at times is difficult but necessary for a parent. Remember, when you are the parent it is not about you, rather it is about your child.
What do you think? I would love your feedback.