This video has been making the rounds on Facebook. It’s a dad whose daughter put a post on her Facebook wall (not visible to her parents), ranting about the chores she has to do and how she feels poorly treated. The dad responded by making this video in which he shoots her laptop nine times and posting it on her Facebook wall:

I have no interest in the particular issues of what chores this girl does or should do, whether she should get a job, or whether her parents treat her fairly on a daily basis. There’s no way to know from a she said/he said exchange. Instead, I want to talk only about the father’s choices in making and posting the video. What I see in this video is a father who is immature, childish, and has serious trouble dealing with his anger, and even more trouble relating and communicating with his daughter.

Parents are always the adult in the room when dealing with their children, and they ought to act like it. The main crime this girl seems to have committed, according to her father, is disrespecting her parents by posting the message and using curse words in it. For which he sets out to humiliate her to her friends and the world, destroy her laptop, and frankly, terrorize her. He could have taken the laptop away in a number of ways. Apparently he works in IT, surely he could just as easily have blocked her from Facebook, or deleted her Facebook account and placed controls on the laptop to limit her access so she could still use it for school work. Or, if he really had to take it away, found a poor kid struggling to get by who could put that computer to good educational use. But no, he didn’t do that, he wanted to instill fear and to express his rage.

What he really should have done from the beginning is to pretend he never read the Facebook post. Maybe he wanted to oversee her Facebook account to make sure some truly inappropriate things weren’t going on (but I’d argue that unless he had established that arrangement with her in advance, it was still an invasion of her privacy), but this post is just a girl on her way to becoming a young woman venting her anger to her friends. Does he expect her not to get angry with him? Does he expect her not to share that with her friends, in the medium where high school kids now converse with their friends? Does he expect what she says to her friends about him to be respectful? Does he expect her not to use words she likely learned from him? He needs to deal with real issues, and deal with them in an adult manner, not demonstrate his impotent rage and attempt to strike fear in his daughter’s heart because he was personally insulted by the way she talks about him to her friends when she’s angry.

I sincerely hope that when my children are teenagers I will be able to be the adult in the room. I also hope that none of my kids’ friends have parents like this. If I saw this video from a parent, my child would not be allowed in their home or car or to be alone with them. No one who uses firearms in such an irresponsible manner and has such plain anger issues should be anywhere near my kids. Oh, and don’t get me started on the fact that the dad smokes throughout the video. And one other little thing that drove me nuts: he tells his daughter not to call the lady that cleans their house a “cleaning lady”, because she “works harder in one day than she ever had in her life”. Does anyone else see the problem with that? He’s saying cleaning ladies don’t work hard and are lesser human beings than he or his cleaning lady. Most disturbing of all: there seem to be a lot of other adults on Facebook, YouTube, and elsewhere on the internet who see this as good parenting, as opposed to as the result of a complete failure in parenting.

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