Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen ~ How Kids are DevaluedBy Darlene Ouimet
Have you seen the video that was viral these past few days about the father who decided to teach his daughter a lesson by making a video message to her and posting it to her facebook page? In the video he takes out a gun, explains the power of the gun, they type of bullets and how they react when fired, and shoots her laptop as a response to a letter that she wrote to her parents on her facebook page. She didn’t intend for the letter to be read by her parents (father and step mother) but apparently, when she used facebook hide features to exclude her family and church from reading the note, she forgot to exclude the family dog; the dog has a facebook account.
You will have to watch the video on YouTube in order to understand what I am highlighting in this blog post. Please watch it here: “Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen”
Notice that the teenager has been defined by the father as a “troubled teen.” (I wonder how she got that way?)
This father tries to do damage control in another post. (Click Here) When you read the follow up post from the father, that I am referring to as “damage control”, don’t lose site of the “truth” of what he did on the video in the first place. The video is not what someone “said he did” but is in fact “what he did”. I am not referring to the punishment. I am referring to the relationship between father and teenager. Watch how he “regards her”. The video shows a lot of the subtle and not so subtle ways that parents so often regard their children. Try to watch this in relation to yourself.
The father starts off by reading the letter written by his teenage daughter just as she posted it on her facebook page. And then he goes on a rant about her and to teach her a lesson, he shoots her laptop full of bullet holes at the end of the video. This video is about the power position of the father, and his disregard for the message his daughter is trying to communicate. Remember that the father is the parent and think about what that means to you. Does “the parent” have the right to discount the daughter or force her to comply and “respect him” by publically humiliating her this way? Does the daughter have any “rights”? If the laptop was indeed hers, just because he paid for it, does that give him the right to take it back and if so, what message does that communicate to his child?
The anti bullying community and survivor communities are somewhat divided in their response to this video. Some find this man really harsh and out of line, but the majority are cheering him on as though he is the new poster boy for healthy and fantastic parenting. The comments on the video are worse than the video itself if you want some insight into how society believes kids, especially teenagers, should be treated. There are the usual comments about “kids these days” and all that stuff that has been said since the dawn of time. Please try to keep your child self in mind when viewing or reading this stuff, because your parent side may react in favor of the father. Remember that healing comes from relating from the view point of the damaged child within.
When I heard the daughters letter, (read by the father on the video) I heard the daughter saying that she felt that her only value in the family was in the chores that she has to do. She said that she has to lock her bedroom door on the weekends because her 6 year old brother would wake her up if she didn’t. (This communicates to me that she feels the parents don’t care enough about her to keep the little boy out of her room) She writes that she is tired from chores and school; that she has to get up really early in the morning and has a lot of responsibilities when she gets home. She talks about how she is expected to get coffee and stuff like that.
The father calls her lazy and scoffs about the fact that she said they should “pay her”. He goes on a rant against her which in my view shows exactly where she learned relationship and respect. The way that he talks shows his believe that SHE “should and needs to” respect him and if she does not, he will “make her” and there will be consequences. He shoots her lap top to teach her a lesson. (he bought it, he can do whatever he wants with it) He tells her that she can buy her own laptop and whatever else she wants and that she owes him for the bullets too because they cost about a buck each…
Think about the message a child gets when a parent takes out a gun and shoots something to prove his point and his power. (over her)
This video shows a perfect example of the dysfunctional relationship between parents and children that I talk about here in Emerging from Broken all the time. Her father is a bully; listen to his tone and the way he speaks to her and about her. He is so sure that he is right in what he is doing. He is teaching her a lesson in public. This video is another example of how parents give kids LESS value then they place on themselves. But the interesting thing here is that this Dad “seems” to be doing this out of love. It is however the false definition of love. His actions are not an example of “love” by empowerment, encouragement and understanding. He won’t listen to her. Their relationship is one sided. He is right. Period.
If his daughter wrote that note, why hasn’t anyone talked to her about how she feels about the home situation? How come she felt the need to write that note? Why is it simply that she is ungrateful and disrespectful?
Kids learn relationship and respect from their parents. If this is the kind of relationship and respect that HE modeled to her, then no wonder she is having issues. I don’t think that this is about “chores” I think this is about her value. No one has helped her to see her value.
These kids (are us) grow up and the messages that we received (such as this very public message to this teenage daughter) don’t just “go away” because we are grown up. I wasn’t treated with respect or value as a child, so I didn’t learn self love; self respect or have self esteem when I became an adult. I learned to submit. I learned to comply. I learned that my value was in that obedience and compliance. I learned about being owned and about being a possession.
These were the types of things that I remembered from my own childhood that helped me to understand what happened to me and where my self esteem got derailed. My value was defined as “less than”. The dysfunctional family system was all about “do it my way or else” and “don’t you DARE step out of line or the consequences will be grave”.
As I said, the comments in support of the father are worse than the video itself. The daughter is not being considered at all. It is like this Dad has become the hero for all the bully parents in the world just because the daughter DARED to post her feelings on Facebook. People say they would have been “a lot harder on her” as though he let her off easy. And I don’t even have to wonder what they meant by “harder” because I have thousands of comments on my blog expressing those stories of “harder”. I think that “harder” means that the father should have showed LESS love and compassion then they think he has shown in the first place. This whole thing shows that age old attitude that KIDS are “the enemy”. But who the heck is raising these kids and how come they have NO accountability? Kids don’t get “disrespectful and ungrateful” when they have been raised with love and encouragement!
At the time of this writing the video has 230,000 likes and 20,000 dislikes. That reflects the judgement of society.
Again, very few commenters’ on the video are interested in the feelings of this kid and it is obvious that the father is not interested in her feelings or in her as a person. This is such a profound example of a parent misusing his power and control and making it look like love. It is such a great example of a parent who has defined his child.
The father mentions in his follow up, that he dealt with it the way that it would have been dealt with by his father. (In public.) I mention this because of the aspect of “generational abuse” and how this cycle is passed on from generation to generation.
On one final note, I am not asking anyone to pick sides or to make judgements; I am asking you to look at the truth about what is going on in relationships so that you can take a look at the messages YOU received in your own childhood. I am using this video and the comments as an example of how society views kids and what “acceptable parenting practices” are.
Please feel free to share.
Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time,
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Related posts ~ Family Category; family category has a sub category for father daughter