The video (which I refuse to link to) that’s going around with the hillbilly shooting his daughter’s laptop. Are you kidding me?
1) Parenting through intimidation DOES NOT WORK. All crap like that does is make the parent feel big and strong and superior. It does not fix the kid’s behavior. All she’s going to do is go more underground and hide even more stuff from him.
2) Parenting through humiliation also does not work. It may appear to yield immediate results but not for the long-term. Again, it merely makes the adults feel superior and relieves their angry feelings but it has no benefit to the child except resentment and mistrust. And, NO, I’m not saying you shouldn’t discipline your kids so they won’t become upset with you. It’s about the way you do it. There’s no reason this couldn’t have been taken care of within the family and it would’ve been just as effective. If you can’t rely on your parents to have your back, who the hell can you rely on?
3) SHOOTING something? Really? Teaching your kids the solution to problems, specifically interpersonal problems, is SHOOTING something? Wow. Awesome message. I’ll have to remember that threatening my teen with firearms is a viable parenting tool in a few years from now.
3) All that guy did was read the daughter’s Facebook post, get his poor widdle-bitty ego bruised, get pissed about her cursing and knee-jerk react to force the girl back down into her “place.” It sounds to me like the kid is stressed out about school and maybe other things. But I suppose talking to her and trying to figure out the root of the problem would be too much effort. Teenagers put on a front when something is bothering them, and that sometimes includes the “I’m a big badass” act. Just because she says those things, or sounds whiny, doesn’t mean she actually feels that way or believes her life is so bad. Maybe she’s tried talking about her problems and is not being heard.
4) If the kid really is spoiled and ungrateful, gee….how’d she get that way? I sincerely doubt they have a bunch of angelic kids and one “bad” one, like she was just born that way. Sounds like this guy’s trying to close the barn door after the horse is out. Parents are usually to blame for these specific types of character flaws (selfishness, greed, ingratitude). You want her to get a job? So make her get a job. Don’t just half-assed suggest it and then call her lazy when she doesn’t follow through. She’s 15. She needs to know exactly what’s expected of her and sometimes that includes either/or choices. (“You need to have a job by the end of the month or we will no longer be paying for your cell phone and it will be cut off,” for example.) Make her do it or shut up about it. Don’t pussyfoot around and then hold it against her.
5) Other parenting tactics that don’t work: Calling names. Swearing. You’re supposed to be the mature one in the relationship and you should be able to express yourself without belittling the kid. See previous point about it being your own damned fault she’s like that in the first place. You have no right to tear her down and treat her like she’s a bad person when she wouldn’t be that way if you’d done your job a little better.
6) I absolutely loathe when adults pull that “When I was your age I had eight jobs AND made all straight As in school AND built my own car from scratch AND got a Master’s degree at the same time.” Well, congratu-bloody-lations. You should be proud. What you also don’t mention is your dad ran out on the family when you were two, you were on public assistance, your mom had to work two jobs and some weeks you went to bed hungry because the money had run out. You did those things because you had to, not because you thought it was a jolly good time, or because you thought it would build character and you were just that responsible. You didn’t have a choice; you did what you had to do. Hillbilly dad wants to divorce the kid’s mom, take off, never pay child support and plunge them into abject poverty, I’m sure she’ll end up being as totally super-awesome as he was. Or he could just get over himself and realize that their situations are probably totally different and that’s a GOOD thing. (Note: I’m not saying that was this guy’s situation, specifically, since I don’t know; I’m just saying that usually when teenagers have to go above and beyond like that it’s because they have no choice and they are in fairly desperate circumstances, and who would want their kid to find herself needing to do things like that?)
7) Telling someone how to live her life and criticizing her for the choices she’s made WHILE YOU ARE SMOKING A CIGARETTE? Are you fucking kidding me?