Using Facebook to Rant

How One Dad Taught His Daughter A Valuable Internet Lesson

Yesterday I came across the video below on the fabulously Rated R site Pajamas and Coffee. Please take the time to watch it before you read this post. It’s a bit long, but very interesting.

This is the equivalent of an internet arse whipping by dad. I can’t imagine how horrified she was when she started hearing from her friends. “Ummm, Hannah, you might want to see this…” With every passing second of his smoking, seething rant, she must have sunk deeper and deeper into humiliation. I am now grateful my arse whippings (all deserved) happened in the privacy of my own home.

While I don’t agree with his tactics, he is teaching his daughter a very valuable lesson.  Yes, this little girl needed a reality check. One I fear most of our teens need these days. Her life isn’t horrible. Her life is wonderful. She has a roof over her head, parents who love her, she gets to go to school every day and receive an education, she gets to eat and has clothes to wear. Pay her? Oh she is getting paid all right. To the tune of rent, food, transportation, computers, phones, etc. But that isn’t the real lesson.

A couple of her statements gave me a good laugh. Not because they are funny per se, but more because they are so very classic teenager. 

“We have a cleaning lady and her name is Linda, not Hannah.” My own have said something similar. The appropriate discipline to this statement is to give your housekeeper a paid day off and allow your teen to fill in. Very effective. Teenagers are by design unappreciative and ungrateful. We aren’t going to change that.

“When you are old and need someone to wipe your ass…” Ouch. It sounds harsh and hateful, but who didn’t think those things about their parents? I used to shove my face into my pillow and tell my parents exactly what I thought of them. I didn’t mean most of it and by the time I was finished with my tantrum I was over it. The best part? My pillow never told a soul.

And that, right there, is the rub. It isn’t that she is an ungrateful, potty mouthed, entitled jerk. All teens are. It’s their job. The problem here is that what used to be private is now very public and teenagers are relentlessly stupid when it comes to understanding that. They can’t help it. Their brains are not wired in such a way to understand the affects of making every aspect of their life public. 

Take sexting. It’s a FEDERAL OFFENSE. Yet, my guess is that at least 15 naked photos have been sent in the time it has taken me to write this sentence. How about using profanity on the internet. My kids know I have their passwords. They know I am watching. They know colleges are watching. And still almost twice a week I am forcing them to erase something from their wall. I see it in all of their friends’ Facebook posts too. It makes me want to beat my head against the wall. Often.

I don’t agree with this man’s tactics. BUT? They will teach his little girl a very valuable lesson. It isn’t to be to be grateful for the roof over her head or the clothes on her back or that she has it way easier than her dad who apparently walked two miles to school uphill both ways in four feet of snow with no shoes on while studying for both high school and college. That is not the lesson here. She is a teenager and that gratitude won’t kick in until she is on her own and paying for life herself. 

The lesson Hannah learned here is the power of the internet. If she ever does get that computer back I would bet my bottom dollar she will carefully choose her words.

 

Comments

  1. marymac says

    IT’S THEIR JOB.
    Hilarious.
    Love this post. Love your blog. Love you.
    And i guess it would be awkward at this time to say I have like a weird tiny crush on the cowboy Facebook dad.
    No. idea. why.

  2. says

    My husband and I watched this video and discussed it at length. I am really torn about it. I like the lesson but I don’t know if I like the approach. It just seems a little childish but maybe that is what was needed.

  3. Jessica Watson says

    It is so hard to balance the impulsive nature of teens and their access to social media. Like you said, we all ranted about our parents as a teen but said it into our pillows or to our friends, face to face, not in a place where millions of people could end up seeing it. It takes so much vigilance to make sure our kids are being appropriate online. This dad did teach his daughter a lesson in humiliation, if nothing else.

  4. says

    While I can’t ever imagine taking it to this extreme, I have a feeling this dad was at his whit’s end. I’m glad he’s taking action and just not laughing it off.

    When Ellie was 4, she made a comment about not cleaning her room because Brenda (our housekeeper) would do it for her. Ummm, I’m going to go with no, you clean your bedroom little miss. The new rule is that her bedroom better be cleaned ever Wednesday night before our Housekeeper ever steps foot into our house.

  5. Carolyn West says

    I much prefer the old days when we just vented to our friends in person or on the land line. I wonder what our parents would have done if they knew everything we said about them. I totally understand a teen’s need to vent to their friends, I’m just not sure I want to know what they are saying. I’m okay with them complaining… it’s part of being a teen… I’m just NOT okay with them doing it in such a public fashion.

  6. alfred lives here says

    Saw this video on Pajamas and Coffee also. Loved it. And while I not a parent, unless you count dogs which apparently most people do not, I think yes cowboy dad was over the top but was making a point. I thought I was a spoiled kid in the 70s, then I look at my friends kids and brothers kids, and think Holy Crap these kids are gonna have a tough time when try to hold a job and be accountable…

    Love this dad. Fun post!

  7. says

    On the video he refers back to "we’ve been through this before" about Facebook postings so yeah, I think he was taking his reaction to an extreme because she had been caught posting rants on her Facebook page before. That she did it again? Yeah…..blammo!

    I laughed uncomfortably through this whole video when Alex’s dad sent it to me last week with the message "I do have a gun. If he gives you any crap about schoolwork, we can always take the laptop out back and put it out of it’s misery!" Now – he was kidding (I hope) but man…..it is kinda scary!

  8. says

    I’m with you. It is childish. But he seemed to be at his completes wit’s end. He was almost seething. I won’t judge til I walk in his shoes. And based on the number of hits the video got (over 22 million) my guess is there are many parents out there feeling the same way.

  9. says

    Hmmm – it’s sad that it got 22 million hits – did it get that many because we are all frustrated about FB or because it included a gun? Is the lesson about the far-reach of the Internet crucial for the daughter? Yes, absolutely. But can a 15 yr old take that much humiliation to learn a lesson – I hope so but I wonder. And I have to ask, who is the mature adult here and who’s the kid? He could have locked the computer away somewhere instead of destroying it and showing 22 million people how to destroy a computer with a gun. As for the girl and her rant – yeah stupid to do it on FB but she was only using words, not guns. I find her attitude to be far less frightening and far more expected for her age than the father’s. And yes, I do have often-ungrateful kids who don’t do nearly enough around the house blah blah blah but I still can’t wrap my arms around the solution being to humiliate them in front of the whole world and destroy a computer with a 45. Just can’t.

  10. A says

    Gotta admit- if I saw this as a teen I’d be glad to learn through her bad decisions (and embarrassment) rather than this be my own dad. But I’m not confident he showed her the proper response when you feel disrespected.

    Social media is a whole new ball game for parents from even just 10 years ago.

  11. Carrie says

    I loved reading this post. I agree with you on the points you make about being a teenager and how some of these are classic teen statements. While I was watching this video, just this morning, I yelled out to my hubby, "Oh, you gotta see this. This sounds JUST like Felicia." (my daughter)

    I totally agree with what he did. And, I believe he has a right to do exactly what he did. It seemed pretty well thought out to me. And, I believe he did it to teach HIS daughter what he felt was important for her to be a productive member of society the best way HE knew how. He didn’t harm anyone…..well, maybe his daughter’s ego.

    He’s being a responsible father the way I see it.

  12. Guilty Squid says

    The internet has changed *everything* about parenting. And while there’s a tiny part of me that looks at that video and wants to judge him…I just can’t. He got his anger and frustration out before he saw his daughter. My guess is that by the time she found out her laptop’s fate, he had cooled considerably. I also found myself hoping that when she has time to reflect on all of it, she sees how very desperately her father loves her. It’s clear that being on camera, reading that out loud was uncomfortable for him. For his daughter, he was willing to put this all out there. This is a man who’d put a bullet in his daughter’s laptop, but he’d take a bullet for her. I hope that someday, she sees that love and understands.
    We’re all finding our way with our kids – parenting a child in a world that is always connected. Technology moves faster than most people (even me, who is in technology) can keep up with. It’s all so different than what any of us could have imagined.
    What I’d like to do is find out from him six months from now how things are with Hannah at home. And how he feels about this video and Facebook posting then.
    I couldn’t have done this, but that’s because we don’t have a gun.
    I could, and I would in a minute, take the laptop and give it to a child who’s parent’s can’t afford one.

  13. Victoria Landingham says

    I think the NRA loves you and the gun swinging dad right about NOW!!!!!

    Wow…just an Aunt and I am speechless….

    This will have me thinking and chatting with my mom friends for weeks.,,,

    Thank you for your RAW and TRUE approach, I myself as an adult backed off FB about three months ago.

    Pondering the media enlightenment…….
    xoxoxo

  14. Meredith Wright says

    I know this is late as the video has been out awhile now, but I have to say a few things.
    1. The gun was aimed and shot at an inanimate object (not a person or a picture of a person) in a place where it would hurt no one. His point was to destroy her computer, a very bold and final statement. I had NO problem with this. I don’t own a gun, but I could have smashed it into pieces in our – in the city – driveway (he’s obviously out in the country). The gun didn’t bother me and honestly, it’s probably a big part of their life, normal part of their life, not something big and scary.
    2. While I understand his anger and disappointment in his child, I have to wonder how much of her he "created". Not judging, I have 3 teens and a young 20′s. I know how bratty they can be and how completely unappreciative and selfish they are. They are teens, this is how they learn. Parenting teens is the HARDEST job on earth. They are mushy brained and while sometimes appearing smart and logical, the next moment they are dumber than rocks and completely illogical. I have one in particular who can manipulate and argue til you want to shoot yourself in the head. Did I "create" her strong-willedness and ability to be such a brat? I am sure I contributed out of sheer exhaustion of dealing with her.
    3. Teens perspectives on life are so skewed and overly dramatic. They live in absolutes and the here and now, they don’t see past the next 2 minutes, but somehow can bring up things from their toddlerhood.

    I will never judge a parent for their actions when they don’t physically endanger their child. Consequences are a natural part of life, kids have to learn them and some kids need stronger ones than others!

  15. Heather Wood says

    No child deserve to be *arse whipped*, regardless of how much you have been brainwashed into thinking you did…trust me on this…you *did not*.
    As for the video, this isn’t a Dad nor a Father, nor an Adult. This is a temper tantrum by an immature male whose ego has been bruised. I’ve raised 2 children to adulthood and successfully I might add. EVERY teenager believes their world/life is the worse , when things don’t go their way. EVERY teenager believes the universe revolves around them. Many will act as though it doesn’t, but in their immature mind( note the immature) , it does.
    Today’s Facebook, Twitter. Smartphones etc are the same as my diary 56 years ago, only difference is, I had parents that would never snoop and I passed on that respect to my children.
    People, young and old alike, need to vent , that’s what friends are for. Children need to be respected as well. In my house, I did not always agree with my children’s opinion, but I respected them enough to listen to them and I loved them enough to let them speak out. I had rules and if those rules were broken, there were consequences but before any punishment was meted out, I thought long and hard about it. Privileges were taken away or toys , depending on the age of the child.My teenagers hated me at times and although the words hurts, I knew it was because I was doing my job right. Of course they’re going to hate you, that’s how they exert independence, that’s how they slowly cut the cord and know they can fend for themselves but as much as they hated me, they also ( deep down)were happy to have those rules, to have the right to vent and know that I would love them unconditionally. All this man did was show his daughter that he can act just like her. That’s not was a parent does. Not a good one anyway.
    As for the gun?? Well I’m Canadian and we don’t view guns as an extension of ourselves so I"m going to stay out of that. Just know that you do not accomplish a damn thing with violence.

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