Friday, February 17, 2012

Parenting Fail

Ok. This has gone viral and DH forced me to watch it at gunpoint just before he shot up my laptop.

DH was curious about what I thought of it.  After watching all 8 minutes and 23 seconds, my only reply was, "He's a jerk. No wonder his kid wrote all of that stuff about him."

That is apparently the opposite reaction that most people have had to the video. The majority of comments seem to egg him on and describe what he did as "tough love" and standing up to teenagers.

I don't get that reaction at all. From my perspective, it seems like an immature attempt at one-upmanship aimed at publicly humiliating his daughter for having normal, teenage feelings.

Think about what happened.  A 15 year-old girl ranted about her parents and chores, not publicly, but privately to her friends.

What a shocker. Next thing you know she'll be talking about boys, and sex, and growing up and moving out, and how out-of-touch teachers are, and how boring church and school are, and how when she grows up she'll never be like so and so....etc. etc.

This is why parents should never go snooping through children's diaries/journals.  You'll most likely find some unpleasant things written about you in there.  That's what diaries and journals and stupid posts to your friends on facebook are for. If a person really wanted to humiliate and hurt you, they would say those things to your face, not in a private venue that you were never meant to see.

Sometimes, I think about how I thought about my parents growing up, especially during my teenage and young adult years. I always loved them because they were my parents, but I frequently did not like them and said things about them that I'm sure they would have found hurtful.  I was always honest and direct with them when I was upset with them, specifically my mother. She always knew how I felt, even though I didn't purposely try to be hurtful in the way I expressed my frustration with her.

Still, I remember things I said, or thought, about her that were much more extreme than what I actually said to her in person because even though she upset me, I wouldn't purposely want to humiliate her.

I soberly consider that as I watch my children grow, knowing that at some point they might be writing snide facebook comments about me, or rolling their eyes to their friends while I am talking to them on the phone, or complaining about rules, standards, expectations that I have and how I "just don't get it".

And even though that will assuredly happen, just as surely as the sun will rise each morning, I will remember being a teenager and hopefully cut them some slack, even as I will probably be inwardly hurt.

That's is what being a mature, adult parent is about. Attempting to understand and communicate with your children, rather than trying to bully them with snide comments, sarcastic tones, and over-the-top punishments is probably more effective.

In general, I think that parents can be too hard on themselves, expecting more than is humanly possible, regretting every little mistake.

On the other hand, I see what this father has done, in a very self-satisfied manner, as one of those parenting mistakes that is going to have a very long life in this girl's memory, and not in a positive way.  She's learned, not that she should never say anything bad about her parents, but that if she does something her father doesn't like, there will be retribution.  That he will react on the basis of his own feelings of being hurt rather than on the basis of what would be good for a healthy relationship with his daughter.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Absolutely with you on this one. Jerk.

Daughter may also be a jerk. Apple, tree, and all that. But without evidence supporting that idea, I'm on her side here.

terri said...

apple/tree....that was my initial thought too.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Tangentially related to your discussion of the coach misrepresenting his past, related to the Stolen Valor campaign.

I don't have much opinion on it, myself.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I gave you an award about a month ago. I think you missed it.

Given the nature of the awrd, that's rather ironic.

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lucidkim said...

I totally agree with your assessment! The dad was a complete jerk; immature and inappropriate.