Friday, February 10, 2012

Dear Dad Who Shot His Daughter's Laptop,

I have so many things I'd like to say to you. I am so angry and saddened by your behavior. But I will do my best to try and behave in a Christ-like manner as I write this message to you.

What you have done is not cute. It is not funny. It is sad. You have taken a perfect opportunity to mend and repair your relationship with your daughter and turned it into a viral video. I hope it was worth it. I hope YOUR little fiasco on Facebook was worth the possibly irreparable damage you have done to your relationship with your child, your own flesh and blood.

If I'd found out that my child had posted something so bold and upsetting on the internet, I would have reacted much differently.

First of all, I would have looked at myself to try and figure out why he or she was so angry and felt the need to use so much profanity and so much loaded language. Usually, our children are a reflection of us, their parents.

Then I would have cried. Because I would have known that he or she must have been hurting for a very long time to make them feel so angry toward me... to the point where they felt they had to bash me openly on the internet.

I would have considered everything that my child was saying. HAD I been careless? HAD I been asking him or her to do too much around the house? HAD I been doing the right thing as a parent? Typically when we do the right thing as a parent, we create harmony and trust within our parent/child relationship.

And speaking of trust, I would have immediately known that there must have been something that I did to destroy the trust between us if I had been blocked from seeing my child's Facebook page. It takes two people to build a trusting relationship. It only takes one to destroy it.

I would have asked myself why my child felt the need to disclose this heartfelt message of frustration and anger to her friends online instead of coming to me with it. Had I not created a safe environment conducive to communication?

I feel sad for Hannah. She sounds like a smart, funny, wise young lady who just wants to be respected and heard by her parents.

It's not too late, sir. It's not too late to try and repair this relationship. You have shot her computer with a gun. You have humiliated her in front of the entire world wide web. But keep in mind that you have humiliated yourself. The most important thing now is to try and move forward and fix the damage that has been done. I urge you to look inside and consider that you are not right. That you have been wrong. That you can say, "I'm sorry. I was wrong" to your daughter and ask her to let you start over.

I grew up feeling a lot of anger toward my father for not giving me a safe place to express myself. You, sir, make my father look like a puppy dog.

Your daughter is screaming for help! She is begging you to hear her, to see her, to pay attention.

Please, sir, wake up before it is too late.

Like A bona fide life on Facebook

25 comments:

  1. You make an interesting point concerning this viral video.

    That being said, I would have to say that I view her behavior as more "me, me, me" and rather self-centered than "crying out for help." Maybe it is because I have dealt with a teenage daughter that felt everything should be her way or it was wrong. No amount of giving in to her would have made her happy, and that is not how life is. Everyone should have responsibilities at home and no one "deserves" to be paid for helping out around the house.

    Again, I appreciate your perspective, but feel that you are seeing her through your own experiences and not how she is truly behaving.

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    1. None of us know how she was "truly behaving", do we?

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    2. Very true.. Neither of us can know, but it is not always the parents that are the "bad guys."

      I don't think the father should have gone to this extreme, but I also know that I do not live with her and can not judge someone concerning a situation I do not have first hand experience with.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  3. Thank you SO much for this! I found in defending the daughter (you know, the CHILD), an entire group of online friends felt I was attacking them and their own parenting. They could not see any better way for the father to react. :(

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    1. I'm so sorry. I, too, had very defensive friends. I always choose peace and love. If people are offended by that then there is nothing I can do about it. Thanks for your comment.

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    2. My friends are very defensive about their approval of the way this man has handled this situation. I've realized they are defensive because if I might be right, then that would make some of their parenting choices wrong. Their defensiveness is based in fear. That makes me sad for them.

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    3. I felt sad for them too. Because you are right that they are defensive bc they agree with this man and if he is wrong, then so are they. Why are people so hesitant to admit fault?

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  4. Very well said! Very sad to see grown adults resulting to a childish fit of rage to "teach" a lesson ...the only lesson shown is to make anger filled decisions and two wrongs in his eyes make a right ...so sad and such a bothersome father daughter relationship...praying for them †

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  5. Standing ovation! I wish more people could understand this. Disrespectful kids don't just "happen" to parents who deserve respect. Respect your kids and they'll respect you, it's that simple.

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  6. Thank you for posting this, I am so glad that there are people making an effort to speaking up for this and you said it very very well! I hope that more people in the world want to grow fulfilling relationships..
    I just posted a blog too.

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    1. I'd be interested in reading it. Feel free to post a link.

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  7. As parents, it can be hard for us to lead by example, to forgive first and to love unconditionally if we are not filled with love and forgiveness ourselves. I wonder what deep hurt this dad must have in his heart, that made him feel so defensive and attacked by the fairly common rantings of a 15 year old to her own peers. I hope they both find healing.

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  8. You should look at the daughter's response to the situation here: http://www.litefm.com/cc-common/mainheadlines3.html?feed=421220&article=9744152
    I think this is a situation that is very telling about how as parents we are best equipped to know how to deal with our children and parent them, and the general public may have an opinion, but that opinion is without all of the information.

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    Replies
    1. I don't need to read her response to know the difference between right and wrong.

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  9. I agree with what you have said here and also, the fact that she was previously grounded for THREE MONTHS for something 'childish and stupid' speaks volumes! This dad is all about CONTROLLING his daughter through punishments and not trying to teach her.

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    Replies
    1. Certainly, labeling behavior and extremes like grounding for long periods of time are ineffective. It didn't seem like she was given the chance to ever win. :(

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  10. how old are your children? have you GONE thru the "teenage" ungrateful, normal, adolescent period with your children yet? i'm wondering since the picture on page portrays little ones. just curious... because those little angels undergo something in between here n there many times.... can drive anyone to an extreme.

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    1. I will simply copy what I just said to someone else: I do not need to be the mother of a teenager in order to know how I would respond to one living in my home: with respect, love, and in a way that makes relationship a priority. Much like I do not have to actually be a cat owner to know that I would never kick it, throw it across a room, or starve it.

      The only thing my children's actions and behaviors drive me to do (besides lock myself in my room and cry upon occasion) is to seek out how to love them more, how to treat them with MORE respect, how to find resources for their needs.

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  11. "I would have considered everything that my child was saying. HAD I been careless? HAD I been asking him or her to do too much around the house? HAD I been doing the right thing as a parent?" Great point -- he obviously spent an incredible amount of time setting up his stunt; had he spent just a portion of that time actually thinking about the issues behind her letter...well, he still probably wouldn't have responded in the way I would hope.
    [linked to you.]

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