Saturday, February 11, 2012

Daddy's Got a Gun

I left the comment below on Mrs. G's blog, but I wanted to put it here to remember. It fits in with a certain theme I'm vibing on. The comment was left in response to Mrs. G's request for thoughts on this video (which she said was sweeping the web and I had not yet seen-6 million viewers?):

So, Dad is quite angry. And he has a gun. And obviously, he is a parenting teenager newb. As the daughter of an angry man, I can tell you that public rants and humiliation do not forge strong parent/child bonds, healthy relationships,compliance with daddy's wishes, or respect.

We are seeing one angry dad's response to his child's teenage angst. Teenagers do that. They diss their parents. They feel "put out" by the demands their parents make. The are embarrassed and even disdainful of their parents. They can frequently be over-the-top asshats, cruel, thoughtless, and pissy mean.

This is normal human development. Normal = Not a shooting offense. Fear has no place in parent/child relationships. It is destructive to that which is most essential-trust. And, if handled correctly, (I liked to use long words about individuation and developing synaptic connections i.e. "your brain don't work so hot right now because you have a lot of synaptic connections to forge.") teenage asshatment can be talking points that enhance a teenager's sense of self and self-worth, which helps them develop connection and empathy, which makes aging parental ass-wiping highly probable (one among many of the highly desirable traits we hope to see in our offspring).

I don't advocate being a doormat for a kid, but I do believe we must show our children respect before we can demand it from them. Like all tough skills, becoming a tolerable human is a learned behavior. Takes trial and error and a very committed team routing for you to actually master the complex feat of growing up.

I have 2 beautiful adult children who at times did equally stupid, insensitive things (just as I, too, did when young-probably still do as we save all our best bullshit for those we love and trust. Sorry Mama.). I believe that they have learned how to be remarkable adult people through loving, honest, SAFE, (no cigarettes, anger, guns -heaven help us!) and respectful interactions with adults they could count on to establish boundaries and listen as often as they talked to teenagers.

I feel bad for this family. Where do you go to talk things out when the level of aggression is raised to such heights? And how can a cornered kid make a graceful retreat or attempt rapprochement when they are not shown how to handle disappointing behaviors which, let's face it parents, our kids receive from us as well.

So, that was my comment on the video. It makes me sad to think 6 million people think this is ok parenting. I call shenanigans. This dude is an amateur who could benefit from some education. I can only hope he was arrested for deploying hollow-point bullets in a residential neighborhood and that his arrest taught his daughter a little bit about how not to handle her disappointment and anger.


k said...

A lot of the feedback on this video has been "yeah!c Go dad!" and pro handgun killing laptops. The most chilling comments have basically said "I'd rather Dad shot my laptop than me". Really? What kind of a sick twisted place is this where a kid has to worry over that kind of choice. Feck. Just feck.

trash said...

I think the shooting may have been a bit over the top but do you think the teenager that left that comment may have been indulging in a moment of adolescent hyperbole?

k said...

Hey trash thanks for stopping by. I love meeting folks from the manor in this virtual world! I agree about the teenage hyperbole. That is a perennial teenage experience and I suspect quite often one that is later regretted. I just felt that of the two offenses the father's far outweighed that of the daughter. Especially, as Aunt Snow just noted @ Derfwad Manor, the ritual killing of the laptop as stand in for the errant daughter (extra bullet from Mom included!).

Seems pretty straightforward that the level of discourse within this family is alarmingly full of hyperbole.

Again, so nice of you to stop by. I tried to find you blog but just got a blogger profile. Hope to "bump into" you again.