So by now, everyone who is interested has seen the now viral video of the North Carolina father who posted a video on You Tube of himself railing on his teenage daughter, ending with his melodramatic shooting up a laptop belonging—or rather formerly so—to her. The video, which father Tommy Jordan posted, was a response to his 15-year-old daughter’s Facebook-posted profanity-laden diatribe against her own parents for it appears, holding her to reasonable expectations as a child living under the responsibility, the authority, and the roof of her parents.
Setting aside the twin truths that: (1) I have been working with kids and teens in one form or fashion for the last decade or so, and am well aware of their narcissistic perspectives; and (2) that I am quite familiar with how often most of today’s teenagers exaggerate occurrences involving themselves, I am more than inclined to take the father at his word after watching the video—even without hearing the daughter’s side of the story. The simple fact is that today’s American youth—outside of each other’s approval—don’t respect a whole lot, especially the inherent and actual authority of adults, including their parents. To today’s teens, rules are merely suggestions and when they [routinely] break rules, they are often coddled by a justice system already overwhelmed with dealing with adult crimes.
After reading multiple online articles and posts about the shootings myself, it seems that public opinion is pretty split down the middle for support and condemnation of the father’s actions.
Regular readers to Beyond The Political Spectrum already know where I personally stand on the issue of parental disciplining of noncompliant and rebellious children; the Old School way of bringing up children is simply the best, the most result-proven way. Under the Old School regime of raising children, there was social consensus for the parent’s right to occasionally whip unruly children, including among law-enforcement and the courts…as long as parents didn’t cross the line into abuse. During those times, “abuse” was more narrowly-defined, prohibiting such blatant actions resulting in major physical trauma, such as cigarette burns, choking, broken limbs, and/or otherwise adversely affecting the child’s long-term physical health (by comparison, “abuse” today constitutes anything that may result in a broken fingernail or leaves a bad thought in a child’s head).
The direct parenting of the old ways enforced compliance with curfews, the authority of adults (especially parents and teachers), compelled school attendance and in most cases, academic performance, and cavorting with familiars (back in those days, if parents didn’t know a child’s friend or their parents, children weren’t allowed to play with them). Children didn’t expect everything to be given to them on a whim. Chores were performed based on nonnegotiable expectations. Substance abuse was the exception, not the rule, as direct parenting made parents well aware of their children’s proclivities and inclinations. Those with overly-liberal attitudes toward raising children—those who invariably condemn Jordan’s actions—can only blame themselves for how today’s children have turned out. “Sanctions” are limited to talking to children in a “therapeutic” manner (which flies in the face of logic; if such “solutions” were in fact valid, then we wouldn’t jail adults for breaking the law…we’d talk to them). We often make unjustified excuses for their actions. Half of us whine and scream, “Abuse” if parents even raise their voices at chronically unruly children, affecting the half of responsible parents who do believe in being given a free hand to raise their children in a manner they deem appropriate. It’s hard to imagine that many Americans either don’t remember, or don’t yearn for those relatively better parenting experiences.
Those who condemn the North Carolina’s father’s actions are simply not looking at the big picture; he could have just as well put the bullets in his daughter for publicly disrespecting her and his wife as responsible parents. But for showing restraint—and innovative thinking—as a parent in dealing with today's often disrespectful, ungrateful, lazy, and unmotivated youth, I say...you go, boy!