by Connie H. Deutsch
The news for over a month has been about a fifteen-year-old girl who lambasted her parents on Facebook and her father's reaction when he saw her expletive-filled message for the entire world to see. And all I can say is WOW!!
In a joint interview with the family, the father says how he tried a variety of methods to get his daughter to understand that her Facebook account is not private and that her posts can be read by anyone. Her stepmother had told her, "Don't post anything on the web you don't want the entire world to see" and, still, their daughter posted a message that was so disrespectful, that her father felt it was time to take appropriate action.
With the cameras rolling, he read the message his daughter had posted on Facebook. The camera was still rolling when he took his daughter's laptop out in the backyard and said, "This right here is her laptop. This right here is my 45." The video showed him shooting the laptop nine times with hollow-point bullets.
That video went viral and has been seen more than 31 million times. The reactions have been enormous and there have been at least 1,000 messages a day. The father says that he stands behind what he did and there are ten times more likes than dislikes of the 120,000 YouTube viewers and 73 percent of the 120,000 viewers on YouTube agree with what he did.
What this says to me is that the daughter is part of a growing culture of children who have no respect for their parents and that is probably because their parents are not acting like the adults in the family. In too many families, it's the children who are making the rules and the parents who are yielding to their demands.
In the old days, I can't remember a single time when I was under the impression that children made the decisions and that their parents had to abide by them. If we were given a curfew, then we came home on time for that curfew. If our parents said we couldn't do something, then it was pointless to argue about it. We were taught that there are always consequences for every action, so we had to decide whether our actions were worth the consequences we would have to incur.
Of course, in the old days there were no computers, and social networking had not yet come into existence. Still, even if all this had been part of our lives, I can't imagine parents giving us free rein and I can't imagine disregarding our parents' dictates.
While this father may have done something that was over the top, still, it shows a level of frustration that he wasn't able to get his daughter to show him the respect he deserves as a parent without taking such Draconian measures.
This father removed the hard drive from his daughter's laptop before pouring nine hollow-point bullets into it and he returned the hard drive to her a month later with her personal files still intact. She still has no laptop and she is still being grounded and on restriction from using her Facebook account, but I think this is a lesson she will always remember.
If more parents stopped acting like their children's friend and started acting like their children's parent, we would have a better society. We would have children and adults who knew their role in the family and who showed respect for one another, whether they liked them or not.
It's not always easy to like a family member but it is imperative that we treat them with the same respect we wish to be accorded. When we act disrespectfully toward others, we are the ones who lose respect.
For years, we have seen adults acting like children, trying to be a friend to their children instead of parenting their children. We need to reestablish the roles in a family so that children can be children and adults can be adults.
Children have been losing their way emotionally and growing up too fast, not knowing the meaning of boundaries. We see this happening in the home, but also in schools and in the workplace. In fact, we see this loss of boundaries in every strata of society and it is to the detriment of society when we are each so consumed by our own importance that we neglect to see the needs of others.
From childhood to adulthood there is a steep learning curve. First we need to learn how to play nice in the sandbox and then we need to learn how to become individuals without stepping on the toes of those around us to get what we want. In other words, we need to learn to respect each other's boundaries and see beyond our own needs.
Connie H. Deutsch is an internationally known business consultant and personal advisor who has a keen understanding of human nature and is a natural problem-solver. She is known throughout the world for helping clients find workable solutions to problems that are often complex and systemic in nature and part of a corporation's culture or an individual's pattern of behavior.
Connie has hosted her own weekly radio show, been a weekly guest on a morning radio show, done guest spots on radio shows around the country, and appeared as a guest on a cable television show. Connie wrote a weekly newspaper Advice Column for sixteen years and has been invited to speak at local colleges and given lectures around the country. She also wrote the scripts for a weekly financial show on cable television.
Connie is the author of the book, "Whispers of the Soul," “A Slice of Life” and is the co-author of an E-book, "Getting Rich While the World Falls Apart" which is being offered as a free download on her website. She has also written and produced two CDs on Meditation and Relationships and has done coaching on customer service and employee relationships. Her website: http://www.conniehdeutsch.com/
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