Tough love or over the top?
Many of you may have seen the video of a disheartened and angry father shooting bullets into his 15-year-old daughter’s laptop. Tommy Jordan, the disgruntled dad found a Facebook posting on his daughter’s page while fixing her laptop. Her posting lashed out at her parents for making her do chores “when the cleaning lady Linda is supposed to that.” She was upset with the amount of responsibilities her parents had enforced upon her. In this posting, she cusses out her parents for all her Facebook friends to see. She thought she had blocked her parents from being able to see the posting, but Tommy works in IT, so while spending six hours installing new software to update her laptop, he ran across it.
After this discovery, Tommy took his daughter’s laptop, made a video of him of expressing disappointment and anger in his daughter’s lack of respect, and then promptly shot eight rounds into her laptop and said he wanted her to pay him back for the $130 in software he installed and also for his bullets. He posted the video on her wall for her friends to see.
Talk about a public punishment.
Many experts have weighed in on such a public humiliation for the child, saying it would cause more harm than good. Others have praised Tommy for tough love and doing what many parents wish they had the guts to do. As a child who caused more problems for my parents than I would care to discuss at full length, I find myself wanting to give Tommy a high-five.
It has not been until recently that I realized the hell that I put my parents through. I was an awful and rebellious teen. My parents tried to discipline me, but I fought their discipline until they tired so much that they didn’t have the energy to punish me anymore. I did the typical sneaking out of the house and drinking with my buddies. When my parents realized they couldn’t contain me in the house, all they asked is that I called them to let them know I was safe, where I was, and who I was with.
I couldn’t even do that.
I thought at sixteen I knew it all and was totally independent. So, I took my mom’s car without asking one evening, and ended up totaling it. Then at the ripe age of 17, I got a DUI while my parents were out of town. At this point my parents were at a loss of what to do with me and basically said, “You’ll learn the hard way that life is not so easy once you leave for college.”
When I went to college though, I had less boundaries and more room to mess up. And when I got in trouble, I expected my parents to bail me out. Unfortunately, they did. Often when I acted out I wanted them to do something. I craved boundaries. I longed for someone to put me in my place because I felt so out of control with myself. Would a public humiliation been good for me? I have no idea. However, it certainly would have shown me that my parents would not put up with my crap.
There is something to be said about a parent who simply cannot tolerate anymore disrespect from a child that shows zero appreciation or gratitude. If Tommy’s daughter had lashed out before at her parents and continued to break rules, perhaps Tommy felt this was the last straw and wanted to show her just how much she humiliated her parents through her Facebook posting. Sometimes a taste of one’s own medicine is the best cure.
I believe tough love can serve its place. For me, my relationship with my parents was unbalanced because they were too soft on me. I was the one in charge and didn’t place any boundaries in my life. And if they ever did threaten to take any privileges away, they never followed through. Perhaps it was out of fear of what I would do next. Whatever the reason, having consequences and tough love would have given me more of a balance in my life. I certainly would have had less room to mess up and could have learned a thing or two about not being an entitled brat.
So mom and dad, I’m sorry for all the shit I put you through. I’m sorry for all the money I cost you. I’m sorry that I didn’t care about your feelings. I’m sorry that I never showed appreciation. I’m sorry that I felt entitled to all the great things you gave me. Also, thank you for loving me unconditionally despite being a devil child.
Having said that, a swift boot up the butt probably wouldn’t have done much harm, though.
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Follow Anya Alvarez on Twitter @anyaalvarez
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