Dad Shoots Daughter’s Laptop

Have you seen the YouTube video posted by a father who shot his daughter’s laptop? You need to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jo2slZJYYk

Why did he shoot it? He was fed up with his daughter’s sense that he owed her more than he had already given her and with her complaining about doing chores.

Any parent understands this Dad’s frustration. In a world where we parents feel that we must give our kids thousands of dollars worth of electronics: cell phones. laptops, ipads, ipods, video games, etc., and then pay to keep all of these things running, it’s no wonder that we feel used. We give until it hurts and then get our feelings hurt when our kids fail to
appreciate our efforts.

I see this Dad’s frustration daily on the faces of the parents in my office. But I see the problem differently. I think that we are the fools. When did we begin to feel that we owe our kids these things?

I see fourth graders with cell phones and second graders with laptops. Are you kidding?
Who’s thinking is skewed in these scenarios?

Parents- reign it in. How can we expect our kids *not* to feel entitled when we pour this stuff on them? We train them to believe that our job is to keep the toys coming and then we get mad when they fail to appreciate us.

Here’s a pretty simple, but hard solution for parents to keep their kids from turning into beasts. If a child wants a cell phone, he can earn it but only after he’s 15. And the laptop? No highschool kid needs one. Teen boys alone in their bedrooms with a laptop is a recipe for trouble with a capital “T.”

Cut the cords parents, literally, and I can guarantee that life with your kids will be a whole lot sweeter.

Now, I want to know: What was your reaction to the video? 

  • http://www.cheekybumsblog.com rusty

    Completely agree! I loved his video too, though. How many parents would have even bothered to actually address the disrespect?….

  • http://unknownjim.com Jim

    I thought the video was great honestly. I feel for the guy, you could tell he was getting really emotional as he filmed it. It’s not like he really wanted to do that, he wanted to discipline his kid. No one ever said discipline was fun. I really enjoyed the post!

  • Jay

    I don’t think I would have posted the video. That is humiliating to the daughter that really isn’t needed. I might have done the video, but just not posted it and just had her watch it. I also don’t think I would have let it get that far with her attitude. Seems that the daughter gets to spend a lot of time on her own on the internet instead of spending time with her Dad. She may (I’m guessing) not have been so bratty if she was spending quantity (and some quality) time with Dad.

    I am totally guessing and assuming here of course.

    • Anna

      She can use a little humiliation for being such a smart ass…way to go Dad!

  • Joe

    I thought the shooting of the laptop was anticlimactic, just a bunch of little holes….now had he dropped it off the roof of a 3 story building and filmed it smashing into a bunch of pieces, that would have been fun to see.

    • Steve

      Yes, I agree with Joe. Perhaps driving a monster truck over it or using a grenade or bazooka to annihilate her laptop would have done the trick! Well, at least he could still hand it back to her, after the bullets, to be a subtle reminder.

      So sadly true about the narcissistic kids we often see today.

  • http://itsourjourney.wordpress.com Melissa

    I couldn’t watch the video. Not all of it anyways and based on the response I was seeing on Facebook, I got the jist of it.

    My personal response is this: Nothing happens in a vacuum. Snotty teenager just didn’t wake up one day being snotty. She has acquired this attitude over time. Where was this swift move back then when it first started?

  • Kimberly Moore

    Well done dad! I am sure she got your message loud and clear, 8 times….

  • Diane Krisotlovich

    She ‘hid’ her comments because she didn’t want to embarass herself or her family but she needed to vent. (that’s why a person has the option to ‘hide’ something!)

    Dad really pushed this beyond anything an adult or a parent ought to do. I fear he may have destroyed their relationship.

    There is a certain symbolism to using a gun that is chilling.

    Couldn’t he just take it away?

    • http://Www.jimjacobson.org Jim Jacobson

      Shooting and discipline don’t really go together.

  • Deb

    I think this dad was completely out of line. He is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. An authoritarian parent who thinks he can control his daughter. It makes me really sad, actually.

  • http://Www.jimjacobson.org Jim Jacobson

    As a father of four fairly well adjusted daughters… Daughters who are pretty techie thanks to their geek dad, I cringed at this video. I think this man was a terrible example to his daughter in making and certainly publishing this video. In my opinion, his redneck approach will only serve to alienate his daughter. His foul mouth and unreasonable temper are bad examples, no doubt he is partially responsible for the attitude of his daughter.
    Colossians 3:21 says: ” Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. ”
    If I responded to my girls in this manner, I would lose them relationally.
    At this point, this guy has laid a faulty foundation with his daughter, he could just quietly take back control in a loving way, but he also needs to own up to his own failure in my humble opinion.

  • dan

    My oldest son is 8 so I don’t know what it’s like to have a teeneager. That said, this video makes me want to set up an allowance for work he does so that he can buy his own stuff, so he can have pride and appreciate it.

    I thought the video was amusing but also a little sad. Not to judge the guy cause I don’t know him but I wonder if his attitude and way of dealing with the situation (a video) might be insight into his daughters behavior. Again, I have a boy 8 and twin daughters 6 so what do I know?

    That’s why I’m reading your books Dr. Meeker, I don’t want to end up having to make my own video in 10 yrs.

  • Jared Cowan

    Right on target. No pun intended.

  • Brandy

    this was my response on Facebook:

    Am I the only one that thinks this was SO not the way to handle it. She posted a nasty rant to her friends about her parents. It wasn’t the right thing to do. But I don’t see how destroying property while publicly humiliating her is going to do anything but make her think that it’s okay for the men in her life to react in an over the top destructive manner and close her off to her family. If this was a husband who had heard that his wife had spoken to him to her friends on a coffee date in a negative way so he decided to shoot out the vehicle she drove or her phone.. I would tell her to call the local abuse center for help. What if he instead, had taken his daughter out on a special date, poured out his love and grace for her and shared how he felt about her post and gave her a chance to share how she’s been feeling? She made a mistake. I know I certainly talked to my friends about my parents growing up, I just didn’t have facebook to do it on. ha. Maybe she deserves consequences. But this really disturbed me on so many levels.

  • http://www.cavusfinancialcoaching.com Keith Bunn

    I LOVED THIS VIDEO!!!

    Like that dad, I was made to work to earn money when I was younger,& I was out on my own by 19 years old serving in the Army. The kids today have it too easy!!
    I had heard about this video but haven’t seen it till now. Thanks for posting it Dr. Meeker!

  • Nancy

    I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the video. I’ve only read the comments and I agree with those who say it’s out of line, with the use of the gun and the publishing on youtube.

    One of my children bought his first CD a day before I found he had destroyed part of a piece of furniture in his room. I requested the CD and broke it in half in front of him. That was over five years ago and he just reminded me of it with a laugh, saying he sure learned from it. But I did that privately, and talked about why with him. He had to save his money up again and buy a replacement (no easy feat at his young age at the time).

    I don’t give my kids items like laptops.

  • Steph

    Weird, weird, weird… The whole situation…

    Parents are supposed to be their child’s first teachers, part of that includes disciplining them so they understand boundaries and consequences. Respect is a big part of being a parent – well a good one anyway.

    When a person respects another person, they are more likely to listen to them and behave appropriately towards them. When there is a lack of respect, the opposite is true, they are more than ever not going to take any notice of what they say or do.

    This fathers retaliation for her bad behaviour has done little to maintain his daughters respect – he responded in a childish and violent manner! What is he trying to tell her? If you mess up next time he’ll kill her?

    I’m not condoning Hannah’s actions. I think her message was very rude. But most people would quickly see that something is up in her family life and she is just having an outlet to try and understand it? Would she have written that message if she felt loved?

    Being a parent is not so much about the adult as it is about the child. As a parent in the early years we learn to be selfless for our child. The hard thing to do is not take it personal but look beyond the actions to what is really going on.

    I’m just a mum… I would not want my child nor any other using a weapon just because I’m scared and don’t know how to communicate effectively with my child.

    I do believe action should be taken. I think the father should re-establish boundaries – kids not only need them but love them!

    Make it a rule that if she is on Facebook that he has to have full access – in front of her – not behind her back. Interact normally so all her friends know that you are there for your precious girl.

    Modern technology is not a curse for parents. Parents just need to work out how to teach their child to use it properly.

    Children also want to be proud of their parents. The laptop didn’t do anything to the father, is putting a round of bullets in one going to really solve anything? There are plenty more laptops where that one came from and if that is not an option then her friends might let her have time on theirs.. Take a step back and see that it is how Hannah used the laptop that is the problem. Teach her how things should be done. Use feeling words…. Disappointed… hurt that she wrote those things about her family…

    Get her to fix what has been broken. Make her apologies for these things.. Whether it is public or not, the important thing that she learn what is acceptable and what is not.

    And to the Dad, yes you spent all that money on fixing the laptop. Did Hannah not say thank you? Does she not understand that you spent time doing it? Did you get her to help you (as best she can?) Help her to feel part of it, its not the end result that matters so much as the doing it together which = times together = love.

  • Anna

    Way to go…this girl needed a serious reality check and being held accountable for the words that she used…she wont clean her parents asses when they are old ?!? Snotty little brat…way to go Dad!!

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  • Michelle

    I do not forsee my daughter having a laptop of her own until she is about 17 now….I also do not support guns so I would have just taken it away for a year until she learns to respect us and appreciate her things that we have given her…I knew someone that put his three children’s bikes in a pile and ran them over with his truck because he asked them to pick them up over and over….crazy….I’m still working on my two picking up crayons, wet towels, and to put dirty clothes in their frog hampers:)

  • http://www.cheekybumsblog.com Kelsi

    Dr. Meeker, we linked your article to our blog post – thanks for taking such a great approach to this situation! The daughter obviously didn’t get to this point by accident or wake up one morning with these issues…they were cultivated…thanks again!

  • matt

    I loved it. Though it probably humiliated and embarrassed her, and he perhaps shouldve handled it in-house, he took to a public forum bc she did also. I could see where this could be seen as lowering yourself to your child’s level, but I also think he got the point across. Not to mention, a dad with a .45 on his hip and willingness to put 6 in a laptop ought to keep the troublesome boys away…

  • Audra

    I agreed with the father, however I honestly don’t believe he thought it would have gone viral. He was addressing his daughter and her friends… My pastor used to say that the punishment had to fit the crime, and though I might not have used a gun, I can see where he was trying to give her a taste of the her own medicine. I do agree with the good Dr., my 12 yr old daughter has been begging for a cell phone since 4th grade or since she was 9 because “all” her friends have a cell phone. She still begging!!! As for a lap top. She was given one as a birthday gift from a relative (notebook style). I fixed it once from a virus and now it sits not being used because she got another virus and I refuse to pay for removing it…hmmm amazing, since she hasn’t had it for about 3 months, she’s not so interested in the computer anymore. We’ve never bought our any of our older 4 children a car either. Kids want for everything! If they don’t learn to earn their way, they’re going to be some very dysfunctional adults. Remember, the “eye is never satisfied.”

  • Jeanine

    I agree. my children (11yr. Old twins & 10 yr.) want iPads, iPods, laptops I will not purchase them. It seems they do not respect or value money so all 3 of my children saved their birthday and Christmas money to purchase those items. It started with my youngest in 2nd grade. He wanted a laptop and he saved his money and purchased it on his own. I’m very proud of him at second grade because he never asked me if he can get one with my money he simply did it all on his own. My twins watched and were upset that he got his own laptop, I simply explain to them save your own money like your brother. They combined their money together and purchased a laptop together. Then their birthday came along and was able to buy another one. The next year my youngest saved and brought an iPod, again the twins followed. This year it took him 2 years to save up for an iPad. Of course the twins are not much of savers and purchased a kindle fire. Now my youngest had he is saving all his money for college.

  • http://Www.5things.us Holly

    I like your response to this. Boy this video stirred up heated debates! My oldest didn’t get laptop until college. Or an iPhone until senior year. Facebook for my kids doesn’t even happen until sometime after middle school when respect is already in place. I agree children have way too much way too soon and it’s destructive. Makes me think of the book called “The Price of Privilege”. Very interesting read.