Friday, February 10, 2012

I know everybody's talking about this, but...

Last night, an old college friend/current Facebook friend posted a video by an angry father whose 15 year old daughter publicly disrespected him on Facebook.  I just now got around to watching the video and reading the article about Hannah and the laptop her father fired eight shots into...

If you haven't seen the video yet, here it is...



This dad is understandably upset with his daughter for posting an open letter to her parents for "abusing her" by making her do chores and grounding her for being disrespectful, then attempting to block her parents from seeing her nasty Facebook post.  Unfortunately for Hannah, Dad works in IT, so he knows how to get around those pesky privacy settings.  He uncovered Hannah's "open letter" and decided to respond to it in a decidedly 21st century way... on Hannah's Facebook page via YouTube.

First off, I remember 15.  It's a tough age.  I remember being sullen and bitchy back then... especially to authority figures.  However, I also know that if I had ever posted anything remotely like what Hannah posted and my parents got wind of it, my dad would have knocked the hell out of me.  Fortunately for me, my parents were pretty uninvolved with my life by the time I was 15 and never learned about computers.  And I didn't have a computer anyway.

I remember cussing a lot of as a teen.  I remember wanting privacy and being at odds with my parents.  However, I doubt I ever would have had the nerve to do what Hannah did.

Watching that video today, as a childless 39 year old woman, I have to admit being squarely on dad's side, even though I do remember 15.  I can imagine raising a teenager with an attitude problem who publicly disrespects me on a forum like Facebook and wanting to fire eight shots into her laptop computer.  However, as tough as dad's talk is in this video, I have a sneaking suspicion that Hannah will have a new computer sooner rather than later.  Why?  Because computers are part of our lives and are necessary for school work.  And Hannah's disrespectful behavior didn't come out of a vacuum.  Something tells me she's been getting away with this kind of shit for years and that's why she thought she could get away with posting her open letter on Facebook.

Watching the video, it also occurs to me that Hannah's parents are divorced, which probably has a lot to do with her crappy attitude toward them.  It's possible that one or both of Hannah's parents felt guilty when they split, which caused them to overindulge their little princess.  And maybe that's another reason why Hannah is being so hateful.  Who knows...  The hormones involved with being 15 are enough to make anyone nutty.

Some people are screaming that Hannah's dad is being abusive.  There are cries that he violated her privacy and had no right to destroy her property.  Chances are excellent that Hannah is not the one who paid for her computer.  She probably doesn't pay for the internet connection.  She has what appears to be a nice home to live in and she is a minor.  It's a fact that children don't have the same rights adults have.  That's mostly for their own good, even if I can agree that some parents abuse their control over their kids.

In any case, in three short years, Hannah can get her own computer.  Hell, she can get her own place.  Then she can be as obnoxious and disrespectful as she pleases.  But it sounds to me like her dad wants her to attend college and may even help her achieve that goal.  That makes her pretty lucky.  Not every kid has that.  For now, I am solidly on Hannah's dad's side.  He had the right to destroy her computer, especially if he purchased it for her.  We need to let parents reclaim some control over disciplining their kids and what goes on under their roofs.

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