Who’s to blame: parenting and being a teenager in the age of social media

This morning I saw an astonishing news on ABC’s Good Morning America: a father shooting his daughter’s laptop, which he bought, and posting his justification on YouTube. In the beginning, it sounded funny, but when I watched it again online, it somehow made me sad. It made me question: what’s happening to families in this “modern” age?! What happened to disciplining kids at home instead of lynching them in public? Why do most teenagers rebel; why are some of them so disrespectful to their parents? Is that just hormonal or a product of bad parenting? Who is to blame? Parents? Teenagers themselves? Divorce? The decadent culture? The society? The movies? Social Media? Β Hip Hop? Punk Rock? Rap? Pop? Government? Schools and higher institutions? Teachers? Professors? The law? Who? Have most parents forgotten how to raise their children? What is the best way to raise morally conscious and responsible children without compromising their independence? And what’s the worst way of raising a child? Does following some kind of religion help or does it make it worse?Β Is being liberal a spoiler of kids? Is being conservative a better alternative or it can be worse? Etc.

Teenagers and parents in the age of social media (FB, YouTube, Twitter, …), smart-phones, tablets, and the internet => worst case scenario: daughter ranting about or disrespecting her parents on Facebook, and father revenging on YouTube! Please watch the video, and have your say! πŸ™‚

People’s reaction after watching the video has been quite mixed. Some have said “BRAVO!” to the dad, and others have denounced him as “the worst BULLY!” I say neither the daughter nor the father is right! Besides he is the oldest here. Obviously, I would not defend the daughter’s action. But I believe the father has a responsibility to protect his daughter despite her mistakes, and to discipline her without hurting or further exposing the family privacy!Β He could have disciplined her without embarrassing both of them in front of the world. Just because she “insulted him” on FB, it does not mean he has to do the same on YouTube! That only makes me think that her “rebellious nature” is a product of his (bad) parenting, not to mention the psychological impact of divorce on this teenage girl! His action, which is fueled by anger and lack of reasoning, will only make his daughter resent him more; to me, he looks like a lost or confused father who has no idea how to discipline his child. Though difficult to put oneself in his shoes, I just can’t agree with his action. And if I were the girl, I would feel threatened to live with my father who shoots “my” laptop with his pistol and brags about it publicly. What’s next? Shoot me?

To be honest with you, I am sick and tired of families washing their dirty laundries in public, from courtroom dramas, realty shows, now to FB and YouTube; come on, why do we have homes and family meetings?! (Well, on the positive side, when families wash their dirty laundries in public, there is one advantage to the rest of us: we learn important lessons at their cost!)

But the fundamental question remains: who is to blame?

What say you? πŸ˜‰


14 thoughts on “Who’s to blame: parenting and being a teenager in the age of social media

  1. You have asked a question that has been researched for a while in psychology. There are a combination (it seems most likely) of many inputs. Society, culture, peer persure, parenting, hormones, and other biological factors. It can really get into a messy research on all that is at fault. But ultimately it comes down to where everyone will eventually have to take control and responsibility of their own behavior, unless biological problems. Even then, they will need to take the proper responsibility to help themselves too; no one can make someone do something that they do not want to do. You really have a great article and ask some very pointed questions.

  2. Wow. I didn’t see this. (watched Today Show!) I had the same thoughts as you as I was watching. Why do this on youtube? Why air your dirty laundry for all to see?
    Now I know where her language and actions come from.

    Teens are so vulnerable, even though they seem “tough”. They can be hurt and embarrassed so easily. They can be rebellious and anti-rules, but they still crave the love of their parents and want parameters in their life.
    I hope this father, daughter and mom can restore some sense of “family” after all this. I am very concerned about that.

    Concerning your other questions…. I don’t think there’s just one answer. I think it’s a combination of many things that you listed, along with something I mentioned in a comment before.
    As a society we’ve had a breakdown in communicating respect, responsibility, cooperation and other social skills that used to be passed down from one generation to the next. It was done in a simple, role-modeling manner by grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, and carried on to the next gen. Manners and and The Golden Rule have been lost in many households. Instead: the Media has taken its place…. taken over dinner table talk between generations, the time many of these social skills were taught.
    We have FB, YouTube, Reality Shows, etc….

    Something else bothers me….Some of the mystery shows seem like a tutorial on rape, murder, break-ins, fighting, etc. I think they’ve gone beyond the old mystery shows and are far too graphic. How are we influencing our youth with these shows? Anyone else think the same?

    1. Thank you Judy! What a passionate response! πŸ™‚ I so agree with everything you’ve written! As for the last question, you are right there is too much graphic violence depicted in most of the stories out there, not just mystery shows. Video games are the worst. And these graphic attacks one way or the other do influence the psychology of those people who consume them a lot!

  3. What an interesting thing to bring up…This is a question that hits the very core of our modern day society. Contrary to it being either the daughter’s or the father’s fault, I believe that societal standards have caused this incident. Parents are simply not relating to their children. The cause, in my opinion, is none other than the fast advancing technology and the ever evolving changes in our society. How can parents, born in a world where outside was their only playroom, connect to children whose lives are so interlinked with the internet?
    It takes a lot of adapting…both on the part of the parent and on the child. Most of the time, it just doesn’t work out. Oh society, what shall we do with you?
    An incredibly thought provoking post, Elyas.

    1. Thank you ‘Nessa! πŸ™‚ “How can parents, born in a world where outside was their only playroom, connect to children whose lives are so interlinked with the internet?” You’ve raised such an important question. These is indeed one of the biggest problems that divides parents and their kids. The technology does create a gap between the two groups, which results in the kind of embarrassing youtube video that I’ve posted here. It’s sad. And the gap will continue to grow wider as kids become more and more sophisticated while their parents lag behind.

  4. In this modern age, privacy barely exists. And this is an extreme example! By humiliating his daughter on YouTube, he is humiliating himself too because it shows that he’s isn’t the perfect dad either. Why did his daughter insulted him? She had her own reasons. The father shouldn’t have done this to her; he should have handled the matter privately. It was immature and cruel of him. Both are to blame in a way, but not the modern world.
    Even in Shakespeare’s time this type of public humiliation happened, well at least in his play “Much Ado”. The father is so much like Claudio who spoilt the reputation of a whole family instead of simply talking to the concerned parties directly and in privacy.
    Communication between members of the families is important! It’s useless to put it on the web because it’ll now get worse between the daughter and father. Their relationship was broken in a few minutes of a Youtube video. The battle, will it ever end?

  5. When i saw the video, all i could think was of how much i love my parents!

    At fifteen, it happens, but the kid learns soon enough. I was once in Hannah’s shoes, but three years from that age, i realize the wrong of my words.

    What the daughter did was wrong, but that’s what kids do. But what the dad did was even worse. It’s like cyber bullying your kid. The dad should’ve cut his daughter some slack. Cuz that’s what parents do…

    1. Thank you APB! πŸ™‚ You are right, that was surely a cyber bullying! No question about it! And when the bully turns out to be your own father, things get ugly. The daughter was not innocent too. But as you said she was just being what she is, a kid. And as a grown up man, as a father, he had the upper hand to take control of the situation in a more responsible way.

  6. Whatever issues were going on between the dad and the daughter have now exploded to new heights. Certainly, this is no way to deal with a conflict at all. Rather shocking actually, am really embarrassed for both of them…

    1. Thank you Veeh! πŸ™‚ Certainly he needs some conflict resolution training! πŸ™‚ I just hope she gains strength to deal with what has happened. This def. is gonna stay with her for years to come.

  7. that was crazy πŸ™‚
    what a parent !!!
    we need to have more tact in handling such situations.
    if grown ups act this way, what can we expect of our children ?

    but I agree, it gets frustrating at times … πŸ˜€

  8. I am sick and tired of families washing their dirty laundries in public – I too am!
    Nowadays everything is there on the ‘wall’ for the whole world to see/read. How sad! Even those who sympathise will be enjoying the drama.
    I feel, the father should have excused her! His deed could only make it worse…

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