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Posted: 11 February 2012 at 9:10pm | IP Logged
@Omnipotent_Taco - I don't think the issue is as grave as you are perceiving it. (It could be, but I don't think so).

Personally, I don't see it as the dad trying to show his daughter who is boss. I see it more as a father putting his foot down and instilling some respect, discipline and gratitude in his daughter.

I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but teenagers in the United States are very insolent, rude and misbehaved. It is almost like an epidemic of disrespectful and entitled behavior.  If in India takes discipline too far, it is the exact opposite here - absolutely no discipline in schools, at home or anywhere. Teenagers are sheltered, pampered and allowed to get away with anything. A huge part of this is the parent's fault, teenagers these days don't get enough attention as they ought too. At the same time parents are afraid to discipline. There is so much aura and hype around abusive parenting that people are afraid to discipline their kids. Despite that the behavior was not so bad. Kids eventually would mature up. Those who made it through college would go through a massive change. However, the misbehavior has heightened since the advent of social media. The problem is really high amidst girls who have gotten far more bitchier, cattier, mean and judgmental to everyone for no good reason. They spend hours on social media sites tearing down their parents, teachers and other students they don't like.

To give credit to both the students and parents cell phones and social media have created a whole new world. I don't think young teens are ready to responsibly use technology and parents are don't have guidelines on how to address technology. Back in the day teens would bitch about people, but it stayed within the privacy of a group. Today these comments are public with more far reaching consequences. Back in the day once a kid came home, they were cut out from their friends and it was family time. Today even after coming home, laptops and cellphones expose teens to a communication overload. Their cliques, their expectations, their bullies, their bullying, their social and peer pressures are with them 24/7. Back in the day disciplining was simpler. Today with the misbehavior being in cybersphere it is much harder for parents to find the right way to discipline. Should they address just their kid or the entire social group that is causing problems - because no single kid changes unless the group also is disciplined.

This kid bitched about her parents and since parents have direct authority the dad was in a place to do something. Some of this unchecked online ranting, posting mean messages about others, and getting a whole peer group tearing people down have actually have had disastrous consequences for other victims, including innocent teachers who were made targets of catty behavior. Facebook gives the Mean girls burn book a whole new level of meanness.

That is why I think many people view Tommy Jordan as a hero. Finally a parent who actually saw his daughter stray too far on Facebook and actually do something about it. Finally a parent who decided that even words on Facebook have consequences and you can't do just anything and everything you want because its 'online'. Finally a parent who was not afraid to discipline their kids and set an example for other parents that its ok to be harsh, to be firm and give some very tough love.

Was he 100% right. Of course not. His intent and even the initial part of the video was right. However, his violent method was wrong. There is also the possibility that his daughter is actually a very well behaved and good kid, who is not a misbehaved entitled kid and had a very bad day and lashed out. It could be that this father just overreacted way too far.

I'm against authoritarian parenting and iron fist discipline with no leeway. I've seen friends and others turn to lying and trickery because of overbearing parents. I've noticed how kids with over the top parents have a penchant for breaking rules, getting into trouble and find ways to embarrass or get back at their parents. If this is how Tommy Jordan disciplines his children all the time, if this is how he reacts when they misbehave, if his only solution is destroying things then definitely he is one of those parents pushing his kids away into a disastrous path. If he is one of those parents I can totally see why his daughter could end up being a runaway or some sort of rebel someday.

It is a possibility Tommy Jordan is one of those parents. However, based on things he has said and done since the video went up - I don't think this is what he does all the time. He seems to be a genuinely caring father. The video was meant for his daughter and her friends, it was not intended to go viral. He regrets the fact that it got so much publicity and is trying to shield his family from the media. He has had the cops and social services check on his family and is not bitter or resentful about it. He is merely a parent who is upset with the system in our country where children don't receive a decent education nor decent discipline.

His destructive method was definitely over the top. It can be scarring for a teenager. It can give the wrong lesson to teens on how to deal with problems. It can teach that violence and aggression and acceptable solutions. But again it depends on what type of parents they are rest of the time. Parents are humans too and make dozens of mistakes, sometimes humongous ones. They sometimes hit or punish their kids for no reason, they publicly embarrass them in front of everyone, they ruin their social lives and interfere in their friendships. All these things can really mess a kid up. If parents keep repeating these mistakes, kids will be messed up. However, if they later when things are said and done they can communicate, pass on the right message, explain themselves in a more positive light and come to agreements - then the kids will be fine.

In the end we all saw only 8 minutes of Tommy Jordans life. Its foolish of me to assume that I know enough about him,whether he is a good parent or if his kids will be fine by watching the video or his Facebook. But my perception of the situation is for the better rather than the worse.

@ Dia - There is nothing wrong in teenagers working to earn their keep and fund their expenses. It really instills the value for money, responsibility and discipline. Of course there have to be limitations. Many jobs are not safe or suitable for teens. Moreover, they have better priorities like education and peer socialization before they dedicate time to a job. Unfortunately, some of the laws surrounding teenage employment is ridiculous and sometimes teenagers are far too sheltered.

If I was in Chicago or even Milwaukee I'd think paper routes and many other jobs are risky. But there are several neighborhoods in my town and all across the state that I can vouch are safe. Similarly, I don't think there is anything wrong in a 16 year old hosting or waiting tables at Applebees or Fridays.

As for education in the USA. There are serious issues beyond not being able to graph tangents and equations. Many students cannot do simple math without calculator. They dont know how to write cursive or what long division is. Their reading, writing and comprehension skills are sub par. They lack most nations in math and science. With the 'No Child Left Behind' policies standards were dramatically lowered so they could push kids through the system. IMHO it is better to fail students and hold them back till they are more competent. It is not helping any kid by making school easier so everyone can pass.

@Souro - I guess we actually could have had a debate thread. LOL

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Arwen.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 at 9:46pm | IP Logged
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=2782008

This ones for the Shad - the notorious member known to organize virtual weddings. Go find someone - I'm sure you can make a more creative wedding and even crazier divorce than anyone else on IF.

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Arwen.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 at 11:02pm | IP Logged
@H4L - Ah .. basically the stuff that has flooded my newsfeed LOLLOLLOL
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Posted: 12 February 2012 at 8:51am | IP Logged

Whitney meant many things to me and I always loved the way her voice soared. But I guess none can escape drugs, taxes and death.
May her soul rest in peace.
Such a sad loss.

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Posted: 12 February 2012 at 9:26pm | IP Logged

@ hades:

The problem I have with Tommy Jordan is that he's been putting his foot in his mouth ever since his video raked up a debate on good and bad parenting. He's been ranting about how his video was never meant to kick up a huge storm, that it was only meant for a select few, that he never meant for it to grab the eyeballs it did, etc.

He's supposed to be an IT guy. So I find it puzzling that it never occurred to him that YouTube videos can be made private and accessible to a maximum of 50 viewers. There's also an 'Unlisted' option in the 'Broadcasting and Sharing Options' menu in all user accounts, where only people with whom you've shared the vid link can check out the video.

Due to that, I'm not buying into his 'I never meant for the video to become such a big deal' justification. He chose to upload his video as is, so he should've been damn well prepared for the consequences instead of crying wolf and going on the defensive against media outlets and 'therapists' who are now making the most of this situation to get their 2 minutes in the limelight. Jordan put himself out there of his own volition, so people are obviously either going to rip him to shreds or worship the ground he stands on.

So in effect, he's set yet another shoddy example (of not thinking about the consequences of his actions). Maybe his daughter doesn't care, maybe she's doing fine, and maybe things between the parents and daughter have been sorted. Good for them. But that does not in any way give Tommy any leeway for justifying the means he took to achieve the end.

That's not to say that I side with his daughter though. She really did come across as spoilt, and I actually empathized with him till he blasted those bullets through the lappy. Admittedly, I found the whole thing effing hilarious till what he did became an ideal of good parenting and people put him on a pedestal.

Leaving all assumptions aside that TJ may or may not be prone to wrecking things in the house and be an overbearing dad, the Laptop Armageddon bit was uncalled for. To me, it doesn't matter that people down South are more relaxed when it comes to gun use. He is a parent, and he did what he did citing parental frustration. So pulling a gun out and destroying your kid's possessions is a big no-no in my books. He may have explained his motives behind the whole deal to his daughter later on, and things may have been set right thereafter, but kids, especially teens, pick up a whole lot of subconscious cues by observing their peers and parents.

Like I said earlier, he'd have done better confiscating her 'luxuries' (not destroying them) and giving them off to people in need, which in my view would have been a nice way of teaching her what it means to value your belongings and be grateful for what you have. That's leaving aside his mistake of giving in to most of her demands for material possessions over the years, and then doing a complete 360 and expecting her to slog for each dollar.

TJ may have been brought up a certain way (and he certainly upholds it from the little I've read), but that doesn't mean that particular way of upbringing can be as effective for your offspring or the coming generations. Kids these days are certainly pampered and ill-mannered, but you can't keep blaming everything on technology, a higher disposable income, and peers. I don't believe in physical intimidation to discipline kids, but then again I don't believe in lax parenting either. If certain values are inculcated in children in their formative years, they may be more likely to practice them as teens. Most parents make the mistake of trying to teach their kids certain lessons when they are much older, and then get sleepless nights because everything they say falls on deaf ears.

Of course parents make mistakes. They're human after all, but the difference here is that TJ made his move public and thereby made himself open to both appreciation and criticism.

As for that MDA thing- that was a sweet and smart move by Tommy to save his ass. Now if only he'd used his IT skills to make that video private…

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hindu4lyf

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Posted: 13 February 2012 at 9:18am | IP Logged

@Omnipotent_Taco – I still give Tommy Jordan the benefit of the doubt because I can still see reasons why he would not make the video private. He wanted his daughters peers to see as well. To a certain extent he probably wanted other parents to also see how and why he was putting his foot down. But this video went viral like crazy within a short period of time. It is completely plausible that he did not expect the video to be shared, tweeted, reposted so much and garner so much attention. Even Rebecca Black who made a video to get attention did not ask for or expect the response 'Friday' got.

 

I don't perceive him as crying wolf over what is going on. He admits to making a mistake and drawing so much attention. He seems to understand the fact that he will get extreme reactions on both sides. However, as a person he still does have a right to defend himself and ask people not to misunderstand who he is. That's exactly what he is doing. For me the fact that he is not trying to profit and shielding his family from publicity reflects that he did not do this to garner media attention or this sort of widespread attention.

 

I disagree with his method. I too find the shooting of the laptop extreme. But I can see where he may come from as well.  I've heard from a lot of parents who have said that confiscating is never effective, because children have mastered the art of playing their parents and eventually making them melt and forgive – and then the lessons impact is not there. Some have even made driven their children to Salvation Army or Goodwill and made them 'donate' gameboys, cellphones etc as a lesson. Then the kids end up bribing grandparents or relatives to eventually get things back on birthdays/Christmas etc or collect enough gift money to get what they want. [And this part is a major social challenge in the United States. – My parents were always able to control what gifts we got and any cash gifts had to be handed to my parents. For some reason in the states relatives have too much leeway in gift giving and it is deemed 'wrong' for parents to take back cash gifts that kids receive. Even if they think kids don't know the value of money yet, relatives will accuse parents of being greedy or harsh if they take the kids cash gifts]

 

 That is why some parents have tossed toys, gameboys etc into the dumpster right in front of their kids. The shock value that the parents are able and willing to actually 'destroy' these precious possessions makes a lasting impact. Usually parents who do this have tried other means to discipline their kids, but resort to such methods to drive a point. So I can see why a parent might 'shoot' a laptop instead of confiscation or donating away – to make an impact.

 

Is it right? That's a tricky question. For some kids you need something impactful or shocking to drive a point. For some other kids it crosses the threshold and breaks them into more chaotic rebellion. It's a precarious task for parents to find the right level of punishment that works for their kids and avoid being too lenient or too strict. Personally, I strongly advocate confiscation, giving away – and even garbage before violently shooting something. I do believe that destruction sends wrong messages. But I get why parents do that and as humans I think they have the leeway to snap or be extreme at times. As long as they eventually find the right balance and maintain it majority of the times. Most importantly as long as they never ever physically harm or abuse their kids simply because they got upset.

 

Tommy Jordan was collecting for MDA long before this incident so he does care about doing something for the cause. The fact that he diverted the money after the incident as well is probably a mixture of saving himself and the fact that he cares.

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Arwen.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 at 6:42am | IP Logged
I don't really think one can anticipate that their video would go viral. If that was true there are thousands of bands out there who must be posting dozens of videos of their songs and would've loved to know the secret of how to make a video go viral. Just as their anticipation that their video would garner 1 million hits turns out to be naught, similarly a person's anticipation that only a 100 people surrounding his daily life will watch it might turn out to be too small an estimation.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 at 9:24am | IP Logged

I knew it Matt Bomer! I knew it! Neal Caffrey is way too dapper, too dapper even for a White Collar criminal.  And I don't even watch your show, just the trailers during my SVU fix.

 

Now if only people took my calls more seriously and didn't get so defensive, like folks out on DID.

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