Look around you!
This is where the path of hatred has brought us! This is the path I choose, father.
What will yours be?
There really is no one right way - when it comes to life or parenting. But there are better choices. Is there ever a time when shooting a laptop is the better choice in the hopes that your child will learn a lesson? Not for me.
I did learn a lot of lessons myself today from a father who did just that and posted it on Facebook yesterday. First I learned to trust my first instinct, which was to not watch the video. But then it popped up again and Gerry was still awake, and it was late so I did. Oops. Guess I need to learn that lesson again a few more times.
Then I started reading comments. Oops again. Someday I'll learn not to do that too! The comments are what get me every time. After watching and reading a bit I jumped in on a couple of threads. I'm slowly starting to put my ideas out there, like dipping my big toe in the pool before jumping in. I learned some more.
Here is a beautiful perspective from a "friend of a friend" on Facebook (and I've never even met *my* friend in real life - she's just another awesome person I met through the internet)
Another person commented, "if HE isn't terrible, his actions certainly are." and the first person responded,
Ok, back to lessons I learned. First of all I thought about this all day today. I mean really! I'm like that - once I start thinking about something I just have to dig my teeth in, and shake my head around like a dog chewing a stuffed animal, till the insides are all spilling out and it's spread out all over the room and you still can't make any sense of it. So all day I'm thinking about this and reading other people's comments - all the while doing my normal stuff - feeding and playing with the kids, getting Gerry down for nap, getting us all out the door for Marisol's dance class. And all the while I know that I need to focus on my life, and my kids, and all of my blessings. I know that is the right thing to do. And I was somewhat successful. But I could totally see the irony of me trying to write a blog post about this while ignoring my own children's needs. Someone brought this video to an Unschooling page on Facebook and it was deleted because the people there are keeping the focus on Unschooling and what helps it thrive. Needless to say, this isn't it.
On the Natural Parenting page they asked if readers are on "Team Dad". I thought that was interesting because if you aren't on Team Dad then I guess you are on Team Daughter which also implies they are competing against each other and only one of them can win. I know there is a better way.
Another friend of mine who I've known since we were about 4 years old also struggled. He felt that what the dad did was over the top but also admitted that he would probably want to do the same thing if his child had put a note like that up on the internet. I hear what he's saying and I want parents to know there are alternatives.
I read these other perspectives which I loved and shared:
Demand Euphoria's post: What Kind Of Bed Do You Make With a Gun?
and FreePlayLife's post: Friends Don’t Let Friends Parent Batshit Crazy
And all day I ruminated. And tried to love my wonderful life. And tried not to get too depressed that most people (who comment anyways) not only think this kind of behavior is acceptable but actually laudable. I tried to focus on all that I love in the world and know to be good. Like this amazing blog that raised $25,000 in less than a day for a family in need.
And then this evening, after making it through the day, and even sort of doing it while sticking to my ideals I started to write. But in the midst I was needed by my two kiddos and it is easier to read when needed. So I read some more and I read this update from the father. And my feelings changed again. I hope that his daughter really is ok. And I hope that they really did talk and laugh and that they move on just fine. I don't know him and I don't know her. I just saw the video and it kind of freaked me out. For all the people out there who think that people who are concerned about actions like these are "bleeding hearts" I would say, be careful. Be careful because we don't know what our words and actions do to others. Sure, some people will be fine. But others will not be. And that is why our reactions differ, because we are all so different. So that is why *I* choose love and try for a peaceful way as much as possible. I don't have the "one right answer", none of us do. But what we do need to do is look at the people we care about and ask them how they feel. Then actually listen.
I'm trying to get to a place of not judging others but instead to a place of compassion. Really, I have nothing to judge this father, daughter, or family on but an 8-minute video. He says that they have learned an important lesson, "We have always told her what you put online can affect you forever...One post, made by her Dad, will probably follow him the rest of his life." He says he didn't know it would go viral, and I believe him. The internet is pretty amazing but it can definitely skew things. We learn about every extreme thing out there and that is why we get scared. But these clips are really just that, snapshots. They don't give us the whole picture. So again I learned again today that waiting is beneficial. That silence can be powerful. My own mind and feelings on this manner changed several times today. You can read more about the father on his facebook page. If you do you may be more sympathetic to him or even like him more. Nothing is black and white.
For me I don't want to take any chances. I want to be like Pocahontas. I don't have the answers, but I know what I choose.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.