So I have just seen the viral video of the dad who "creatively punishes his daughter" posted all over my news feed on facebook.
Some of my best friends posted it. Several people I highly respect cheered for what this dad did.
And I... so completely disagree that it feels like my heart is breaking - especially since so many of my friends think what he did was right on.
So I'm writing this blog to explain why.
Why what that dad did was wrong. Just... wrong.
First, I'm a Christian. I follow Christ. I try my best to treat other people the way I would like to be treated.
Somehow, in our culture, those "other people" don't include our children.
Somehow, it's okay to ridicule, embarrass, hurt, defame, slander, and degrade the people we say we love the most. It's okay for us to destroy things they call "theirs" and that we refer to as "theirs". It's okay for us to decide what goes to the thrift store while our kids are asleep. It's okay for us to destroy their laptop because they wrote something we didn't like on facebook. It's okay for us to spy on them, read their private diaries, hack into their accounts, and more because we tell ourselves it's in the interest of their safety or because it's "our business" as their parents.
I understand that what the girl wrote was hurtful. There was cussing. She was angry. She exaggerated.
But how is the dad teaching his daughter anything but that she should be silent, fearful, and hold everything inside - because if she doesn't, everything will be taken from her? You have to GIVE respect to get respect. It goes both ways.
How can a relationship of trust be established between a parent and child if the dad couldn't just TALK to his daughter about what was going on, about how it hurt him, about the fact that posting public stuff is not the way to go? Instead...he did exactly what she did...except to the extreme. He broke her trust. He made her angry. He did serious damage to their relationship as father and daughter - and now he's being tauted as "superdad" by parents all across America.
As a parent, I just don't think it has to be this way.
We don't have to parent with fear. We don't have to treat our kids like they treat us - but the way we'd LIKE them to treat us. We can have open communication with our kids instead of locked doors and angry, secret, facebook messages.
Just treat your kids like People.
And try putting yourself in Hannah's place.