Archived Story

Parenting changes with each generation

Published 12:58pm Monday, February 20, 2012

Column: Something About Nothing

A video of a father shooting his daughter’s laptop computer went viral in the past few weeks. The father shot his daughter’s computer after seeing a post on his daughters Facebook page in which she trashed her parents. This story has wildly captured the news talk shows and created a media frenzy. Was the father justified in doing this?

I can understand the father’s ire. I probably would have taken a more sneaky method to get back at my daughter such as erasing her hard drive so she lost everything and taken a ram chip or two. I would have then left her with her laptop to get it fixed herself. Oh and sorry about all your personal files.

I have been known to be a little sneaky in my parenting days. I remember a sleepover one night that my boys were having. I happened to pull up the mattress to put on clean sheets and what did I find? I found a Playboy magazine.

I replaced it with a Bible and said no more until later days where we had a calm discussion about the matter.

I would like to tell you that I was the perfect parent. I wasn’t. I yelled a lot. If I could take it back I would but in my day there were no Parenting 101 classes. Our first child was our guinea pig, our second child was little more relaxed and by the third child we were a little more skilled and a little smarter.

No we were not the perfect parents, but as my husband likes to say “Our kids turned out OK in spite of us.”

We were lucky as we did not have the Internet or all the social media to contend with. All we had to do was to watch our phone bill and make sure there were no calls to any pornographic 900 numbers. We networked with other parents and we kept an eye on our kids.

Of course, sometimes the eye wandered and missed them, but it was easier to keep track of them and we didn’t have cell phones then just the parent line.

I watch my children parent their kids, and I am in awe. They are awesome parents. They don’t yell at their kids. They take time with their kids. They teach their kids manners. They try to be the perfect parents. They do not always approve of my methods.

One day my grandson was throwing a pretty good temper tantrum. They were handling it, but the quiet way they were handling it was not working in my book. I walked over and picked him up and told him that if he didn’t quit screaming I was going to dunk his head in the toilet! His parents were upset with me. I wouldn’t have done it, but I knew I wouldn’t have, too. My grandson quit screaming.

He wasn’t so sure Grandma wouldn’t do it. She had never threatened him before. There is that power of surprise.

There is so much more information and help out there now for parents. With the click of a mouse there is information for parents on almost anything. Hopefully they can separate the good from the bad such as shooting your daughters laptop to teach her a lesson.

The rules for good parenting have changed a lot. It was OK to spank your kids when I had kids, although I don’t recall us using that method much. I usually used the count-to-10 method although I don’t know what I would have done if I would have ever made it to 10. Luckily they caved before the count of 10.

If parents got called to school about their children’s behavior it wasn’t usually the schools fault and kids were made to take responsibility for their actions. Yes, we did get called down to school occasionally.

The big difference in parenting is that we didn’t have to worry that our actions and our behaviors would go viral on the Internet when we made bad parenting choices. We all as parents make mistakes and like our kids we need to take responsibility for those mistakes, learn from them and parent on. We need to be parents our kids would be proud of claiming.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at