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The Clay County Advocate - Press-Flora, IL
  • Dan Seaborn: Was dad wrong to shoot daughter's laptop?

  • The video immediately went viral on YouTube. Parents were up in arms thinking some redneck dad was going crazy, shooting up his daughter's laptop. Then they learned the truth.

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  • The video immediately went viral on YouTube. Parents were up in arms thinking some redneck dad was going crazy, shooting up his daughter's laptop. Then they learned the truth. 
    Initially, many parents thought Tommy Jordan was extreme in his punishment. They saw a man in a cowboy hat, sitting back casually in a chair, firing a gun at a laptop. They assumed by his appearance and slight, Southern drawl that he was using his daughter's laptop for target practice. Once the facts emerged, suddenly 7 out of 10 people believe it was the right decision for him to make.
    The purpose of this dad's video was to embarrass his daughter like she embarrassed him when she wrote an expletive-laced Facebook message about him and his wife, complaining about the chores she's required to do.
    It's not the first time his daughter has taken to the Internet to vent, and her dad had warned her not to abuse her privileges to express herself.
    He previously tried to curb her viral enthusiasm by taking away her laptop for a period of time, but it appears she failed to receive the message that it's rude to rant without thought on Facebook. As a last-ditch effort, her dad told her if she did it again, he'd put a bullet through her laptop.
    What frustrated Mr. Jordan even more was that the day before he read his daughter's diatribe, he spent about $130 adding new software to her computer. What parent hasn't felt that stab of ungratefulness from one of their descendants? You could hear the hurt more than anger in this father's voice.
    He also felt strongly that he needed to follow through on his previous threat. When parents give children an ultimatum in regard to consequences of poor behavior and don't make good on that promise, children begin to disregard what their parents say in the future. Their disobedience will continue because they don't believe their parents will really do anything about it.
    That's why it's important to be careful about the penalties you impose on your children. Always be sure it doesn't negatively affect you or the other members of your family. Don't tell one child that, if they misbehave again, you will cancel the family's trip to the zoo. That means everyone pays the price for one child's costly decision.
    Mr. Jordan had no idea that video would receive over 30 million hits and bring Child Protective Services to his door. For the stress that was brought upon his family, he says, in hindsight, he probably wouldn't have made his actions so public. He just wanted his daughter to get a feel for how embarrassing it is to have someone rant about you on the Internet.
    Page 2 of 2 - It didn't stop him, however, from making a second video in response to TV talk host Dr. Phil McGraw's comment surrounding the incident. Dr. Phil said it was wrong for this dad to publicly embarrass his daughter. Out of 124,000 people polled, 73 percent thought Dr. Phil was wrong! In his response, Mr. Jordan points out that Dr. Phil makes a lot of money publicly embarrassing people on TV.
    Dad and daughter have reconciled, and to emphasize his actions weren't without thought, he gave his daughter back her hard drive, which he'd taken out prior to the shooting so that all her personal information and pictures were preserved. That will come in handy once she has the privilege of owning a computer again.
    — Dan Seaborn is the founder of the Zeeland, Mich.-based group Winning
    at Home Inc, which encourages people at all ages and stages of family development to lead Christ-centered homes. Email questions or comments to hometeam@winningathome.com.

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