Haven't walked in his shoes
Wow, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to find that every single perfect parent had responded to this thread ahead of me - the ones that never made a mistake raising their kids, had all the right answers to every single question and never EVER doubted that they were doing the right thing and are absolutely positive that their kids would NEVER do anything wrong.
Thank goodness I'm not one of them. I have 2 kids, both in college - they are both good kids, but we've had our problems now and then - both my wife (25 years this June) and myself - and while it's been a 95% joy ride with these kids, that other 5% often made us wonder whether or not we had done something wrong ... somewhere along the way, that we ust couldn't recall ... to give our kids some kind of wrong message in some way. Everybody's heard the expression "there's no manual for raising a kid" - which of course is true - and each kid is different, fundamentally and forever - so no single parenting method will ever work for more than one kid.
Who's to say this father is a bad parent? A FRUSTRATED parent, yes - obviously. And wouldn't a parent who had been trying to do the right thing all along be more frustrated than just plain resigned to the fact if his kid did something like this? If he were a bad parent all along, I'd expect him to not care nearly so much and not find such an outrageously extreme way of expressing the frustration he so obviously felt. We don't know the entire background of his relationship with his daughter, so I for one don't want to prejudge him. Sure, I would like to think I wouldn't SHOOT her computer (especially since I don't own a gun) - but unless I had a well-thought-out plan prepared ahead of time, I can honestly say I have no idea what would be the first idea that popped into my head at that moment. Anger, frustration and disappointment can lead us to very unusual snap-judgements, and from there we can't undo what we did in a sudden fit of anger.
I'm glad to say I never had a problem just like this one - our family has always had a pretty open dialog ... even though there were times when it wasn't put to good use ... but I've done stupid things out of anger that I later regretted; if anybody can honestly say they never have, they're either lying or have very, very bad memories.
In the end, I hope I'd have thought of just removing the hard drive or using some other method of merely disabling the laptop temporarily, rather than permanently - but as the saying goes (since this thread seems to have become a repository of many other good old sayings) - Act in haste, repent in leisure.
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