“Laptop Homicide” – Part Two

We’ve all now had a few days to think about and discuss Tommy Jordan’s public response to his daughter’s Facebook rant. Once again, the internet seems divided to the extreme on an issue, this time the issue being parenting. On one side we have all those who wholeheartedly support Mr. Jordan’s dramatic response. These people hail him as a hero and a role model for excellence in parenting.

On the other side, we have the group that hollers for his Dad card to be revoked. They’re calling social services and the police (who’ve both come out and have applauded him for sticking to his guns…pun intended) and they all apparently have some kind of degree in psychology because they’re positive that his daughter’s rant was a plea for help due to what could only be a lifetime of emotional trauma suffered at the hands of her cowboy dad.

And then there is the group smack dab in the middle who are looking at this thing a bit more pragmatically and, dare I say, sensibly?

I had to laugh out loud at some of the posts railing against this father’s actions. One woman asserted that his daughter clearly felt used and if she didn’t want to make her bed then why make her to do such inexplicable task. Why not just do the chores for her in an effort to salvage the relationship?


Listen, parenting is hard. We all know that. There is no guidebook on how to do it and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, your next child comes along with a completely different personality and throws you a curve ball. Or the child you thought you had nailed grows and develops a little and you’re back at square one with learning how to deal with that particular child.

I have three children, all with completely different personalities. My oldest needs constant reminders and complete consistency in discipline. He needs detailed explanations regarding rules and consequences and usually needs to be explained “why” more than once.

My middle child has to be watched like a hawk because she breaks rules so quietly that half the time we miss it completely. She needs swift consequences but doesn’t want to talk about it. She likes to work things out internally and we have to give her the space to do that.

My youngest child is incredibly soft-hearted and can be broken with just a stare. He needs to be held close when given instruction and consequences have to be given much more gently than with the other two because his heart breaks easily. With just a stare from his daddy, he is prone to crumple in a heap of tears.

They’re all different and I know exactly what each needs in order to effectively learn. Does this mean I always deal with all of them appropriately? No. Sometimes I speak too harshly with my third born, sometimes I talk too much to my second born and sometimes I expect too much of my first born. I don’t parent right all the time, but I know what needs to be done to reach my kids.

I don’t agree with how Tommy Jordan responded to his daughter. I thought it was a bad idea to post something like that on the internet. But here’s the kicker – Tommy Jordan doesn’t agree with his own reaction, either. In hindsight, he wouldn’t do it that way.

Post the video, that is.

I have a feeling he’d still shoot the laptop and I honestly don’t have a problem with that. Could he have donated it? Yes. But I have a feeling that Mr. Jordan knew exactly what his daughter needed to understand how serious he was.

Because I think he knows his daughter better than I do.

I don’t fault Mr. Jordan for wanting to post his feelings about her note publicly. In fact, I think that’s a smart move. I’ve told my children before that if they embarrass me in public they can expect to be embarrassed right back. What I mean when I say this is I will verbally correct them in front of everyone watching if needed. Perhaps Mr. Jordan would have been better served to answer her note a bit more gracefully, but I wouldn’t fault him for posting it in the same medium she did.

That’s effective, if you ask me.  You did ask, right?

In the end, I respect Mr. Jordan in a lot of ways. He made a foolish choice and it will follow him forever. He reacted in anger, which never produces good results and he had to suffer his own consequences for his actions. But, instead of letting his daughter take the blame for what happened, he is taking the heat himself and in so doing, is modeling grace to his daughter.

I also respect the fact that he’s resisting the urge to jump into the mainstream spotlight for the sole reason that he wants to protect his daughter’s privacy. He himself has said that he doesn’t want to profit from the embarrassment this has been for his daughter and I respect him for that. He is handling the fall out from his poor decision wisely and in the end I think his daughter will learn more from that than she will from the consequences he has laid down for her.

I think there are a lot of things that we, as parents, can learn from this video. It opens up a great discussion on parenting with grace while also revealing some gaps in our society. The fact is, many children do feel entitled and they do believe that the world owes them something.

How else do you explain the Occupy Wall Street Movement?

If more parents were willing to stand up and say no, I won’t give you a free pass and yes, despite the fact that it seems inane and unnecessary, you will still make your bed, then maybe more children would leave home ready and prepared for the rigors of adulthood. We live in a society that says if you want it, you can have it (I believe this idea in and of itself to be riddled with faults, FYI). Once upon a time, though, it was understood that you had to work for what you wanted (whatever it was that was desired).

These days, though, there’s a frightening and pervasive thought that if you want it you can have it. Just wait awhile and let it come to you, or see if someone will give it to you.

As parents we cannot do this to our children. Parent with grace. Love your children gently. Teach them right from wrong decisively. And please…don’t judge one another.