I don’t normally do this, but today’s post is a linking one. Maybe it’s a rainy day and I feel like being lazy. Or maybe there’s just SO much great stuff, I can’t help myself from sharing what people have sent.
On Wednesday, Erika provided the link to Tommy Jordan’s (Monday’s angry dad) response to some of the overwhelming media attention and opinions he’s received since the aftermath of posting a rebuttal on his daughter’s Facebook page. Since most of us are a bit technologically challenged, here’s a small snippet: (for the rest click here – TJFacebook.)
Contradiction in Terms?
No I don’t think so. Yes I told my daughter not to air that kind of material on Facebook because it was hurtful to other people. It embarrassed them. It caused them to feel humiliated, especially our very very good friend, who is NOT a cleaning lady by any stretch of the imagination!
Instead, I simply turned the tables and let her be on the receiving end of something and see how it made her feel. You mentioned not embellishing it, not sensationalizing it. I didn’t. I read exactly what she put out there for the world to see, in her own words. Then I added a few of my own words to it.
And then, yes, I shot it full of holes. Would I have received the same viral attention if I’d used it as a dog toy, hit it with a hammer, drove over it with the truck, or simply thrown it away? I’m not sure. But the point is that her parents told her “If it happens again, I’ll put a bullet through it.”
So, rather than let her push that particular boundary any further, I did absolutely no more and no less than I promised I’d do. Do I regret doing it? No. Do I regret keeping it on Facebook long enough to cause this stir? Yes. However at this time I feel that if I took the post or the video down, I’d just make it appear that we’re running in shame from it, and we’re not.
Truthfully though the social attention has helped her and I both deal with it. We had our discussion about it after she returned home from school. We set the ground rules for her punishment, and then I let her read some of the comments on Facebook with me at my computer. At first it was upsetting. Then as we read it became less so, eventually funny to both of us. At the end, she was amazed that other people had such amazingly strong reactions. Some said she’d grow up to be a stripper. Others that she’d get pregnant and become drug addicted because of the emotional damage. She actually asked me to go on Facebook and ask if there was anything else the victim of a laptop-homicide could do besides stripping because all the posts seem to mention that particular job and she wasn’t so keen on that one….
Then from our friend Kathleen Fischer’s post today on the necessity of helping/equipping our kids as they traverse the critically important bridge into and out of adolescence and figure out their identity. (again click on her link for the entire post -terrific!)
…But then, by high school, some problems can arise in the whole identity thing. For example: I am a good kid; I am a close friend of John’s; John and I pretty much follow the rules our parents set out. Then, one night John invites me to spend the night and whispers, “Hey, maybe we can sneak out and meet some girls I know.” This can throw my identity puzzle for a loop because I’m a good kid; I pretty much follow the rules; I like John but I don’t think my parents or his would like me to sneak out. I’d like to meet some girls, but…. And so I begin to try to move the puzzle pieces around to keep them all in the puzzle. I may feel I have to toss some pieces out. Maybe I’m not such a good kid; maybe I’ll have to give up my friendship with John. In fact, it is quite common to see kids shifting friendships in early high school as they look for a social group in which they feel they can be “who they really are.”
Developing a clear sense of identity takes quite a long time. It is so complicated that we’ll see our kids working on it intensely from early middle school until well into college age. We will know when they are making progress when we hear them making choices based on who they feel they are, like…
And just for fun from MOAT Elizabeth. This video answers it all.
Thanks for walking the road with me.
(Keep sending me stuff. I love to share :)