Blaser: Failure to communicate takes troubling turn
Updated: February 15, 2012 3:27PM
Making the rounds on the Web last week was a video of a dad who’d had it up to here with his teenage daughter’s Facebook rant about her parents and chores.
The dad explains he wants to teach a lesson to his daughter’s friends and their parents about what kids are putting on Facebook. He then reads the girl’s rant, a profanity-laced complaint about chores, school and parents, typical teenage angst the world over.
Dad then gives his rant, which is also a typical rant from parents who feel unappreciated for all they’ve sacrificed for their kids for 10-plus years now, all the late-night working, and spending, and picking up after. It’s time they take on some grown-up responsibility.
Dad then talks about his frustration at trying to get his daughter to do any work around the house, or get any type of part-time job. She’s basically lazy, dad says. Hey, who hasn’t made that speech?
Dad even brings out the old saw about all that he did when he was her age — go to school, go to college, work as a volunteer firefighter, have a job. The only thing he didn’t mention was walking 10 miles to school barefoot in a foot of snow. But that’s understandable. The family lives in Virginia.
But the coup de grace is when dad whips out his .45 automatic and shoots his daughter’s laptop.
Controversial, I’m sure, but quite effective.
I’m not going to get into the whole gun debate on this one. Instead, I want to focus on what this says about life in the communication age.
Here’s what I think: We can communicate almost instantly with millions, but when it comes to hashing out timeless issues between parent and rebellious child, we just can’t do it anymore.
Consider this: Teen daughter is fed up with her parents nagging her about her chores. She’s obviously testing, looking for a way to express her desire for more freedom and a way to cut those apron strings. It’s an old story.
So she rants in a way she thinks is safe — on Facebook.
I guess that’s better than the classic parent-child confrontation that has been the subject of art, literature, film and even television since time began.
Today, the teen seeking independence does so on Facebook.
Dad asserts contol by posting a YouTube video.
In this family, the child isn’t quite ready to cut those apron strings. The computer, provided by mom and dad, is her vehicle for seeking independence.
Mom and dad want to maintain ultimate control over the girl and have her grow up their way. And dad lashes out at the symbol of her independence, the laptop, with the ultimate method of control, the gun.
No progress is made because although there is communication, there is no interaction. Each side is frozen in their position. And when that happens, there is no growth.
I bet Ward sitting down to have a talk with the Beaver doesn’t look so goofy now, does it?