Laptop Shooting Dad vs. Dr. Phil

Laptop Shooting Dad vs. Dr. Phil

I’ve been enjoying following the whole debate surrounding the now-famous Facebook Dad, Tommy Jordan, who shot his disrespectful daughter’s laptop. And, in particular, I found this back and forth below between Jordan and Dr. Phil to be particularly thought-provoking and entertaining. I thought Dr. Phil’s response was smart, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually clapped for a YouTube video until I heard Facebook Dad’s right-on response to Dr. Phil…And at the bottom is a sweet Today show interview with Jordan alongside his daughter and his wife. Nice to see how families can overcome tough situations….Thanks to parenting teaching Aviva Cayam for sending this my way.

Dr. Phil responds to Facebook Dad
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Facebook Dad responds to Dr. Phil
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Facebook Dad with his daughter and wife on the Today Show

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10 comments

  1. On one hand, I see a lot of merit in the Dad’s response to Dr. Phil. Who is Dr. Phil to criticize another for embarrassing an individual by placing private matters in the public domain? That is his career!

    On the other hand, I think it is a very important Jewish value to refrain from embarrassing another. We go to great lengths to avoid embarrassing other adults, but do we place the same value on our children’s shame? I once heard a shiur on the importance of not embarrassing your own children. My children are 2 and 10 months and I try very hard to focus on this even at this young age! This is when children learn the habits they will have for life. If they hear me making comments about things they have done (even to just one other person) and it causes them to feel embarrassed, they will learn that getting a laugh or joke at another’s expense is OK. Do I really want to send this message?

  2. I think this is a really important video. I would like to share it with my students to discuss controlled anger and general internet usage.

    Thank you.

  3. I just watched the Today Show.
    I noticed a few side points:

    How does he praise his daughter? any values there? A great kid, honors, smart, social…When I describe my kids, I can see some real good attributes, etc.

    If he did something wrong, why does he “stand behind” it? Why not say, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

    As far as embarrassing, it isn’t just a Torah value, it is actually a halacha. Our children are people like all other people, and they need to be treated as such. When we want to protest something, there are actually Halachos that tell us how we can do that. There are halachos about tochacha, rebuke, and they DON’T include embarrassing in public!

  4. JewishMom

    I thought the father’s come-back to Dr. Phil was really great, but when I told my husband about it he made two good points:
    1. It’s different humiliating random people and humiliating YOUR CHILD in public (not necessarily halachically, but in terms of humiliation being damaging to another human being)
    2. If the father saw the he was unintentionally humiliating his daughter publicly when the facebook video got watched 30 million times…he could have taken it down!

  5. How do you think the child feels in terms of her parents standing behind her in everything? Did she learn her lesson or will she just try to be even more private next time? Was she threatened to dress up and go on the Today Show just to make him look good? What 15 year old admits they were wrong and their parents were right in public?? If I was the 15 year old, I would be raging inside at my parents after all this, unless she’s just enjoying the publicity.

  6. So it all started with the 15-year old daughter posting hateful retoric about her family on facebook. I think the initial reaction of any thinking parent would be a surprise, horror and desire to find out why this happened, what have I done to make my child feel this way? Hashem placed this child in my care, how did it come to this? Ask the child – honey, why do you feel so much hate towards me, what have I done, how can I change this? The 15-year old’s post is a cry of despair, a scream to the world, the result of resentment that must have been building up for years, this relationship did not start yesterday. I agree that the children must respect their parents, but this respect has to be taught slowly and consistently, not in a one-time cruel jesture, and most importantly a parent has to work on himself to be respectable, to enable his child to respect him.
    Being a mother of two teenagers I cannot truly put myself in the child’s shoes. But I can imagine being this man’s wife. I could mentally understand his rationale, his reasons and his motives. I could agree with his principles, maybe even side with him and support him. But I won’t be able to connect to him emotionally, no matter how well I would understand and agree with him. An episode like this would be a major turn off in relationship, a hidrance to intimacy. In a way, the laptop is part of the girl’s essence and shooting at it is an expression of violent hatred, like shooting at someone’s picture.

  7. Hey, did it occur to anyone that he was also being publicly embarrassed? To save face I’m sure he doesn’t want to express public regret completely, although he does point out that “the punishment ended up worse than the crime” – and not on purpose.

    What he said to his daughter in private I’m sure was different.

    But seriously, people, she was extremely chutzpadik about her parents. Although I might not have shot the laptop, I could definitely see confiscating it.

    I don’t think anyone is holding this example up as the epitome of good parenting… but in my mind, neither is it the epitome of bad parenting.

  8. I see this as just another example of how lost the modern world really is. To get chinuch advice, they turn to some “Dr. Phil” or worse–as the father pointed out, “most of America disagrees with you Dr. Phil, so maybe you should change”–so is chinuch also a democracy now? Should we get parenting advice by polling the public? If this child is chutzpadik, it’s not because her parents are bad, it’s because she lives in a world where THAT’S WHAT TEENAGERS DO. And what upsets her parents is, that it was on the internet–not even the fact that it was said. Meaning, if she would have just said it to a few of her friends, that would have been OK…baruch shehivdilanu min hato’im.

  9. Nofia Shem Tov

    Enough psycho-analysis, Devorah. We live in a world of really chutzpadik people. Including Noam Shalit who said just a couple days ago “Hamas should kidnap more soldiers”. (As a parent of a soldier, I wish we had exchanged him for his son.)

    That said, the teenager was complaining about trivial matters on her FB page, and swearing at her parents and other adults and belittling them in a manner than showed very little respect for ANY adults and for herself.

    We live in a society where children aren’t allowed to be spanked anymore – they’re to be analyzed to death. Or worse, coddled and bribed, and even vindicated by social workers when they spit in their own parents’ faces.

    This is the age of Chutzpah. The only good news about it is that it means Mashiach is coming.

  10. RadarRecon

    “Lap shooting dad wants to start a movement.” Thank you, NBC, for showing that as a followup. That was the best part.

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