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'Psychopath' or 'Best Parent in the World'? Dad's Unusual Punishment for Son Stirs Debate

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https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/psychopath-or-best-parent-in-the-world-dads-119043392822.html

A YouTube video that shows a father forcing his son to smash his Xbox after he came home with bad grades has some observers hailing the punishment as “great parenting” — while others call it “horrible.”

The video, which was posted on Wednesday and has received more than 42,000 page views, shows a student named Jason taking a sledgehammer to his Xbox console. The video is titled, “Good Parenting: Father Makes His Son Destroy One of His Xbox Consoles For Failing In School!” and features the voice of the father telling Jason “he’s had three weeks.” Presumably he’s referring to how long Jason had to turn his grades around.

In response, Jason repeatedly says, “It’s not my fault.”

Online, users are in debate about the father’s choice of punishment. Some say his parenting was probably effective. “I love it! I bet he gets good grades now,” says Chad Wollman on Power96’s Facebook page, which posted the video. “I’d do the same thing,” wrote Kristian Heinrick on the Facebook page of 94.5 The Buzz, which also posted the video.

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(YouTube)

On YouTube, viewers aren’t so kind. “Maybe he should have been monitoring his son along the way with his grades instead of looking at the end result,” wrote Jerry Piscitelli. “I believe in discipline, but I really think the discipline should have started months before this. Sorry Dad, you should have been tuned into the amount of time he was on video games before they affected his grades.”

STORY: Parent’s Punishment for Kid After Christmas Earns Mixed Reactions

Dr. Laura Markham, a psychologist and parenting coach, agrees that the father in this video should have gotten involved with his son’s grades earlier. “I think it’s great that this is an involved dad who cares how is son is doing and is willing to set limits,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “But grades don’t start when you get the report card, and three weeks isn’t enough time to get good grades. Kids get good grades by keeping up with their school work every day and this is too late.”

Forcing the son to destroy a prized possession isn’t likely to get him to refocus on his schoolwork, Markham says. “Making your child suffer so he does what you want later will backfire,” she says. “He’s not going to suddenly start studying if no one is helping him form that habit.”

More problematic than the punishment, Markham says, is the fact that the father filmed the incident. “You don’t film a discipline moment with a child,” she says. “It makes the child think that you are performing for the camera, and recording their pain for the world to see.”

Parents who are considering this form of extreme punishment should think twice, Markham says, and instead focus on giving their kids extra support. “If you talk to an adult about their childhood, some will say, ‘My dad did something like this — he made me give away my dog because I didn’t take care of it,’” Markham says. “People respond in one of two ways: ‘I learned a lesson I never forgot,’ or ‘I hate my dad because I never forgave him.’”

Punishment isn’t the only way to teach a kid a lesson they’ll never forget. “How about, ‘My dad cared so much about my grades that he sat down with me everyday and my grades turned around, and I felt like I could do it because of my dad’s support’?” Markham posits. “That’s what we want a kid to say.”


“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King

"Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge." -Toni Morrison

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Does absolutely nothing but make for a very memorable moment for a child to remember inconsistent discipline. In my experience (and I have very good experience with this kind of parenting), parents who commit grandiose acts of discipline like this do so in order to prove something to themselves. Mostly that they are good disciplinarians. They do big acts in absence of having the self-discipline to commit to smaller acts of discipline like making a child study every night or obtaining a tutor for their child.

The grandiose acts 'prove' to the parent that the parent is a good parent, capable of disciplining the child and that the child's messing up is the child's fault because the child is defiant. It leads to scapegoating of the child in question. The child doesn't actually learn anything from acts of grandiose inconsistent discipline, but ends up with long-term feelings of insecurity and trauma because the parent was so unpredictable.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
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It would hurt the kid more knowing that it is completely destroyed and at his own hands. Just like if he messed up in life he will destroy his own life with his own hands. I see no problem with the punishment.

Discipline and punishment shouldn't be about inflicting maximum pain. It should be about giving a child natural consequences and helping to teach a child SELF-discipline.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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Stupid. If the x-box is the issue, take it away until the grades come up.

Exactly I am not sure what smashing a complied. Why not sell it and donate the money to a good cause or do as you said

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Discipline and punishment shouldn't be about inflicting maximum pain. It should be about giving a child natural consequences and helping to teach a child SELF-discipline.

The pain was minimum. It was a game, not physical nor was it mental abuse.

Losing the game was a consequence. When he grow up, he will wish life's consequences would be as simple as losing a x-box.

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The pain was minimum. It was a game, not physical nor was it mental abuse.

Losing the game was a consequence. When he grow up, he will wish life's consequences would be as simple as losing a x-box.

You specifically said that forcing him to break it himself would hurt him MORE than if his father did it. That's where I got 'inflicting maximum pain'.

That being said, when he grows up, he'll be a bitter, confused man who doesn't understand why he keeps messing up everything in his life and, if he's very, very lucky, he'll get a court-mandated therapist one day who helps him fix his life.

His father making him break his xbox and showing it to the world is not going to help him with self-discipline or any kind of discipline. It's just about his father's desire to inflict pain to prove to himself (the father) that he is a good disciplinarian.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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You specifically said that forcing him to break it himself would hurt him MORE than if his father did it. That's where I got 'inflicting maximum pain'.

That being said, when he grows up, he'll be a bitter, confused man who doesn't understand why he keeps messing up everything in his life and, if he's very, very lucky, he'll get a court-mandated therapist one day who helps him fix his life.

His father making him break his xbox and showing it to the world is not going to help him with self-discipline or any kind of discipline. It's just about his father's desire to inflict pain to prove to himself (the father) that he is a good disciplinarian.

He needs to feel some hurt. Again, the pain was minimum compared to life's lessons when he grows up.

It won't be an x-box, it will be a cell mate breaking him apart.

Sorry, I don't see anything wrong with the punishment. You still my friend.

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He needs to feel some hurt. Again, the pain was minimum compared to life's lessons when he grows up.

It won't be an x-box, it will be a cell mate breaking him apart.

Sorry, I don't see anything wrong with the punishment. You still my friend.

The punishment unto itself is not the problem.

The problem lays entirely with the father. His grandiose act of 'discipline', filmed and posted (three weeks after an ultimatum for bad grades--too soon for results even if the kid worked his butt off) for others to pat him on the back, states some very disturbing things.

1) Dad is lazy most of the time in his parenting. If he wasn't, he would have been enforcing good study habits BEFORE the report cards came back negative.

2) Dad believes in a reign of terror type of discipline instead of constructive discipline. Meaning that Dad believes in terrorizing and emotionally injuring rather than spending time working through a problem.

3) Dad believes in humiliating his child as a valid form of discipline, without any concern to the longterm ramifications of this. How many 'where is he now?' have you seen for viral videos? Because I've seen a LOT. This is going to haunt the child for life. Employers may even recognize the child in the future.

4) Dad believes that parenting should be an ego boost. He filmed and posted the video so others could stroke his ego.

These four things indicate serious parental disturbance in the form of a type of parental neglect called 'inconsistent parenting.' It leaves kids guessing frantically what they need to do to avoid punishment instead of teaching kids how to be better people.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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He needs to feel some hurt. Again, the pain was minimum compared to life's lessons when he grows up.

It won't be an x-box, it will be a cell mate breaking him apart.

Sorry, I don't see anything wrong with the punishment. You still my friend.

You know I love you like a play cousin, but NAT is right.

If the father had taken a more proactive role in helping the son in school, it wouldn't have gotten to this point. Trust and believe, if it meant so much to him, he should have been there before the report card even came in. Not to mention, you just embarrassed this kid online. How is he going to do in school now? He was already struggling at this point. Try coming back from something like this...

I'm all for punishment to teach a child a lesson, but this is too much. He's done more damage to this kid than help. I'd like to see where he is in a year...


“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King

"Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge." -Toni Morrison

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

President-Obama-jpg.jpg

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How about a bit of simple parenting? If the kid spends too much time on that x-box, cut down that time. Problem solved.

Maybe some rejiggering of the household. IE no electronics in the bedroom. When in trouble, go to bedroom, do not pass Go.


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