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How Not To Be a Father

Yup.  You’ve seen it.  Tiffani blogged about.  Jean blogged about it.  Brianna blogged about.  Jennifer blogged about it.  There’s plenty more out there for you to see.  In the off chance that you missed it, that you haven’t seen the video let me just give you a link to the douche-baggery that is making the rounds on the internet.  Sure I could post the video here, but my blog is pretty and that would just ugly it up.

This video hurt me so deeply that I cannot move forward until I write about it.  Until I say the things that I am feeling.  When I hear him read that letter my gut wrenches.  I spent the better part of last night being incredibly grouchy and had to go for that extra glass of wine.  How could someone treat a child this way?  Here is some of what this man is guilty of:

  • Publicly humiliating his daughter
  • Total disregard for a child’s feelings
  • Calling his own child names
  • Conditional Parenting and Love
  • Destruction of personal property
  • Possibly using his daughter to gain media attention
  • Emotional abuse

I hear many of the same complaints I had as a teenager.  I hear many of the same complaints many teenagers have.  Most of us know what it’s like to be a teenager and not feel heard or like we are not in control of our own lives.  I am sad for this child.  I am sad for the hell she has to live in. Being grounded for months at a time for publicly complaining about her parents?  What the fuck kind of dictatorship is Tommy Jordan running over there?

The gun.  He pulled a fucking gun on her laptop.  I’m extremely pro-gun!  I even own one myself.  However, using a gun out of anger to solve a problem is extremely scary and ridiculously violent.  This is not a stable man.  I fear what he would do if his daughter skipped classes or took drugs or worse…  had sex.

This folks, is emotional abuse.  This is a man beating his daughter so far down that I can only imagine what it’s going to take to bring her back up.  If in fact she realizes that she can, come back up.  I picture her crying in her room, feeling helpless, alone, and unloved.  I’d love to wrap my arms around her and tell her that not all parents treat their children this way.  That she doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.  That there are many of us who support her.  I wish I could tell Tommy Jordan, and have him listen, that there is a better way.  Somehow I doubt he’s interested in it.

He has punished her before, why didn’t he see it didn’t work?  It didn’t make her love him anymore.  It didn’t make her respect him anymore.  It only made things worse.  So for each thing she does wrong in his eyes he is only going to be meaner and more horrible toward his own daughter.  This is an incredibly sad state of affairs.  Really?  Can’t we do better than this?

“I blew half my day on your laptop”.  When I do things for my children it brings me great joy.  When I spend half the day fixing something of theirs it’s because I love them and they need me.  It’s not conditional; it’s me being a parent.  If they get mad at me the next day I won’t reverse what I did.


Have you read the comments?  I’ve seen an INSANE amount of support for this guy!  They keep mentioning how disrespectful the girl was and how she was trashing her parents.  That’s not what I hear though.  I hear a teenager venting her anger over her many responsibilities and venting her frustrations with her words.  I don’t even want to believe it.  At what point in a child’s life do they become the enemy? At what point to we stop listening and understanding and start expecting?  The comments are disturbing and show a lot of animosity toward children and teenagers.  I imagine it’s because most of them, including Tommy Jordan, were not allowed to be children themselves.

Do you see and hear how hard he is breathing?  How angry he is over his daughter’s words?  The words upset him greatly.  He is angry because his daughter is angry at him.  There is something terribly wrong with that.  Yet, instead of taking the time to try and repair his relationship with his daughter he further solidified the dysfunctional connection they will most likely always have.

I posted this link on my facebook page with these words: “If you support treating children this way, we are NOT friends. Please unfriend me right away.”  I wasn’t kidding.  This guy is abusive and if I have people on my list that are pro-abuse than I cannot be friends with that person.  I do understand that my friends and I have a wide range of differences in our parenting opinions and styles.  I’m really OK with that.  However, I do not tolerate abuse, physical or emotional.

Somewhere in a comment or a follow up video Tommy Jordan has stated that his daughter is OK with this now.  Well, remember this article?  Congratulations Tommy Jordan, you just broke your child.


  1. Jean says:

    You know how I feel. And I have written and read the blogs about this. I watched the video. I ranted. But, for whatever reason, this post is the one that brought tears to my eye. You laid it all out and I felt it. I love you, girl!

  2. Kelsy says:

    The sickest part: he’s got ads on the video so he makes money every time someone watches it. This poor, broken, selfish, greedy man.

  3. Faith says:

    Thank you. I think we all need to stand up to this. If this changes one life than it was worth it.

  4. Crystal says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I am so dissapointed. I have a 17 year old daughter and I could never imagine saying or doing the things that this person did to her. I have a 14 year old son who I could never imagine talking to him that way either.

    I am disgusted that massive media is contacting him because they perceive his actions as something great. I am also disgraced that my family are all toting him as being fantastic. As being a good father. They don’t see this video or the man the way I do. That fact makes me thankful that I am the only one of my siblings to have children and that I am raising them far differently then I was raised.

  5. Darcel says:

    I couldn’t finish watching it. It took me back to the emotional, physical, and verbal abuse I suffered from my mom. I would run away if I were that child. Her parents have no idea what they’re doing to her, and they don’t seem to care either. He has ruined his relationship with his daughter for life.

    p.s. love your new blog, and I’m glad your blogging again :)

  6. Stephanie says:

    The comments are very disturbing, and they speak volumes about society’s attitudes toward adolescents. :-(

  7. Janet says:

    Several of my friends posted Good for him .Moore people should do that this’

    My reply if she lied about it all used bad language yes she needs to be punished …. But he never said she lied he acted like she should make his Bed???Really and yes she is a slave to them. If this whole thing is true. Being a farm girl chores were hard go to school all day then work at barn then do dinners dishes then its 8 and homework. 1.5 hours on bus to go to and from school. Its like yeh I was tired ….. So I see what she means. And yes he is a abusive you betcha he is I know abuse when I see it. He was intimidating her into submission and by the way the mom was probably cheering him on. Oh or step mom. I also see the mean controlling man he is loud and clear. This all could be a hoax. The good point is people loved it thought all our kids should be at our command I guess.

  8. […] Crazy. Jen of the Path Less Taken had THIS to say. Heather really made my eyes leak with this one, How Not To Be a Father and a plea from Serendipitymamma, Do Better […]

  9. sam says:

    I agree, and the breach of privacy. She probably is a typical teenager, I am sure most of us can admit to being there at one time. Selfish, hormonal and rebelling at the world. But this is family not to be humiliated in front of the world.

    Also what disturbed me the most was why is he bragging about using hollow point bullets. Why does a civilian buy hollow points, who does he want to blow to pieces with them apart from laptops? In case anyone doesnt know a hollow point bullet is designed to blow a massive hole in someone not a neat little bullet hole.

  10. Jenna says:

    I agree, I can’t believe how many people think this is a clever and appropriate way to handle a teenager. I wrote this on a very private thread about this and found myself a lone voice ….

    IS it just me that thinks this is violent and wrong. If the kid is doing the chores (good on the parents for setting them and helping her develop good habits) she’s meeting her end of the bargin. But she is no different to all the 15 year olds I’ve known and lived with. Going to war with them just gets them angry and pushes them away. They only need a firm hand not a vindictive one, and they grow up (eventually) into nice people (mostly). How many times do you hear a child say to parent “I hate you.” It’s not the parent they hate but the parents’ power over the child. Boundaries are a good thing but it takes maturity & self esteem to put them in place and not react to temper tantrums ~ even from mouthy 15 year olds.

    Well I think the Dad is reacting impulsively while still very angry. The gun is threatening and shouldn’t be used. He is dominating her with a show of power (which he will never win) and there are plenty of other ways to teach his daughter (with kindness). And what concerns me is that the majority of people on that site (well the 3 out 12,000 comments that I could see) cheered and thought he was clever and egged him on. Who is the mature one out of the two? Who is setting the example?

    and if in the future – his daughter (as a teenager or young person – who biologically most often show a poor sense of judgement) uses a gun out of anger, in some sort of retaliation over a hurt ego, just as her father has recorded himself doing, (and she WILL see the video clip, and he knows she will) where someone’s life might get ruined – will any of us (and the other 12-13000) viewers ever know?

    and if, later on, she partners a man, or runs away from home, and accepts her man’s violence of a show of power, destroying her stuff, and invading her private relationships with her friends, because thats what her father has taught her to expect from men. If she accepts these things, that is exactly how domestic violence begins. …. No matter how loving and caring her father thinks he’s being, she has a right to vent privately to her friends, despite what she has said in a moment of 15 year old anger …..

  11. SAHMmy Says says:

    Amen. “You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations.” is the exact post that popped into my head the moment he opened his mouth.
    [found your post via serendipitymama. linking to you.]

  12. Kat says:

    Thanks so much for calling it like it is. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father. Thank goodness 1) he didn’t own a gun and 2) laptops didn’t exist back then or else I’d probably have a similar story. He did however manage to render several things I was using useless because he didn’t like that I wasn’t doing his bidding. I’ve grown-up and have been able to point at particular behaviors and not only recognize them as the sort of crap my father did, but also for the manipulative crap that they are. It bugs me when I see people posting that this guy is a hero and/or just like their fathers and fail to see the problems. Emotional abuse is far too acceptable in this society. We have loads of resources dedicated (not that their by any means adequate) to deal with sexual and physical abuse but it seems that emotional abuse gets largely ignored due to its non-physical nature.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Okay, she shouldn’t have posted that stuff and it WAS disrespectful, but for one thing the way he responded bothers me and for another, I don’t think that this was actually about chores. What normal 15 year old female having to live with a guy with that kind of attitude isn’t going to feel like exploding a bit sometimes? Requiring your kids to do chores is one thing, I think it was his general attitude that was the real problem for her and the issue of chores was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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