The Laptop-Shooting Dad: New Parenting Tactics Emerge on Social Media

A dad takes out his anger on his daughter's laptop

The following is a guest blog post from 7 Waves Cathy Founder, Cathy Rodgers

How Social is That & What Would Dave Ramsey Do?

By Cathy Rodgers

With the viral spread of a dad trying to teach his daughter a lesson on Facebook, it gives one pause to think of what the long-term effects of social media are, and what the long-term effects are on all the relationships involved.

Is this too much family information gone public?  What is the impact of all this personal information sharing?  Where does it all end?

Many view the incident of shooting the daughter’s computer as a total act of anger, but as a parent myself, I view this as a total waste of money (plus I know I will have to shell out money for something later because teenagers are not cheap). Having a lot of friends who are Dave Ramsey providers, I receive frequent tips, hints, and “think before you do that” lessons.  I wonder what the financial guru himself would say?


All opinion aside, people from all over the nation have either sided with this father or decided to hate him.  The sad thing is the father is a small business owner, yet has generated as much hate and love as a politician.  I wonder if he is prepared for the impact this will have on his business?  This could be considered a PR crisis for him and his family.


Here are a Few Insights


  1. If you are a business owner, everything you do or say on social media channels can be judged in relation to the image of your business.  You may be the best at what you do, but business is conducted based on relationships.
  2. Relationships tend to have a “ripple” impact within a business community.  If the talk of the cocktail party is the video dad and some think he is a “psycho” or “angry,”  yet others already have loyalty to the business, will that lead to loyal clients sending more business referrals as they put their own reputation on the line?
  3. Even if the father decides to get out of the limelight and takes down the You Tube video and deletes his personal Facebook page, will it all be forgotten?  At this stage, the whole subject has achieved the “tipping” point in information sharing and can continue to be talked about as much as murder in a small town.
  4. What is the impact on others?  This short list shows how far reaching social media really is. I wonder if the father thought about the impact this video would have on all the people affected (and how they digest and respond to the information within their own homes and families).  Let’s take a look at just a few of those impacted by this video:
    1. His own daughter, Hannah.
    2. All members of Hannah’s immediate and extended family.
    3. All of Hannah’s close friends.
    4. The parents and grandparents of those friends.
    5. Hannah’s church family (or sports teams).
    6. People who do business with the father.
    7. People who live and work in the town they live in.
    8. Vendors and business partners of the father.
    9. The teachers in the school Hannah attends.
    10. Hannah’s future opportunities for high school, employment and college.
    11. More …

I invite you to view this video for yourself.  Do you see relationship building here?

Cathy Rodgers, 7 Waves Cathy


Cathy Rodgers is the owner of Seven Waves Marketing, a Social Media, PR, and Online Marketing Co. established in 2009. Cathy has over 20 years of experience broadcasting stories through copywriting outlets: newspapers columns, blogging, social media, and photography outlets. Visit Seven Waves Marketing or look for @7wavescathy on Twitter


  • Oh boy. Where do I begin?… I’ve been intentionally avoiding watching this video because I didn’t want to waste 8 minutes of my life on his shenanigans. I definitely do NOT think he thought his actions through (it least not very well). It probably would have been more beneficial for all involved parties, if he’d had a face to face conversation instead of venting on Facebook. Wasn’t that what he was punishing her for. Hmmm…

    Great example of what NOT to do.

    • maryellen says:

      I completely agree with you Tiffany! It made for some interesting conversation in my personal branding discussion today however. As Cathy points out, what was the father thinking when he discussed this issue with the world? What will happen to his brand/business?

  • Cathy Rodgers says:

    Agreed Tiffany. The power of social media is far reaching and most people still don’t realize the impact it has. All that aside, “tit for tat” has never worked in any relationship (that I know of). Perhaps he was trying to make an impact in the reality TV world and this was a publicity stunt like the man who claimed his son was in the hot air balloon years ago?

  • Sue Painter says:

    I’m with Tiffany. I don’t even want to watch the video and get the bad vibe around me. I can understand the frustration, but the problems with this parent/child relationship started way before the child ever got a computer. The whole thing is just icky to me.

    • maryellen says:

      To chime in with Sue I agree that these issues started long before this episode. They have just been made very public in a “social” way!

  • Jeff Brunson says:

    I am somewhat pleased to say that I know absolutely nothing about this incident. Probably a testament to my own burnout with info overload … ?

    • maryellen says:

      Jeff, this became a topic of discussion last Sunday at church among friends right after it happened. The whole “parenting” issue was what was discussed.

  • Bill Painter says:

    From a negotiation perspective, I’d say that he lost relationship building by losing his cool and showing it. Kids are great negotiatiors because they lack power (as evidenced here). She learned how to push his buttons even better than before. He could have accomplished a lot more and had is message heard (not listened to) if he had had a calm face to face with her (as hard as that might have been).

    • maryellen says:

      Bill, how fascinating that you viewed it from the negotiation stand-point which it most definitely was all about!

      • Thanks Bill – and what he is missing about relationship building is that anything you do online effects not only your current relationships, but future relationships – business, family, and more. That’s what social media is all about.

  • Wow. I can’t believe a father would do this. He’s setting such a bad example himself. He doesn’t like that his daughter posted such a disrespectful rant publicly … yet he did the exact same thing. He posted a public rant of his own. This definitely isn’t an example for how a parent should punish their children or deal with errors they have made. This is so sad.

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