On Tommy Jordan

Last week, a video was viral.

I salute this man.

There are certain things I disagree with and would have done differently had I been in his position, but on the whole he has approximately the correct idea. It is a common saying that to know someone’s personality, you only really need the first five minutes. Or three minutes. It matters not which particular number you’ve heard, but the concept is there and the concept is true, if you train yourself to read others (or if you train to fake yourself). My reading of Tommy Jordan is that he probably is a “normal” father, if we discount fathers who barely exist in their childrens’ lives. He is probably strict about what he wants happen, but also gives out rather generously.

Nothing in the video suggests that he is faking anything, either for publicity, or for effect. He is neither nicer than he actually is, nor is he meaner than he actually is, in this video.

That is to say, there is no reason to think that he was abusing his daughter somehow beforehand, and this is just another instance of abuse.

If I had told my daughter that I would shoot her laptop given another instance of this kind of thing she wrote up, I would do it – she needs to know I keep my word, and I need to keep my word because I need to be honest to myself. I would have given it away or used it myself, or better yet, take a whole different route entirely, but that seems to be more of a stylistic choice, not a substantive choice. The choice to remove that effect is the main idea.

Critics say that that choice is also stylistic, namely that he could’ve sat down and talked with her instead, but I disagree. You can reduce everything to style and have nothing be true, but we don’t do that kind of thing here. Fundamentally, she needs to know that discipline and respect are important, and clearly, the last time he talked with her it didn’t change anything. So he did something new. To just do the same thing would’ve not solved the problem, and just given her more leeway because now it’s fairly obvious that her father doesn’t keep his word. Maybe you’d succeed in talking. But he clearly did not.

It deserves saying again that this is not an optimal situation in parenting. But given those circumstances, this incident was justified.

Freedom does not lead to order. Order leads to freedom.

You cannot do it backwards.


 Put the cigarette out, put the gun away, and try loving your daughter instead of telling her how bad she is. Kids don’t respond to abuse and threats. Maybe that’s why she’s acting out by writing on FB, which, by the way, is a lot less harmful than what Daddy just did.

Mr. Jordan stated if a cause happens again, an effect will take place. Perhaps if he had not stated that he would put a bullet in her laptop if she disrespected him on the electronic public again, then perhaps this would be a reasonable course of action. There are a lot of comments talking about how he IS her environment, so he caused this to happen, and it’s not his daughter’s fault. This works the other way around as well – it’s not like this was what he wanted to happen. If it hurts her, it hurts him too. It was an unfortunate outcome, but it was the best out of all possible worlds at that point in time.

Breaking your word is a horrible thing.

yeah, no. horrible parenting to threaten your own kid, and use a gun to carry out the threat. Awful lesson, you’ve made her resentful and probably fearful, what you taught her is that violence is your solution. So dont be surprise when you find out shes become terrified of you and other men. Great job.

Appears to be empirically untrue, but either way, this idea is really simplistic. Use thing which can do damage, therefore scares everyone? Cars are scary too you know. Much scarier than a bullet and a gun.

Im not gonna lie this guys a dick… I’m not spoiled, I pay for my own shit. Having his daughter clean up after him is wrong.. making her make his coffee is wrong. If he makes a mess his lazy ass should clean it. My dad does the same crap. Cleaning and taking care of her own work is fine, but taking care of her dads is bull shit. Taking care of your own shit builds character and cleaning up your messes not taking care of other’s.. school is very stressful, and the amount of work it takes is rideculous. For all of the parents that are acting like school is easy, its not. You try learning a ciriculum* that doesn’t benifit you in the real world. Try doing work that your instructors tell you isn’t necessary in life, then tell your kids they’ve got it easy. I guarantee all of your highschool kids are more academic smart than you.

– It is fairly clear to me that Mr. Jordan is not a slob.
– It is good that this commenter knows that taking care of yourself builds character. But if you never learn to take care of others, you’re never going to get anywhere. Improving is never complete.
– High school is nothing. She is in high school.
– Academically smarter means absolutely nothing.

Children have rights just like adults do to PRIVACY, so whoever just said that we are minors and have none is a bunch of bullshit. Got a problem with that? Take it to court and lose. Aside from that… I think this was the wrong approach. I’m a kid, and I would NEVER disrespect my parents like that, so this is already giving a bad name to a lot of teenagers out there, which I don’t like indeed. Her Facebook post was viewed by not that many people, yours was viewed by a lot. Think of the embarrassment she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life as this stays on the internet… that’s gotta be awful! What she did seems wrong, and deserved punishment… but this much? I’m not so sure. Kids make mistakes. Didn’t you when you were younger?

I forget if it was in this video or a post on his facebook wall, but he stated that when he disrespected his parents in public, he got reprimanded on the spot, in front of everybody. He did the same thing here, except “everybody” is now the internet – the same audience which saw his daughter’s post, or approximately so. Who chose to view either one at that point is not something you can pin their responsibility onto. Both had variable audiences. What they happened to become is irrelevant, because the concept remains the same. If you can do a variable amount of damage via method X, I am justified in doing the “same” variable amount of damage via that same method X.

And seriously, with the privacy invasion. Granted, I’m not her. But how I see it is that she felt disrespected, and felt writing out her feelings as a way to vent would cool her down. If my father looked in my diary, or hacked onto my facebook account, or whatever, I’d be pissed too! No wonder your daughter doesn’t respect you.

Diary is not public.

That’s not parenting. That’s abuse. If you replace “Hannah” with “my wife” or “my neighbor” he would be arrested.

And if you hammer someone’s head instead of a hammer, it’s called assault…? I fail to see a point in this contention. People are not equal. There are certain things you do to your wife that you cannot do to your daughter. Does suddenly all human interaction and culture break down?

I can’t believe people are actually supporting what you did. You publicly humiliated your daughter and now it’s almost guaranteed that she’ll be bullied/harassed in some way. Two wrongs don’t make a right, I’d think as a parent you’d know that. All teens go through these phases, but your making harder by pretty much letting her know that she can’t talk to you at all about her feelings. People here are saying “These days kids have it easy” or “back in my day”: Guess what, it’s not your day anymore, it’s 2012. Beating a child is child abuse, and it’s not a good form of discipline, it just builds fear and hostility in your child. How can you people condone beating a kid of any age? What your daughter did was wrong but you should have talked to her about it, not post a youtube video for MILLIONS to see.

Human nature has not yet changed with the advent of technology. Culture has changed the distribution of what activities happen, but that is it. Certain things still produce order, and certain things still produce disorder.

Other than that, this is full of non-sequitur. Nobody mentioned beating kids but this guy here.

Hmmm, what did his daughter learn from this? Discussion? No, not really. Intelligent discourse? Nope. Respect? Don’t see it. Oh yeah, she learned to violently destroy property in a childish display of power when someone under her control displeases her. Wow, that should work out great for her kids. Ignorant rednecks with guns, what more can you say?

If you do not want to see more complicated causes and effects, to see a more general and all-encompassing system, then you won’t. And nothing anybody does can change that.

I’m 15. I’m not one of those dumb kids who goes ranting about their parents on their facebook pages. But that kind of reaction to a little teenage angst is simply unacceptable.
When people are our age, they have a sudden change in their bodies. These changes are generally referred to as ‘puberty’. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It causes sudden mood swings and occasional irrational behavior. It happens to all teenagers. And all teenagers bitch about their parents. To their friends, on facebook, anywhere they can release these emotions.
Your daughter did nothing more than this. In order to release pent up emotions caused by chemical reactions in the body, she bitched about autority figures, you, in much the same way as you might bitch about your boss (if you have one) to release stress. She hid that post from you consciously so she wouldn’t get in trouble, but most likely also so sh wouldn’t hurt your feelings. Because she loves you.

An analogy only works if it connects.

Of course, for every person against Tommy Jordan, there appears to be literally around a thousand who support him, so this here set of examples is only a view of the opposition. There were plenty of comments about freedom of speech, and “it’s her laptop she can do what she wants”, and other general shes-her-own-human-being-she-is-free stuff, but I won’t respond to those because I have already thoroughly routed such beliefs multiple ways in previous posts. I heard that Good Morning America and CNN did stories on them too, but I won’t be discussing those either for the same reason.

Also, it’s TV.

TV is bad for you.


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