Parent trapped: What exactly is considered good parenting?

05/16/15 by Rennie Detore

What is good parenting to one might be questionable to another.
An online video that recently surfaced showed a young boy smashing his Xbox after he brought home a less than enviable report card with failing grades. Dad didn't take kindly to what he saw and concocted a punishment that, depending on your perspective, fit the crime.
Naturally, the video sparked controversy with some onlookers deeming dear, old dad as parent of the year, while others questioned the method of parenting to the point that smashing an Xbox really doesn't address the entire scope of the problem at hand but rather is a reactionary decision by a parent that is only tackling the issue at the tail end of it.

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The latter argument tends to be the one that holds the most water in this discussion if you stop to realize exactly the problem. Yes, the son deserved to be punished for a report card that was poor, but one question that needs addressed is whether dad decided to start the would be award winning parenting too late in the game.
Did dad take an active role in his son's school work earlier?
Was he proactive in addressing the issue by helping his son study or trying to get out in front of any problems he was having?
Seems as though the answer to those questions most likely is "no," given that a tutor or extra help at school may have saved the Xbox but more importantly led to better than below average grades. Good parenting isn't about extreme levels of punishing a child based on the end result, but rather avoiding that end result in the first place.
Maybe dad needed to spend more time with after school homework or helping his son study, rather than see the litany of "F's" on the report card and going extreme with how he reacted. That said, the idea of having a son smash his Xbox or permanently destroy something that he enjoyed isn't all bad but seems a bit much in this form. Perhaps just taking away the gaming system for a time period would suffice but either method really isn't paying attention and attempting to solve the problem. Parents need to tackle the problem head on, while still punishing accordingly. Saying so long to the Xbox works, but not in lieu of dad deciding he'd like to get involved in ultimately getting his son back on track with his school work.
What most can agree upon is the idea of filming his son doing this. Punishing kids isn't reality TV at its finest nor should it be shared to the world. What is the purpose of uploading it online? Would you film yourself yelling at your son or daughter? This video seems more like a "look at me moment" for dad than anything else.
A lot of what the video shows is fitting if you take it at face value. Kids still need some sort of accountability for not performing in school or any other expectation parents put forth. But along the way, dad lost focus on the issue at hand and reacted without understanding that his son may have been just struggling and looking for help the entire time but didn't get the support he needed. Instead, he's one Xbox short and the problem of poor grades still exists.

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