I get it. Grades are important, and we all want to teach our kids lessons that make a lasting impact. There’s a limit, though, to how harsh those lessons should be, and this father went way beyond that limit.
In a video posted to YouTube that has recently gone viral, the father makes his son, Jason, smash his Xbox console because he got failing grades in school. We see him make the boy take a huge sledgehammer to one console through his tears.
When he gets to a second console, he just can’t do it. The boy begs and pleads, saying it’s not his fault, as the father drops F-bomb-laden commands that he had better do it. The video ends before we find out what happens to the second console, but through it all you want to go hug that boy and tell that father a thing or two.
The fact that the dad recorded the whole thing just makes it worse, as he probably thought he’d be lauded for his tough love. But this isn’t love; it’s him trying to prove how tough he is and wield his power over this poor boy.
The boy doesn’t get any points for not taking responsibility. “It’s not my fault,” he says repeatedly. “It’s my teacher’s fault.” But he’s a kid, and it’s our job as parents to teach them to take responsibility, not to humiliate them and destroy their things.
If my son was failing in school, I wouldn’t hesitate to rid our house of every Xbox, iPad and TV in it, and I have threatened to do just that. However, I would put them in storage, give them to charity or anything rather than making him destroy them in such a humiliating manner. The father could have used the Xbox as an incentive to get the grades up, or any other number of things, but he took the easy, mean way out. Not to mention, what a huge waste of money!
As for any lessons the boy learned from this experience, the only one that will likely stick is that his dad is a big, cruel bully.