In the past couple of weeks, there has been a funny viral video being passed around different websites: a dad lip-syncing to his daughter’s temper tantrum after a hour’s worth of yelling by the kid. At present, it has over 2.8 million views.
The description of the video on YouTube makes it clear that this was a good kid who just happened to be having a bad day. You never see her face or know her name.
I’ve seen this video several times and noted that reactions varied widely. Some commenters have criticized these parents for everything from their parenting style to the effect the video is having on their other children, while others support the parents for choosing to meet a stressful parenting situation with humor.
Personally, I’m in the second category. From my experience with babysitting kids, sometimes they just don’t want to be consoled and it’s better to hang on and wait until the kid calms down. Humor is sometimes all you have to cope with frazzling situations.
I don’t think the daughter is going to be affected permanently, as still other people have suggested. Maybe it’ll cause her a red face or two later, but this video will probably sink into obscurity after the buzz dies down. I suspect that if anybody brings it up, she’ll just brush it off with “Well, I was only six. You know how it is.”
I do think about what kind of social media legacy we’re leaving behind for kids to discover later on in their lives. According to author Erik Qualman in the Socialnomics 2012 video, 92% of children under the age of 2 have a digital shadow.
And what will be their feelings when those kids and their friends grow up and see the online videos, the photographs and the blog posts, I wonder? Some will find the material funny or endearing, while others may want it permanently removed if it’s too embarrassing.
Children and teens these days deal with more digital threats than those of a different generation: Internet predators, catfishing and cyberbullying, for examples. But I’m of the opinion that if the parents raise their kids to be well-adjusted, smart kids with the judgment of when and where to do the right thing, that will give the kid a firm foundation in life, no matter what appears online about them.
Blog readers, your thoughts? Here’s the video so you see for yourself.