Leona O'Neill: Dad chops up PlayStation and humiliates son. Who's the k***head?

Parents at the end of their tether have made headlines for destroying their children's games consoles and posting footage on the internet. Wouldn't it be better not to allow things to reach such a pitch in the first place, asks Leona O'Neill

Destructive parents often mould destructive kids

OUR children’s gaming can be a source of conflict in our homes. It seems today’s kids are constantly connected to their gaming consoles, neglecting homework, exercise, fresh air and socialising in the real world. And some parents have taken extreme measures to tackle the issue.

A Manchester dad hit the headlines last week after a video he took of himself sawing his son’s PlayStation in half went viral online. Builder Simon Shaw, from Saddleworth, said he took the power tool to his son’s gaming console because it, and I’m directly quoting him here, "turned him into a 'k***head".

“This is my TS410 and this is my son's PlayStation,” he said in the video, “which I've just been and got out of his f***ing room, because that has turned him into a complete f***ing k***head and I've had enough.”

The clearly calm, reserved and rational Mr Shaw grinned as he sawed the console in half, held the broken bits up to the camera before throwing them to the ground and making a rather rude hand gesture.

Parents online had mixed feelings on the incident. Many called him ‘Dad of the Year’ for taking such a strong stance, others thought him a tyrant.

He’s not the first parent to use force to get their message across. A dad in America shot up his daughter’s laptop with a handgun because she spent too much time on it; another threw his son’s XBox in the swimming pool because he wouldn’t get off it.

I don’t get it. Why not just parent the child instead of using brute force? Our kids love their games consoles because they help them relax and unwind. Taking that ability to escape away from them in such a brutal fashion would have a serious detrimental impact on them.

In taking a power tool to the PlayStation – something the kid no doubt loves dearly – only teaches him to overreact to scenarios that he feels frustrated in. He no doubt learnt a lesson that if you can’t handle a situation lash out, shout, curse and destroy something that matters to the person you are trying to dominate. Great message, Dad.

Kids need discipline, rules and boundaries. They need to know that if they cross those boundaries then there will be consequences. Mum friends of mine have reached their limit with their child’s gaming habits, and the cheek that sometimes comes along with it, and taken their games console away. I know one mum, a nurse, who took an XBox in her handbag to work one Sunday after an early morning argument over gaming. The child learned his lesson and there was less cheek from him thereafter.

There is genuinely no need to go to Mr Shaw’s lengths. He’s certainly not Dad of the Year in my eyes. He is an idiot who put getting likes on social media in front of the wellbeing of his child.

I’m sure his boy felt fantastic being labelled – and, again, I am directly quoting him – a ‘k***head’ all over social media. I’m sure this is something his son will feel resentful for for many years to come. Destructive parents often mould destructive kids. This father would be much better placed to hold a mirror up to his own behaviour before criticising his son’s.

Instead of setting an example, discipling his kid and dealing with his bad behaviour, he let it reach the stage where he’s out in his yard with a saw, shouting expletives, destroying an expensive games console, bad mouthing his child and then posting it all over the internet.

If anything, he’s – and I’m quoting myself here – the ‘k***head’ and his kids deserves a medal for putting up with his aggressive, domineering tantrums.

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