Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos – Parenthood Does Not Make People More Mature, Godly, Loving, or Responsible

Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos – Parenthood Does Not Make People More Mature, Godly, Loving, or Responsible

Many secular conservatives and Christians go on and on about how nuclear families are necessary for society, they shame or criticize women who do not have children, and they feel that being a parent is necessary to make a person more responsible, mature, or godly. I should know, because I am a right winger. I’ve been a conservative for years, but I think other conservatives really get this stuff wrong.

Every week, I see news stories of parents who neglect or verbally or physically abuse their children – being parents did not make such parents mature, godly, loving, or responsible.

I was verbally abused by my father  and sister growing up, and it’s a very painful thing to endure – my father has mellowed out a tad since growing older (he can still be a little verbally abusive, but not as often as when I was younger), but my sister has gotten worse.

When I was younger, my dad would sometimes pull “pranks” on me similar to what the dad in these You Tube videos was doing to his kids, in addition to run-of-the-mill put-downs where my father would tell me he didn’t value my thoughts, opinions, and basically convey to me he thought I was a loser and a failure.

When you have these sorts of “pranks” pulled on you when you are a kid, they HURT. They make you feel rejected and unloved by the parent doing it. There is nothing funny about it.

The kid is hurt now, but I can guarantee when he gets much older and reflects on this, the anger will come out – most of the hurt will die down, and he will instead be infuriated and resent that his dad did this to him.

What this dad did is cruel. It’s not funny. What they (the father and the stepmother in this story) did is in fact emotional abuse – I’m guessing the mouth-breathing morons behind this You Tube channel (the Martin parents) only regard physical strikes as “abuse.” WRONG. Abuse can be emotional / verbal.

So. I feel sorry for the kids in the story below – I know what it’s like to be verbally and emotionally abused, to have pranks done to me and cruel words said to me under the guise it’s just “joking around” and so on.

Christians and secular right wingers need to let go of this idea that marriage and parenting are necessary to make people productive, mature, good people – that’s clearly NOT THE CASE.

The New York Times ran (Link): this Tweet today:

“The couple verbally berated their 5 children, often to the point of tears, then racked up millions of YouTube views”

…Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos … The parents first defended the videos, posted on the DaddyOFive (You Tube channel) …

Here are some more links about it:

(Link):  YouTube prank parents lose custody of their kids

(Link):  DaddyOFive parents lose custody ‘over YouTube pranks

(Link):  These YouTube parents pulled disturbing ‘pranks’ on their kids. Now, they’ve lost custody.

The videos on DaddyOFive’s YouTube channel were hard to watch. In one, parents Heather and Mike Martin scream at 9-year-old Cody, accusing him of spilling ink on the ground. (He didn’t spill anything, and the stains on the carpet were from trick ink).

Another shows Cody being shoved into a bookcase. In a third, the dad encourages one of his sons to slap 11-year-old Emma, the only girl among the five children in the family.

He does, hard enough to make Emma cry.

When the broader YouTube community found out about the channel, there was an angry uprising. And now, the once-estranged birth mother of Cody and Emma has emergency custody of her two kids.

(Link):   YouTubers who made kids cry with extreme prank lose custody

(Link):  Cruel YouTube father and stepmom who filmed themselves telling their nine-year-old son he was going to be adopted and smashing his X-box lose custody of their two children

  • Maryland parents Mike and Heather Martin have a YouTube channel in which their two youngest children are often the victim of cruel pranks
  • The parents of five had been under fire for an April video pranking their son, Cody, nine
  • Stepmom Heather squirted disappearing ink all over son Cody’s bedroom carpet
  • Parents bawl him out, then reveal the joke and make him plug their channel
  • They released an apology video in April, but still said the kids were in on the ‘pranks’ 
  • The parents lost custody of Mike’s two children, Cody, nine, and Emma, 12
  • Cody and Emma’s biological mom, Rose Hall, says the children are being ‘deprogrammed’ from the abuse

A man whose wildly popular videos showcasing him ‘pranking’ his two young kids has lost custody of them to their biological mother.

On Monday, Rose Hall, the biological mother of Mike Martin’s two youngest children, Cody, nine, and Emma, 12, uploaded a video with her lawyer, Tim Conlon of the Custody Place, saying that she had emergency custody of the kids, who were the main targets of the ‘pranks’ of Mike and his second wife, Heather.

‘They’re doing good,’ Hall says on the video. ‘They’re getting back to their playful selves.’

‘The kids are in a deprogramming sort of mode in the moment,’ said Conlon.

The pair thanked people on YouTube who persisted on trying to get the children taken away from the couple.

‘Very heartbreaking and disturbing to see my kids abused,’ said Hall.

The children were the ‘stars’ or ‘victims’ depending on who you ask of popular YouTube channel DaddyoFive, which has 760,000 subscribers.

The videos often showed father Martin ‘pranking’ his youngest child, Cody, in a series of incidents that many in the YouTube community have been calling abusive for several months.

Videos include Martin convincing Cody he had been adopted out to another family, pushing him and bloodying his nose (Martin claimed the blood was fake), smashing Cody’s X-box with a hammer, accusing Cody of spraying his room with ink when he didn’t and yelling and swearing at him.

Often Cody ends up red faced, crying, screaming, or throwing things out of frustration. In one video, Cody threatens to kill himself. ‘I hate my life just kill me,’ he cries after his father harangues him.

Usually while the father torments Cody, an older brother films the action for the channel.

An online (Link): petition drew almost 19,000 signatures to get CPS to investigate the family. The family lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

A cottage industry of YouTubers criticizing the videos had sprung up, with YouTuber Philip DeFranco one of the most vocal critics of the Martins’ parenting style.

There had been a previous Child Protective Services investigation, but Hall’s sister, Crystal Reynolds, told New York Magazine that the agency had determined that the behavior was ‘[appropriate] corporal punishment.’ CPS could not confirm nor deny an investigation by law.

…. The couple, however, still insists that the kids were in on the ‘joke’ and eager to see how many views the videos could get. They also claimed the family was in counseling.

The couple made approximately $200,000 to $350,000 annually from the channel, according to (Link): New York Magazine.

… The video that caused such a backlash was posted April 12 and shows Cody, as usual in these videos, in tears.

As Heather explains in the video that has gotten over 400,000 views, Cody had already gotten in trouble for spilling ink on his carpet in the past, and she decided to trick him by spraying disappearing ink on the floor of his room and blaming him.

‘Get your f**king a** up here!’ she screams at the beginning of the brutal six-minute gag. ‘What the f**k did you do?’

‘What the hell is that,’ yells Mike.

‘I didn’t do that,’ the bespectacled young boy pleads. ‘I don’t have anything with ink or whatever this is.’

Cody’s denials only send his parents into further fury, as they bawl out the boy.

‘You’re writing a thousand sentences,’ dad Mike yells. ‘I’m gonna have to sell all your Pokemon stuff!’

The bewildered boy breaks down in tears as the prank drags on, before Heather finally reveals that she sprayed the disappearing ink on the floor.

‘It’s just a prank, brah,’ the dad tells the stunned boy. ‘You guys got pranked hard.’

…’It was just a flat-out horrendous thing to do to children,’ wrote a columnist for PhillyVoice, condemning the video. ‘The parents should be ashamed of themselves.’

‘This is how we run our house, this is our family,’ Mike blasted back in an epic 20-minute response video posted on Easter Sunday and titled BLOCKING ALL THE HATERS.

‘We were being investigated already for the YouTube channel and nothing was found,’ his wife revealed in the same video. ‘You’re looking in the wrong place for child abusers.’

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