Just out of curiosity, how do you know that the relationship was "what little of a relationship there was"? Because she was ungrateful? Because she was annoyed with her parents? I guess I ask this because I was very much like that as a teenager and I did not have a bad relationship with my mom. We got along most of the time but had our rough patches. Also, we don't really know what they have gone through as a family. It's easy to say "Well *I* would have sat down and had a mature, heart to heart with *my* kid and just explained why those kinds of comments hurt my feelings. Who knows, maybe the parents did that--472749592847 times, and it was not working. Maybe they were at the end of their rope and decided that this might wake her up more effectively. Also, I don't understand the idea of associating donating to charity with punishment. How does "you've been bad, now you have to give your stuff to poor people" teach the child the value of giving to those less fortunate? It automatically links something that us supposed to be a positive thing with all kinds if negative feelings. I wonder if it is the act if shooting the laptop that bugs people. I wonder if hr threw it in a dumpster or dropped it in a pond if it would get that reaction. Then again, I also believe that parents have to do something pretty freaking horrible to not deserve the respect of their kids, so perhaps I am just old fashioned--lol.