YouTube Parents Who Pranked Kids Apologize, Get Counseling

WASHINGTON — The Frederick County parents under fire for pulling pranks on their kids in a series of popular YouTube videos have issued a video apology, and the family is in counseling.

Mike and Heather Martin of Ijamsville, Maryland, said many of the pranks posted on their YouTube channel, including their kids’ tearful reactions, were staged.

All of the videos have been removed from their DaddyOFive channel except one in which they apologize.

Mike told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a report that aired Friday that by making the videos, he was actually trying to be a good father.

“You got dads out there that are lawyers, I’m not no (sic) lawyer. You’ve got dads out there that are doctors — I can’t do that. I felt like I’m not being the dad that they deserve. I’m no hero to them,” he said.

That changed, he said, when he started the YouTube channel and saw his children’s happy reactions when the videos racked up lots and lots of views.

But now, he told GMA, “I am ashamed.”

Heather Martin said critics have the wrong impression.

“We love our kids; they’re the most important thing in the world to us,” she said. “We are not bad people.”

The Baltimore Sun reported sheriff’s departments in Frederick and Baltimore counties are investigating to determine where the videos were filmed and if any crimes were committed.

According to the Fallston Group, a global reputation agency that’s helping the family, the Martins are now in licensed family counseling and working with life coaches.

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