An open letter to my children: You're not that great 1

An open letter to my children: You’re not that great

An open letter to my children: You’re not that great

I love you each.

You’re funny. And talented. As I sit in this dance recital I am holding a foster baby that is in our home for the weekend and I am witnessing an American atrocity that I want you to remember.

And it is not a drug-addicted baby.

In the row ahead of me a family has taken hot pink duct tape and marked off 22 seats. We were specifically told not to do this at the informational meeting. Please, always follow the rules.  They count off “new-naw, pawpaw, auntie Laurie, auntie Bitsy, Carl-baby, daddy, bubba, Unkie-Mikie, hankie…” These nicknames, while odd are also not the issue, but don’t nickname me when I am old.  It’s getting embarrassing. The two women marking off seats are oblivious to everyone around them. “Unkie-Mikey” just entered the auditorium with an enormous balloon bouquet.

I am able to quickly conclude that they are the family of the infamous Kkyylliiee on page 3 of the recital program. She has a full page ad. She’s 5.  The dead giveaway is that all of them have on pink t-shirts that say “we hope you dance KKyylliiee“.  Don’t ruin songs for people by making silly t-shirts with the lyrics. The ad has Kkyylliiee in her recital costume in a professional portrait for the occasion.  I am over the moon to see this chubby kindergartener perform if only I could see over the balloons – and the camera equipment they are now setting up.

Obviously, Kkyylliiee must be quite talented & very child special because she needed two of every letter to spell her name.

As someone whose name has been missing an “e” in my spelling her entire life, I covet her vowels.  Dear Mary, John, Luke, Sophie, Sam, Charlie, and any others we may have the privilege of raising, you will love your children like nothing you can fathom.  Name them wisely – otherwise, they will never have a personalized pencil from the museum gift shops on field trips.

Kkyylliiee enters with another “Auntie” and two suitcases so that “Maw-Maw” can do her makeup.  “Nee-naw” brings McDonald’s for the whole clan.  I can’t help but remember the sign clearly stated outside “NO FOOD OR DRINK.”  Again I say – just follow the rules. Yes. They apply to you.

I can’t stop watching the insanity and as I compose this in my head – I make a mental note to myself to write this to you… My dear Americanized children, you aren’t above the rules and you aren’t that great …  I am not sorry if you felt less than your peers because I forgot to turn in the form for you to be highlighted in a program.

As much as it hurts me – feel less than. Esteem not yourself. Feel lonely.

Go ahead, feel unworthy.

Yes, feel unaccomplished.

Feel small.

Yes, my children, feel lost.

Feel broken.

And, feel least.

[bctt tweet=”As much as it hurts me – feel less than. Esteem not yourself. Feel lonely.” username=”httpstwittercomjamiamerine”]

For if you believe you are greater than, your father and I have failed miserably.

Among the broken, you will find Christ. My prayer for you is that you see Him everywhere. There’s nowhere to go but down if we as a society continue to treat mediocrity as mighty. If you are never uncomfortable, weary, left out and un-praised how will you recognize the desolate? And if you are never desolate how will you recognize how much you need a Savior?

I will continue to put pictures of you on Facebook and brag about you.

I will still cut the crust off your sandwiches – and bring you sonic slushes for no reason.  It is my mommy nature – but I pray I never make you feel you are more than those around you.  My prayer for you is that you came to serve, not be served.  I may not like the way it wears on you, but it’s not about you.

Ah, and most importantly I pray you are wise enough to recognize the broken among the esteemed.  We well-meaning and proud parents have created the monsters.  You have to see the tragedy of the poor and the crack-addicted; the baby who may never have a recital portrait taken or her name in lights.  And it is sad.  But it is also sad to learn too late you aren’t that great.

Children, the last shall be first – the first shall be last.

All this to be said… Sophie, I forgot flowers for you after the recital. You did a really good job, but don’t quit school to pursue a career in dance baby girl.  I wasn’t lying to any of you when I said I was proud of your C- paper. If you tried – If you cared and that is how you were graded – bravo.  Work hard, be willing to get dirty, give away your lunch or your last dollar, sit with the lonely, stand up for injustice, follow the rules, walk through the fire… You’re doing just fine.

Love, Mom


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  1. selah on September 25, 2015 at 10:24 am

    well spoken.

    • susie on September 28, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Fantastic perspective, thanks. Please post to!

    • Risa on April 20, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      I was trying to find the place to put a comment but I couldn’t so I replied. I just wanted to ask…why is it necessary to be desolate in order to find grace in God? Growing up in a strict Catholic family, I am undoubtedly rather religious and look to God in all ways. However, in times of desolation and sadness, never once did I beg God for help. I thanked God for all he has done for me, and gave him my whole heart and life for all the gifts he has bestowed me…but why must I look to him only in times of need? Why not find the light when I am happy and blissful, when I don’t seemingly need him? Another thing…I grew up without praise or care or any form of approval from my parents…I agree with humbleness…but why must you never think yourself greater than another? Why can you not feel for once in your life like you are actually worth everything that God created you to be? In human society and life there are those who are better and worse; it is unconscious behavior to think we are better than some or not. For once in my life I do want to feel great, can I not? I know not what it feels like to have my parents do “mommy tasks”, I know not what it feels like to be praised, applauded, to be a blessing to my parents…all they looked in me was to be perfect and obedient…yet why can I not therefore, feel as if I am worth something otherwise?

      • Laura on April 21, 2016 at 7:50 am

        When this article discusses ‘not putting yourself above someone’, this has nothing to do with thinking you are not worthy of what God has created you to be. God did not create you to be ‘better than someone’, as he sees us all as equals. You can feel good about yourself without putting people below you. And, when you are humble, you don’t put yourself above others. That would be an immediate contradiction.
        Take my family; my mom has always supported me. She has been to my recitals, games, presentations, and has helped me with personal stuff as well, but never once did she say I was better than someone. In my color guard, we won 1st at nearly every competition. My mom said congrats, bragged about me on facebook, and that was the end of it. She didn’t drag on about how I was the star, or how we are at the top of the game. Amidst her congrats, she also pointed out how I could get better. If I dropped something during the performance, or didnt do choreography right, she told me, and made sure I was going to try to get better, even if we did get first place. Even though my mom never said I was better than someone, I was still content with who I was, and still am. I know that I am not better than anyone else, but I am also proud of who I am, and what I have accomplished.
        With asking God for help, that is also a humbling thing. It is you saying ‘I can’t do this on my own, please help me’. You can praise God and ask him for help at the same time. In any relationship, it is easy to thank people for stuff, but it takes really humility to ask for help, and that’s what God wants from us- to recognize that he is stronger, and we need him. And yes, you do need him, even when things are going great. You will ALWAYS need God.
        You are worthy; worthy of love, happiness, and success, but, and this will be hard to swallow, we are not ‘worthy’ of God, because we are sinners. Everything God gives us is because he LOVES us, not because we deserve it. Yes, we are beautiful creatures in God’s eyes, and he loves me, you, and everyone equally, but not because of what we did, but because he is an amazing, perfect God.
        Don’t take any of this the wrong way. You can be proud of yourself, and you can feel great about something in your life, but also understand that you should NEVER put yourself above someone, and there is always room for improvement in something, if you allow it to be ‘imperfect’.
        I hope I addressed everything. I’m sorry I wrote so much, but I wanted to make sure I got my point accross. 🙂 🙂

        • Risa on April 21, 2016 at 7:59 am

          Oh no, i asked questions for a reason. Thank you for your reply it has opened my eyes more. I think that all my life, through every struggle, I was trying both to push myself down, blame myself for all my faults and mistakes, yet I was also trying to keep my ego, trying to say that I could do this by myself. I will ask God for help, because he is there for that reason too…so thank you for the reply. I just hope that one day I can at least feel proud of myself for something, because all my life I’ve always looked up and felt lost, broken, least.

          • Laura on April 21, 2016 at 8:09 am

            And it is totally normal to feel that way (trust me, I fell this way a lot!), but also remember that being humble doesn’t just mean to bring yourself down, but to look at the positives AND negatives of yourself. Think of these things:
            ‘Here is something I love about myself. This is why I love this about myself. Thank you God for this.’
            (I know this is hard sometimes. I like to start with, I love that I am a Child of God.)
            ‘Here is something that I don’t love about myself. Here’s how I can improve. Help me, God, to better myself, so that I can love myself, as well as you, and others.’

        • gloria on May 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

          Well said Laura, as a mother of 5 adult children and now 15 grandchildren..

  2. Teresa Donaghey on September 25, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Wonderfully well-said!

  3. Russell Davis on September 25, 2015 at 10:52 am

    THAT will preach…and just did!! Thanks.

  4. Glenna McKelvie on September 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    love it

    • Tammy on April 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Yes and amen to this beautiful truth.
      Let us be about raising children who atre building His kingdom, not their own

  5. mcleanmandy on September 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    You go girlfriend!!! This is great!! So thankful that you’re putting the TRUTH out here!!

    • jamiamerine on September 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks Mandy! So fun seeing you. ❤️

  6. Dottie Wilson on September 25, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Bravo, Jami! Well put.

  7. Jennifer on September 26, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Love this! Thank you so much for putting into words what has been on my heart for awhile. Very well said.

    • jamiamerine on September 26, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Thank you Jennifer. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Bless. ❤️

  8. Darla on September 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you, Jami! It’s easy to forget how silly we look and how misguided we are when we make our children an idol.

    • Donna on September 28, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Well said Darla!!

  9. mckelvie12 on September 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    So smart.

  10. Mindy on September 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I was pondering your thoughts all morning in agreement. I didn’t voice it so eloquently, but my hubby and I had the same idea in raising our 6 kids. Praise where praise is due, honest truth even when it was painful. We wanted our kids to know they were loved and cherished by us, but the world didn’t revolve around them.

    Your ideas was illustrated when we took our teen daughter and her friend to the zoo this afternoon. We experienced two types of parents. The first group of parents urged their kids to “just squeeze up there” or “just go to the front” despite the fact that I was there first and was patiently waiting for a shot, usually off to a side knowing I would be there for awhile. Even moms carrying small ones would push by me and hold their babies above my view. Another group of parents told their kids, “Let’s take our turn” or “Just wait until she takes her shot” or “don’t push by people.”

    I loved your thoughts. Thanks for bearing your heart.

    • jamiamerine on September 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Mindy, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your observation reminds me of God standing back while we shove, push and pull to get our way and make way for our kids… He is quiet and gentle and polite. It made me think further of how, when we step out of the way, He provides a good view, a better opportunity, and the perfect shot. I love your description so and I am deeply touched that you took time to share it. Thank you and God bless you.

  11. Nancy Kirk on September 26, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Well done, Jamie!! Now I know why Sophie is who she is!! Blessings to you and yours.

  12. NatesMama on September 27, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Thank you so much for this. As the mom of a slightly-late-in-life only child, I have to consciously refrain from overdoing the mom-praise, but God must have known what my struggle would be because my boy has the biggest servant’s heart and I’m not sure I can take much credit for that.

    I pray we all raise a generation of people who are kind, caring and humble. The world needs them desperately.

    Thank you again for a wonderful piece.

    • jamiamerine on September 27, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Praise God for late in life mamas, they are wise women! May God continue to bless you and your boy. Jami

  13. Emily Lee on September 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I am of two minds about this post. I think that if I was looking on, I would have had the same thoughts, feelings, and convictions as you did. I agree with how you intend to raise your children. The only negative that I wish to point out is: it comes across as very judgemental to point out the tacky behavior of others. And keep in mind too- you probably don’t know these people or their motives behind their behavior. This girl could have 7 more vowels in her name. So what? Try to see the good in others! I try to follow the rules but I’m not perfect, neither are these people, neither are you. Have a great day and keep up your passion for writing and sharing thoughts with others.

    • jamiamerine on September 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you for taking time to comment. I appreciate your feedback. Bless.

      • Peggy Alton on September 27, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        Sorry but I think EL is a little off with her comments. Personally I did not think you were being judgemental
        I think you were stating what you observed. I think we can all be reminded of humility, consideration of others and that the world will not and does not revolve around us or our children
        And the sooner our children learn this, the happier they will be
        I came not to be served but to serve others..
        Enjoyed your story. PA

      • Suzanne on April 21, 2016 at 12:09 am

        The point is well made in the letter to your children. I understand your attempt to make this relatable by painting a scene we’ve all witnessed. It just doesn’t need it. This boisterous – socially unlearned – family is doing their best by supporting their little girl as best they know how. They’re getting the big money ad, they’re all showing up, to support her, and they’re close enough where nicknames have special meanings among members. If we want to talk about someone who feels less than, what about the little girl whose parents had ‘just one more’ meeting and missed the whole thing. Fortunately we have a God who is working on all of us ALL the time. So let’s show everyone more grace. Because He gives it to us.

        • Casey on April 24, 2016 at 7:51 am

          You can apply the same things you said to the parent who missed the recital due to meetings. That parent is missing important events to earn money to take care of their children.

          I think this was well said. My sons are special and wonderful. But so is everyone else. And while my children are first in my heart, they aren’t first in the world. I’m working on that delicate balance of lifting up my children to feel loved and worthy while teaching them to put others before themselves. One of the best ways to teach our children Christ’s love is to consider others in the things we do and let our children witness that.

    • Nancy Jewel on September 27, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      I have to agree with Emily Lee. In fact your mean spirited judgment of the people at the fore front of your piece negated all of the other things you tried to say. Be nice and don’t look so harshly at others. Perhaps you should follow your own “preaching”. With love .

      • Tammy Davis Mann on September 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm

        Some people are blessed with words and eloquent ways of putting them together. Some aren’t. Everyone has an opinion. I love rule followers 🙂

    • R.J. Bowers on September 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I understand completely what this writer is saying and where she is coming from–I am 75 almost 76 years of age and have seen many adults that were over praised–and made to feel that the world did revolve around them–and they have not completely gotten over that and believe me–it is not pretty–then I have seen young children that are being made to feel like everything they do is a good thing and that just maybe they are a little smarter–better looking and can do whatever they want to no matter what it is–sass adults–talk ugly about other children or adults etc. I know we all want our children to have a good self-esteem–but–too much is too much and makes for very selfish, ugly adults–no matter how beautiful they may be on the outside–they are not beautiful on the inside–because parents or adults somewhere along the way over did the praise, and making them feel more than they really were–

    • Traci on September 28, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Hi Emily Lee — I have to agree with you. I thought that some kind of a story would be revealed about a dancing girl that may have had a tough go in life, and getting up on stage would be a massive triumph. When I got that this post was a negative take about the way another family showed their love and support, I was saddened. I get the point of inflated praise, creating inflated young entitled egos, but wish that it wasn’t so targeted on this one family being so wrong. I guess I want people to presume innocence – everyone has a story – – and before we know the story, I wish we would not make up our minds about what is going on, or make up our minds about what kind of damage this is doing to the world. It may be true, but until I know more, I will finish this story in my mind as one that is full of many ways families show love, and many ways parents want the best for their children. The author sounds like a great parent, and great parents heal the world. But there is some irony in this – – a comparison to other, where the author is reducing one and uplifting another. Isn’t that the complaint about the other family? Putting them down isn’t the solution in teaching children to be of service, and full of love for others who do it differently than they do.

      • Larry on April 14, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        But by putting themselves as Family before the other members of the audience, what are they teaching the child? I had children who competed, performed, etc., and we supported them one hundred per cent. However, we did not encroach on the other involved families who were supporting their child, sibling, etc. We had a large family to come to these events, some of us were older, but we may have to sit apart, in the back, or whatever, but we allowed one person to take pictures, or record the actual event, and our children always knew we were there to support, and love them, no matter what, or how they did.

      • Deborah on April 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

        Definition: discriminating
        › ​able to ​know and ​act on the ​difference between good and ​bad:
        They’re discriminating ​shoppers.
        a discriminating ​palate (= the ​ability ​recognize good ​quality in ​food, ​drink, etc.)

        Definition: judgmental
        1: of, relating to, or involving judgment

        Both of these abilities and skills are very useful and to be used properly. Jami (no e) is using and expressing them properly – and in my opinion – correctly. God does in fact require us to make judgements and discriminating decisions every day. Otherwise, how re we to decide good from bad? Holy from evil?

    • Tammy Barber on March 16, 2016 at 6:52 am

      I felt the same way, Love the observations about being less than, and following the rules, but it was a little mean spirited. You never know that little girl could have had cancer and this was her last dance.

    • Amber on April 14, 2016 at 12:18 am

      While I can see your point, a writers job is to out you in the moment. We’ve all been there when that one completely rude family had been right in front of you. Saving not one or 2 seats but a row. They hold there camera or iPad up right in front of you so you can’t even see your child. It’s frustrating, and it’s teaching kids not to respect others. I see it in the school drop off line as there are those of us that follow along in order and those who swoop in and cut holding up the line. Your children learn NY following your lead, and that just teaches them that they to important to follow the rules. Now with that said I do believe there are some rules that are meant to be broken, as long as when you break them your not hurting others or being rude.

    • Nikki on April 14, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      We live in a world now that if you are doing 70mph in a 50mph zone and someone says you are speeding, we cry you are judging me, therefore people crash….

      This lesson was for the reader to contemplate; she didn’t confront those people.

    • Mike on April 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      Agree. Don’t rip on people and talk of Christ

    • kg on April 15, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I have to agree with Emily Lee et al about the tone of this post in the beginning. And I have a 44-year-old friend who affectionately refers to her late uncle as Unkie… big deal. That said, I can totally see the frustration in witnessing such behavior, the disregarding of the rules… and overall, the final message really resonated with me. I worry so much about how my kiddo is treated by peers that I try to build him up – not necessarily a bad thing per se, but I have to be careful not to miss the biggest picture.. Like you said, we are meant to serve.

      So weird… I don’t even know why this blog was open on my laptop this morning! This is my first time here. Perhaps someone posted it to FB and I clicked on it? But I’m glad I found it.

    • Crystal on April 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      You just sounded judgemental about the writer. Interesting.

  14. Colleen B on September 27, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I began this and was smiling and finding it very funny but by the end I was deeply touched. You gave me something to ponder and I feel as though you spoke clearly straight to my heart today. Excellent writing but more important, excellent thoughts. May I share this?

    • jamiamerine on September 27, 2015 at 11:28 am


      • Colleen B on September 27, 2015 at 11:32 am

        Done. I shared it on my FB page. 🙂

        • jamiamerine on September 27, 2015 at 11:35 am

          Thank you. Your blog is gorgeous. I just subscribed.

      • Michael on September 27, 2015 at 11:27 pm

        I wanted to say thank you for this post. My entire life, I said I would never say “Back when I was young” because I had a mother who told you like it was and taught valuable life lessons. I find myself now often getting more amusement out of watching children and often people my own age in their actions and remembering the amazing things that my mother taught and continues to teach me to this day. So often words sting like a bee, but from the words of my mother, “Life isn’t always perfect” Life has some harsh realities for some of today’s youth and many will not be able to function when those moments come. For your children and the way you are raising them, I thank you, my lady.

  15. betty townsend on September 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    As I read through this blog, a light went on and I had an answer to my prayers. As we look around us and see horrific things happen to good people, sometimes more than once much like lightning striking twice, I realize it validates my belief that all things happen for a reason. The good Lord gives us these challenges as a frame of reference…to be reminded of those who suffer, who are victims of addiction, child abuse, disease and terminal illness, loss of a child, homelessness and poverty. Without knowing pain we cannot fully understand the life of those we are called to serve. And…in the process, we realize the true value of the gift of “a blessing”. Our goal as parents was to raise our sons with a kind and giving heart and a strong faith to trust in God’s path. When it is all said and done, that is really all that matters in this earthly life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights

  16. ilisibit on September 27, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    As a recently single mom, I constantly feel like I am a step behind. I forget flowers and forms. I know it doesn’t hurt her to have to choose between dance and gymnastics. I still wish I could give her both. It is nice to be reminded, so eloquently, of the things I know, but get pushed aside sometimes. Thank you.

  17. Nancy Wayland on September 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    So very well said. Thank you.

  18. KellyC on September 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Bam. This. I am a mom of four boys- oldest two bio, younger two adopted from foster care. I so needed this today. Earlier I had sent out a plea for prayer for some amazing foster parents who need support. They stand in the gap so often for those (over 53 kids now) who need our love the most and have raised two selfless boys in the process. Excess is starting to make me hardened. I want to shake so many people, many times in church. I needed to hear you speak on this with such humor and directness. And I am happy to report that my plea for prayer did not return void and has also turned into acts of kindness.

  19. william on September 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    you definitely hit on a good topic here. however, as a previous commenter mentioned, the first part of this piece screams “judgmental”. McDonald’s for everyone? “Chubby kindergartener”? We get the picture. What value do these statements add to your writing?

    • Tammy Davis Mann on September 27, 2015 at 8:42 pm


    • Leslie on April 15, 2016 at 5:45 am

      The mcdonalds pointed out that the rules were not followed…that would be the “no eating” comment. The other comments, while negative, are honest and show the imperfections of humanity. Something I suppose the judgemental bloggers are so quick to jump on, yet not fully understand. But that’s what we do as humans isn’t it? We look, we hate, we judge…
      Did this blog mention a last name of the child or specifically point out an identifiable location? The child wasn’t personally attacked. If you don’t like to hear an adults opinion that’s fine. But all her points are valid and simple. We should not put ourselves above our peers or our children above other children. We should value all life.
      Would you not agree that we should be courteous to one another and follow local rules and regulations?
      Also and I’m just curious about this myself, what do you think the McDonald’s comment meant? I eat there myself and would love to hear how I fit in to a stereotype.

      Thanks for your time and consideration

    • SmashLee326 on April 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

      I think there may be some mixing up here of “description” and ‘judgment.” “McDonalds for everyone” and “chubby kindergartener” are how the author saw it. The article isn’t completely about what she saw, but about why she saw it – this was a group who thoroughly ignored the rules and drew attention to themselves. Breaking rules is one thing. Publicly and lavishly flouting them is something else, and the extremity of this family’s actions was their decision. McDonalds for everyone breaks another rule. A chubby kindergartener is a normal one, and this description reminds us that for many of us, ordinary is not enough. It seems to me that the childish nicknaming is another symptom of our child-focused families, and I hear her saying that this is part of making our children idols. Our children might also be meant to serve the family, and not just be its sole purpose and focus. Seeing the best in everyone is certainly an important way for us to love one another. But all of these descriptions serve to support one message, which is that this family is loving itself more than it loves its neighbor, and that’s something that needs to be talked about. For the same reasons, I also join with the author in her ridicule of normal names with “special” spellings. It joins with the rule-breaking of this family to say “we must stand out and seem different” in every way. God made us unique. We don’t need to make our children spell their names every day of their lives to achieve this.

      • jamiamerine on April 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

        This is my new favorite comment. Thank you.

    • Frederick on April 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Ok so maybe leave the chubbt kindergartener part out, but it was a legitimate point that they blatantly ignored rules, and acted like they, (and the kid) were more special than anyone else. By doing this, you’re just teaching the child that they’re above the rules and can do whatever they want.)

  20. Danielle Gibson on September 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm


  21. Lisa Carroll on September 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I think this might be my favorite of your blogs, Jami, and I can say that your walk matches your talk. You’ve raised gracious, servant-hearted children. Thanks for the serious reminder…and a chuckle.

  22. Zhen Ni Shi on September 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    OK, as a piano teacher who has organized recitals for over 15 years, I want to ask, WHERE WERE THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE? It’s not being “judgmental” to remark on people who break the rules— rules of recital etiquette that are in place to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable experience. If anyone behaved like this at my recital, they would not be part of my studio anymore. Parents receive instruction on proper behavior before the event, and students practice the correct way to present themselves. There are times when people who are recent immigrants may be confused on how to conduct themselves at a public event, but a private gentle word of explanation will make sure it won’t happen again. WHERE WERE THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE?

    • soozspeak on September 28, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      That was exactly what I was thinking as I read this.

  23. Grace Walker on September 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    The other thought that occurs to me is the level of expectation this sets for the child. She will expect the praise and (false) rewards to get bigger and bigger. Will she arrive at her next event in a limo? What happens when she is in middle school? High school? How much will they have to spend on her wedding? Will they be able to keep up? Is all this decoration for the child or to fulfill a need of the parents? Does the child have a life limiting illness that fuels this need to over celebrate her achievements? What is the motivation here? And why does this family believe the rules of social decency do not apply to them? The over appreciation of a child’s participation is eventually recognised by the child as inauthentic and meaningless. Eventually motivation gives wY to expectation and there becomes entitlement. We have enough of that in this country, thank you very much. Yes, children. I love you. And I’m proud of you for doing your best. So what if you didn’t get a trophy. Personal best is enough, and so are you. Let’s go get an ice cream and spend some time together.

    • Susan on April 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Grace, this was a beautifully written comment that made so much sense.

    • Kelly on April 19, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth!

  24. S. Smith on September 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I absolutely love this! My philosophy for our 4 kids has been the same. My youngest recently was awarded a Varsity letter for lacrosse. He questioned it because he didn’t feel that he earned it this past season. I asked the question of the AD and was told that “coach’s discretion” could award a letter, and yes, he did indeed deserve it. I was proud of the kid for thinking he could do better, and also proud that he worked hard enough to make an impression on the coach. That’s all I really wanted from him, a good work ethic, not a letter for a jacket.

  25. Steph on September 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    One word…..AWESOME!

  26. Pammy on September 27, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    That’s Love

  27. Leslie deperro on September 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Loved the blog, I think I might have become one of those parents had I not be given advice by two different people. Simple but made a profound statement to me. Saved my children 1. We as a society give our children too much to live with and not enough to live for. And 2. Never say what your kids won’t do. … I never put them on a pedastool for fear they would fall. I never over gave my children. Instead we gave away. I taught them to be servants. They are all servants to the community and find the blessings they receive from serving others are much better than the benefits of having everything they ever wanted. Thanks to those very special people who set me straight early and for God giving me the brains to pay attention.

  28. D Brown on September 27, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    How do we know this little girl doesn’t have a terminal illness and this family is celebrating her life to the fullest? We don’t. Or if she is the sibling of a child who requires a lot of parental attention and effort and this family is, for once, shifting the focus to her? We don’t. Just some thoughts that crossed my mind as I read the beginning of this piece.

    • JJ on September 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

      So, does having someone in your family with an illness mean you no longer need to respect the rules or show courtesy to those around you? How do we know that a family sitting quietly behind the pink shirts and balloon bouquets doesn’t have a child with an illness and now they can’t see their child perform because the pink shirts can’t save the balloons for the after party (as requested by the recital hosts)? If we would ALL follow the rules and be respectful of those around us, there would be no reason for the “what if they…” statements.

      • TheGirlWhoWasThursday on September 28, 2015 at 11:39 pm

        So rip up your own kids on the internet instead of asking them to take the balloons down. That’s just genius. sarc.

    • Sherry Cantrell on April 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

      You still have to follow the rules. If this girl had Cancer or a terminal illness or any of these extreme scenerios ya’ll have injected into this peice; the family would have most likely received permission to occupy those seats by the instructoe; firthermore there would also most likely been a dedication to this little girl. Informing all parties involved. There are families in this world that are just plain rude and do not realize or care how their actions effect others. So quite playing the hypothetical sympathy catd that probably has nothing to so with this situation. Well written and I personally chose to too see and believe the GOOD and POSITIVE INTENTION of this peice rather than the derogatory.

      • Cristy S. on April 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

        It doesn’t extend grace, as grace was extended to us by Christ. I’m not slamming the author, I’m just looking for the grace. There’s so much Scripture to tell us to do so!

      • Jordan on April 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

        Except that this piece IS derogatory. Even without making assumptions as to why that family broke the rules, even accepting that breaking rules is absolutely wrong regardless of any circumstances, the author was cruel in how she described the family and the child. The author’s own words are derogatory, without adding anything hypothetical (calling the family an “American Atrocity”, calling a 5 year old ” chubby”, making fun of a 5 year old’s name, etc.) This piece has stuck with me in a bad way over the past few days. It is completely hypocritical of the author to be cruel and mocking in the first half of the piece and then follow it up with how she wants her children to “see Him everywhere” in the second half of the piece. I don’t see Him anywhere in the first half.

  29. Miz Vicki on September 28, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Yes, Maslow’s so-called “Pyramid of Needs” which is the basis behind the unfortunate “everybody gets a star” and “everyone gets moved on” philosophy–regardless of skills, knowledge, effort expended, and accomplishments–has produced two generations of entitled, mediocre, rude, self-absorbed, depressed incompetents. When faced with life’s challenges as an adult, they often find they aren’t special at all, as we parents and teachers led them to believe. And it is depressing to be smacked in the face with that stark reality as they are faced with shrinking employment opportunities and failed relationships in which there is expected to be give and take. Not just take.
    And it’s kind of fun as a Christian to gloss over one’s judgmental attitude with undercurrents of superiority under the guise of wit and snarky observation by snickering at the family nicknames that could have been characters out of a “Hee Haw!” re-run while pointing at their proclivity for obesity and fondness for cheap fast food. And God knows they seem unfamiliar with contraceptives or common courtesy. Yes, they sound like good ole white trash rednecks who are probably getting ready to set that poor child up for a round of beauty pageants or vie to be the next Honey Boo Boo reality show abomination, but you seem to take a little bit too much glee in their ignorance, and I suspect that the rule breaking wasn’t what really got on your nerves.
    While bragging about how your children have “servants’ hearts” I noticed you were also able to subtly slide in that you were there caring for a foster child. You don’t know the circumstances of that family. If there was illness or death or loss or heartbreak. Or maybe you’re right, and they were just over-the-top jackasses. But it’s not really for you to judge.
    Is it? If you really care about the fate of these people you could help them instead of just making fun of them in your smug, self-righteous blog.

    • Nancy on April 13, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      I agree. I believe in children having a dose of reality in this world, & respect for other human beings, but I do not EVER wish my children to feel the way you describe they should. “Esteem not yourself. Feel lonely. Feel unworthy. Feel unaccomplished. Feel small. Feel lost. Feel broken.” What kind of parent espouses this sort of philosophy for their children. I want my children to survive in this world with a sense of self respect-not brokenness.

      • Ruthie on April 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        “What kind of parent espouses this sort of philosophy for their children.”, you ask?

        Answer: Parents who teach their children to follow Jesus, who taught us by word and example to put others first, and to identify with the broken. It’s a hard word, to be sure, especially in our “me first” culture; but sacrificing of self for the sake of others is a sacred calling to Christians. Before we jump to the conclusion that the author makes her children wear hair shirts and fast on a regular basis, however, we should note that she also demonstrates a sense of balance by enumerating some of the ways she makes her children feel special. Read the whole piece, rather than taking one part out of context. It’ll make more sense that way.

    • Susan Wallace on April 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Two points.

      1) There’s no “helping” people like that.

      2) You don’t have to WISH these things on your kids. But they should be prepared that these kind of feelings and events will happen.
      NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO there will be times they feel lonely, unworthy, unaccomplished, small, lost and broken. To think that they will live life without any negative consequences is just plain foolish.

  30. Mark Headlee on September 28, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I appreciate this very much. As a single father, I have had no choice but to watch my two daughters live life just like I did…..without having a mother, father or BOTH following them around all day telling them how great they are. I don’t recall one of my parents ever coming to my school unless it was a program or holiday festival of some sort (one or two times a year) and I don’t have a single memory of my Dad at my school during school hours. I never felt like I was missing out on anything. I’ve come to be very happy that I’m not there interrupting them and putting them on a false pedestal. They are better people for it. My kids are good kids. They aren’t any better than anyone else’s kids. I am confident my kids will be stronger and more grounded than most. It has been very fun and interesting to watch unfold.

    • Elizabeth Hasseries on September 28, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Uh, no. Don’t play the single parent card for not being a better parent. I’m an only mom and my kid knows he is loved. His teacher knew me on site and never rolled their eyes. They were happy to finally have an involved parent.

      • Judy on September 30, 2015 at 2:14 pm

        Uh no. Don’t try to play the single parent card against another single parent, when you only have 1 child, and he has two. There is a world of difference between having one child and two. With one child you can make him the center of your world. With two you have to find compromises. You simply can’t be there for everything. My mother was the single parent of five children. She missed a lot of performances, and we weren’t made to feel like we were just the greatest thing since sliced bread. And we are stronger for it. I am a married parent with seven children, one severely developmentally disabled. You can bet that I don’t have the time to helicopter parent, and I am glad that the temptation to do so has been removed. I agree with the author that I want my children to understand that they aren’t the center of the universe, that rules must be respected, and that while I love each of them deeply and am proud of their accomplishments, there will always be someone achieving higher. It’s just like the wedding feast in Luke 14. “Because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.”

  31. Joan on September 28, 2015 at 6:16 am

    My kids have been in hundreds (at least it seems like) of plays. They’ve never scored the full page ad. I think, once, we got one of our business cards in there…and they were more talented than most. They know we love them. So very tired of and sad for this culture. Signed: Old fart.

  32. Sharon on September 28, 2015 at 6:25 am

    I needed this today… Even when you’re kids are grown, and you’re trying to instill humility giving and compassion in your grandkids, you wonder if they’re getting it. It’s a journey. Thank you for sharing!

  33. Mario Pimentel on September 28, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Amen Kate. So proud of you.

  34. Angela on September 28, 2015 at 6:36 am

    I will be sharing this with my two teenagers. Very well said!

  35. Drew on September 28, 2015 at 7:06 am

    That is a totally awesome read. I’m not yet a father, but my wife and I are beginning to start the adoption process. I look forward to the day when I get to start raising my own children. And while I am sure I will always love and cherish them, I pray I am not like KKyylliiee’s family, but much more the opposite. Loving and encouraging, but honest and fair.

    • jamiamerine on September 28, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Drew! Congratulations! Adoption is an exciting journey. Much like the pangs of child birth it is filled with mystery, agony, joy and wonder. I am certain you will be excellent parents as God has already written His children on your heart. May you be blessed in your endeavors. Wait on Him with joyful anticipation and He will create a family for you and your wife that will bring Him glory…. Bless you.

  36. Black Lamb Photography on September 28, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Well said. Amen, amen, amen!

  37. Don Charisma on September 28, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Nicely put 🙂


    Don Charisma

  38. Kay on September 28, 2015 at 8:08 am

    A great reward in parenting comes when we can say, in the words of a dear friend, “They’re looking more like His kids than our kids.”

    • Jennette Booth on April 18, 2016 at 1:35 am

      Oh how I love that phrase!

  39. Kathy Tribble on September 28, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I don’t have children, but was raised to be respectful. There is nothing worse than going out to eat or the store and being around parents with kids, that they can’t or don’t have any control over. One family thought I was awful because we asked to be moved to another table, and we had been there first. What is wrong with people today?

  40. Jami on September 28, 2015 at 8:32 am

    So much truth in this. Loved it! And I too was “cursed” with the missing vowel and no matching memorabilia with my name on it lol! You’re only the second person I’ve seen with our names spelled this way!

  41. Renee on September 28, 2015 at 8:34 am

    I’ll start with saying that I am a would be silly of me to include “though not perfect” because as believers, we know the only perfect one was Christ. I read a lot of condemnation on other people- who, whether rule breakers (aka sinners like me) or not, may be Christian or not- nonetheless could be trying to be better than they were yesterday. When people are blessed with a platform to teach others- such as this blog- as Believers, we should be in-tune to what God wants us to share and be sensitive or humble on how to put it into words. I am sure the intention of this open letter was to focus on how we shouldn’t put ourselves or children above anyone- and then some. I’d like to talk about this: I will say that self-righteousness is a hard sin to show others who have it. Much of what self-righteousness does is blame others or highlight the godawful rule breakers’ sins, also by justifying it. Remember what Paul’s main message was in the Bible: If you do not repent of your self-righteous hypocrisy, you are storing up wrath for the day of judgement. “Therefore, you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” A self-righteous hypocrite is more concerned about external conformity than with true, inner-godliness Jesus said in Matt. 23:28.

    I encourage you all to continue teaching what’s in your heart and feel God-led to speak on- but also pray about your own hearts and spend much time before him seeking and leaning ways to approach topics. Paul switched talking about “them” in the Bible and changed it to “you” -the reader. This is how blinding self-righteousness can be. God Bless.

    • Charlene on September 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Congratulations on being a “right on” mom in an upside down world! Your letter reminded me of a situation about 40 years ago…my daughter was in a dance recital and we had her all dressed and ready with her hair put up as stated in the hand out. When she got to the event, one of the mothers took her to the leader and demanded that she call me back to put make up on her. I came back and informed the leader and back stage moms that I did not put make up on her on purpose because she was 6 years old. I didn’t feel it was appropriate that my daughter look like a plastic doll. Had the dance routine been about plastic dolls, I would have done it as part of the costume. A fit was thrown by a couple of the moms and I was informed that my daughter would not be seen by the audience. I informed them that the only people looking at my daughter would be her family and we all knew what she looked like! Afterwards, we had a talk with her about who she was there performing for…herself and her family or strangers? She did her dance as well as any six year old could do and we had no problem finding her in her group of fourteen other little girls. I will say that even though I saw all of the other girls every week, it was a bit hard to indentify them! PS….just so you know..this was stage make up…false eye lashes, rosy cheeks, blue eye shadow, bright lip stick and sparkles….they were six and it wasn’t Las Vegas!

  42. Sandy Lynn Rogers on September 28, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Your article is well written but I would encourage you to think outside of your view for a minute. It could be that this little girl has cancer or has gone through something that makes the family want to be a part of every minute of her life. They celebrating the life and achievements of this precious 5 year old and you have no idea what that family has gone through. I am betting that there were children in that room that had no one to watch them or care enough to celebrate their talents. If loving too much is so offensive to you, then maybe you should take that to God and ask why.
    Your message comes across very self righteous and even bitter at times.

    Love is patient and kind. It is not rude and does not boast.

    Just want to challenge you to do a heart check.

    • Judy on September 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Amazing how many people on here are coming up with a phantom diagnosis of cancer to disregard the rudeness of the family.
      They saved seats when it had been made clear it was against the rules.
      They had balloons that obstructed the view of others.
      They ate food when the no eating or drinking sign was clearly posted.
      Even if my child survived cancer, I would not want to raise her to think she was above the rules. I’ve had children with life-threatening conditions, as have some of my friends. Children we thought were going to leave the hospital for a funeral home. But when you DO, by the Grace of God, get to take that child home, you still have the responsibility of raising them to be a polite, rule-abiding member of society.

  43. Sandy Lynn Rogers on September 28, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Well, after reading my post out loud, I realize how self righteous I sounded. I was going to delete it but that doesn’t seem to be an option so I apologize for coming across so mean.

    • jamiamerine on September 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

      You didn’t. The responses humble me​. As hard as some of them are to hear I want to be someone who listens to all of what readers have to say. I would be foolish not to. The only comments I haven’t posted are the ones that have ugly language. I accidentally deleted one I was trying to approve, but my hands were shaking and I hit trash… I am embarrassed by this because I think the dialogue was important. If you would like for me to delete this conversation, I will. Otherwise, I will leave it and continue to process all of them with humility and diligence. I appreciate that you took the time to say anything. Blessings. Jami

      • Simply Shelli on September 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

        So, maybe the girl did have cancer or something else. Obviously none of us can judge what the motives of people’s hearts are. However, I took the article as an opportunity to look at myself and hope others will do so as well. We need to ask ourselves questions in raising our children as to whether we are creating self-focused, the world-revolves-around me type of attitudes or servants?
        I had five children and often questioned whether I was not helping them feel important enough. I didn’t have a camera or camcorder at every event because I just wanted to enjoy the moment not the performance. When they were in the school plays, we chose one night to attend the performance and bought tickets for our family. Our budget did not allow for us to attend every night’s performance. One of my friends chastised me for not being there on the front row to applaud them every night. I remember wondering if I was a bad mother for not going above and beyond in being their greatest fan.
        Yesterday, however, as I was visiting my twenty-somethings in the town that four out of the five live in, I noticed something. Neighbors were moving in across the street and had pulled up with a U-Haul to unload. Without pausing, all of my adult children jumped up and said “hey, let’s offer to help!” Last night, my daughter was talking about some outsiders who were attending her church. They are not the ‘cool’ socially acceptable ones in the class. However, my daughter has invited all of them to do group activities together and she takes time to listen to them and it bothers her that other’s leave them out.
        I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that they have learned that they aren’t better than anyone else and the sun does not rise and set on them. They knew we loved them but they were not the center of attention for everything they did. I cannot praise myself for any of this because they all follow Christ and no doubt His work is getting accomplished through them and of course, they continue to be in process. However, as a mom, I don’t have as many regrets anymore. I am seeing the values that I wanted to pass on bearing fruit in their lives and that encourages me.
        Blogs are very much about a writer’s personal observations in life and are not always ‘devotional’ thoughts. I think we need to be careful not to be too harsh in judging the heart motives of a blogger who is sharing her thoughts. I don’t know the family she referred to but I do know there is a ‘diva’ attitude that we need to be careful to avoid instilling in the raising of our children. As for me, I found it struck a chord! Thanks for sharing!

    • Elizabeth Hasseries on September 28, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      You should have, since you’re deleting comments that disagree with you.

      Your post is not self righteous – it’s mean spirited. Put the stone down, you are not without your own sins so you are no one to judge. Leave that work for God.

      • Judy on September 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm

        And your comment is positively brimming over with the milk of human kindness. Now that you have pointed out the writer’s speck, perhaps you can remove your own log.

  44. Lea on September 28, 2015 at 9:38 am

    As a retired teacher and an only child with an only child, I say “Well written”! My first thought was (and always is) “what does that teach the child?” This type of behavior is teaching her that 1) it’s okay to break the rules, 2) its okay to be disrespectful, thoughtless, and discourteous of those around you and 3) I’m better than everyone else. I’m all for supporting your children–don’t know how many dance recitals, choir and band concerts, solo and ensemble competitions etc we attended . We were supportive, but we also supported those around her and those children whose parents were working and couldn’t attend–oftentimes transporting and feeding them as well . This taught her that 1) she is a good person–but not better than everyone else 2) she can be supportive of her friends successes without demeaning hers and 3) helping someone also helps yourself. PS She’s now an awesome, thoughtful NICU nurse. PPS: I’m “Lea” (without the “h”) so I know what you mean!

  45. greenlawler on September 28, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I have shared this blog with my teens at church and my friends on facebook. I love the intent and you are truly a wonderful writer who taped into the frustration I have shared with you on many such occasion as your “recital”. I would think maybe, perhaps some of the “snarkyness” could have been left out it does tend to dull the message, funny or not, but you did share some truth that this culture needs to hear. As a youth minister for some 20 years the sense of entitlement runs deep, the practice of “me first”, and win at all cost has created an epidemic of self centeredness that is rearing it’s head in every facet of our culture. You summed it up quite nicely in your blog thank you, you started quite the conversation with my teens last night.

  46. Michelle Scott on September 28, 2015 at 11:04 am

    This is really a good reminder when we get caught up in the moment and trappings of worldly esteem. I too was a little taken aback by the judgement at first but the story would certainly not be as compelling without that juxtaposition. It gets the point across beautifully. (I too get frustrated with those who seem to think it’s all about them and theirs to the exclusion of everyone else and the rules of fairness so would probably have thought the same or worse! So, I guess I was being judgmental about the judgement :-))
    I don’t know though about wanting my kids and now my grandkids to feel “LESS than”. That’s a little too far in the other direction, IMHO. God clearly tells us and wants us to know that we are each profoundly esteemed and precious in his eyes, and not because we earn it through performance (as the world wants us to believe) but just because we are His children. I think compassion is still possible without subjecting someone to feel beneath others. Other than that, I think this really hit the mark.

  47. Anna on September 28, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Thank you jamiamerine! May Jesus Bless you!

  48. Callie Corbin on September 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Just had to say this is one of the best articles .I totally agree.

  49. Sharon on September 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    As a sister in Christ, please hear what I am about to type in the way it is intended, with love. The second half of your post is so good, there is so much truth in fact that we are an entitled nation. And not just our children, it’s pretty deeply rooted in us. The first paragraph of this however was harsh. It was petty (the continual mocking of how a five year old’s name is spelled) and mocking (the family nicknames) and a bit self righteous (I’m a rule follower. Why aren’t you a rule follower? I’m not going to say anything to you personally, but I will write a blog all about you on the internet). You are raising a foster baby, a child who will likely feel keenly the harsh realities and lack of love that life can bring, and while situations like this can be frustrating, can we not have grace with the privileged and underprivileged both and rather than finding fault with this family, at least praise them for the outpouring of love they extended?

  50. tracibarton on September 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for this reminder, jamiamerine. If I am honest, I have been on both sides of this coin. I always try to remind my kids that it is not about them and I want them to see that. I want them to see the pain of others. To remember what it feels like to be forgotten and left out and to always be the one who encourages and welcomes and blesses. I too laugh at what some of my fellow-crazies do in the name of parental support. (I have a good friend who is in the running for most all-time-photographed kid in the history of kids, but I know her back story of growing up without the love and support that I took for granted.) I know it is hard not to get carried away at being the proud mamma, and I know I have probably looked a little too enamored with my offspring at times. So, this is a good reminder to me and what the others have said on the subject. We are all in this together, let’s laugh together and encourage each other to be better. Thanks!

  51. Kelley Kennedy on September 28, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Correction: discussing it after the fact makes it less constructive and more judgemental.

    • Bereanmom on September 29, 2015 at 7:22 am

      I think you are also missing the point! Jami’s point is that we need to teach our children that:yes they are loved, but no, they aren’t special ABOVE others, or the rules. We need to teach them to think of others first.
      I’ve been in similar situations, and it does NO good to say anything to these people. They already think they are above thw rules, and no matter how nicely you say it, they DON’T want anyone pointing it out. It just makes them be obnoxious the rest of the event.
      Focus on being Christ like, instead, for your kids!

      • frombogtoatl on September 29, 2015 at 10:03 am

        “It does NO good to say anything to these people” there is exactly were the problem is. Do you personally know this family? Did you see how big or small the sign said there shouldn’t be any food allowed in the place? That is how judgment is based upon. On a past hurt, a past experience and anything similar you are going to believe is the same and immediately have an opinion over an assumption. That is speculation and is what makes us Christians look so bad. Jesus is personal. He loves the author dearly as much as he loves these family. They probably are as broken, and they need as much grace as the author does. I hope she teaches to look “up” on society and see the broken corrupt politician, the broken trophy wife, etc. Breaking a rule like saving a seat or stealing from a store in order to get drugs should not be watched from rows behind and be talked to in a blog as an example. Those situations should move is to compassion, addressed with love and mercy. What if this family would have apologized? Maybe they wouldn’t…but we are are to be moved in love Always. I do not justify their behavior like any behavior that damages society. Just remember God’s favorite thing is people. Let’s teach that to our children. I respect and appreciate your vulnerability and your desire to raise your children with love for God.

    • Lisa Hayes on September 29, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      She also could have kindly asked that they move the balloons because she couldn’t see, instead of complaining about it in a passive aggressive manner. I’m not a seat saver, but I have lost both of my parents, and it’s heartbreaking that they miss all of my young children’s events. My in-laws are wonderful and try to be a part of everything they can, driving from over 2 hours to be there. My husbands family is also Italian and tend to gather in groups and try to make everything a family event. I LOVE when the come to my kids’ stuff and make a huge deal out of it, bringing gifts, cameras, balloons, flowers and being so excited and loving. My children are raised to know they are not better than others, but I’m also going to praise their God given talents to the moon. I’m going to make a big deal out of their performances, athletics and grades because they worked hard for it, and God knows they lose a lot of that praise when they get older and into the real world. We celebrate their accomplishments and hug through their failures. It’s okay to tell your kids they are great/talented/fantastic. It’s our job as parents to encourage them and lift them up, and it’s quite possible to do without giving them a sense of entitlement. I teach them to follow rules, but I try to ignore those like that family described above that do not, especially if it’s not hurting me or others. I quietly explain to them how to act and behave, but also teach them to let the little things go and ignore those who may not follow the path they are living. Life is too short to be bitter and hold grudges. I try to teach them to think – will this bother you tomorrow, in a month, in 6 months, in a year – if the answer to that is no, then let it go.

  52. Julie Reynolds on September 28, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you for your blog, it was sobering to read in a way, as it is always sad when people think of themselves more highly than others. A complete reversal of biblical teachings. I have no idea if this family were Christian, but if so, then that would be a sad comment on their understanding of God’s Word. I loved your humour in telling this story, and simply cannot identify with the comments from those who criticised you. Are we blind to others’ behaviour? Rules are rules and are for everyone. Others miss the point when suggesting there might have been some sickness or disability which warranted this behaviour. I have now 76 and have raised four children, and have eight grandchildren two of whom are now married. Watching them grow and be taught by their parents to think of other people first and be considerate and ‘wait their turn’ I am glad that my children had learned that lesson, and I raised all of them before I became a Christian, so common courtesy was (once) taught across the board. You are doing a great job as a mum and I admire your humility in reading and learning from those who have disagreed with you, some of whom seem to be quite judgemental in their own comments! Bless you

    • TheGirlWhoWasThursday on September 28, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      The only rule they seem to have broken broke was bringing in food. And it sounds like they were eating while getting the kid ready- they may have assumed that the sign meant no food during the performance.

      • sharon on September 29, 2015 at 5:26 am

        YOU missed the point! AND they did break rules – saving so many seats…etc..

      • heatherdaunis on September 29, 2015 at 6:14 am

        You must be auntie booboo….

    • TheGirlWhoWasThursday on September 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      reread it- So the seats and the balloons too. A number of rules broken.

      So I guess this is the other question- were they breaking all those rules for the little girl- or were they doing it because their eighty year old Grandmother has severe Alzheimer’s and thinks it’s a birthday party and will get up and try to decorate if they don’t have some balloons where she can see them? But they’re so grieved over losing her to the Long Goodbye that they can’t bear to leave her out?

      Of course people should be courteous. Yes. That’s just a great idea. But unless we know the full story, who are we to call someone an atrocity- as bad or worse than “a drug addicted baby” -over a matter of decorum?

      • Brenda on September 29, 2015 at 6:06 am

        Really?? You missed the whole point. I am guessing you are a seat saver too. Life’s not about you or your children. Maybe she left out one very important message. Be respectful–and that includes of people around you. If you have that many people coming let them sit in the back and let the parents of the other children sit close enough to see their children too or arrange for a special viewing of your child for everyone you invite.

      • Joeyanna on September 29, 2015 at 6:49 am

        In my experience I have found that speculating on such elaborate possibilities is typically the mind of the entitled. It is a fanciful thinker that spends so much time developing a scenario about what COULD be going on to excuse away the inappropriateness (they do it for others because they are typically the ones in violation and are merely attempting to justify their own action) rather than observing what IS happening; and even if there are extenuating circumstances one is still responsible for their own behavior, which includes following the rules and treating others respectfully. If there are truly extenuating circumstances those should be addressed prior and the least intrusive manner of accommodation should be made. Most folks who have real issues do NOT want to make a spectacle.

        Also, UNless it is an emergency there is NO excuse for flouting the guidelines of the place you are going, the event you are attending and/or the people who invited you; neither for violating the rights of others, especially for self-indulgence or convenience. Further, in your narrative you simply shifted the focus from the child to the grandmother, if this is indeed the case then their probably needed to be a private gathering of family for her, because, again, all you have done is change the “who” but still permitted the elevating of one at the expense of many. And for some perspective, I am a former nurse who delete frequently with Alzheimer’s patients; situations such as these tend to be over-stimulating and thus causing aggravation and even disorientation to the individual. Those who drag Granny to these things are really only doing it for themselves.

        Remember: A little leaven leavens the whole lump, when one starts making excuses they eventually see all of their actions as exceptions, all of their needs as paramount, all of their sins as trifling.

        In closing, Luke 14:8-11…
        “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

      • Debra Teasler on September 29, 2015 at 9:38 am

        Judge not lest you be judged. You who are without sin cast the first stone. Jesus Christ.

      • Joeyanna on September 29, 2015 at 10:36 am

        2 Tim 2:15, ¨Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth¨.

        Both of those verses are frequently taken out of context, and completely perverted to mean something that is not even remotely implied within the text. In Matthew 7 Jesus reply to the Pharisees telling them with the measure they judge they will be judged; it is a directive that Godly folks are to judge by God´s standards, not the worlds. And at the end, for the benefit of the Pharisees, all those that would hear Jesus in the moment, and ALL those that would read His words in the future, He tells people they need to be discerning (that is judgmental) about not giving to dogs what is holy or casting pearls before swine (that is verse 6, the one that people conveniently forget to quote) lest they turn and trample you; like many have actually done here. Without judgment you know not what is holy and what is valuable, neither do you discern who the dogs and pigs are.

        Further the adulterous woman story had nothing to do with not passing judgment, as a matter of fact Jesus does that when He tells the woman (as He always did) GO AND SIN NO MORE; and since we are His disciples and are told to follow His commands we are to do likewise. That said, the story, like several others, was to show the wise (and more aptly omniscient) Savior who IS God incarnate. The people who brought the woman were actually sinning because they were trying to trap Jesus; they brought only the woman when Mosaic law said to bring both the man and the woman and stone them both. If Jesus had said either way, do or don’t stone the woman He would have shown He was not Messiah, but by telling the others to carry out the legal command for the sin, but only those who were without sin in the instant, showed everyone present that He knew the law and also knew EXACTLY what they were trying to do, which was impugn Him.

        Judging the actions is actually the command to and responsibility of the Child of God, but many people have been taught, erroneously, that it is mean, even sinful, to correct others or use their stories as lessons for correcting, in righteousness, those within the Body of Christ. Saying Judge not: a) is actually illogical, because even in directing that phrase (no matter how mishandled) at someone, to admonish them for what you believe is wrong, you ARE INDEED making a judgement, b) used out of context and to insinuate that people are not to assess and critique the actions of others is unbiblical.

        ¨If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him¨.” James 1:5

        Praying divine discernment and the ability to make right(eous) judgment for all those who profess and accept Christ Jesus.

        I will leave the rest of the discussion to the author. Good day and God bless.

  53. Kelley Kennedy on September 28, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Whether or not Kkyylliiee (sp?) is ill or if there are any other special circumstances isn’t the point. The behavior of the family was entitled and disrespectful to those around them. They could have shown all of the love in the world to their precious dancer without disrupting the process and negatively impacting those around them. I am sure there were many other families who would have loved to take up 22 seats and create their own dinner theater but they understood that rules are usually in place for a reason. The only critique I have of this letter is why didn’t Jami or someone else address this situation prior to the recital starting? If handled properly, the entire audience may have had a better experience and some lessons may have been learned. Discussing it after the fact does make it appear more constructive rather than judgmental. But we are ALL guilty of that at times.

    • Brenda on September 29, 2015 at 6:07 am

      Totally agree!

  54. kevinphillips on September 28, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Very nice! Well said. Truth told.

  55. Mackenzie Gill on September 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I truly appreciate where you are coming from, and I think that if everyone parented like you, the world would be a much better place. BUT… and I say this with love: are you not holding yourself at a high esteem when you are describing this family? God calls us to forgive and to let Him do the judging. It is impossible to know the whole perspective of a family just from watching them- perhaps they just suffered a huge loss and being together to love and support their young ones is providing them with the motivation to keep going. I agree that we must teach our children to be humble, but would it not have been more humble to just smile and enjoy the show? There is so much wrong with the world, and to me, a spoiled child is not at the top of the atrocity list. Actually, I think being intolerant of one another is pretty much at the top of that list… Again, I don’t mean to point the finger at you- I understand you are just trying to encourage humility and respect. I’m just trying to convey the bigger picture…

    • alisha on September 28, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      There is no bigger picture only speculation. The thoughts of the story were to teach humility, kindness, and care. The family had none.

      • TheGirlWhoWasThursday on September 28, 2015 at 11:15 pm

        Sort of like you.

      • TheGirlWhoWasThursday on September 28, 2015 at 11:24 pm

        They were so excited for their child- what if there was more going on than met the eye? I mean- what if the kid had been in a horrible accident and had been told she would never walk again- and she had put so much effort into therapy that now she was not only walking but dancing? What if she has a degenerative disease and every year she gets to not be in a wheel chair is a huge celebration for them? How do you know the situation didn’t warrant exactly as much celebration as they were treating it with?

        You complain about a lack of humility and kindness. But there is only one person in the story you told who sounds like she lacks those things.

        • Kirsten on April 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

          I totally understand there may be more than meets the eye here but, the fact is rules are rules, the family did not follow them, and if indeed there is a bigger picture here regarding the little girl there are more appropriate ways to celebrate, I.e. A party after the recital to celebrate.

    • joyb4him on September 29, 2015 at 4:59 am

      Where do you get that God doesn’t want us to judge? I’m hearing this statement more often these days, especially from the “non judgemental” crowd who condone the normalization of sin in our society. This is not true. Your comment on this blog is your judgment, but the authors judgement is wrong? Being rude to others and over inflating the ego of a young child is wrong. If you disagree with that say so, but don’t say only God can make that judgement. God gave us 66 books to learn to live according to his will and that requires making judgements about ourselves and others.

      • Brenda on September 29, 2015 at 6:15 am

        I agree. Where is the judging line drawn? When they sit and tell people not to judge then ridicule them for what they’ve said, they are judging too. They’re judging them for judging but it’s somehow ok when they do it. Its ridiculous. Everyone judges every day–except maybe perfect people. It may not be right but it’s what we do. I’ve made several judgments about one commenter on here several times. She’s a seat saver and a rule breaker for sure–especially when it comes to her children and she thinks it’s ok.

      • Lisa Hayes on September 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

        “Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her.”

    • Tara on September 29, 2015 at 6:47 am

      Amen! After reading the article, I actually felt the author was full of herself…the opposite message I know she is trying to convey.

      • Lisa Hayes on September 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm

        I would be shocked if the child’s name was spelled as she said it, and if it’s not, then she is mocking them for spelling their child’s name in a different way. That just seems very rude to me.

    • cindy on September 29, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Mmmm, nah, they were just arces

    • molly on May 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      I heartily but respectively DISAGREE about ‘intolerance’ being at the top of the list! On the contrary, we have tolerated wrong doing, bad manners & poor judgment far too long, by far too many! We complain about corruption in government but elect or re-elect corrupt politicians &/or are known to have the morals of alley cats. We decry babies born out of wed-lock but do everything to make life easier for the un-wed mother: free/low cost/subsidized prenatal care & delivery, free/low cost/subsidized baby-sitting IN SCHOOLS; free/low cost diapers, clothes, formula provided by ‘charities’; low cost food for baby & mother via WIC. We complain about jobs leaving the country but buy ‘cheap stuff, imported from China’ rather than ‘do without’. We accept shoddy quality, poor workmanship of products ‘Made in the USA’ rather than complain to producers. We complain about ‘fast food’ but visit those places more & more frequently. We are told to give released prisoners a 2nd chance only to have 75% commit more crimes. Kids complain about ‘nothing to do’ but yell their heads off when asked/expected to do ‘chores’ We complain about a pro athlete having a multi-million dollar contract, think nothing of paying $100 for a ticket but think paying a teacher $40 k is outrageous. NOW we’re being asked or TOLD to tolerate those who would kill us & destroy our country, in spite of knowing appeasement doesn’t work. Christians can’t read the Bible unless it’s as ‘literature’ but muslims not only pray & read the Koran, they can & do force school systems to provide special washing stations, prayer places & halal menus. We are to tolerate those who are CRIMINALS by crossing the border ILLEGALLY! We have adults & kids who believe society owes THEM instead of them owing society. ‘Casual’ means dirty & sloppy, instead of relaxed.; being thoughtful means 1 must have ulterior motives; a gentle man is a wuss; a woman not painted, half dressed is a ‘stuck up social climber’. If she’s confident, expresses her opinion, stands her ground in the face of opposition, she’s a bitch, a ball breaker or wrong. The kid who’d rather read, practice an instrument, pursue a craft or study than play sports is ridiculed by peers & peer’s parents. There’s something SERIOUSLY WRONG but INTOLERANCE. ISN’T IT!

  56. Betty Childers on September 28, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    “Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world, they have no voice….they have no choice”…this was prior to many of you being born. The famous lady who sang these lyrics; slowly but surely, starved to death.. by choice. Thank you for these honest and sobering realities.

  57. Chuck on September 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I’m 61 and while reading this, I think of the times I put myself over others. This was an Awesome blog. I think my daughters don’t have the I’m greater than thou syndrome.
    Thanks for putting this down with pen and paper!

  58. gibby espinoza on September 28, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Excellent thoughts!! Honestly expressed with a gracious edge.

    By the way, at the end I believe you meant to say “stand up to injustice.” I could be wrong.

  59. Paula Flemmons on September 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Five stars, Mom! I agree across the board with you.

  60. Don on September 28, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    The Denny’s: what is important is this sweet lady brought our Jesus in to the article. Let us remember the first two commandment and we will not need the other eight!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. bethgsanders on September 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I applaud you (yes, I mean that sort of ironically) for this post. I’ve been there. My girls are grown now, but there is much truth and wisdom here. Keep it up.

  62. Missy on September 28, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Sure, it was awful for them to break the rules like that, but please go drink some water to get rid of all the pure SALT in your system. Being a judgemental snot-nosed brat can be dangerous for your health.

  63. TheGirlWhoWasThursday on September 28, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Wow. So some people were rude.

    And let’s face it- in a world where some people kidnap and hand out schoolgirls to their fighters as slave wives- and some women go batshit insane and drown their kids in the bathtub- being overly enthusiastic about your child’s performance and eating at the wrong time in the wrong area might still somehow be irritating to some people. But why would anyone in their right mind who cared about the actual injustices of the world get their panties in a knot over a high level of etiquette at a kids’ dance recital?

    Particularly if your kids are supposed to feel broken and less than? I mean, come on! You didn’t even make yourself a tee-shirt to support your kids, did you? That other family was totally totally helping you out in your stated goal! You should send them a card and thank them for helping teach your kids that they’re unimportant to you. Gosh.

    So. Rude people. Instead of sticking up for yourself and asking them to tone down their rude behavior- which would have been helpful to them by reminding them of the acceptable limits of behavior in society- and helpful to you and presumably to all the other families in the room by making the whole experience less irritating- making you the hero of the day-

    You tell random people on the internet that you hope your own kids feel like dirt?

    Talk about passive aggressive.

    And all this is somehow supposed to model and therefore teach your kids something other than being snippy and judgemental?

    • Julie on September 29, 2015 at 5:43 am

      Read the entire post. There was an information meeting telling parents that they couldn’t save seats and there were signs that said that no food or drink were allowed. The director and teachers are busy getting everything ready. That is the purpose of the information meeting. If there were special circumstances for an elderly family member then they should have asked permission before breaking the rules that they were told about in advance. This is what is wrong with people today. The rules don’t apply to them. My daughter danced in 3 recitals, we were told you can’t save seats. We didnt. Just like at Christmas eve mass, when people have been asked not to save seats but people come in and save one or two pews and there are elderly and people with small children who need to sit but can not and stand for 2 hours. What is wrong with a little common courtesy among people today? We have all been in this situation at one time or another. She is not telling her children that she doesn’t care about them. Today most kids get a participation trophy! How about letting them earn that. She forgot about the ad. As a parent, who hasn’t forgotten something like that. You feel bad but you apologize and move on.

      • Pamela on September 29, 2015 at 6:10 am

        I wonder if the family obtained special permission. Sounds like no one spoke to them about it. Maybe there was a good reason for that.

    • hottytoddynikki on September 29, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Rules are meant to be rules for EVERYONE. No exceptions. If everyone is not made to follow the rules, then the rules become merely suggestions.

    • Mel S on May 27, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Amen! Where does Matthew 7:1 ‘Do not judge, or you will be judged.’ fit into all this?

  64. lily626 on September 29, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I agree! This summer at the pool there was a family sitting next to us, from their conversation it was two sisters with their children – six of them – who were visiting from out-of-town. The children all had large rocks with them (like football size) that they all proceeded to take with them when they left. The rocks were landscaping rocks that the children had helped themselves to, with the moms saying, “don’t forget your rocks.” I went to tell the lifeguard to tell them to put the rocks back, but unfortunately they were gone before I reached the guard. We had just gotten there or I would’ve had it addressed before they had a chance to encourage their children to STEAL for them. What is wrong with people? This is what happens when we take the Ten Commandments out of school, people don’t see anything wrong with stealing and teaching their children to steal. And worst of all they had no shame, they just walked out with the rocks right past the main office.

  65. Kim on September 29, 2015 at 3:37 am

    Live and let live. Seems to me you are either jealous or mad that you yourself are not capable of pulling something like this off. Honestly how many of us could? But, writing about this only breeds intolerance for people who are not like you or most of us. A mental note not to ever do this would have sufficed. Tongue and cheek articles are getting old. Please help stop the hate, not grow it!

  66. Kit Moore on September 29, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I have no idea about the rules set forth by the dance academy, but as a dad of 2 little girls I have had to stand in line 2 hours before the doors opened in order to stand guard over a row seats, while being yelled at by mom’s that didn’t get their early, just so the family could have seats. This could be prevented if the dance company did a better job with giving out a certain amount of tickets or find a better venue.
    In order world where the majority of the people around you are going to tell you that you are not good enough, I applaud this family for showing up and letting their little relative know they are the best. As this little girl goes through life she will constantly run into people that will put her and her family down just like you have done, but in the end she will know she has her family to back her up. This family is telling this little girl that they will be there for her. I want my kids to know that no matter what happens I will be there for them.

    • Linda on September 29, 2015 at 5:13 am

      It doesn’t matter how early you get to a venue to save seats for your family. If the rule is “no saving seats,” you shouldn’t save seats, period. It’s rude to those who arrive before your “VIP guests.” My family tries to arrive all together so we can sit together. If one family is holding an entire empty row, that leaves less seats for those who arrive before the “guests” arrive. If it’s important to sit next to your relatives, then ask them to meet you at the door and go inside together.

    • cindy on September 29, 2015 at 8:54 am

      This little girl will end up being the person that works in your office that nobody can stand. Good thing she has a family to back her up because she is annoying and has no friends.

  67. Nan on September 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

    I love this…I try desperately to find the balance of lifting my children up and being honest and realistic. Perfect post!

  68. jess on September 29, 2015 at 5:34 am

    I am amazed at the negative feedback here. People seem to have missed the point, or didn’t read to the end! Excellent article! Well said and much needed reminder, for myself and as a mom!

  69. jesstock on September 29, 2015 at 5:37 am

    I am amazed at the negative comments! Clearly people missed the point, or did not read to the end. Excellent article! A necessary reminder!

  70. Bec on September 29, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Many times it is in your best interest to get all the facts and know the family situation! Perhaps the event coordinators approved this little celebration, thus they allowed it to continue.

    Go visit go read her mom’s most recent journals and then tell me why a family is not allowed to celebrate! If the balloons bothered you then move, if the seating bothered you then say something then, if the food bothered you then join them—- sometimes rules can be broken!

    If you are all stressed over these little things in life and waste your time with this- so be it- I would rather spend my time and energy on what really matters and makes a difference in this world!

    The world needs more understanding, empathy, and compassion!

  71. Sandy Moore on September 29, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Thank you, very well written

  72. tara on September 29, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Eew, I don’t agree with much in this article. First of all, a majority of it is really just the author spouting off about a family she was annoyed with at the recital, nicknames, real names, and it was clear she felt guilty she didn’t bring anything to make her daughter feel special about her performance. I think the letter was more of an excuse to her child as to why she wasn’t supportive enough. And I think she felt guilty about. when she finally got to her point in the letter, I was also disgusted. While we shouldn’t over exaggerate how talented someone is, we should never tell our children ” don’t quit your day job.” That’s repulsive to say that to your son or daughter! They may really really love doing that activity and have dreams of one day becoming the worlds best at it! Parents are supposed to be the biggest support in a child’s life! How many talented athletes, Olympic medalists, piano virtuosos, and spelling bee winners out there would be stuck in a dead end job they aren’t suited for if their parents had not encouraged them, told them to keep at it, and made them feel special about their accomplishments? I know my parents we’re my biggest fans and they made me feel great about my performance in every activity I was involved in! As a result of their encouraging words, I had the courage to audition for an elite dance team, an elite choir, and the lead for the school musical…all of which I achieved because they helped me believe in myself! Instead of saying “you aren’t that good” parents should say what my parents told me…”do your best. If you don’t make it, at least you can be proud and you wont be disappointed with yourself (though you may disappointed with the result.) You can always try again.” Lessons on service to others and being Christ’s disciple can be weaved into life through accomplishments and participation in various activities. The world will always keep it real for your child and check their ego. It’s the job of a parent to check the world’s ego and show their children they are good enough.

  73. Jenny Rapson on September 29, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Hi Jami! I am the editor of and I would love to re-publish this on our site. Can you shoot me an email so we can discuss? Thank you SO much! jrapson at outreach dot com.

    • PAMom on September 29, 2015 at 10:41 am

      You might want to proofread and/or spellcheck this (plus punctuation) before re-publishing. Although I found moments interesting and amusing, the author is a bit high and mighty considering her lack of proofreading and/or grammatical knowledge.

      • Michele on September 29, 2015 at 11:04 am


      • Ranmich on September 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

        Wow. Talk about high and mighty….

      • dmm on September 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        Nice catch on the spelling PAMom.

      • HeatherY on September 29, 2015 at 3:44 pm

        Why are you angry? Please don’t say you are not, it’s obvious. If you were not, you would not respond with a rude comment.

      • hyarber on September 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        Rude and unnecessary! Invalidates ANYTHING else you may have to say no matter how right it may be!

  74. Vivian Leigh on September 29, 2015 at 6:30 am

    The parent information meetings are had because the directors know that there are families that behave like this. I danced for 15 years, so I know all about it. I had a VERY supportive family that made me feel important and pushed me to do my best without inconveniencing others in the process. Those of you with negative feedback probably do the same irritating behavior being described in this blog. The point is humility. Excessively blowing up a child’s ego will do the child no justice in the long run. They will forever more be difficult to critique about anything and everything. As for the family, it’s rude. IF they had a family member with a disability or whatever, they used it as an excuse to make a production. IF the child had overcome a disability or whatever, they also used it as an excuse to make a production. People tend to forget that the production is on stage. Do makeup in the dressing room, not the auditorium where your section is roped off. Tell your family to show up at an appropriate time to get a seat, or be prepared to stand against the wall. In other words, GET A GRIP! It’s JUST a dance recital.

  75. Brenda on September 29, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Wow! So many people totally missed the boat on this article. The article is really focused on her own children and teaching lessons in life, They should be rule followers, and they aren’t special enough to break those rules. Obviously, there are a lot of people on here that are not rule followers and are offended she has called them out. Everyone who “save seats” aren’t bad people but in this case they were told NOT to save seats. They broke rules. Why is it ok for them to do that and what does that say to their children? ! You are more special and we are more special than anyone else here. We can drink and eat in here if WE want too. Rules are for everyone else. Least you forget, this is her BLOG and she was speaking to her children. Maybe you can write your own blog and tell your own children that they don’t have to follow rules because they are so special. As for the lady who gives so many “excuses” as to why they may have saved seats, do you go through life everyday with what ifs? I don’t know how you get in a car and leave the house everyday. I think the next article should focus on helicopter parents–they are extreme and there are many In numbers. I feel sorry for the next generation of “it’s all about ME” adults.

  76. jamiamerine on September 29, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Hey, guys. I love banter. I love to be encouraged. It is hard to be discouraged, but I put it out there… Please don’t waste your time commenting with vulgarity, death threats, curses on my family and me, or useless name calling. I won’t post it. As a writer, I am willing to accept the consequences of my snarkiness. But let’s face it, we are all busy and I would hate for anyone to take time away from their calling to pray “a fly lands in my coffee, my kids all have acne, and my dog dies.” I think we are better than that. I pray good things for all you. I genuinely respect the rally for the seat savers. We all need people to love us unconditionally. May your floors be sticky and your calling be ordained. Happy National Coffee Day! Bless, Jami

  77. Michelle Fair-Richardson on September 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Great letter. Humility, kindness and thoughtfulness are so much better traits to possess compared to what we are teaching some of our children (entitlement, self-importance, etc..) To the negative commenters, I question why you chose to attack anyone’s personal beliefs – I know when faced with a message that I need to hear, that may show me where I could be wrong, it can be difficult to stomach. Self-examination can be painful! Thank you soooooo much for posting!

  78. Sheri on September 29, 2015 at 6:56 am

    This reminded me of the night of my son’s first drama play he had a lead in. Our two little Foster kids (17 mos. & just turned 3) had just been placed in our home that day. We went to the play but didn’t see much since we took turns watching the kids out in the lobby. I remember being sad I hadn’t seen much of the play but God reminded me what I was showing my son that day was more important!

  79. Sheryl Grey on September 29, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I loved your post! I am a former foster parent who actually adopted four of my children through foster care, and I really related to what you were saying here.

  80. Amanda on September 29, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Many of the readers obviously missed the point. We live in a generation of entitlement and it is heartbreaking. Of course we all want our children to feel like they can accomplish anything and that they are wonderful, smart, beautiful etc. But, somehow things have gotten twisted and kids are growing up treating others as if they are so much more important than anyone around them. They seem disrespectful and unappreciative. So the obvious question is, “WHY?”. Why do the expect so much for doing so little? Because we as a country have pampered our children to the point that they expect it from everyone. Teach your children to be humble and to teach it you have to be humble yourself and respect everyone around you.

  81. Dana Simpkins on September 29, 2015 at 7:21 am

    A couple of points:
    1) The Golden Rule: The seat savers broke it with their actions. They had no regard for anyone but their child.
    2) Injury or illness is not an excuse for ill behavior.
    3) Enjoy the moment.
    4) Reality TV is the debil.

    My daughter almost died several times when she was a newborn. We know the temptation of treating her as though she is a SuperStar! What happens when no one is around to stoke that fragile ego? Just like a fire, it dies. A child has to be taught to find satisfation in their own successes and lessons in their own failures. It’s how we grow. Out job as parents isn’t to ensure the popularity of our children. It is to grow them into productive members of society.

  82. Bec on September 29, 2015 at 7:34 am

    The little girl’s family was not I’ll-behaved! Ya’ll need to step back and enjoy life and accept folks for who they are! Geesh, get excited with them!

    Bet ya’ll frown on those who applaud their kids at graduation!

    Let parents enjoy their kids accomplishments and endeavors!

    If you want to sit all prime and proper fine, you don’t see me blogging on you for being not excited for me kids, do fun stuff, over the top happy!

    Just because you celebrate and show support in a different manner does not mean my way is not acceptable!

    • kurtpetrey on September 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Bee, I think you are missing something. Our culture as a whole have lost the concept of respect and honor. We have largely become self centered and illusion driven. They technically were breaking the rules so you can’t say they weren’t. It was a family that had no respect for the people around them. Admit it, you are one of those people that go to the movies and talk on the phone during the best parts huh? You rule breaker you.

      • Bec on September 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm

        Wow! No I am not a rule breaker thank you very much! As a matter of fact, we do not participate in the balloons, cow bells, etc. BUT we are happy for those who do this craziness for their children and enjoy their creativity!

        Rules are meant to be broken and can be, it’s the law you must abide!

        It’s rude people like you, IMHO that make the world rude and disrespectful!

        It is. It that big a deal if someone wants to enjoy their child’s moment and beside you or I were not there, so technically we do not know ” the rules”,

        • hottytoddynikki on September 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

          Rules are meant to be for everyone to follow and are not meant to be broken! Goodness. If the same rules don’t apply to everyone equally, then they are just “suggestions.”

    • Crystal on September 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

      It’s not about showing support in a different manner. It’s about showing respect for those around you and teaching your children that other people matter too. Be excited, show your child that they matter. But do so in a way that doesn’t take away from other people who are trying to enjoy the moment as well. What about the people who where sitting behind the giant bouquet of balloons and couldn’t even see their child? How is that ok? What about the elderly family member of another child who came early to make sure they could get a seat but weren’t able to because of the seat savers? What is that teaching their child? It’s teaching them that nobody is more important than they are. That being respectful and following the rules only applies to others. What if everyone had that attitude? No one would be able to enjoy the production. Basically it’s about teaching our children that they are not better than those around them and that they too are expected to follow rules.

    • Bec on September 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      It was a kid’s dance recital! Maybe you should worry about your own kid’s and family and use their actions as examples and not some kid who’s family loves her and supports her in the way they do!

      Maybe you are jealous because you do not do the same for your own or are to busy playing by the rules to enjoy them the way this family does!

      We live in Amerixa, so if they want to where shirts, bring balloons, whatever then THEY CAN!

      Guess no one there ENFORCED “the rules” The family got to enjoy their celebration! ( and obviously annoyed the author)

      • bailoutazores on April 17, 2016 at 10:16 pm

        I wonder how many people DIDN’T get to enjoy their child’s performance as a result. Apparently we cannot expect adults to follow rules/expectations unless forced. These parents have effectively taught their child that the rules apply to others, but not her– she must be special, indeed! IMO this is very irresponsible behavior on her parents part (even if it is rooted in good intentions; this is the way narcissists are born). One can celebrate, but do so within the expectations set so EVERYONE can enjoy the performance.

        Consider this: Our youngest son’s graduation is coming up in a few weeks. Family is coming from out of town. I am hoping that he won’t get the same consideration from his classmates’ family and friends that our oldest did a couple of years ago. Although the audience was asked to remain silent and hold their applause until all the graduates’ names were read, the family in front of us (who, ironically, also broke the rules and saved an entire section of seats; many left empty by the time the event started) screamed at the top of their lungs when their graduate’s name was read. As a result, we couldn’t hear our son’s name when his was read. At one point they even held up huge signs so we couldn’t see. I was absolutely astonished that anyone could be that self-absorbed.

        This has nothing to do with jealousy, but common sense.. One’s rights should not infringe upon another’s.

    • Ms Jackie on September 30, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      you know, when I graduated from high school, people were asked NOT to cheer after every name so all names could be heard. I guess the family of the kid in front of me didn’t here that. although my name was called, nobody could hear it over the clapping. YAY for that kid, but not so nice for me. Just a thought.

  83. Sheri on September 29, 2015 at 7:59 am

    You spoke my heart with such clarity and humor-thankful for your perspective!!!

  84. Surviving Abuse on September 29, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I absolutely love this. Thank you!

    • jamiamerine on September 29, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Thank you. Your blog is wonderful.

  85. Mombygrace on September 29, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Thank you for this post. This is one way Narcissists are made. If you stop and think, you can realize it is a very lonely place to put our children in. They grow up with this idea that the world is at Their whim, and when they finally go out into it, they see that the world doesn’t live to please Them, so they begin to eliminate anyone that does not fit their grandiose fantasies that were established at childhood. They fall prey to depression, to resentment, superficiality, and a number of other self-destructive attitudes, because they thought their life would be the fairytale they were told. They are never given the opportunity to learn who they are on their own, with their own successes and failures. It also shows the insecurity and the selfishness of the parents, that seem to be more concerned with looking like the “perfect” parent rather than a parent that builds and prepares their child to face their own future as a personal journey instead of an exhausting competition to prove They are better than everyone else. God help us to see ourselves in those we are tempted to judge, and help us not to compare ourselves with those we are tempted to emulate. Remind us that we are to seek you first, that you define who we are, and that our relationship with you, is a Personal journey that only we can walk and learn from.

  86. Eric on September 29, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I can’t agree with you more regarding your statement on the C paper. We should be praising our kids on effort. I must say I don’t think teaching our kids that passive aggressiveness is the way to solve an issue. If you take issue with this family breaking the rules then you should let them know. I also question why your refer to “KKyylliiee” as chubby or her name is made fun of. She is 5 and picked neither her name nor shape. “Among the broken you will find Christ. My prayer for you is that you see Him everywhere.” Please listen to your own words and find Christ in your story and work to solve the “atrocity” that is right in front of you.

  87. kkuurrttppeettrreeyy on September 29, 2015 at 9:19 am

    What the heck happened to KKyylliiee? Did she dance? I must know these things. I will be looking for KKyylliiee on Youtube or maybe America’s Got Talent? I think we all deserve to know what happened to KKyylliiee or perhaps we can find her 10 years from now and write a new post with the title, “KKyylliiee, where is she now.”

  88. Courtney Kirkland on September 29, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Oh, this is just fantastic. I grew around people and families like that and I feel like they ended up being more disappointed in life than I ever was because I knew that it wasn’t all about me. It was about Him. It’s always BEEN about Him and it always will be. Great post. <3

  89. PAMom on September 29, 2015 at 10:36 am

    “Privilege” is spelled THIS way.

  90. […] post was originally published at Sacred Grounds, Sticky Floors. Share on Facebook (function(d){ var f = d.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0], p = […]

  91. PAMom on September 29, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Somewhere IN BETWEEN Kkyylliiee’s family and the author is the right mind set. I don’t allow my son to believe he is the second coming (and I tell him the thing that matters most in this world is ‘other people’), so I suppose that falls under the traditional belief of Christianity, but I also give him more support and kudos than I EVER received as a child. My parents went out of their way to tell me I wasn’t good at things, and that is equally damaging. “Don’t quit your day job” is a narrow minded approach with those so young. There is such a thing as a late bloomer, or practicing and getting better. My son is awkward and not athletic (right now) but I’d never dream of telling him to not bother going out for sports. I proudly own that I am my son’s biggest cheerleader and advocate, and I am also his greatest critic. Time will tell. But I hope he grows up more secure and aware than I did. Again, somewhere in between (BALANCE) is the answer.

  92. momoffour on September 29, 2015 at 11:13 am

    “Blessed is he who loves and does not therefore desire to be loved; blessed is he who fears and does not therefore desire to be feared; blessed is he who serves and does not therefore desire to be served; blessed is he who behaves well toward others and does not desire that others behave well toward him; and because these are great things, the foolish do not rise to them.”
    – Giles of Assisi, Golden Sayings Of The Blessed

  93. Michele on September 29, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I’m both stunned and fascinated by the number of people who want to find a way to prove you wrong, not by having an intelligent discourse regarding your overall point, but by dissecting a specific illustration that you chose, criticizing a particular adjective, or correcting your spelling.

    I appreciated what you had to say. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, however imperfect they might be. 😉

  94. Teena Stewart on September 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I track with you 100% on this. Well said.

  95. ronnasnyder on September 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    One of the best blog posts I have ever read!

  96. Cwebster on September 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I always told my three (with a smile): “You’re NOT special, no matter what Mr. Rogers said!” Enjoyed the post.

  97. wendylawton on September 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I have to say, the comments here crack me up. Your blog was deep and insightful. You said nothing at all to the family mentioned– besides, I’m guessing they were really a composite to make a point. (No one can be that entitled in real life, can they?) You did exactly what a writer does– you observed and you used it as a metaphor for the entitled attitude you wanted to address. And you did it brilliantly.

  98. Lee on September 29, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this blog post! Thank you so much for writing this through your heart, I feel the exact same way. Something that I think about often is several years back when our church middle schoolers returned from a week long choir tour and performed in the church. Sadly a mom and family screamed out a performers name that was singing a solo to glorify God .. as if they were at a sporting event … to me missing the whole point of their child standing up there singing for Christ. To me seemed very worldly focusing on her voice and not the fact she was singing for our God. That stuck with me.
    This post blessed me, thank you~!

  99. Pat M. on September 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I know I’m eloquently missing the point (the true fact that we need to teach our children humility) with this reply. And I didn’t even read the whole 150+ responses, so I may not even be the first to say this, but, you know, the world would be much less stressful place if the people/companies who make up the rules, would also be the ones who enforce the rules (especially when the rule-breakers are being so blatant in their disregard). Let me illustrate:

    I once boarded a red-eye flight which was already running quite late, only to find that the flight crew had allowed a woman with a large armful of very fragile, unpackaged, potted plants to board the plane (contrary to their own baggage restrictions). While the weary passengers waited to take off, this woman–without any apparent regard for her fellow travelers–delayed the plane for another 20 minutes while she ignored the flight attendants’ (and later, the pilot’s) polite pleas to be seated, instead whining and pouting about not having a proper place to stow the plants. She even tried to convince (against the flight attendant’s directive) the people seated around her to hold one or more of the plants for the duration of the flight. At long last, someone from management had to be called to board the plane and the woman was persuaded to stow her plants in the overhead compartment. When we deplaned, this woman was still seated, in apparent mourning, over one or more of the plants which had been damaged during the flight; she was still completely oblivious to having inconvenienced the other passengers. I missed my connecting train and had to rebook the last leg of my journey at a considerable cost–I’m sure I was not the only passenger inconvenienced by the fiasco. I maintain that it was the airline employee(s) who allowed her on board with the plants who were most responsible for the inconvenience; they should have enforced the baggage policy.

    The management of the dance company in the author’s story should have politely enforced the food and seating restrictions they had imposed, instead of allowing this family to dampen the experience for everyone else. They actually instigated (rather than avoided) an unpleasant situation by simply posting rules without having anyone on staff with the prudence and backbone to enforce them.

  100. Ca on September 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    And I was mainly concerned that my children were confident, and comfortable in their own skin, and that I was happy w/ who they were becoming. I am happy, they became decent helpful adults and I didn’t ever need to tell them how to be that, I showed them.

    • Dee on September 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Regardless of the whether the girl had a disease or not, this family acted as though this recital was a solo act. What if their act of self centeredness caused others (such as the author) to miss parts of the recital? And what if their child died the next day? Not to be morbid, but some folks seem to think this over the top act is somehow OK if the child has cancer, etc. It is doubtful that this was the case, as most folks but in such a precarious situation know that all life is fragile and all the parents there love their kids and would like to enjoy the show. I doubt that someone on the brink of losing their child would be so egocentric to the exclusion of others.

      As an eighth grade teacher, I can easy pick which kids have been raised which way early on, including the kids who are never encouraged. This is the time (hormones maybe) when habits vs. self manifest big time. I can easily see that chubby teen in my class…. Constantly and frantically waving her raised hand incessantly and blurting out the answer when she isn’t called upon. After all, shouldn’t the whole world bow to her? They don’t need my attention. EVER! Anything anyone else says or does doesn’t matter. I can also see the rest of the class roll their eyes yet again. They are sick of it, and all my polite “please let the person I called on answer” requests are always forgotten.

      Good article.

      • Dee on September 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

        I didn’t mean that she would in fact be chubby as a teen. I was merely identifying her as the same girl, now a teen.
        Sorry for the “but” in the first paragraph. How did it get there?
        In the second paragraph when I said “they don’t need my attention. Ever”. I meant the other students – and I was being sarcastic.

  101. Judy on September 29, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    The point is not to judge the family, but to make the observation that there is a prevailing attitude that each child is special (which is true) and entitled to ignore or defy rules that have been set up for the sake of fairness and order (which is not true). In my 37 years as I teacher I see this trend becominbg more widespread and accepted.

    Recent examples:

    My son has been late (and we’re talked 30 minutes late minimum) for 12 out of 20 days because we just don’t get organized this early in the mornings.

    We will not be abe to do homework (despite the fact that the student is performing well below grade level expectations)because we are involved in baseball which also includes sessions with a private batting coach.

    I will walk my first grader to the door of the classroom and go through an extended hugging and kissing goodbye scene, even though by doing this I work her into hysterical crying, rather than letting her walk in with her friends in her class’ line.

    Although the school policy is not to have soft drinks at lunch, I will send them resulting in a can that exploded all over the classroom closet.

    I will park in the fire land during Open House. Despite repeated announcements that my car needs to be moved, I will tell my child don’t say anything and we’ll snicker about pulling one over on all the suckers who walked the extra 30 feet to park in the correct lot.

    The school dress code excludes spaghetti straps, but when my 5th grade daughter wears them and is teased because the straps keep sliding down exposing her to her classmates I will blame the classmates.

    I don’t like waiting with the other parents who pick up their children after school, so I will come 45 minutes early and have her miss Science. (This happens VERY OFTEN with many children). If someone alerts me to how much time is being lost, I will instruct my child to lie and say we have dentist appointments.

    I will take my child out of school for extended weekends and extra vacations beyond the winter and spring breaks and ask for missed work. We will not do the work or return the work. I will blame the school when my student does not have the background instruction to complete other assignments.

    My child breaks a rule. It’s someone else’s fault. It’s everyone else’s fault. It’s certainly not their fault and they should have no responsibility or consequence.

    I could go on and on. It’s sad and I fear for society.

  102. jacquelinegwallace on September 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can tell your thesis is going to turn out great.

  103. Denise on September 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I had a mother who thought the very same thing. Told me so–often. Yes. She also said she was proud of my accomplishments. However, it wasn’t the “I love you’s” I remembered through the years. The “you’re not good enoughs” that rang far louder than anything else. I was never good enough, talented enough, smart enough, skinny enough, attractive enough. There was always another girl who did it better than me.
    Does it make me empathetic? Yes. I’d give someone the shirt off my own back while I suffered in their stead. Mission accomplished. However, I’m now 46 years old. My mother passed away 5 years ago. I still hear her voice telling me I’m not enough. I still struggle with a low self-esteem that started with a mother who didn’t want me to think myself more than I was. She wanted me to be a prim and proper lady. She wanted me to put others first. She wanted me to, “stand up for injustice, follow the rules, walk through the fire…” Her efforts left me feeling that MY opinions, MY hopes and MY dreams didn’t matter.
    I understand what you’re trying to do. The world will be far more brutal in its honesty than a mother will. Just be careful how you’re going about it. My mother’s intentions were noble. The outcome has left me struggling to see myself in the same way that others see me. I know that’s not what you want for your Sophie. And by the way, with enough practice she may be an incredible dancer. Give her the encouragement to show you what she’s capable of rather than discouraging her from what could very well be her passion.

    • Laura on September 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Denise thank you for your response. I totally agree with you. I’m 46 and mother of 2 boys. I had a similar upbringing as you with my parents. Positive encouragement never hurts anyone. We don’t have to make a point of focusing on the negative. We have to be in our kids’ corners and support them.

    • bamabornwriter on September 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Denise and Laura,I think you both missed the point of this piece. Perhaps your mothers seemed to never be satisfied with you and your efforts. That is not the case with the author of this post. She was very proud of her children but she wanted them to not over-esteem themselves so that they always judged others as “less-than” them. This is really about teaching our children Biblical principles-Jesus (the Messiah, King of Kings) came as a servant and a foot-washer and we need to teach our children how to be more like Him. It is not about putting our children down but raising others up. And yes our awkward little girls may become great dancers but the reality is most don’t and if all their lives we feed them untruths about their talents and skills and beauty how will they function in the real world when they are not seen through a mother’s eyes? Best we teach them to do the best they can and applaud the for it while encouraging them to stretch a little for the next level.

      • Jasmine on September 30, 2015 at 10:58 am

        Maybe they didn’t miss the point. Maybe they just have a different perspective.

      • Maralyn Hoffman on September 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm

        I agree 100%, it is a harsh reality when kids go into the real world and realize they are not always number 1. If a child is taught to do the best they can then they will grow up to be hard working, secure adults

    • corrina on September 29, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      There is a big difference between telling your kids you are proud of them and encouraging them in their pursuits and telling them they are the be all end all of everything. There is also a difference between cutting your children down by telling them they aren’t good enough and telling them you are proud of how hard they worked even when they get second place or don’t place at all. You can build a child up without making them think they are too good for other people and you can keep your children humble without maaking them think they aren’t good enough as well.

    • Stephanie Hopkins on September 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      That was very well said!!!! There is a way of teaching our children to be humble without tearing down their self esteem!!!!

      • Robert Lee Louviere on September 29, 2015 at 9:15 pm

        Except that self-esteem is a lie.

        You get your feeling of esteem from others. When it starts to come from yourself, you become an echo chamber and reject criticism.

        To tie up the loophole, the catch-22, the “your not better, but you’re good enough”, you have to show that God is one’s ultimate source of perfect love.

        Then God esteems you, by how much you imitate Him. And that’s not self-esteem, that’s confidence. And it’s always of worth.

        Humility, meekness, doesn’t mean not being good enough. It means knowing you’re not good enough, and finding your worthiness, not in yourself, but in the one that died for you.

        Self-esteem is a lie. Agape love is not.

    • Jan Gantenbein on September 30, 2015 at 6:27 am

      Denise I am so sorry for the pain that came from your mother’s words. That probably was what was done to her and she passed it on instead of stopping the cycle like you have. Good for you! Please look into The Ultimate Journey study……you would be amazed at how you could finally be rid of the thoughts and words that haunt you! It is truly an amazing experience! God bless you….

    • Cathy on September 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I read your remark and I am 41, just lost my mom this year. I remember her fussing at me for getting hurt, not encouraging me to do things because I wasn’t good enough. I can’t/won’t try things today because It won’t be good enough. I have a son that is 11, he doesn’t want to be in activities. I have to make him try or do things or he would be happy sitting alone. I always tell him I love him, thank you and encourage him to be his best. He may bring home and F oneday and 100 the next in school. I am ok with that as long as he does the best he can. Thanks for showing me I am not alone in not feeling good enough.

  104. Rev. Freddy Hogg on September 29, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    One of the best articles I have ever read. I am a Pastor and I hear all the time about how my child is the best dancer, singer, ball player, cheerleader, etc. You obviously love your kids and raising them in the “real” world will prepare them much better than raising them in the fantasy world so many parents live in. God Bless you!

  105. James Ebright on September 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    dont agree – dont agree at all – dont forget the flowers after the recital – make her feel special – it is her day – lame excuse – “i forgot” – lame

    • Susan on September 29, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Her day for a recital to show off what she has practiced and learned, not her day for being shown adoration for doing something she loves to do. Why should flowers be a necessity?

    • Pam on September 29, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Flowers are a nice touch, but totally not necessary. Being there, in the audience, smiling and clapping for your child is much more important. They don’t want flowers, pictures, balloons. They want YOU. I told my kids as long as they did their personal best I would be very proud of them, but they were taught to respect others and be good sports, especially in defeat. I think teaching them they should expect special treatment for normal activities is lame. But that’s just me.

  106. sandra on September 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    How do you blog about anything? It is trending nicely btw. I saw this like 10 times wo I thought Id finally read it. Youve been taked over the coals here quite a bit. Very thick skin to blog I guess. Good word on not being the honey booboo generation. To not make others less than while eating your big mac in the gym…. my kids are fabulous…… but arent all kids fab.

    • jamiamerine on September 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      It’s been humbling. Humiliating. And a wild ride…. I am actually pretty thin skinned. I guess if you are both thin skinned and sarcastic… You’re already off to a comical start. ❤️

      • Shirley Spurlock on September 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

        As a retired dance teacher, this really grabbed my attention from the get-go….and I’m so glad I read the whole piece. May I paraphrase it it? I once heard someone say, “Oh, by the way, Copernicus called this morning, and guess what? You are NOT the center of the universe!” Brava, lady! Bravissima!!

      • Toni on October 1, 2015 at 12:18 pm

        You are a great Mom. Thank you for risking the backlash. This is a much needed discussion for this generation of parents.

  107. Suzy on September 29, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Well said! I am working hard not to raise American children in America. These people who struggle with self esteem just don’t get it. They should watch veggie tales snoodel tale. Self esteem is a lie being dumped on American Christain children . They need to be taught their self worth in Christ. It sounds like you are teaching that well.thank you for the encouragement

  108. Shirley on September 29, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    If we don’t teach our children to look at life with reality, what happens when their support system is gone. We encourage , love and appreciate them but do not teach them that life will be without defeat and disappointments. Teach them to realize others frailties but never to impose their opinion on others , the world will never love them forever.

  109. dstigall on September 29, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    As someone whose mother replied “those could be A+s” when I brought home straight As, I get the hurt of not being good enough. I brought home straight A+s to shut her up. I have accepted who and how she was-taking the good(I was motivated) with the bad(it hurt). I also see the overentitled, over esteemed youth from the time when everyone received a trophy because we didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Life is a balance of both. There are hurts in life and without pain, we have no pleasure. I highly recommend Where Is God When It Hurts by Philip Yancey. We need to be realistic with our children while encouraging them. I have not had time to get flowers at one recital but had 2 bouquets at another. I am human and what mattered to my daughter was I was there with bells on. Our time, our love, our joy-our kids need that. Not fake empty praise, not a cheer when they are done, but perhaps a hug…an “I am proud of your courage” not necessarily their skill. Balance is the key. And love. Everything else works itself out.

    • Mary C on September 29, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Thank you. Very well said!

  110. Bec on September 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    My grown, successful adult kids had one comment for the author – turn the tables – ” A letter to our mom, you aren’t that great” oh sorry, we forgot your Mother’s Day card, oh sorry- we can’t bring you balloons when you are sick – don’t want to break the rules, oh yea -we cannot call you by our favorite nickname – someone may write about us and make fun of us- oh don’t get there early and sit in the front row – I guess Kylie’s family gets to sit there!

    Really, who in the h#%^ would tell there own kids they are not great- no, we didn’t miss the point at all- we see a mom who hey, you may not be great, as your own words and title implies!

    No wonder today’s kids are so messed up- if their own mom and dad cannot show pride in a fun way at a dance recital what’s left? BTW, we break the rules God Forbid, we bring pets in to visit with dying children, we allow balloons if it brings a smile to a dying child’s face, we let a husband of 50 years lay in the hospital bed with his scared wife- oh heck- blast me away for breaking the rules!

    Maybe some of you should try breaking a few rules and lighten up a bit- in the end- it won’t hurt ya!

    • Sara on September 29, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      That is the attitude that I’d bringing down America. Everyone thinks the rules don’t apply. Everyone thinks that they are somehow more special than everyone else. Guess what? You’re not! And teaching your kid that the rules don’t apply to them just makes their life more difficult when they grow up and find out the hard way (jobs, law enforcement etc) that the rules do in fact apply to them. You are not doing anyone any favors by perpetuating this mentality.

      • mama on September 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        our kids need to know they are special………..AND they just need to learn that everyone else is just as special as they are. We are all children of God and created by Him. Grace is what makes us worthy – not our accomplishments, grades or talent. Those things are the fun stuff

    • bamabornwriter on September 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      The author did not tell her kids that they were not that great. She is thinking these things in response to the foolishly over-indulgent family breaking all the rules. She is thinking how she can raise her children to not need to be perfect or told they are. Again she is considering how to teach them to be godly children while encouraging and loving them.

    • Sarah on September 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Bec, I am so sorry you truly didnt understand the message here. This letter is about loving your kids, but showing them that they are no greater than any other human being. This is about compassion and humility, which you are obviously lacking.

  111. Martha on September 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I stumbled upon this blog post after a friend shared it on Facebook. I like your honesty and especially appreciate the emphasis on Jesus. When I talk to my kids about leadership, service, sacrifice, etc I think of Jesus. He’s the ultimate example for all of us. I sure do hope I’m raising kids who will become adults who serve with a gratitude, joy, and humility. Who really cares if they are great at dance, soccer, or spelling. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

  112. DeeDee on September 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I just have to ask myself, “is this the way Jesus was parented, is this the way God feels about his children?” Sure, we are supposed to be caring and compassionate adults, not looking down on others, but, by the same token, we aren’t all cut from the same cloth and we each have our own strengths and weaknesses. With that said, I am quite sure that my Heavenly Father is proud of what he made, and it’s up to us to make decisions in life that will allow him to continue being proud of us and letting our children know that they are loved unconditionally, as he loves us, and that they should strive to be their very best and to not only follow the rules, but also to follow their dreams! So, yes, it’s ok to put our children first, to put them on a pedestal, and to make sure that they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are loved and supported. I believe that’s how he wants us to parent, just as he parents each one of us, his children.

    • Theresa on October 1, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Couldn’t help but think: the pedestal that our heavenly Father put his son upon was the cross. Humility is a prerequisite for being a member of God’s family.

      100% agree with this article. We should stop giving everyone trophies for just participating. Mediocrity and entitlement is eating us alive. It’s a harsh world that dethrones every princess that manages to cut the umbilical chord. I am very grateful for parents that were honest with me and have followed suit.

  113. Shelley Griffin on September 29, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I agree and disagree, but I do not think my opinion is what I am meant to express here. But, since I am human, my opinion is this, ALL children are great, the ones from the crack heads homes, and the ones with too many balloons. My fear for those children with the over abundance of recognition and balloons is that the pressure the expectations are so great that those kids truly suffer. I think I get the feeling here in this article, the general emotion or thought which sort of seems to be entwined is that children are all special, yet they are treated very differently and its unfair. Yet, I get a sense the author wants to do something about that terribly. I am unclear on that direction, yet it involves them reaching outside themselves and seeing themselves as a part of God’s universe, not being the center of the universe. She wants them to know humility, but not shame I would imagine. I think the phrase “you’re not that special” is designed to bring them down to earth and see themselves as a part other than the entitled child with family breaking all the rules on the front row. I do not like that phrase particularly, because every child is the son or daughter of a king. They just do not know it until we teach them. But, they are not the king. They are not a deity. We have all been around that child, and she has a very hard road as well, a truly lonely one. Because, she is being taught the ultimate lie, that she is better than everyone else. I am glad to here someone address this sad state that so many kids do not get the opportunities, and others do. I think an interesting direction to go with this would be to examine Spiritual Gifts and the values attached to those. I think that is what she is trying to say. I think its a good article, just not quite there yet for me.

  114. James Cook ( Jim) on September 29, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    As a working class senior I have tried to show special attention to my children when I thought they needed it . Ito went overboard in both rewards and penltys. I demanded great grades ,got very good or better. Demanded college education , got all three along with extra bills for 5 thy ear for 2 of them. All I wanted was someone that Didn,t have to live in the same house,town or even state with us.that could make a living without our help,but not to be to proud to ask should that day come. A good citizen that raises my grandchildren with similar values. Our first 3 are now in major unv. Searching where life will lead them. Most of all for all my family is to follow God first as he,s taken us to where we are . I,ve never had to get up in the middle of the night to identify a body or bailsomeone out of jail. I have had a child call me from China at 3 am just to tell me what the Great Wall experience is like. I had call from South America from a child who was so homesick she spent 30$ on a phone bill crying ,I,m not sure she ever said anything. She never returned from college. But we are closer than ever 1000 miles apart.. I ,ve always wanted to be a success at something. College wasn,t to be . I,m no military hero. Unlike Donald I,m no billionaire , unlike Hilary I can put together more than 25 words without a lie. What I turned out to be was an average citizen who happens to be a pretty darn good Dad

  115. Pstreet on September 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I take your point but don’t judge. Maybe that 5 year old had had a serious illness and wasn’t supposed to make it to 5, or ever dance. Maybe she was sick even then and her family wanted to celebrate the time she had left.

    • jenniferbrookens on September 30, 2015 at 5:27 am

      I was wondering the same thing — that kind of fanfare is usually reserved for kids like that. But even then, show some respect for the rest of the families there: breaking all the rules by hogging the front row, bringing food, having so much stuff that the next four rows can’t see the stage is just tacky. If there is a special reason for such a to-do, discuss it with the organizers and they can decide if it’s worth roping off a section where the fanfare won’t get in the way of everyone else… Just a thought.

  116. Shawna on September 29, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I really wanted to get on board with your blog post. I really did. I think there are a lot of parents out there who follow this sort of “Honey Boo Boo” mentality that their child is the best and deserves special treatment. But instead your post left a bitter taste in my mouth. See, my neighborhood just lost a little girl to cancer and her name was Kylie. And all I kept thinking about while reading this blog post is that there must be some reason why these parents and aunties and uncles all went out of their way to make this little girls recital day the best day of her little life. Because I know if the Kylie our town lost 7 months ago were to have a recital, the whole city would show up in pink shirts with her name on them (we still do, by the way!).

    You have a noble message, but please don’t spread your message at the expense of others. Love them for loving this little girl despite her balloon bouquet. Love them for caring for her regardless of her full page ad. Love them for loving her even while they are wearing pink shirts. Love them anyway.

    It’s a wonderful thing you’re doing….helping a foster child and raising your own children. But those people aren’t any less for raising their little girl the best way they know how.

    • Hannah Meyers on September 29, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      This was very well said. While I agree that the author’s intentions were good and I understand what she’s trying to say, she did raise her own opinions and take on parenting up at the expense of another family and their child. Isn’t that what you’re trying to tell your children not to do? You tell them not to think themselves better than those around them or that they are somehow more special than others, but the tone you take when you talk about Kylie and her seemingly eccentric family is scornful and judgmental. You pick apart every little thing they’ve done to support their child and suddenly they’re not loving family members, but ridiculous hillbillies there for a “chubby kindergartener.” If all of these rules were in place and this family was blatantly disregarding them, don’t you think someone would have come over to say something? It just strikes me that it seems like there may be a reason to why they were being allowed to do all of this and you jumped to the conclusion that they are what’s wrong with today’s children.

      It’s true. Not all children grow up to be wildly successful or are born to dance and as a parent, while you can’t help but have those hopes for them to achieve their dreams, you also know that not everything is going to pan out. I agree with you that we should not build our children up in this way only to have them realize that they aren’t the sun or to think that they are the center of universe. But when it comes to your narration of Kylie and her family you’ve contradicted your message and what you are trying to say. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe they did break the rules. Maybe they are as ridiculous and obnoxious as you paint them to be. But at the end of the day they probably made their “chubby kindergartener” happy with their balloon bouquets and pink shirts because they loved her, and in order to get your message across you chose to scorn that.

      • Lisa Hayes on September 30, 2015 at 9:44 am

        Thank you. I felt the same exact way reading this article. Her attitude towards Kylie and her family is extremely hypocritical as it pertains to the point she is trying to get across. I also think that you should make a big deal out of a 5 year old at her dance recital. She SHOULD be made to feel special. That doesn’t mean you’re teacher her to think she’s better than anyone else.

    • Lisa Hayes on September 30, 2015 at 9:45 am

      YES YES YES! Thank you for your voice of reason here! I am saddened by her attitude towards this family and her condescending tone in an article where she wants her kids to learn to be Godly human beings.

    • Savannah on December 31, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      The author had good points but her opening overshadowed them. I’m unsure if she realized that what she was saying was not ideal. Calling people out when they break the rules is good, making fun of a child or a family for who they are is not okay. It is the same as when there is a debate…attacking ideas is fair game, attacking people is not.

      It is important to raise people who follow Christ. It is important to ensure that children have humility, that they realize that God made them to serve others. It is important that children realize they must work hard and that even then their very best might not be enough to make the team or get the lead part or get an A. They cannot assume that everything they do should be rewarded. They need to understand that rules are not just for other people, they must follow them as well. BUT they can’t see themselves as better than the rule breakers. The author’s first few paragraphs read like someone who sees themselves as better than the rule breakers and because of that the family can be made fun of. But her readers might not have been okay with that unless she painted them as chubby or really really weird. Once she did that, most of the people who would have had issues with how she described and thought about this family and their child no longer had issues because of how society sees chubby people and people who are weird.

  117. Patti on September 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Good article, but too many giant photos that had nothing really to do with the text.

  118. Kate on September 29, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I think that the main point is that my children understand that they are the center of MY world. Not THE world. A key distinction that many seem to forget.

    • Sue Deshong on September 30, 2015 at 10:53 am


  119. tara on September 29, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I love this. I think you are so very right. You love your kids, tell them you’re proud of them and praise their efforts when they give their best. However you also need them to experience defeat, loss and have humbling episodes in life. I recognize this as I feel the same. My kids aren’t the best on the team. My kids aren’t the ones bringing home straight A+ at report card time. They are however well mannered, kind, caring and compassionate. They are God loving and they are trying to figure themselves out. I think it’s my responsibility to raise them for reality and not a fairy tale world where they reign over the masses because they are The Best.

    The people trying to guilt you with the what ifs… what if she was sick what if what if… they’re missing the point. The point is that even if she was sick and I truly hope she was not but if she was, there are a hundred other ways to celebrate her accomplishments without breaking the rules.

    My kids are also not the best. And I couldn’t love them more or be more proud of them for not being the best.

  120. Laura Arthur on September 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I’m sorry but I cannot agree with this … So many children are without hope and without a healthy self-image. We as parents are their rock until they learn to rely on Christ and I wouldn’t take that away from my child for the world. no offense intended… I think how we view this article has a lot to so with our children’s personal experiences and struggles..

    • TLH on September 30, 2015 at 11:14 am

      But can’t you provide a child with a healthy self-image without breaking all the rules and guidelines requested of the audience, and societly in general? That is half the point of this blog. I am shocked when I see so many people out right breaking the law and honestly expecting not to suffer any consequence when caught. Elissa Alvarez, Miko Grimes, every ‘eye witness’ that said Michael Brown was shot in the back (proven lies by two independant autopsies) for a few recent examples in the news.

      For what it’s worth I believe the other point is “You ARE good! But not always the best nor greatest. And there is nothing wrong with that.”

  121. The_Physeter on September 29, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Wow. I really liked where you were going in the first half, then you kinda jumped off the rails.

    The message that “you don’t need professional photos and t-shirts for a kindergarten recital” is a good one without adding in the whole self-loathing bit about how it’s good to be lowly.

  122. Rachel on September 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I think so many people are missing the entire point of this article. The author is not implying that her children are not that great, or special TO HER. Quite the contrary. She appears to me to be a very devoted mother. She seems incredibly proud of her children, brags on them, compliments them on a C- paper knowing that they did their best. She is at the recital cheering her daughter on (who cares about flowers?), not to mention the numerous practices every single week I figure she takes them to. Her whole point is that they are not that great, or special to the whole rest of THE WORLD to the point that it and everything else revolves around them.

  123. Karen on September 29, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Some of these comments make me really sad to read.

    What if she’s sick? What if she wasn’t supposed to live? I have a question, and I think it’s a good one that no one has asked. What if there is no other reason than they really do think their child/ family IS better than everyone else? What if they are raising her to believe she’s more special than everyone in the world and someday she’s totallt blindsided by the haymakers life has a way of throwing at us and discovers she is not any more special than anyone else? What then?
    There is nothing wrong with even sick children being taught that rules do, in fact, apply to everyone. There is nothing wrong with a teacher asking people to allow others than a great uncle twice removed a front row seat above a parent with a child in the recital as well.
    You are defending deplorable, selfish, entitled behavior. Do you not get that?

    Some of you with comments of “I never felt good enough”….you know what? I’m sure your mothers loved you too, and did the best they knew how but weren’t very good at the “well done”. Or quite possibly you choose to focus on the wrong thing.

    I can count on one hand how many times my mother or father combined said “I’m proud of you”. For anything. But I have not one doubt that they loved me. Those times that I did hear it, I knew it was because it was earned and well deserved. I don’t have horrible self esteem. I don’t have feelings of “not good enough”. They taught me not to compare myself to others. They taught me not to look at the superficial things of life and let that become my focus.

    That was what she was getting at. You did, in fact, miss the whole point.

  124. Eve on September 29, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Yes! As a teacher, I’m am continually burdened by my students who are being raised in this manner. Parents who teach their children that they are above the rules and others create a hard life for them. Thank you for this reminder!

    • AJB on September 30, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Fellow teacher here and I agree! I’m getting a pretty good chuckle out of all of the people saying, “What if she’s sick/survived cancer/whatever…” Yes, I suppose it is a possibility that she has extenuating circumstances. However, based on my experience, I would be willing to bet that they just think they are above the rules. And, if even you are fighting cancer/a cancer survivor/whatever else…YOU STILL HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES!!!!!!!!!

  125. Meredith on September 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    The sentiment you are trying to communicate to your children is great but how in the world does making a mockery of the family sitting in front of you teach your kids humility and how to love anyone well?

    • bamabornwriter on September 30, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      I think the author was exercising hyperbole to make a point about parents/families going overboard by breaking the rules and being ridiculous creating a feeling in the other kids that they were not loved/appreciated as much etc. Her message is love your children and let them know but don’t raise them to think that no matter what they do the world will bow in adulation.

  126. Dianne on September 29, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Interesting article; interesting comments. From a senior’s perspective:
    There are actually two stories in this one article. In the one, this mother explains that she wants to ensure her children know that they are no better than anyone else and to train them to behave Christ-like. In the other is Kylie’s family display to show Kylie she is important to them. Two comments: one – we don’t know the reason(s) behind Kylie’s family’s actions. Second – in all the Christ-like examples for the children to develop, I did not see ‘Judge not….”
    How refreshing it would be to read a blog that did not rely on cutting down someone/something else to make themselves look good. (look at this terrible parenting example and look how good I am in comparison.)
    Every child should feel special, that their parents are proud of their accomplishments when he/she (the child) has worked hard at something and has done his/her best. A recital is surely a time to recognize hard work, practice and performance before an auditorium full of people. Flowers or a special treat will not warp the child’s psyche or make him feel ‘above’ everyone else.

  127. Kili on September 29, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Here’s the thing. Do you know Kkyylliiee? Her story or that of her family? Maybe this recital was a major accomplishment. Maybe she’d battled cancer and won. Maybe, like my nephew, was told she’d never walk because of a bone disease and now she dances. Just maybe.

    Or maybe not. I don’t know. Do you?

    I agree that we have praised mediocrity too much. And that we’ve raised a generation of spoiled brats. But we’ve also become an incredibly judgmental culture as your post proves. Just as it’s unhealthy to exaggerate praise, it is unhealthy to boast about not being boastful. That’s what you did. You boasted about how unboastful you are. And you put your own mediocrity (as compared to their over the top) on a pedestal.


  128. Sue Cross on September 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for this. I am a teacher. Some parents condition their children to think they deserve an A for little effort. No, they deserve an A if their work is Superior, that means better than most. I tell my students they do not receive an A just for showing up. There is a difference between putting children down and making them EARN their self-esteem. Also, I see parents who make a big deal out of every little thing. To what are these kids going to look forward? It’s ok NOT to receive flowers for every recital. It’s ok to expect them to work hard to receive praise. You don’t have to put children down to set high standards. The issue she is addressing is praising our kids for every little thing. Sometimes, they NEED to hear, “This isn’t the best you can do. Keep trying.” My daughter has a shelf full of participation trophies that mean nothing to her because she didn’t have to work for them. She cherishes the trophies she earned with hard work.

  129. What I'm Into {September 2015} - Sheri Dacon on September 30, 2015 at 5:01 am

    […] An Open Letter to My Children: You’re Not That Great by Jami Amerine […]

  130. sunny on September 30, 2015 at 6:12 am

    You can raise children that are deeply loved and cherished and let them know they are great while teaching them to be respectful, kind and considerate.

    God created everyone equal but he also created everyone to be unique,special and yes – GREAT! Greatness doesn’t just reside in some of us but in all of us!

    Children must be taught to find their greatness use it well!

  131. villarreal on September 30, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Funny. I guess. Feels a little self righteous. There are so many children with nothing. No love, no home, No hope. Would our indignance be better served if it were focused on kids who don’t have enough rather than those who are blessed with too much? Love!!!

  132. Kasey on September 30, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I have to disagree with this one- I feel like there are enough outside influences in the world that will remind my children they’re not great. I want them to know that I, their MOM thinks they are great, no matter what anyone else says. They will get plenty of people out there who will bring them down a notch- that’s not my job. It’s my job to remind them that they are children of God, they are divine, they are amazing- not better than other people, but amazing and wonderful in their own right. To me this is more about our relationship with our children than it is about a societal issue. When in doubt, I always, always err on the side of more love, not less.

    Yes, the family in the story did go a little bit overboard, but in a world where there is so much pain and hurt, how can we put down a family for supporting one of their own, and doing it with such enthusiasm? We should be celebrating strong families, not knocking them because their love looks different from ours.

    That’s just my two cents.

    • AJB on September 30, 2015 at 9:47 am

      There’s a difference between going a little overboard/supporting their child with a little enthusiasm and blatantly disregarding the rules and not thinking about how their actions impact others. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who think the rules don’t apply to them. That family can be just as supportive and even go a bit overboard without breaking the rules and potentially ruining the experience for other families. All of the relatives could still wear their matching shirts, they could all show up in a timely manner to ensure that they could secure seating together, those that might be running late could just sit somewhere else, and meet up with everyone after the performance, they could keep the massive balloon bouquet in the car or choose a seat in the back to ensure that they don’t block other people…I could go on. But the point is, you can love your child and support them without being an inconsiderate jerk about it.

  133. Laura on September 30, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Let’s just say I’m over 40 and my mom has always been my toughest critic, whether it was school grades, who I dated, how clean my apartment was or my physical appearance, nothing ever seemed quite good enough. My dad was a good buffer, but after he passed away, her “filter” was pretty much gone. It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally comfortable and happy with how I’ve “grown” up. I’m happily married, finally finished school and graduated with a bachelor’s, have a good job and have a happy home with lots of happy animals. I know my mom loves me in her own way and I finally accept and love my mom for who she is.

  134. Cathy on September 30, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Thought about this for a long while. To many memories in my life that say yes your right or no your wrong. There is so much in the middle. Right wrong in the center God knows us all. I’m a survivor. My life has been a continued battle. We have 7 billion opinions. God forgive us all. I can’t cast the first stone. We are humans. I will let my maker decide when the time comes, till then don’t cast that stone. Cathy

  135. Em on September 30, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I never leave comments on blogs I don’t regularly follow, but there are so many comments that confirm the attitude that this momma writes about but do it in a way that condemns her….I have to say something.

    I’ve been teaching for almost a decade now. I’ve got some experience but am not the most long-suffering out there. I’ve seen such a change in just that decade – parents of high school children that called me about their child’s grades because “How can he have a C, he’s such a good kid!” and now young adult college students who cannot be responsible for themselves to show up at a required appointment that they choose and schedule with me. The entitlement of being raised to believe that *everything* you do is outstanding damages not only the children raised that way, but the people with whom they interact.

    I think it’s phenomenal that this momma loves her children, supports them, and clearly takes good care of them, all without making them think that mediocrity deserves outstanding praise.

    We can prepare the child for the path, or the path for the child. When we do the latter, we do everyone a disservice. Good job, momma, for doing the former.

  136. Arlene on September 30, 2015 at 9:25 am

    There’s a middle ground. It doesn’t have to be either/or. Excess in either direction is harmful.

  137. Alice on September 30, 2015 at 9:34 am

    My kids call the kids whose parents act like the ones depicted in this story “special snowflakes”. The point that they are making is that every snowflake is unique and special and beautiful so how is a snowflake special? EVERY child is special and unique and beautiful. I think there is a balance to be found. Children need to know that they are loved unconditionally not that they are “special” unconditionally. My kids have asked me after a performance what I thought of it and I answer honestly. Sometimes I will convey how awed I was by their talent and other times I will say “not your best work but I enjoyed watching because I love you. Did you enjoy performing?” If their answer is yes, then it was a success….let’s celebrate! And sometimes kids need to play a sport or perform a task or talent for the pure enjoyment without the video tape rolling and all family members present. Sometimes they need to know that they can perform and enjoy it for their personal satisfaction. Those are my thoughts, but to the parents with the balloons and those that forgot the flowers…we are all just trying to do our best as parents….you are not alone. I will not judge or at least I’ll try not to. After all, I’m just a snowflake like the rest of you.

  138. CB on September 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Shockingly judgmental for a someone who espouses so many Christian beliefs. You don’t know if that child had been sick, if they had a parent that died, or what that family had been through that might have made this performance a more meaningful event for them. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you pass judgment on them. You assume this is just a helicopter family but perhaps they walked together through tragedy to get to that day. You simple don’t know. Christians don’t judge, or at least they don’t judge, make a long a post proclaiming their judgment and pepper it with references to the book that instructs us not to do that very thing.

  139. Live Life Well - Melody Eliseo on September 30, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I enjoyed your post and I understand the delimma. Children are going to find the truth of your words for sure, and life will be their teacher. We as parents cannot do more than comfort our young adult children when life or others buffet them. We have no control over their boss, their career dream not adding up. While I adore both my children I have to agree with your post. Better to let them understand slow and easy like…that life caters to no one. But rather that they must preservere in spite of the odds with all due diligence, plan and pursue, no one within your lifetime will ever hand you the moon. Some parents will spend $5000 on birthdays and give out gift bags to all who come, only for their children to find out at a later date, who their real friends were.

    Life can be joyous one day, and disaster can hit in on another. We must prepare them for all eventualities. The most important thing in life is adaptability. The study of humanity has proved that the more adaptive you are to changing situations beyond your control, the better your chances are for personal happiness.
    I’ve been poor and I’ve had more, I have multitudes of friends both as a Pastors wife, as a college student, and just as a person who loves to laugh, and still yet I have felt great loneliness. Either way in good times and bad, we must tell them that God must remain the source of their strength and the strength of our life. One poem that has kept me through times of great trial and always brings back to mind a real truth is:
    “I walked a mile with Pleasure;
    She chatted all the way;
    But left me none the wiser
    For all she had to say.

    I walked a mile with Sorrow;
    And ne’er a word said she;
    But, oh! The things I learned from her,
    When Sorrow walked with me.” (Robert Browning Hamilton)
    Thank you for opening your heart and expressing it.

  140. An Open Letter to My Children, You’re Not That Great | CHRONICA on September 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    […] Continue reading at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. […]

  141. tatyduffy on September 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

    This is just brilliant.We’re all sinners in need of a savior, and we’ll never recognize that enough to receive that free gift, if we think we’re perfect.

  142. AJB on September 30, 2015 at 11:45 am

    This is very well said! I teach elementary school and I see examples of this type of parenting every day, but I think the best example is the after school car line. Because of how we do pick-up, a child might have to walk 10-12 car lengths from where they are waiting with the other students and teachers to be dismissed to their actual vehicle. We make cars pull forward as far as possible in the pick-up area, then stop, so we can fit as many cars as possible on our access road and get them off of the main roads by our building because that causes traffic congestion for the whole town. You would not believe the number of people that just stop at the very edge of the pick-up area and demand that their child be loaded right there because how dare we expect their delicate angel to walk a very short distance ahead so that more people can get off the road and pick up their children. Thankfully, my principal very politely but firmly tells them to pull forward and most of them do. What’s even funnier is when the kids figure out the rules and they look at their parents, motion them to pull forward, then just start walking. I should note that we don’t make the kids walk down if the weather is bad. But where I live, the weather is great 80% of the time. As a parent, there are many ways that I can love my child and let them know that they are special to me and their dad without giving them a hugely inflated ego and while still following the rules. My parents did a great job of this. They were at every event and always supported me. I honestly can’t remember if they bought me flowers every time or not. When I graduated high school, I was the valedictorian. I gave a speech at graduation. But my parents didn’t arrive at school hours before the ceremony to save seats in the front row or push and shove everyone to get a prime spot when they did arrive. They were there, along with a lot of my extended family, but they didn’t all sit together right at the very front. I still knew that they loved me and were very proud of me.

  143. Aria Bubbles on September 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Wow… Just wow!

  144. […] had 126 messages this morning when I woke up. An Open Letter to My Children has gone out into the cyber world and had itself a heck of a run. This morning it had been viewed […]

  145. Tami on September 30, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    The only thing wrong with your story , and so many other inspirational and thought provoking stories that catch my eye, is that they are ruined by the addition of a comment section. Why do you have to allow feedback for something that is basically your opinion? I think that you must go to a lot of trouble to keep up wth a blog and if people feel strongly enough about what you said, pro or con, let them share that in their own blog.( I know, I know I could just skip reading the comments but that’s like leaving church before the invitation).
    Thank you for your perspective . Some of it stepped on my toes and some of it washed my feet.

  146. Allison Andreoli on September 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    As a mom of dancers I have experienced the rude behavior sited here. We all love our dancers and watching them on stage brings on a surge of pride and admiration for all the time they have spent working to present these three minute dances. The applause, the hugs, the dressing room pep talks after a misstep or improved moment of forgetfulness. Flowers are traditional for the star of the show and these are our moments to show them that they are our stars. The over the top show of support by a large family group is their way of showing their love and appreciation for their dancer regardless of circumstance. They crossed the line from over the top to inconsiderate and rude when they decided the rules didn’t apply to them. When they decided that as long as their enthusiasm for for their dancer was apparent, the other parents view and right to assume that getting to the show one hour early would allow them a decent view of their dancers performance was not to be considered. After attending recitals where other dancers family members decided that it was perfectly ok to get up and walk across my view while my dancers where on stage, because theirs were not, even after being told not to move around during dances, where other people decided to use their cell phones to film and cause a bright glare blocking my view and a distraction and eye sore in the pro video being taken after being told that that was not allowed, where other people taped off large sections more than an hour before the recital after being told that this was not allowed, I am perfectly fine with the accusatory tone of the author. This is an event to celebrate our children’s hard work and commitment to an art form they love. Not just “your child”. Your enthusiasm and support does not get to trample on everyone else’s. Take off your blinders for a second and consider that both you and your child are not the only ones participating. I believe the author was trying to convey a sense that no one child is so great that their support team has the right to disregard the other parents rights to enjoy their child’s performance.

  147. Natalie on September 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Yes, pride is the big issue here. If Kylie is the typical kid that the teachers in these comments have seen, being raised to have a big ego, it is the parents’ & grandparents’ pride (and perhaps materialism) that caused it. Pride is a Sin, remember? Pride caused the fall of Lucifer. “Non serviat!” “I will not serve!”

    I have seven children and nine nieces and nephews. They are all greatly loved and valued. They know it. But they also know love of God and neighbor is the most important thing in life. The beatitudes. Being a helper is better than being a winner. My siblings and I are too busy raising our large families and nurturing our marriages to make the mistakes Kylie’s family was making. My son plays soccer because image likes it, not for the celebrity treatment. (I actually heard a mom yell “Remember Bella, 3 goals and we go to Justice!” this season.)

    Is part of the cause of this over-building-up of children the fact that most American families now only have one, maybe two kids? Moms have more time to make giant felt banners from Pinterest and order custom printed T-shirts, and grandparents only have a few little ones to lavish with love and support. Parents can handle all the chores, so that their kids go off to college and can’t start a load of laundry.

    Pride, even Pride in real accomplishments, is not Christ-like. And prideful arrogant parents raise children who are either prideful and arrogant or belittled and wounded. Or perhaps all, at the same time.

  148. kate@willowinteriors on September 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Holy cow….YES to every single word!!!!

  149. BB on September 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I read the whole article, and while I agree with teaching humility (ironic within the setting of this article’s diatribe), I had a hard time getting past the condescending attitude towards the other family. I guess I wouldn’t tell others “don’t be like so-and-so”, but rather, encourage them to look past what others are, say, do – and just be who God has created them to be…. And even then, they must find out what that means for themselves. Yes, people need to follow the rules as established for the good of all who participate… However, judging the actions or inaction of others as a basis to assert one’s own beliefs to train up a child is really not anymore “God-like” — or even humble, for that matter. So while I get the gist of the sentiment here (after getting over the irony)… I feel it’s better shown when not portrayed by putting others down; especially when it comes to training children to be raised up in the image of Jesus, in his perfect, unconditional love. I think Jesus would have ministered to that family, or just smiled at them. Perhaps realizing that they have struggles or their child has specific struggles, and they were compensating for them the best they could. “Until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes…” It’s called compassion…. And that, above all else is what the children of this world need to know more of…. However, they first need to know how to love (respect) themselves, in order to love their neighbor…. As the Bible says, “Love thy neighbor – AS thyself”. Jesus portrayed everyone in a good light. He boasted the good they did as blessed… and forgiving their transgressions. I’ve been guilty of using ‘bad light’ examples to “teach” others in the past… and found it was more condemnation I was spreading, rather than God’s glory and GRACE. I do appreciate the article, and its motivation…. I pray your children do come to know themselves the way God sees them, and they follow in the righteous footsteps he has laid before them. May they know that they are delivered from peer pressure and the ugly ways of this world, and into God’s unconditional love. God bless!

  150. J on September 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Enjoyed the article. It is tough as a parent to walk that fine line of encouragement and truthfullness. I especially loved your reference to following the rules, they might as well not exist anymore. Everyone has a sense of entitlement in EVERYTHING from tball to who is the valedictorian. Being a parent and making sure your kids know you are proud of them (in your own way) but keeping them grounded is the hardest job of any parent.

  151. Elaine Wood-Lane on September 30, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Things have gotten even more ridiculous, it seems, since my sons graduated in 02 and 03. It was bad enough through the 90’s with video cameras and such. My mother would have NEVER doted on me so much. After my concerts, she told me on the way home she was proud of me, but she never went over the top. One of her favorite things to say was, “I’m proud of all my kids, but it’s not healthy to brag on kids so much. They just get the big head and arrogant. My kids will NOT be arrogant and tacky to other kids.” I agreed with her and raised my kids the same way. They’re very considerate and compassionate men, I’m very proud to say. I think if parents would quit doting on their kids and trying to live vicariously through them, children would grow up much healthier and much less arrogant with such a sense of entitlement. In other words, I agree with you, Jamia, and what you say here. I wish more parents had this attitude. I read another blog piece sometime in the last month wherein a pastor talked about not making our children, our homes, our spouses, or anything else our idols. He made a good point. Whenever we praise and worship anything or anyone else more than God, we’re in dangerous territory, sisters and brothers.

  152. Amy on September 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    I agree it sounds little over the top. So someone wants to celebrate their kid more than you do at the moment. Bid deal. At least Kylie and Naynay aren’t calling you chubby on their blog. Lol!

    • Fred Savage on October 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Amy misses the entire point of the article and searches for something to offend her.

      • Joy on October 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

        Yes! Lol

      • amy on October 1, 2015 at 7:37 pm

        Nope. Not offended by the balloons either. Just saying celebrate life! And don’t call five year olds chubby on the internet, lol. That is just silly.

      • amy on October 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        Oh and I do think I get the point. Encourage humble, grounded and more godly children, right? Which I couldnt agree more. That point could have been made with less judgment.

    • Kyle on October 1, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      I agree

      • Kyle on October 1, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        I also think that the “cubby 5-year old” comment was insensitive. When I got to the bottom of the page, I was surprised that those words were written by a Christ follower. But I am certain that many, many people feel the same way about many of the things that I write. Were that not the case, there would be no need for the savior. I appreciated the overall message, but I would agree that some of the initial points were a little silly.

  153. swdevine on September 30, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Stumbled upon this whole whirlwind; I wonder, really wonder, about people who spew filth and degradation online. Is this what we’re declining into? Or were we always this way… Anyhow, speak out. It’s refreshing, it’s uplifting, to think we actually have the power and possible right to simply speak our minds. Except for pornographers and haters. And there we are, back to it. That Square One place

  154. nancy adair on September 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I loved it

  155. Jacobus on September 30, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Celebrate their kid? I doubt the writer would have developed this line of thinking quite so far if the family she was observing had not commandeered 22 seats in front which was against the rules everyone was asked to follow, AND marked them off with pink duct tape, AND brought in food to the recital which was ALSO not to be done.

    • amy on October 1, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      It was over the top…. who cares? So roll your eyes and move on. It’s for a little kid for heavens sake.

      • Maleah on October 2, 2015 at 7:42 am

        But what about my kid? Or the12 other kids in the class? Why does this kid and her family get to take up everybody else’s space, bring distractions in, and teach this special snowflake that she is somehow better than the rules? Isn’t my 5 year old just a little kid as well?

  156. Pam C on September 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    This is perfect!

    • amy on October 1, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Very good example of how and why bullying has become such a big deal in our society. It starts with the parents of children like KKyylliiee

  157. Nancye Peel on September 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Perfect- from a fellow FACS teacher in GA! The over parenting has created perfect shells of young people with little to support it from the inside.

  158. Shaley on September 30, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I have to know. And I’m sorry if you e covered this before, but is the spelling of KKyylliiee satire or real? I’m sad this is a real question.

  159. Charla Sisk on September 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Glad you weren’t my mom.

    • Tina Rhodes on October 1, 2015 at 3:48 am

      Such a small mind

      • edpegmel on October 1, 2015 at 8:28 am

        No, such a God-like mind!

      • edpegmel on October 1, 2015 at 8:29 am

        No, just a God-like mind!

      • Mary on October 1, 2015 at 8:59 am

        So sad your mind is so small you can’t hear the wisdom in this letter!

    • Fred Savage on October 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Because your Mom told you that you were a precious little snowflake and perfect in every way and hovered over you and told you every picture you drew was the best she had ever seen?

    • Jerilee Carney on October 1, 2015 at 9:16 am

      We all need moms like this! She is teaching her children the best lesson they can learn! It’s obvious she loves her children, but loving your child is teaching them life lessons. You aren’t always going to be first, or the best at everything. I love my children, and because I love them, I want them to learn what it’s like in the real world…and to put others ahead of themselves. I buy my kids flowers and spoil them, etc., but they also know that if someone in the cafeteria is going without a lunch, they should share theirs. This isn’t taught by stringing hot pink duct tape over 22 chairs and breaking the rules at a dance recital. We are faced with a ME generation of kids who are WAY too entitled. It will not help them in the real world.

    • momma of 4 on October 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      I am sure she is glad she is not your mom either. You aren’t very bright.

      • momma of 4 on October 1, 2015 at 12:11 pm

        Sorry, my above comment is to Charla Sisk who writes “Glad you weren’t my mom” to the author. Loved the article….so true.

  160. […] texto original em inglês foi publicado aqui: an-open-letter-to-my-children-youre-not-that-great pela autora Jami Amerine e foi traduzido e publicado pelo blog Mamãe Real com autorização da […]

  161. adatechnos on September 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    great article ……

  162. Lisa on October 1, 2015 at 3:46 am

    GREAT thoughts!!!!

  163. Tina Rhodes on October 1, 2015 at 3:47 am

    So True!!! For life is not “All about you!” Humility, compassion, and gratitude..beautifully written

  164. Resa on October 1, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Great article! This is the reason we have so MANY narcissistic people in this world!

    • Patty on October 1, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      So,so true! People are so full of themselves. I personally feel this is why so many grandparents and great grandparents are raising their grand children. People don’t feel the need to be bothered with their own children or give up anything for them.

      • Ignonymous on October 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        Think about it though, these grandparents raising the kids aren’t going to teach them anything different than they taught their own children unless they realize where they went wrong to begin with and so continues the cycle……….

  165. Carol on October 1, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Wow. Excellent post. I’m the mom of three grown children (all amazing of course ; ) and the grandmother of one. I’m very impressed by the sanity of this post. Thank you for unmasking the latest, and seemingly acceptable, idolatry in Christian circles: the idolatry of the child. It appears that nothing is too much for the kids of the church–but what about the elderly, the needy, the unattractive or marginalized?
    One of my mottoes in raising my kids was this: You love your children, raise them so others will. That means that they are not the center of the universe and they are not necessarily remarkable. They are not entitled, they are not above the rules. What they (and we) are: loved by God, saved by Jesus, indwelt and led by the Holy Spirit to a life of grace and service in God’s kingdom.
    I plan to save this post and share it (carefully!) with my younger generation family and friends.
    Oh, did I mention that grandparents are exempt from this? JK : )

  166. Tori on October 1, 2015 at 6:32 am

    I completely understand why the author was upset! The other parents are obviously jerks who think the rules don’t apply to them. And I’d be equally upset at the school administration for not stepping in. (Someone in authority must have been there, if it was a school function). This is why some kids grow up to be narcissistic brats.

    • Connie on October 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

      We all have seen this. It’s sadly becoming the “norm” to patronize our children beyond what they understand. Sad. The author, I believe, hit-the-nail-on-the-head when she talks of teaching our children to ‘serve, rather than be served’. It’s harder to teach than it is to spoil. “Spoil” defines the something that is “rotten”. May we try harder to show our love through teaching.

  167. JL on October 1, 2015 at 6:42 am

    I think this post is awesome! I can image myself sitting there thinking the SAME things. I’m all for celebrating our children…I have a 22 year old, 17 year old and a 2 year old granddaughter….who by the way is the most beautiful child in the world…I’m just saying. BUT while I celebrate my children I don’t MAKE them the center of everyone else’s world. What’s really going to damage some of these children is when they get older and they can’t figure out why EVERYONE else doesn’t celebrate them and think there are the greatest thing since sliced bread like mommy and daddy do. I also don’t agree about giving trophies to all he kids who participate in a sport or pageant. If you don’t win or place….you don’t get a trophy. BECAUSE. when you grow up….if you don’t do the job you don’t get the promotion. Love your kids…support them, celebrate them….but don’t infringe on everyone else around you to do so. And don’t teach your child that they are more than anyone else.

  168. Bryan-Kristy Pettit Liverett on October 1, 2015 at 7:22 am

    I believe this article raises a bigger issue. I agree that this is a travesty, however it is NOT about the child/children. I have found in my years working with students, that it is about what parents are substituting a void in their own life by filling their universe with child centered activities. If adults have developed their own life in all areas (professional, social and personal) they will have a healthy, appropriate outlook and balance to encouragement (not indulgence) for their child.
    On another note, some parents comply with this approach because they feel if they do not, their child will think they are unloved. This is an opportunity to create constructive dialogue for what is appropriate and what is not.
    I wonder often, what do these children have to look forward to if everything is over the top at the age of 5, 13 and 16?

  169. jenn on October 1, 2015 at 7:41 am

    This is true…and it may sting! I have seen in close observation what happens when kids are never allowed to feel the pit in the stomach because they are not getting a trophy for “good breathing!”. Of course we protect and shelter kids as parents, but jumping in to reprimand other kids and their parents for every recess altercation or emailing the teacher week one to see why the gym grade is only satisfactory—because ” Trexel” is a natural athlete and should already have the automatic commendable for his Red Light Green Light excellence does just what the author says—sets the kids who are the focus of do much buffering and protection on the path of destruction. Little doses of disappointment, sitting alone on the school bus, and hearing Mom gush compliments to some other kid all plant seeds for empathy, social skills, and the ability to cope. Mom and Dad may think “Trexel” is the best ever…and they should…but if that is exaggerated to the moon and back— what happens when the desired prom date says no, the college application form is rejected, the internship is lost, the engagement is broken, he gets fired. Mom and Dad can’t buffer life, which has its glory, but most days its dips as well. I have seen these kids…and the people lamenting, “He is from such a good family”___” His parents did everything for him”___”He was so good on that champion travel hockey team”___ when the arrest, or worse, the obit from the robbery or the drug deal or the meth lab or the heroine overdose hits the paper. When kids are used to hearing how their skin sparkles in glitter, and then they find life sometimes rubs it off and leaves them raw…they often choose available paths that work oh too well to numb that sting.

  170. Rita on October 1, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Have friends like this that put their kids on pedestals and they can do no wrong. They end up getting to college and realize life is not about them and cannot even hack real life. Be real with your kids. My son doesn’t play a down in varsity football, but I am proud of him. He is at every weightlifting session and doesn’t miss a meeting or a practice. He even lets the first string defense beat up on him in practice day in and day out. Character built from this perseverance will pay off more than him scoring a winning touchdown.

  171. Charise Cole on October 1, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I am a mom of a son with autism. He has already known rejection and hurt at the tender age of five because of his “difference”. Despite this fact, my son knows immeasurable love for the broken and lost. He will go up to a homeless man in our local park and give him a hug. And although it scares the bejeebees out of me, when I see that man hugging him back, a tear come to my eyes of pride. Its not a lesson I would personally ever want to teach my son, but God has taught it early on to him through his disability, and as a result he is already blessing others around him with his ability to love the forgotten and lost.

  172. Rachel on October 1, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Hi, i followed what you were trying to teach your children out of this. However, I disagree with your approach. As a sister in christ, is it necessary to preach truth through putting others down? Did you have to put down this large family to teacha life lesson? I also read the home birth blog in which you make fun of women for home birthing as some new age thinking that is actually backed up by science. That showed me that you use others differences to lift yourself up. So, as a sister in Christ I want to encourage you that you do not have to put others down to preach the love of Christ. In fact it is dividing. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not puff itself up, keeps no records of wrongs.

    • amy on October 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      I agree.

  173. Donna on October 1, 2015 at 8:35 am

    This is so true. I loved it. Thanks for your enlightening words.

  174. Carolyn on October 1, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more.

  175. joerg on October 1, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Although here in Germany the culture of praising your kid for nothing isn’t as far grown as it obviously is in the U.S. , thank you from the bottom of a Dads heart. You are an inspiration. These are the lessons, we are trying to teach our daughter of 15 years and she is doing well. God bless you! Keep on writing. You are doing a good job.

  176. Stephanie B. on October 1, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Thank you so much. I have tried to not be “that” parent, and have been made to feel guilty about it. It’s so nice to hear from someone equally grounded!

  177. Mom on October 1, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I don’t think we need to worry about KKyylliiee. The world is full of nice people, like you, that will remind her she ‘chubby’ and not special at all. They will remind her the people that love her most have no class (after all, they eat McDonalds!). I don’t know if making children feel special will worsen society or make them narcissistic and unkind. However, I am willing to bet that teaching them it is ok to ridicule others and make fun of a 5 year old’s weight may do the trick! #Meannessindisguise

    • Fred Savage on October 1, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Internet haters out in force. Don’t understand any of the message so can only focus on “chubby kid” and “McDonalds” and immediately jump to preprogrammed.class warfare BS.

    • amy on October 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Good points Mom.

  178. rbquery on October 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thank you for your great post. I am not that super religious Person but a Mom of 2 and I truly believe that curtesy to others is important & following rules is important. If you don’t like a rule – get into the position to be able to change it. All those people here who believe otherwise – always forget that making a child believe that it does not have to follow the rules open Pandorras box.

    To those who do not seem to really understand … You are the first to complain about not being able to sit in the front row, you complain about them being to loud – you can’t hear your own kid … You were not able to take pictures of your kid because balloons are in the way … You hated the smell of their food. Next day you are at the principals office to complain and asking for rules to prevent it … Next year you will be first to mark off the front row seats and ignore the rest of the rules you asked for!

    • rbquery on October 1, 2015 at 10:28 am

      That said … I do believe that if you don’t see value in yourself you are unable to see it in others. Treat others how you want to be treated. I can’t do that if I believe I am not worth anything. Same comes to property … I know it is just stuff but if you want your child to value other people’s property … One has to value and keep theirs too. You don’t learn to understand loss if you have nothing to lose.

  179. Dena on October 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I raised 5 children with this very same philosophy and they grew up to be compassionate, caring and giving individuals. They are now raising families of their own in the same way. We, as a country, are now dealing with the ugliness that comes from being told, during those crucial years of learning value and worth, that one is deserving of praise and honor that one didn’t earn. We now face a society of people willing and quite ready to blast others on social media and in person, for not agreeing with their philosophy and beliefs. We are no longer kind and tolerant as a society, but critical, even brutal to one another. I hope to see an end in sight, but I believe, until we come around to recognize that we are not above any other human on this earth, our society will continue to decline. We are now living in the age of the pampered and entitled generation. Heaven help us when their offspring are adults.

  180. Penny on October 1, 2015 at 10:56 am

    wow, guys. if a kid is chubby she’s chubby. even in the Bible when someone is fat, it says they’re fat. yes, the Bible uses that particular shocking word. all this whining is the problem. i’d want my kids to hang out with this writer’s kids because i’m trying to do the same thing she is-to convey the truth that they’re not the center of the universe. and i bet her kids and mine will grow up to be pretty nice adults.

    • Mom on October 1, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Perhaps you will be able to convey this lesson to your children without ridiculing others? Or, maybe not….

    • william on October 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      ha…i bet you would like your kids to hang out together. maybe they could even sit together at church while reading about the fatties in the bible. when they grow up, they could write blogs about rednecks who eat mcdonald’s and have fat little 5 year olds.

      • Fred Savage on October 1, 2015 at 7:44 pm

        WillI am is the Dad who yells at his kid and coaches making his kids miserable while trying to relive his glory days. Classic ” Al Bundy Syndrome”. Bitter, bitter man.

  181. Christy DeWitt on October 1, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I have been saying this same thing for 20..almost 21 years. BEST READ EVER. Thanks. And now I follow you!

    • jamiamerine on October 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      You can subscribe on word press or like me on Facebook!

  182. daweb on October 1, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Do not judge the family who “overpraised” their little girl in this story. We don’t know her story. Be kind to all. You never know what a person as been through to reach this day.

  183. Mike on October 1, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Offended or appalled to this as you might be, let me give you some food for thought:
    1. Not every family is rich which makes the little things in life special (e.g. special occasions)
    2. Not every person has a +120 IQ, that makes even a B a triumph to some people
    3. Without knowing the circumstances that may have prompted that family to rejoice over that little girls part on stage it is better to be happy for them than use the God of mercy and love to tear down what may have been the only special day that child might ever have.
    4. Blessed are the peace makers for they are the children of God.
    5. Last thought, forgive because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

  184. Happy on October 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I agree with your well-written article. People who shove their kids into the limelight ought to know better (the limelight can blind you and create a false sense of what matters most).I have seen too much of this, and I just have to shake my head ( these are the people who at graduations when they’re asked to hold their applause until all graduates are recognized, go ahead and scream/yell and call attention to themselves, disregarding all rules and policies.) Newsflash: In this universe everything doesn’t revolve around you.

  185. Pat on October 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I throughly understand what you are saying. We all need to be taught that we are no better or worse than anybody else. Celebrate your child’s accomplishments. Discuss their failures and let them know this is a temporary thing. They can always overcome it. Teach your children early.

  186. Jamie on October 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I’m a 65 year old grandma and am always praising my grands little accomplishments. Dr Dobson says we should stop lavishing the praise and just ask, ” how does that make you feel?” Come to think of it those little disappointing times in my own childhood probably were the character builders, even if they were hurtful at the time. One particular incident was when 4 of us played the part of icicles in the Christmas play. We all wore white sacks except Cherry. Her mom sent a miniature bridal gown for her to wear.I felt pretty pathetic standing next to her…definitely a humbling experience for an 8 year old. Anyway your story was thought provoking and I can’t believe you got so many negative responses.

    • jamiamerine on October 1, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Jamie… I like your e. And your story. I am certain you were a lovely snowflake.

  187. Shaley on October 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Man, oh, man “in many ways it was worse”??? My masochistic since of humor really has me this close | | to leaving my cell phone number on here —for all the haters to see— so you can give me the actual name. Unfortunately, no personalized pencils for me. The best I’ve been able to come up with is buying tchotchkes with the name Haley on them and adding an S on the front. Maybe I shouldn’t judge KKyylliiee too much since my parents thought it was cool to just rearrange the letters of Ashley in the 80s….

  188. jonaec on October 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I giggle at the personalized pencils part…………..I have not and probably will never see Jonae on anything, BUT I have to say it has added a simple uniqueness to who I am. So I probably will not get a Coke bottle with my name on it, but I never had to wonder if the teacher was talking to me or five other Jonae’s in class, like some of the more over used names. I do love this though. Some names are extremely over creative:-) Love this blog.

  189. Jill on October 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I love this!

  190. Encore: More For You – Still Playing House on October 2, 2015 at 3:03 am

    […] An Open Letter to my Children: You’re not that great. – Yes. Yes. And, yes. […]

  191. Laura on October 2, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I agree with the arguement here (cool story bro). But allow me to interject, a kid should feel like he’s awesome in his own dang home. Like a freaking superstar even. Kylie’s family wins. You do not have to worry about your kid feeling down and out in this world. This world will do a fabulous job of reminding him how insignificant he is. That is not something anyone needs to worry about. He will get beaten down by the drudge. However, as someone who’s parents thought much like you and did fun things but never celebrated me too much I spent much of my precious youth wondering what was the matter with me. So, I agree teach your kid to serve teach him to be humble but good gracious make going him cool t shirts with dumb lyrics on them too.

  192. Amy Carney on October 2, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I loved this! It brought tears to my eyes as I, too, am trying to raise my kids to never feel greater than. We are trying to raise our kids with humbleness, grace, kindness and compassion in their hearts… always. We too were a foster family for years and now do respite and mentoring!

  193. Maddierland on October 2, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I appreciate this letter so much. I know that it has an amazing purpose to it for many many people that need to hear this message. The only thing I could disagree with, is telling your daughter not to dance. My mom told my little sister this, and in a time where she just needed something to be “her thing,” it really hurt her. It even still does today, to think that her mom didn’t think she was very good at something. Maybe I misread it and it wasn’t intended to be that way- in which case, sorry! I just know that I will always tell my children to do what they love, regardless if they are the best, just as you said about the c grade!

  194. Weekend Reading | Second Chance Pastor on October 2, 2015 at 10:38 am

    […] An open letter to my children; you’re not that great. […]

  195. Zack on October 2, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I want like that… it soo happy

  196. Dawn on October 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I find this post very judgmental. As someone who is trying to promote the servitude of Christ, you are not promoting Christ’s most wonderful characteristic…grace. My daughter is one of those with the full page ad in the program and the whole family attending the dance recital. She’s the one with the balloons, flowers and teddy bears. We celebrate her hard work in dance once a year just like we celebrate a birthday. Should we stop celebrating those too?
    You are judging someone’s parenting style based on one event. You don’t see the little girl making up goody bags to hand out to homeless people.
    You don’t see the little girl running a 5k to support brain cancer research. You don’t see the little girl begging for money so she can help people by putting money in the fireman’s boot or Salvation Army tin. You don’t see the little girl helping a little boy with cerebral palsy color a picture in children’s church. You don’t see her making friends with the new dancer in class that the other dancers make fun of.
    You don’t see her parents telling her no at the store when she asks for a toy. You don’t see her accepting no for an answer and not throwing a tantrum. You don’t see the parents reading The Bible to her every night and teaching her about the love and humility of Jesus.
    My daughter doesn’t get flowers and balloons every day but why not have fun at a fun event?
    I don’t think a few flowers will make my daughter think she’s better than anyone else. I don’t think a balloon or a bear once a year will make her a narcissist.
    Don’t judge what you don’t know. My suggestion to you is to go buy your daughter some flowers…just because.

  197. Bobbie on October 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Loved the article. You are raising Godly children who will not be decimated by reality and who will enable others to feel blessed and valued, which is really our mission is it not? “Love one another as I have loved you.” Your children will be confident in their own skin, les likely to self-medicate and more likely to accomplish great things as they start with a clear vision of themselves and their world. Well done.

  198. sophie19 on October 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    As someone who loves Jesus I find this post offensive. This is the reason why so many people dislike christians, while I understand the intent behind this post I still find it very judgmental. As christians we’re are no one to judge someone else’s parenting skills or a child for that matter. I am a servant of the Lord and I love serving Jesus in every way I can! My parents were the parents in the front row along with my other 12 family members, I always got a bouquets of flowers and balloons, they were always the loudest one in the stands, etc… my family is my biggest supporters and just because they are “louder” than other parents does it mean that I grew up thinking that I was better than anyone! In fact my parents have always taught me to humble myself before EVERYONE but you bet that anytime i’m competing they will be the loud and obnoxious proud parents watching! if you really want to teach your children to live like Jesus did you shouldn’t sit behind a computer screen judging other people’s actions.

  199. kacee on October 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    As a non-hater, I was curious and read your suggested link for the would-be haters. You used the word I was looking for to describe your writing. Snarky. You could have left out the word “chubby” and still sounded totally snarky. But that’s the voice that makes your blog sing! I highly recommend that if someone feels offended by your writing, they stop reading. Because the internet is on hater-overload, I can’t bring myself to add to the sinking pit of negativity. I’m reminded of John Oliver when he talked about Net Neutrality (search YouTube for “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality” and watch about 11 mins in) and addressed “the internet commenters out there directly” with an invitation to put their talents to good use for once. Funny how the Christian community are some of the most talented. Thank you for the snark; you’re using it well and where it’s needed with this post.

    • jamiamerine on October 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      My son is named John Oliver ❤️
      I haven’t responded to the criticisms to the chubby remark – the piece has been picked to pieces… In my mind I have a picture of my 5 year olds – the iron storing bellies, dimpled fingers, pillsbury squishiness… It had nothing to do with the blog in a negative aspect. I am pretty chubby myself. And it’s not cute or endearing- 5 year old chubby is the best kind of chubby. Writing has gotten a little harder – any word can be interpreted any way. But – ya know, it’s out there doing its thing. Snarks unite. Thanks for reading and commenting. God be with you.

  200. Staci on October 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I loved this post! Where I think most people got it, I believe the few who mention there not being a need to put others down did not fulling understand or grasp the concept, the family is merely a description of how society has deemed appropriate for parents to bring up their children. God sent his Son to SERVE as our SAVIOR and allow us opportunity to have a connection to the Father again. In order to “be like Christ” we must serve. God entrusts every parent to bring their children up like Him and follow in the footsteps Christ laid out for us to follow. Why wouldn’t we then teach our children to have empathy, kindness, and be able to notice those in need? I’m not saying parents shouldn’t show their children they are special, loved, and wanted. I believe there needs to be both. I do agree with the author, there needs to be a balance and children should not be brought up as adults who are entitled to think and feel as if they are above.

  201. Toni on October 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Dear Writer, I completely understood the point and meaning behind your story and you painted a vivid picture that made me feel like I was actually there. First off, my heart was heavy when you told of the chubby child that had her whole family there to watch and dote over her and probably had never prayed at night that God would bring her a family much less MCDonalds happy meals while you sat there coddling a foster child that you know after the weekend will go to a strangers home with an unknown future, a child that would love to know that someone wanted them. It was a wonderful story and a great lesson that we should all learn from. We are to be humbled, not boastful and feel we are above all others that the rules don’t apply to us. Thank you for sharing. God Bless you and your family.

  202. apkfrog on October 3, 2015 at 3:52 am

    thank you
    Fantastic blog
    Good luck to you

    • jamiamerine on October 3, 2015 at 3:56 am

      Thanks friend ❤️

      • missymicciosmission on October 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

        I’m 47 years old and have zero skills in technology or blogging or responding to a blog. I hope this finds its way to the author of “An open Letter to my Chikdrrn; you are not that great”. I absolutely loved it because it made me look at my adoptive children and wonder if I’ve been parenting or making expectations too high or too low. I find that my chikdren came from the worst conditions imaginable. My partner and I felt we had an obligation to make them feel as though they are great because of the conditions they came from. We over compinsated for their hardships in their formative years, prior to placement in our home. Then your blog made me see it differently and it helped me realize that I’m doing the best I can and that not everyone is going to accept my kids as great and we tried to make them believe they are. We struggled with our own family accepting them, and we found that our children are not considered that great when compared to my nephews and nieces. I found we struggled with biological issues and then your letter was thought provoking and made me look deep into the parameters we’ve established with raiding our kids. We basically wanted to make them think they are great and went overboard trying to get everyone to think they are. We are the junkies that tried to get the uncles and aunts and grandparents to welcome our chikdren and make them feel just as important and as great as the biological chikdren in our extended family. We were all wrong in thinking that. You gave me hope and a new outlook. I can’t make my chikdren be viewed as greater than, but I can make them know they are loved and that life isn’t fair and we make it what we want it to be. So if my kids don’t get the newest gane system or the recognition from the community or our extended family, then that’s perfect. I still don’t want my adoptive or foster chikdren to feel they are that ‘throw-away’ child, but that their lifes’ circumstances are set for reasons that are not in my control. Let Jesus and God lead the way I guess. Phew…. that burden is now off my plate…but, seriously, thank you for enlightening me to what we’ve been trying to be a part of. Now I realize we don’t need to be in that circle of ” my kids are that great “.

    • jane on October 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Yes, yes, and yes again! Thank you for being brave enough to write this.

  203. Broken & Healed on October 3, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Thank you for writing this piece as it helps bring conversation and is thought provoking on how we raise our children. A lot of things boil down to parental pride. If our kids don’t make the grade, it’s the teacher’s fault. I’ve noticed this as a trend & have been guilty of the same. Perhaps the story seems unkind but it’s simply an example of how some families operate as well as a real issue at hand. Psychologically speaking, parents & grandparents are the way they are because of the way they grew up or how they were molded by events & lifetimes of choices they made. Maybe it was a ton of fun for those ladies to make shirts and all. Maybe it’s a kind of therapy for them. We should look at ourselves and figure out why we act the way we do. (Personally I can’t wait to spoil my grandchildren!) 🙂 We also don’t always see the whole picture & we jump to judge. (Maybe someone just lost a parent or is fighting a disease, etc.) However, narcissism is real in any part of the world, as we are all fallen sinners. Satan tempts us to think more highly of ourselves & our kids, as a means of distraction from God. May we all be humbled by Chriist to live as He did. I’m pretty sure He loves children & we should celebrate them as the amazing creation they are, as we teach them that they are also nothing without Christ. On the other side of the coin from narcissism, are children of abuse. May we not live at either extreme.

  204. A Special People? - The People of the Sign on October 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

    […] have children of a certain age. Mine are 4 and 7. So I can relate to Jami, the author of this blog on a children’s piano recital. She humorously points out that she wants her children to know they aren’t “that […]

  205. kier on October 3, 2015 at 11:55 am

    thank you. amen and amen.

  206. this abundant life on October 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes. My boys often struggle with the fact that they don’t live in an indulgent home with parents that think every terrible joke they crack is funny. But I pray that they are realizing that they’re not the center of our or anyone else’s universe. I pray that they are humble, generous, people loving boys. Prayers for you, Mama. Stay in the race, keep speaking truth, and keep raising your babies to know their true worth in Christ.

  207. Angela on October 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm


  208. Paula Powell on October 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Thank you so much for this! I love it!!!

  209. mycheapcamera on October 4, 2015 at 8:56 am

    You know what I don’t get? Kindergarten graduation ceremonies, complete with cap and gown. These kids are still peeing their beds at night but we say “yay, you know your shapes and colors, you graduated the easiest and funnest grade of school you’ll ever have for the rest of your life, ever.” I have four sons by the way, all who finished kindergarten, none who participated in a silly ceremony to do so.

    • jamiamerine on October 4, 2015 at 9:15 am

      this made me laugh out loud!

    • missie on October 4, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Dude. Yes and amen.

    • charleaseangel on October 8, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      We don’t have caps & gowns, but we do have a ceremony and as a mom and kindergarten teacher, I find your comment insulting – to me and my students…and to the nature of this article which was far deeper than your comment. We like to celebrate that our students finished the first of what we hope are many years of hard work. We celebrate that many of them come to us without shapes or colors or counting and stand on that stage in May as full-out readers, writers, and mathematicians. We print their high school graduation year on their tee-shirts because we want them to believe that this is the first year of their journey to graduating high school – some will be the first in their families to do so. We hope to give them a taste of what that success will feel like and plant that goal in mind. You are mistaken….they work hard. Yes, they play hard too, but they work very, very hard and we hope to instill in them the idea that after a period of hard work, you should celebrate -yourself and those around you….and then keep working hard…..

      • Megan Armstrong on October 14, 2015 at 5:20 pm

        I agree 100%.

      • lawranch on October 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm

        Well, you are way too easily insulted, then. Grow thicker skin. Many schools go so OVER-THE-TOP with the kindergarten graduation, and then parents like me…and apparently the writer of this blog, show up to watch our kid’s program, and are blown away by how rude and out of line other parents are. They stand up the whole time and hold their phone camera right in the way of everyone else behind them. They bring balloons, they bring 5 generations of family so that other PARENTS have to stand in the back…others talk the entire time EXCEPT for when their child is mentioned or walking, then it is insanity of cheering etc. for that child. It is too much for a kindergarten end of year program. Caps and gowns, balloons, graduation parties with bouncy castles…it is crazy. Yes. They work hard in kindergarten and are probably pushed too much over what they can developmentally handle. They probably don’t get enough music time or dancing time or time to be a child and build towers with blocks. I am not sure that we should be celebrating a child that went from not knowing the letters in his name to being able to read on a 1.7 reading level in kindergarten, because really..that means that child lost a lot of play time that he probably needed of developmental social time, and he would have learned to read just fine in first grade. He could learn to read just about any time between the ages of 3-8. I just wonder how this HUGE push to teach reading and multiplication too early is really hurting society more than it is helping the child. Because, according to the crowds at the kindergarten graduation, and at the dance recital, many parents have missed the part of being considerate to others, that we used to work hard at learning in kindergarten. I guess they were too busy learning how to read and be self-centered.

    • Sheryll Love Bolton on October 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      My daughter thought the pre-K ceremony for her daughter was ridiculous but when she asked the school director how much participation there usually was and the answer was 100%, she did not want her child to feel left out. So she went through with it. It is really just another way for the cap and gown companies to make money. Why there are so many graduations today? Each one takes away from the big one when you graduate from high school. They should be stopped.

  210. Andrea on October 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

    He has told you, O man (woman, child), what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

  211. phoodieandthebeast on October 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    While so gut bustlingly funny! Also so spot on true!

  212. Christine @ Swallows from my Kitchen Window on October 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    To every word you wrote… yes, yes, yes, and amen!

  213. Rey Sirakavit on October 4, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said! I so often feel I’m the only “nice” mom who gives honest feedback to her kids. If you’re not telling your kids that every picture they draw, every song they sing is amazing, you’re not “supportive.” Thanks for keeping it real!

    • jamiamerine on October 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks! Love your name. ❤️

  214. […] My children aren’t that great.  Read it. You know it’s true… […]

  215. Ruth Ratz on October 5, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Excellent. We’ve raised a generation of self-centered, self indulgent young people, in the main. Thank goodness for many sensible parents of sensitive kids. “Have a sane estimation of yourself” – from God’s word, God’s wisdom.

  216. Niki on October 5, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Amen and amen, sister! The whole thing about following the rules spoke to me loudest, although the whole thing screamed, “You would have thought the exact same things!”. What parent doesn’t fuss at a child for not following the rules and yet so many don’t do so themselves. We all fall short but let’s at least take better aim, right? Bless you, momma.

  217. Barb Haller on October 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Just came across your blog and mama, you nailed this one! I like your passion and your writing style. Whenever I’d get a little self-righteous, tempted to brag about our kids, my husband would bring me down and say “jury’s not out yet.” Well now it is. They’re in their 20’s and 30’s and they really are amazing and law-abiding and love the Lord. I’m 60 and IMO, unless your kids are grown you can’t really bash this post. And even then you shouldn’t.
    You’re right, Jami, children really can’t become compassionate, passionate Christ-followers if Mommy is puffing them up at every turn. Be humble. Love the unlovable. Admit your mistakes. Apologize. Obey the rules. Obey your mom and dad and teacher. And for Pete’s sake, take off your ball cap and don’t whistle at school orchestra concerts! (Pet peeve.)
    Thank you, Jami. Don’t worry about the haters. Keep writing. (It’s funny, people treat blogs like the op-ed page — spouting opinions left and right. It’s a BLOG, people. WEB-LOG. Opinions not needed, though I gave mine.)
    God bless.

    • jamiamerine on October 5, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you. I needed that insight tonight. God bless you. ❤️

  218. Annette Tinholt Vellenga on October 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    well written and to the point. Care for that younglin and teach her service is a good thing. 🙂

  219. Lorna Orick on October 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I’ve never gotten a pencil with my name on it either! Which is why I named my little girl, Rebecca, spelled the way the museum gift shops spell it. 😉

    Great post and so very true!

  220. Teri Bench on October 7, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Can I be your best friend? I think we must have been separated at birth…except I could probably be your mom, but you’re awesome!

  221. Amy McMenamin on October 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    The BEST article I have ever read on parenting! ” I can remember saying to our children, It’s not about you!” I couldn’t feel more unified with you on this one! Thank You for posting, Thank you for showing the reality in Christ, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Amy McMenamin

    • jamiamerine on October 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you for taking time to comment. Truly, we are struggling with a stomach bug. I needed the boost. Bless you.

  222. charleaseangel on October 8, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I don’t know that I could add to anyone’s comments praising this – it is spot on….just spot on! I will be sharing! Thank you!

  223. TONI HARRISON on October 10, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Those are such lovely and touching words. I am a social work major and my field placement is at a TFC agency. Treatment Foster care is an eye opener. I’ve also been a volunteer with an awesome organization called CASA. These experiences have only highlighted what me and my husband would,teach our children who are now amazing adults. I would get aweful stares from extended family and hear obnoxious comments from strangers when I would say to my children……it’s not about you, it’s about others. I never strayed from that line or our teachings because our children would always and still do smile whenever I say that. They know and understand the joys and,purpose of being the best and giving the best on a daily basis. I am honored to know that my children hold onto those teachings.

    • jamiamerine on October 10, 2015 at 6:19 am

      So glad you commented. I need to add CASA to my foster care page! Bless you & your work.

  224. Sylvia on October 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I totally agree with you. We are creating a society of children that think they are up there with God. We all love our kids and think they are great but to inflate their egos from the time they are old enough to comprehend what we are saying only gives them a wrong sense of who they are and who they are supposed to be in relation to God and their fellow man. It goes along with having all kids win at contests and sporting events because heaven forbid we hurt their self esteem. What will happen to these kids when they get out into the real world. . . they won’t be able to survive in the work world because they will feel that if they aren’t always applauded for every little thing they do, or if they aren’t the one to always be noticed and praised that life just isn’t fair. I believe those adults will end up going from job to job because obviously people at the previous job didn’t appreciate them and they will be on a pursuit to find the praise they so rightly deserved because that is what they have come to expect. After all, how could the world get along without their brilliance. I do believe that we are all here on this earth because God put us here and we all have a purpose but God wants us to all have humility and not put ourselves above our fellow man. You have posted quite an excellent piece and I am going to share it with my four daughters. I wish I would have posted such a heartfelt piece but I would have never done it so eloquently. Thank you.

    • jamiamerine on October 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you for such a thoughtful response.

  225. gene on October 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Too true. Charlesangel is out of step of what is good for society, everyone is a winner just for being there, everyone gets a prize, a ribbon, an award even when no effort exists or no accomplishment. So children become adults expecting to get everything handed to them, welfare for life.

  226. Nikki on October 11, 2015 at 1:22 am

    I run a center for street kids here in The Philippines. And I loved this article with all my tired, weary little missionary heart. We get teams from the “first world”. I have had them reject our food, talk to my EXstreet children using words like “pitiful” and “bless your heart”,etc. But I have also had selfless, servant-heart, puke-cleaning, non-complaining, fish-head-eating American kids here. It can go so wrong or so right. Mom and Dad as well as a RIGHT view of scripture and who we are in Jesus make all the difference. Same culture. Same country. Different children. The peace and joy in those “less than” teens who serve with us just humbles me every time. I have to check my own heart when they are here because I am supposed to be leading by example but they are SLAYING me in the “selflessness” department.
    Anyway, thank you for articulating what I know to be true. 100%.

    • jamiamerine on October 11, 2015 at 1:23 am

      Blessings on your work. ❤️

  227. 31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Stop Saying: Day 11 “Stop Telling Me to Stop Drinking Coffee” | sacredgroundstickyfloors on October 11, 2015 at 3:00 am

    […] An Open Letter to My Children: You’re Not that Great […]

  228. sally on October 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Brilliant article. I came here from England in my early 20’s and in my first year here I had to go to a kindergarten graduation. A WHAT? I had to get a degree to graduate anything in England! The culture of excess. I do love the celebratory spirit in this country but at times it is taken a little too far. ( I say “little” with tongue in cheek!) Keep writing, you are very talented!

  229. Deb on October 12, 2015 at 6:50 am

    I don’t believe in building children up so much that they have a hard time fitting their heads through the door. But I can’t help thinking how blessed Kylie is to have a family that loves her so much. I have a similar family. We had the matching t-shirts, the cameras, and the balloon bouquets at the recitals, the shows, and the graduations. We also had the matching t-shirts, the cameras, and the balloon bouquets during the cancer treatment, the funeral, and the anniversary memorials. I have watched many parents who have treated their kids quite the opposite and instill in their children that they aren’t special. The kids then look to fill that emptiness elsewhere. No, don’t build up your children so that they believe that they are impervious to being open to whatever the Lord desires for their lives. But, please, encourage them, make them feel special, surround them with love, and, by all means, feel free to celebrate with matching t-shirts. Kylie is blessed whether she realizes it now or not. She has a close-knit family that celebrates the little things and all 22 are there for the little things. One day Kylie will rest in the assurance that they will be there for the big things. Also, I did name my children wisely. They have very unique names and will never have a personal item from a museum. I tell them that they aren’t cookie-cutter children, and their names have significance rather than popularity.

    • Meg on October 14, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      I needed to read a comment like this. Kylie is a very lucky girl and so are your kids!

    • Kellie M on October 15, 2015 at 8:12 am

      A caring and supportive family is wonderful to have and shouldn’t be mocked, I agree. But let’s remember how the family members of Kylie showed their love and support. They stuck duct tape to the chairs. Hopefully it peeled off easily. Who will stay and clean it if it leaves a sticky residue? They brought in food and drinks for all 22 caring family members plus Kylie. Not just a granola bar for a little energy boost for the dancer, which would have been breaking the rules but on a smaller more concientious scale, but for everyone! They set up their camera and balloon bouquet in the way of others in the audience. Couldn’t the balloons stay in the car or in the back until it’s over and then one of the 22 family members could go fetch it at the appropriate time? T-shirts don’t interfere with the enjoyment of the other audience members and don’t infringe on the rules, so that’s a perfectly acceptable way to show love and support if that’s what the family chooses. But the other factors? Look closely at how the family members carried out their love and support and I think you will see that there is an element of “the rules don’t apply to us- or to our little special Kkyylliiee, we’re too good for ‘those silly rules.’ Slap some more duct tape down on that chair and stick it good. Ok, who wants more soda? Do you want fries with that? Set those balloons up on the chair, we don’t want them to get dirty on the floor. Who cares if they float 3 feet up in the air?” These are the parts that the author is referring to, not the love and support given to the dancer.

    • And Foster Makes 5 on November 30, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Have you ever taken a moment to think how displays such as this might make other children feel?

  230. Felice Clark on October 13, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    This post has some really great themes that I agree with! Sometimes, I forget to take a step back and analyze how God would want me to love those people, those families that think their child is above others. Someone commented earlier about that we don’t really know where that family was coming from in terms of why they were doting on their child or why they wanted to wear matching t-shirts. It’s easy to judge motives and feel like they have superficial intentions. God has been weighing on my heart to try and see these families as he would. To show humility and love in spite of their attitudes and actions. And to continue to strive to seek God in raising my children and surrendering them before God. I can easily fall into the social norms of wanting my children to be amazing and perfect even when I know that perfection leads to self judgment and lots of other inadequacies. I loved how you said their has to be balance and I know for myself that I found Jesus in the midst of despair, loneliness and when I didn’t think I was amazing. So often, I wonder if our society is trying to fill a void that is meant for Jesus by puffing up their lives and their children. When in reality, behind the scenes, they are truly feeling inadequate and depressed.

  231. […] 4. That they’ll know their major.  I love actively exploring and understanding alongside my kids as they sift through their unique, God-given makeup. From the time they’re young, I’d love for them to generally understand their personality profile, to own pored-through stacks of books on subjects they love, to have experimented with “tasters” of careers that fascinate them. Hopefully that will help them clarify what to do with all the ways they’re made. For some kids, I realize that takes longer than others; seriously–my kids can change their major six times (as long as it works with the ol’ pocketbook). But I love the adventure to find just what edges of God’s image they bear–and pray He’ll help us pursue its fullness (click here for more ideas to help kids grow into their giftedness). 5. More than inflated self-esteem, they’ll embrace self-forgetfulness. Of course I want to regularly, genuinely praise my children, identifying the image of God in them and acting as their biggest fan, the most intentional advocate for their gifts. But honestly, I don’t want my kids’ value built on their performance, or on how they look in a pair of jeans, or how well they can strike in soccer. I think this blogger says it well: […]

  232. C baker on October 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    So while you were busy writing down everybody’s names and counting up the members of the family, why didn’t you complain to an usher or to the director of the dance school?

    Seems to me like that would have been a lot more loving than holding in your feelings and then venting your spleen online.

  233. Tammy on October 27, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I thought I was the only one out there thinking this!

  234. David C Ryder on October 29, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    @ C baker: Oh right, like you would confront a group of nutbags who think the rules don’t apply to them at a kid’s recital, one lady against a family of 22 who would in all probability be very willing to get into a shouting match in defense of their perfect kkyylliiee. Unless you have the bravery of John Wayne, you would’ve done the same thing – sat there, watched in disbelief, and don’t make waves, for the kid’s sake’s if nothing else. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback and criticize from the safety of an anonymous keyboard. @Jami – I have a disabled kid and I’m guilty of overly praising his mediocre art, and his teacher’s very generous C’s and C- grades, but my excuse is this: when he grows up to the harsh reality of adult life, and how tough it is in this world even if you’re not disabled, and everybody will be very willing to tell him how bad he does a job, or how stupid he is and girls will go “ewwww” when he gets up the nerve to ask one out, at least he will remember that his dad loved him as much as God loves me, and I hope that is some solace to him on his bad days, which I’m sure there are going to be plenty of. Because he IS cool, and brave and wonderful and kind, and I love him so much it kills me to think how hard and cruel it’s going to be for him when he finds out one day that people in general don’t like being around people like him. He’ll always be able to look back fondly on his childhood, and remember the love his dad and mom gave to him every day. If you are interested here’s his story – I need to update the page, but life is relentless lol:

  235. Lauren on November 8, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever read an article that has so accurately articulated the entitlement mindset of today’s society. This gave me goosebumps. You’re my hero!

  236. Author Tamie Dearen on November 23, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Awesome! My first time to read your blog. I’m a mom of two girls, both of whom grew up to be awesome, sweet followers of Christ. I couldn’t ask for more. They did lots of other things I could brag about, but nothing else that really matters. Yes, yes, yes… I agree with you. Keep it up. You’re on the right track. (Oh, and my mom left an “m” out of my name, so I never got the personalized coffee mug until I became, “MOM”. :D)

  237. And Foster Makes 5 on November 30, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Nothing to say that others haven’t articulated better than I could, but thank you for this approach. If only future generations would be made up of individuals raised like your children.

  238. […] post was originally published at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. For more, follow Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on Facebook! Share on Facebook (function(d){ […]

  239. Don’t Pick Me… – Sacred Ground Sticky Floors on January 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    […] have written about this.  I have preached it.  I have reminded my babies they aren’t that great.  They came to serve, not be served, and now as they enter into the ranks of adulthood that looks […]

  240. Happy Valentine Day Poems 2016 on January 19, 2016 at 3:19 pm


    [… ]very couple of sites that take place for being extensive underneath, through our mindset are unquestionably properly worthwhile verifying out[… ]…

  241. Jami the Brave – Mom's Going to Madagascar on February 11, 2016 at 11:21 am

    […] on my 44th birthday, after a 6-week reprieve from my tiny blog, I wrote, “An open letter to my children: You’re not that great.”  And all my fears came in like a roaring lion. […]

  242. […] sure, I am snarky, and yes, I called a kindergartener chubby – but I am not Jesus. I am just a mom. I love Jesus, and that doesn’t make me perfect. I […]

  243. Dear Donald and Hillary, on March 31, 2016 at 2:02 am

    […] you aren’t the front runner in scripture study. Don’t insult us. And I tell my kids they aren’t that great. Follow the rules and let the first be last, the last be first. However, neither of you are good […]

  244. A Design More Grand on April 4, 2016 at 3:01 am

    […] A rant on my cell phone – misspelled words and all, took me from 26 monthly views to 700,000… in an instant. From my couch, I watched my words reach countries I didn’t know existed. […]

  245. Thomas J Sheridan on April 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    As a young’un I thought I could leap over tall buildings and be faster than a speeding bullet, but 50 years later, I found I can work reliably and adequately at an office job, undertake sizeable projects for my condominium board, and cook very pleasing meals for my Mum, whom I take care of. An average guy, in other word

  246. MC on April 13, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Aw man. I’m actually sad by how many people rip a part your blog post. I wish people were more loving and kind. It’s so stupid to criticize you for “being rude” or “being mean” when 100 percent of people who wrote on this blog have been mean or rude a time or two (or a hundred times) in their lives. We are all on a journey and I think your message was cool.

    • jami_amerine on April 14, 2016 at 5:07 am

      Bless you. ❤️

  247. Dustin Walker on April 14, 2016 at 9:06 am

    This world is going to be a boring place when these politically correct drones take over! Please keep being politically incorrect. Its refreshing and so true it hurts. Loved the article! God Bless and keep up the good work!

    • jami_amerine on April 14, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Dustin, I think many missed the point. If I’ve learned nothing else, chubby isn’t a compliment in everyone’s house and watch what you post from your phone! ❤️

      • Dustin Walker on May 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Try husky.. That was always my reply as a child. “I’m not fat, I’m husky!”

  248. Nancy Barbee on April 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Right on!! A whole generation of kids has been raised to believe they are entitled to be first in everything they do, think, say, and given. It’s sad. Some, not all, are selfish and bullies. Then we wonder why their self-esteem is hurt when they can’t take the truth once they are in the world. Well said.

    • jami_amerine on April 14, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Thank you

  249. […] post was originally published at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Got something to say? Visit me there and comment! For more, follow Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

  250. Stephanie Fehler on April 14, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    as a mom to eight children, i think one of the benefits for them is that they learn that we need to take turns – that mom loves you, but sometimes somebody else is crying, and you have to wait a minute, or run get bandages for them before she can sit down and have that heart to heart. I”m so grateful for teen kids who will come into my bedroom late at night and talk through things, who help me find the quiet spaces so we can have true relationship. And i’m sad for little kids whose bubble of importance will be broken so soon anyway – it seems cruel to teach children that they are the best in the world, when it’s a horrible pressure to put on any child. Let’s teach our children that we love them – but that that love isn’t dependent on performance. Screw up? I’ll still love you. Struggle with math? i will still love you. Get angry too often? I am not afraid of anger, and i will pray with you and for you until that’s not an issue anymore. And then i’ll cuddle you up when the other kids aren’t looking and tell you about my own stormy adolescence, and how it felt for your older siblings, so you know you’re not alone. Family life is a beautiful gift.

    • jami_amerine on April 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm


  251. Linda on April 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Although agreeing with the thoughts behind most of the comments, in my opinion, this still goes back to treating others as you would like to be treated. To me it was rude of the people to not think of anyone else; but their family. How many other families were there that could not see, they also did not consider the other children in the program and how it made them feel. There is no excuse for bad manners. The rules are not made to be broken and are made with good reason (usually from prior experiences) and are to be followed by everyone.

  252. Aoife on April 14, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    I took an hour to read through all of the comments because I was so shocked that people would take time to tell you how judgemental you are in such judgemental ways! XD

    I totally get what you’re saying and hats off to you for saying it! I have been struggling with feelings of entitlement recently (basically whining!) and have been meditating on that verse that says that Jesus came to serve and not to be served. That’s the example to follow. Thank you for teaching it to your kids now so that they don’t have to learn it the hard way in their twenties (or spend their lives wondering why the world is “against” them).

    I also never had personalised pencils (though I did see a bar of chocolate with my name on it this week so I reckon I must have started a trend 😉 ) but I love the fact that my name is completely exotic outside of my home country!

    Thank you for your post and for braving it out through the unkind comments.

    • jami_amerine on April 15, 2016 at 3:32 am

      Thanks! Oh my, your name is unusual! What does that mean? How is it pronounced. I actually kind of like my unique spelling…now that I am older.

      • Aoife on April 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

        Thank you! It’s pronounced EE-fa. The older I get the more I love it 🙂 funnily enough a friend surprised me with a gift this weekend: a personalised “Aoife” coaster! It even includes the meaning of Aoife: “life”. (the meaning also extends to include “breath”, “grace”, and “radiance”. I embrace it as a prophetic name as well as a natural one 🙂 )

        • jamiamerine on April 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

          That is awesome!

  253. Susan on April 15, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I loved the piece and I have to disagree with the view that you are judgmental regarding the family that broke the rules. Maybe the child did have cancer or some other horrible situation. That does not give you the right to break the rules in such a manner. If you love your child, sick or healthy or whatever may be the situation, you strive to encourage, and you try your best to lead them to the Lord. It is the best gift you can ever give them….not a false sense of entitlement. My son is in college and works in a restaurant and he said he went to the restroom and used the handicapped stall when the standard ones were free. He came out and there sat an elderly man in a wheelchair patiently waiting. He said he had never felt so low in his life. Teach your children they are wonderful in their own right, but never ever better than others and they absolutely need to understand when they make a mistake in mistreating others, whether intentional or not, recognize it and learn from it. As you said, if they do not see this, we have failed as parents.

    • jami_amerine on April 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Susan! And thank you for the story about your son. I am proud for you he recognized that situation with humility… I always use that stall!!! Ugh.

      • Tiffany on April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

        I was the mom of the two little boys that had very thing I did the elaborate parties one time I had a carnival party just so they could met new people we had not lived here long and I hated taking them from their Friends. I told them all the time they were beautiful. I did all of those things made a grand entrance and broke rules and now I have a 21 year old monster I created. I made him the way he is. Thankful he has now started back to church but he still feels above everyone. I did it I take full responsibility for it. And I will tell you the past 5 years have been HELL. The monster I created doesn’t understand NO he can’t accept NO he doesn’t hold to his word. ( that I didn’t teach I did preach stick to your word and remember sorry is not just a word it is an action) he didn’t learn that. I tell you know love them ,shower them with the right kind of love not with big balloons and fancy cars. With the unconditional love Jesus shows us. When we ask and the answer is no is is because HE loves us we must teach that to our children. The wisdom in this letter is amazing. I hate to pop the ballon my son sometime is riding high on but I do. It is hard to start this late. Start early. It is ok to be a regular kid without mommy trying to make them shine. Teach them to shine on their own teach them to fly and to soar holding on to Jesus then you know one day you will here ” well done my good and faithful servent !!!!

  254. Jordan on April 15, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Do you remember those bracelets that read “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do)? I have to wonder, if Jesus were in this situation, what would he do? How would he have handled it? Do you think he would have run home and posted this blog, publicly mocking the family and making fun of the “chubby” little girl with a unique first name? I don’t think so.
    You are correct- rules should absolutely be followed and we should be teaching our children by example. What example do you think you’ve set for your little girl by calling another little girl chubby? I believe you had good intentions, and you seem like a lovely person looking at your eloquent gracious responses to the comments on this page; however, that unfortunately doesn’t come across in your blog post.
    We should treat people with love, compassion, and understanding, even when they are not treating us that way, even when they may not be deserving (although, who gets to decide who is deserving?). While I do not want my own daughter to grow up as an entitled rule-breaking brat, I also do not want her to grow up and handle situations in such a passive aggressive rude manner.

  255. WarmSocks on April 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Very well said!

  256. Jami on April 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    I just have to change comment to say I’m Jami too!!!!!! I lack a coffee mug, key chain, or pencil with my name.

    • jami_amerine on April 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Solidarity #jami ❤️

  257. Sheila on April 15, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    The parents that act this way and feel they are above all the rules should be ashamed of themselves. EVERY child at that recital has a story, and that family totally disregarded that fact. At the informational meeting, the reasons behind the rules should have been extremely emphasized for those who are too stupid to recognize that there are other young performers, and parents told that without fail that kind of behavior would be stopped before the performance, then followed up rigorously by staffers. The person with large bouquets of balloons that obstructed other people’s view or that brought in bags of food should have been stopped at the door and told to return the items to their vehicle. Argument ensues? Give them another printed copy of the rules on the spot. If the family of a performer believes they have truly extenuating circumstances, talk to the staff well in advance to come to a mutual agreement. Or better yet, have your special celebration after the recital where it won’t be disruptive or attention-seeking. It is possible to encourage a child or build self-esteem without such grandiose grandstanding in public.

    Such blatant disregard and disrespect for all the other children involved. As a mother of four and grandmother of five, we all believe our “Kkyylliiee” is special, but so are all the other performers. Without the larger community of parents and children, the little princes and princesses would have no activities or recital groups in which to participate! A group activity is not an appropriate place to make your child the center of attention!

  258. Liz on April 15, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    would your perspective changed if you knew that KKYYLLIIEE was adopted and that these people were over-doing it to fill in the gaps of lost love? Or if she had just overcome cancer and this family was in relief mode? As a foster-mom for medically needy children I feel myself quick to judge those around me, like I own the corner lot on reality, and those around me (acting not like me) are wrong. but i take a breath, step back and carry on about my business. And I remember the woman caught in adultery, and how Christ responded. How less of a grievance to our Father, to overlook rules, could it be? Love those around because they were created in His image…not because they earned your approval by following rules. Peace.

    • Tara on April 16, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Honestly, it doesn’t matter WHAT the child has been through. Rules are rules and there for a reason. First, if they had 22 people coming, they either could have broken up into smaller groups OR sit in the very back….. same thing with the balloons….. sit in the back where it will not obstruct the view of those around you. There really no excuse for the food…. it should have been eaten beforehand or afterwards….. even in the parking lot if need be.

      I see a lot of what if …… the little girl had been very sick or a foster child or grandma only had months to live…… What if the food they brought in caused a severe allergic reaction to a little boy or girl sitting nearby and another child’s parents had to MISS the entire recital because someone refused to follow the rules? What if the parents of another child could not see their child because of the balloons blocking the view of EVERYONE behind them? What if there wasn’t enough room for another family because they used up all the seats? Bottom line, be considerate of others, if your actions might impede the enjoyment of the program of others, just maybe, you should rethink those actions. And maybe this writer wanted to avoid a scene at a recital for 5/6 year old kids and so she did not confront this family at the REPEATED violation of rules……

      One year when my oldest daughter was small….. between the ages of 3 and 6, our church held a mother’s day tea. I really wanted to bring my daughter to the tea, but it was emphasized that this tea was for mothers and their children above a specific age. I brought my mother since I didn’t have a daughter the correct age. What did I see when I got there? Girls my daughter’s age dressed up for the tea. I was upset, but my mother reminded me that I did follow the rules that were laid out. And in the end the tea really wasn’t geared toward younger children, which is why they had the age rule…… My point being that even IN THE CHURCH, there are people that think they are above the rules or don’t have to follow the rules.

      I don’t think the writer has anything against celebrating a child’s accomplishments. I don’t even think she cared about the full page ad or the t-shirts. But if I taught my daughter that it is okay to break the rules because she beat the odds against a birth defect that could have taken her life, I’d be wrong. If I taught my son that it is okay to hit a classmate while he is in a rage because he has autism, and his diagnosis is his excuse, I’d be doing him a disservice. If I constantly gave my daughter special concessions because she almost died or my son because he is on the spectrum, what is that teaching my youngest?

      As for the woman caught in adultery, Christ told her to GO AND SIN NO MORE. He did NOT excuse her behavior or make it ok, because she might have had a rough life.

  259. Jan on April 16, 2016 at 8:22 am

    The point of this wonderful writing was to say please raise your children to be humble servants of God. That’s it. She wasn’t picking on anyone just observing her surroundings.

  260. Amanda on April 16, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Exactly! As my husband and I talk about having children we keep saying we don’t want our children to feel like anyone owes them anything but you put it so Mich better! I’ll be reading this to my husband!

    • jami_amerine on April 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Ok. But I can’t responsible for them if they turn out bad… Deal?

  261. john on April 17, 2016 at 9:40 am


    Great corrective.

  262. Rae on April 17, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Except that you do precisely in this article what you are supposedly telling your children not to. Put others first, you say, serve. Yet, the “first” person in this article is yourself and your own personal annoyance at a family that you know absolutely nothing about. Many families around the world are tight-nit units ranging from grandparents to cousins. Perhaps that is a consideration you should have while “not putting yourself first.” Also, perhaps it is important to them for reasons beyond what you know, since you clearly judged rather than chose to understand anything except your petty frustration, that they all be there for their child–and to sink to name calling a child “chubby kindergartner” is appalling. There are teaching of Christ that are important in this story, but I am afraid you chose the opposite.

  263. Janet on April 17, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    I have been a “Dance Mom” for 6 years now and something that you may not realize is that when it comes to dance recitals, the rules for Dance Company members (Those involved in competitive dance) and those that aren’t a part of Dance Company can be different. I can tell you that at our studio, it may say no outside food or drink, but we will have an area for company members to snack on because chances are, with multiple recitals in one day, the Company members could be spending the entire day there as they have many dance numbers spread it among the multiple recitals. So, our families will come rushing through with fast food and snacks so that our kids can hurry and eat before their next recital.

    Also, I guess I’m confused why we would hold it against the families who have many friends and family members that show up to these events and take up an entire row? Why would you be upset at that? I live in a town without my family and I would love to have my entire family come to just one recital of my daughter’s.

    Also, you mention the big suitcase and makeup, again, fo Company members, this is totally normal. We all have gigantic rolling suitcase type things that we cart with us to competitions and then the recital at the end of the year. After reading your blog, you sound like a bitter, grumpy ole’ mom with nothing better to do than judge others instead of just enjoying your child’s dance number. Maybe you’re just jealous that that family took the time to make this event a big deal for their child and you didn’t bother to even try, or were too busy. I don’t really know your reasons for being so judgmental but maybe you should worry more about how you should act and behave and not point your finger at others who chose to make this day a fun celebration of their child’s accomplishments!!

  264. Ruth Haydon on April 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

    What you said reminds me so much of my own mom, particularly about the C-. She would always says, it is great if you get As and Bs, but there is nothing wrong with a C. C means average and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you are doing your best. I sometime conveniently ignore “doing your best”, but I am glad I was not stressed out like my friends who had to get straight As, where anything less was unacceptable. I took violin and piano lessons and was mediocre at best. I learned to value and appreciate good music and talented musicians. I learned these things for enjoyment.

    Now as a “senior citizen” I still learn to do things and enjoy learning. I sew and knit and hope to learn to crochet and knit. I will never win a prize in a quilting convention, but I will enjoy the process and appreciate the skills that others have. We can’t all be number one, but we can enjoy being in the middle of the race. We are to press forward toward the goal, doing our best.

  265. Shelley G on April 18, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I just want to say how brave I think you are to even have a blog that will be scrutinized and picked apart by people every day. To share your thoughts and ideas. You are human and won’t always write things with the words that accurately communicate your heart. I am a writer and very much realize that communicating accurately is not easy. I wish that people would communicate their input without judgement and criticism but in dialogue, that way we can all learn from it. I imagine if you were to write this article again you would adjust a few thoughts. I completely agree with the heart of your writing thought. Thank you for causing me to think and assess myself and how I parent, there’s always room for growth 🙂

    • jami_amerine on April 18, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Yeah, I had 46 reads in August… 500,000 in September. Sometimes you just gotta rant. Who knew?

  266. Will Sammons on April 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    To all of the people that think Jami was being too judgmental:

    I think that Jami was writing what everyone around her was probably thinking, and (for the most part) she was pointing out their actions, not judging them herself necessarily. It’s obvious that judgement isn’t really needed. The people were not following the rules and obviously felt that they were above that. She was being a bit judgmental when describing their shirts, nicknames, bouquets of balloons, and cameras as there aren’t necessarily rules against that, and it doesn’t make them bad people, although it does make them annoying people.

    I don’t fault Jami though because those added details further fleshed out the scene for us and showed us that she is, after all, a normal person and doesn’t claim to be some saint who never judges others. We’re all guilty of this kind of internal derision of others and I wouldn’t want to cast that stone first (brush up on John 8:7 if you don’t see why).

    My question is why didn’t someone step in to actually make them follow the rules. I personally dislike people that feel that rules don’t apply to them or their children and have pointed this out before to idiotic self-involved parents. I don’t care what your “story” is, when everyone else has agreed to follow rules, then everyone should be held to those rules. Simple as that. I can make up stories to pardon other people’s bad behavior all day long, but it comes down to what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s wrong to blatantly disregard rules like saving dozens of seats and eating in an auditorium when no food or drinks are allowed.

    We must educate the ignorant lest they never learn. If they’re being willfully ignorant by excluding themselves from the rules knowingly, then they deserve to have those rules imposed upon them or asked to leave. When we ignore the rule breakers themselves we are giving permission and support to this behavior and it shouldn’t be tolerated.

    • jami_amerine on April 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm


    • Myrna on April 19, 2016 at 2:14 am

      I disagree with the need to include details regarding the “American Atrocity” family, mocking the nicknames the family used, and denigrating the little girl by sarcastically hacking her name and her body. This is the backhanded type of Christianity that appears so repugnant to so many, including me. As a long-time writer, I would add this: Tell your story – not those of others. Keep your opinions of the other family out of the Web. That’s not kind.

  267. Peggy Perry on April 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t have any children, but I’ve spent more time with children than their parents were able to, first babysitting my younger siblings, then helping my mother in her child care work in our home, then playing nanny for several different families, and fond aunt to two delightful nieces and great aunt to a lively great nephew. I watched my mother handle children, who universally respected and loved her. As I read this, I realized I and my sisters and then my nieces all picked up an important habit from her. She never said, “You’re the best at (whatever) ever!” leading to false assumptions and arrogance. However, she always said, “You did great!” no matter what result occurred. She always said, “Just do the best you can.” She also taught us all respect for authority, rules, and other people and ourselves. None of us think we are better than anybody else, but we don’t feel inferior to anybody. We are confident. We’re not as humble as we probably should be, but we always try to help other people and build up children’s self esteem with encouragement, not flattery. Reading the criticisms of some of these comments reminds me of members of the congregation squirming in their seats when the sermon hits too close to home.

  268. […] post was originally published at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Got something to say? Visit me there and comment! For more, follow Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

  269. Cristy S. on April 19, 2016 at 9:15 am

    What if Kylie overcame cancer last year … is in remission … and they’re enjoying every.single.breath.she.takes?
    Sorry, I don’t think mocking others is worthy of Christ.

    • Michelle L. on April 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      That, too was my first thought. Was Kylie’s “chubbiness” due to all of the medications and fluids pumped into her body because of a disease. Was the family eating McDonald’s in homage/patronage to a company that provides housing at a Ronald McDonald house during times when Kylie is having intense treatment? Did Kylie’s family speak to the dance studio director ahead of time to request extra seats because this may be the one and only dance recital in which Kylie will ever participate? There may be more to the situation than we know.

  270. JS on April 19, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I think the post makes some good points. People who break the rules should be confronted. And at times those who contribute the most money are given a pass. It’s frustrating and it sends a bad message to our kids. Even more frustrating, some of the commentators seem bent on divining excuses for parents whose actions teach their children that they are more important than others. On a side note, I’m amused by those who are judging the author for being “judgmental”. LOL.

  271. From Where I am Sitting… on April 20, 2016 at 12:00 am

    […] So we stuck it out until the recital. At the recital, I tried to be a good dance mom. Although, we saved no seats…  We painted her face and fixed her hair. She looked lovely. A friend walked past my sister and me […]

  272. Katelyn on April 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I’m sure there are plenty of haters, but truth always makes people uncomfortable at first. You are so right! We are supposed to love our children, but it’s dangerously easy to idolize them.

    Everyone else has told their kid he/she is special above all others, as well. We now have a generation with a sense of entitlement, who believe they are too special, too talented, too good to work for it. They expect the salary without the work, the wisdom without the experience, the reward without the sacrifice.

    Love your kids. Don’t idolize them.

  273. Soraya Paula on April 20, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Excellent 🙂 I agree with you. I am trying to teach my children and grandchildren about greatness… we will get there.

  274. Raelynn on April 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I appreciated this article because I’m going through my own expirences of self entitlement. I have two step children who has a mom that’s weighs an extremely heavy sense of entitlement. Everything appears to be about her and her needs….what is owed to her. I was with the boys and my husband trying to find a parking spot at the mall. We passed some restaraunt to go spots, expentant mothers, disability spaces, etc. the boys (10/13) said to just park in the expectant mother spot…that mom does it all the time. Apparently she parks in other spots too like the to go spots because she is ‘running late’. I am horrified by this yet I’m in an uncomfortable spot because I want to immediately say, ‘you mom is wrong.’ The only thing I could muster up was ‘ how would you feel if you saw a pregnant lady….so big she looked like she was going to pop…..waking across the parking lot because we ‘deserved’ the maternity spot because we were in a hurry? Wouldn’t you feel bad for making her walk?’ I am so dissapointed that the boys have to learn that behavior from her. No one is above the rules……there’s nothing that frustrates me more than someone thinking that they are above something or the rules don’t apply to them.

  275. Kelley on May 2, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    You’re a gifted writer & so value what you shared. Thank you

    • jami_amerine on May 3, 2016 at 2:59 am

      Thank you Kelley.

  276. […] You might also like An open letter to my children: you’re not that great […]

  277. Lindsey on May 29, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    What I think is sad is that for many children the support doesn’t continue as they get older. At least where I live the high school auditorium will be packed during the elementary school Christmas concert, but half-full for the high schoolers. I don’t know why that is. Maybe listening to an off-key performance is tolerable while the kids are small and cute, but harder to sit through when they’re teenagers?

    I agree that the family you described was being obnoxious and over the top with their support. They seemed to have crossed the line from suportive to over-supportive, but at least they were there. Who knows if they will be when Kkyylliiee is older.

    • Rebecca on July 11, 2016 at 7:39 am

      I think the word I see in this ‘rule breaking’ scenario is the word entitled. Parents all around us break rules, bring in items that are rule breakers, wear their child’s t-shirts, make a spectacle of themselves. And we teach our children that ‘entitlement’ is their birthright. That leads to children that can’t handle being ordinary. They clamor for attention, have poor social etiquette, and trouble in jobs; as they learn they are not as great as they were led to believe.

      I don’t think it has so much to do with appearance, or crazy family nicknames, or blatent gushing. It has to do with kids being made to feel superior (when they are not.) It creates a false identity. An identity that is voracious to feed. These same kids? They think they deserve to be first, to be cheered, to be recognized, to be fed their favorite foods. . . ALL the time. They are inept at recognizing others. They have been crippled with blinders and pink duct tape. Cancer. Alzheimers. Broken kids. Orphans. Foster kids. Who will even notice? Kids that are led to feel entitled? They are only checking their own mirror. And it’s an epidemic in our country today.

      I am a second grade teacher of 17 years in a private Christian school. I have 5 children. 3 adopted from South America. I am constantly removing invisible tiaras and crowns, and gently replacing them with more useful adornment. Like: brooms, paintbrushes, garden tools, and worthwhile work. Serving others is a choice of the heart. It has to be taught and nutured.

      Jesus was compelled by compassion. May we teach that character trait to our children by example. Loving Jesus and the people He made is constant work. It takes all of us.

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  292. Tom on January 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I agreed with everything except the “C-” thing. Unless your kid is an early-age enrollee at MIT or something, there is no reason for earning a “C-” other than sheer laziness. If the excuse is that the kid has a learning disability, then he or she should be excused from competitive evaluation in the first place.

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  299. Michele Morin on May 31, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Wow, great discussion! And I’m sad to say that I’ve seen the results in the lives of kids who have not received this kind of parenting. Realism and loving truthfulness is the way to go!

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  309. Rebecca on September 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Brilliant piece. It breaks my heart that so many people feel the need to do exactly what you wrote about and turn their offspring into something larger than life. I want my children to be proud of themselves because they feel good about what they have accomplished. Proud is a good feeling but not one that should be falsely created for every little thing that happens in childhood. What happened to a high five and a “wow that was great, you were fantastic”! It makes me sad that we have pushed that to the side.
    I hope my children grow to be proud of their best and to help others achieve their best with grace and dignity regardless of how society views it.

  310. […] Jami Amerine, author of “Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors,” to talk about one of her blog posts that went viral over night. Jami shares the positive and negative reactions to this […]

  311. […] 4. That they’ll know their major.  I love actively exploring and understanding alongside my kids as they sift through their unique, God-given makeup. From the time they’re young, I’d love for them to generally understand their personality profile, to own pored-through stacks of books on subjects they love, to have experimented with “tasters” of careers that fascinate them. Hopefully that will help them clarify what to do with all the ways they’re made. For some kids, I realize that takes longer than others; seriously–my kids can change their major six times (as long as it works with the ol’ pocketbook). But I love the adventure to find just what edges of God’s image they bear–and pray He’ll help us pursue its fullness (click here for more ideas to help kids grow into their giftedness).5. More than inflated self-esteem, they’ll embrace self-forgetfulness. Of course I want to regularly, genuinely praise my children, identifying the image of God in them and acting as their biggest fan, the most intentional advocate for their gifts. But honestly, I don’t want my kids’ value built on their performance, or on how they look in a pair of jeans, or how well they can strike in soccer. I think this blogger says it well: […]

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