A Letter To An Entitled Pre-Teen.

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Dear precious, entitled daughter of mine:

As you lay sound asleep in the bed I paid for, I’ve decided to take a moment and send you a letter expressing my affection and the overwhelming joy I have from being your father. It truly is amazing and you truly are an amazing kid. I love being your dad. I mostly love that, with you in the house, I’ll forever have an unending supply of blogging material at my fingertips!

Let me first begin this letter by saying, I know! I really do know!

I know how difficult it is to go without Starbucks for a day. I know how tough it is to have us explain the necessity of showering properly every day, or tell you that the gallon of body splash you coated yourself with does not replace deodorant. I know the pressure of not having an iPhone 6 or an iPad Mini like “everyone else in your school.” It IS totally life-ending as well, to be asked to keep your room clean or place your backpack on its proper hook after school.

And trust me, I totally get the devastation of not being able to watch Teen Beach Movie for the 4000th time in a 2-day period because mom and I decided to take a break from keeping you and your siblings ALIVE and HAPPY and watch something that we enjoy on the TV that we paid for. It was just once though…won’t happen again! Oh, and it must be tough being told that bedtime is at 9 pm…on a school night….a day in which you quickly could turn into Beelzebub because you’re sleep-deprived and totally exhausted. Call me crazy, right?

I also wanted to apologize for not spending a small fortune on Gap or Justice clothing so you could show up the girl who sits next to you in math class. I figured that since I’ve already spent the equivalent of an NFL quarterback’s annual salary (plus signing bonus) on clothing for you over the past 13 years, that we could go with Target or Walmart this time around.

Bummer that a thunderstorm knocked out Nickelodeon last night. I really wanted you to be able to finish watching that show that oddly resembles the other 78 pre-teen shows that have aired over the past month. I would’ve rolled my eyes too when my parents explained that children in third-world countries are simply hoping to have a meal the next day and care nothing about watching their favorite Nick show.

You’re right- you should get to have an Instagram and Facebook account with no restrictions or guidelines! By golly, this is America, land of the free! GOOD GRIEF, what intrusive and unfair parents we are…always saying responsible and loving things like, “the internet is dangerous,” or “you’re not old enough, nor responsible enough, for a social media account.” What were we thinking!? If only we were like so and so’s parents, who let their children run the whole freaking world, you would be better off!

I love you pumpkin. Please know that. I’m going to pray about my self-centered attitude that leads me to do outrageous things like desire to watch a baseball playoff game once every 10 years (on the TV I paid for- did I mention that?), or save my money for groceries..so our family can EAT…and NOT buy you McDonalds because “oh my gosh, you’re starving!”

Already talked with mom. She’s committing to a full-blown search of the depths of her soul for a more humble approach to self-absorbed behavior such as wanting to eat an entire meal without having to get up from the dinner table to get something for someone, or asking you to put away your basket of laundry that she washed and folded in the midst of the other 29 loads she did throughout the day! She’s well aware of the soul-searching she has to do. The eye-rolling and constant foot-stomping keeps her on track. It was super helpful for us both to find out, recently, that we are ruining your life!

We are working through our parenting issues. We promise!

Love always,

Dad

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  • DearestMama

    You nailed it!

  • Jazmin

    I love this Mike. Several of those statements have left my lips. My daughter is 9 going on 16.

    • Jazmin, glad you liked the post. Our girls are 11 and 12 going on 25 at times. Or at least they think they are.. 🙂
      -Mike

  • Freaking awesome. I so get this – and my oldest is only 8… (not yet aware of the power of the eye-roll or footstomp)

    • Mike Berry

      Debbie I’m with you. I’ve also got a six and 10-year-old who are acting very preteen like these days. Hang in there

  • Mike Berry

    Julie, It’s true!

  • Erika Daun

    I know I’m out of my league commenting, as I’m not a parent, (maybe you can disregaurd all this in 5 to 10 years when i start having kids, but as of now…) I know you’re trying to be silly but there seems to be a lot of emphasis on telling her the things “you own” as well being exasperated with your daughter rather than encouraging her…and, yeah I know we pesky kids get SUPER annoying constantly wanting things and not understanding why we can’t have them, but this letter made me feel bad about myself, like a burden for my parents. Maybe I am an “entitled daughter”…who know’s but I’ve heard all this before, and I learned quite quickly not to come to my parents for anything, including advice. I guess what I’m trying to say is be careful what message you’re sending, even if it is in jest because one to many jokes about something can set a pretty firm mindset.

    • Hey Erika, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your perspective and feedback but I think you’ve missed the point of the post. In no way was it meant to be demeaning or to place a wedge in-between myself and my daughter. This was not meant to be a vent for my frustration without my daughter being aware either. Her and I have talked about and laughed about all of this. This would not be written if it were not for open communication between her and I. She’s read it and rolled her eyes but our relationship is solid. Thanks again for your comment!

    • Lisa H

      Hey Erika… you are not allowed to be negative about this wonderful blog. If you were that type of teenager then I suggest you go and apologize to your parents immediately

    • Bitchyfrontdeskclerk

      only a person without kids or a young person themselves would say what you say. you will laugh at it when you are older and when you have kids.

  • Nick Sherekhora

    Dude, get out of my head. My daughter is turning 12 in February. This is on point.

    • Mike Berry

      HAHA, hey nick, glad it spoke to you. Thanks for your comment.

  • gmansgroupie

    After 5 bio kids (one with Jesus) and letting them grow to between ages 10 and 22, we adopted a 5 yr old from China… It’s amazing when you go through a year of this process and spend ALL your money trying to get to her, how quickly attitudes change. How quickly “needs” become what they really are “selfish wants” and the reality that while still in a Chinese orphanage THEIR little sister is lacking this or that and how upset they became over it. Elli has been home for a year and is adapting quite well to the typical American entitlement attitude but her older siblings now keep HER in line. Some PEOPLE are far more important than STUFF. Some PEOPLE are more important than most everything. There are millions of children that need adopted all over the world. The funding seems insurmountable but that is God’s favorite thing to overcome for His Children. You might find your bio kids feeling a whole lot less entitled and you will have more joy than you can even comprehend.

    • So good to hear that your daughter is adapting well and that she has some older influence! Thanks for your comment.

  • Lisa Wigham

    Thanks Mike. I can totally relate to all of this. My daughter is 12 and thinks she s 20. She has recently had her phone removed and social media banned as she has had inappropriate messages from unknown male and cannot see the harm in this . The internet is a dangerous world for our chhildren at this age . But I am just the baddy for removing it for her own safety. I live daiynworh the eye rolling and stomping feet. I also struggle to get across the importance of personal hygiene and room tidy ! To her I am just a thorn in her side! As for teen Tv! It drives me mad. Her world currently is totally self absorbed and sadly around material things in life . I am busy getting an extension on the house but she is angry with this as worried less money to spend on her .

    • My new found hope is that as in many other areas of development that my kids were delayed in and eventually caught up, this will be one of them too. There is still hope.