Dear high and mighty parent

How did you get such perfect kids? No wonder you are bursting with pride. You raised your children right!

Clearly those of us who are struggling with our children are at a loss for what to do. We didn’t spank them enough, hire enough tutors, take away enough or show them who is boss.

If only we had listened to you, we, too would have straight A students, doctors and soccer champions. Oh wait. No we wouldn’t because your precious children are a direct reflection of you! Great genes and great parenting. You have the recipe for success!

Our only regret? We missed out on the opportunity to admire you more!

Over the years, we have heard every last detail about how special, how smart, how talented, how athletic your kids are. Even though you knew we were suffering, it was an opportunity to showcase and offer your crew up as shining examples of parenting perfection.

You even shared the time you caught yours with a beer and his girlfriend in the basement! Horrors! But you took care of it the right way and there was no more of that. You had all kinds of great advice. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

After a while, we didn’t burden you with all the ugliness of our lives. Thankfully! Who wants to hear all of that “downer Debbie” stuff when there are martinis to swill and parties to throw! No skeletons in your closet. You are a role model!

To exhibit your caring nature, you broadcasted every salacious detail of our family’s agony. How thankful neighbors and friends must have been to have someone as well-informed as you to warn them of us.

What on earth would we do without friends like you?


Your dear friend Anne Moss

P.S. To our supportive friends and family with kids who have done well, this is not for you! You admitted you don’t fully understand but you listened. You know a lot of it is genetics and luck of the draw. You do not need to apologize for having had children that didn’t struggle. We love you! 

P.P.S To the parents with kids that have struggled: You have wanted to say this to those “those judgy types” haven’t you?  The ones with no idea what it’s like trying to raise a child with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder. 

It’s people like that who perpetuate the stigma.  What’s worse, our kids pick up their message and feel worse as a result. That’s what I hate the most because our kids are (or were) such special people– soulful, talented and highly creative. 

Next time you get comments that make you feel angry or small from parents like this, think of this letter and laugh.  Sometimes we need a little vengeful humor for all we’ve been through.  I have to admit, I had a blast writing it! (Oh I am such a devil.)

Having a bit of devilish fun with this post.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

11 thoughts on “Dear high and mighty parent”

  1. Anne moss,
    I loved your tell-off letter to all the high and mighty people who are clueless, ignorant/ judgementall!
    I’ve developed radar for people who truely care, and people who I know are going to say something hurtful. I’ve learned to forgive the ignorant, educate the clueless, and turn my back on the judgemental. I’m not afraid to speak about Curt, or how he died. I will always be proud to be his Mother, and priveledge to have had my Son, Curt Anthony Jack Hall.💖

  2. Thank you Anne!! You did it again, opened a creeky old door that someone slammed shut because they are too perfect to have us in their world. Those parents shun not only the human being affected by the illness but the entire family of that person.
    Our two daughters and my husband fell into their shame trap and it angers me. My son became one of those shunners and that breaks my heart. I openly speak for help, guidance and a hug wouldn’t hurt because it ain’t easy. We found out who our friends were/are NOT. They created the trap and the shame but feel no shame. That’s the wall of the silver spoon fed while the food on the spoon is —t and ignorance. Too judgey and heartless to get educated , too afraid to look in the mirror for what they might see.
    We don’t need to hold up a mirror to them, just speak out the truth to their faces,even in the masses. Fingers crossed that some will wipe their mirrors clean, take the doors off their hinges and come on into humble town.
    You are reaching people across the world. Thankful we all have you. Now we all need to follow suit as much as we can. We all can give or help even just by sharing and speaking up and out.
    I wish no one had to go through what you and your family and many other families have and /or are going through.
    We get by with a little help from our friends. You Anne, I personally cannot measure what you alone have educated me in.
    The Gifted Child
    That special one, you know
    the one who is so intelligent, creativity that keeps others riveted for the next show of their talent. The inquisitive one, who talks about things in the world others could not think of or know exisited. But too, The one who is teaching and giving to other human beings because it all comes naturally. That oh so special one that feels deeper, sees through and sees clear. That one who hurts bad but loves so much more. Gives to help, not helps to be given to. <~ Many misinterpret this . The gifted child is your child, his child, their child and my child. Not just the ones who excell in school and activities, but the ones who excel in human compassion.
    Now those are our children!

    The Truly Gifted Child

    Ohmygeezer! I think you got my blood boiling …
    but may my cup runeth over if it teaches to right a wrong!

    1. So well said. Thanks for writing this! It’s not just the perfect parents that get you. Sometimes it’s the perfect family member who says if only you disciplined him right…and the list goes on.

  3. Wow! I hope and pray like hell that I wasn’t one of these parents. By luck of the draw I had an amazing, smart, talented and athletic kid who was adored by adults and peers alike. He died. My other child is stubborn, “alternative” in every way she can find to be, argumentative and hard to parent. I know our families’ tragedy has a part in that but I also know that most of these behaviors have been present since birth. I ignorantly thought she would “grow out of it”. I’ve been feeling so guilty and so small and so out of control. What did I do with the first one that I haven’t done with the second??? Do you have any advice? I’m losing my mind with worry for her future.

    1. Laurie – If you took the time to read this post, you’re most likely not one of those parents! I am so sorry that you lost your son. I do know how that feels. My older child was much more engaged with school and always has it together. My younger one that died by suicide, Charles, was smart but less engaged due to his depression.

      As for your daughter, its confusing to try and figure out if she is experiencing “normal” teenage angst and stubbornness or something else. If you feel like it might out of the ordinary, you can take her for a psych evaluation. I once used the advice in this short book. Took a lot of practice but very effective for the types that are stubborn because they come to their own conclusions. I often fashion presentations this way because it’s more effective. http://behavior-coach.com/EbookMotivatingVer3.pdf

  4. I have sooooo written this in my mind a thousand times! Thank you for reminding me to not isolate because of these perfect kids and perfect parents with their perfect lives. F-ing so hard! My prayers are with you., Thank you for helping all of us to know we are not alone!

  5. Amen! If I had a dime for every time someone has made me feel small in my parenting because of behaviors that were a result of a neurological illness, I would be a rich woman. Love this!

  6. If you can hear me clapping from here, it’s because it’s LOUD! Well done my friend. I love your style, A-M.

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