A Letter To An Entitled Pre-Teen.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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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,


Anything to add? We’d love to hear from you.

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.