Open Letter to All Ungrateful Parents

Black Family

Dear Ungrateful Parents:

When you have children who are going great things and you never give them any praise, you deserve to be called ungrateful parents.  You should show your children who are doing wonderful things how much you appreciate them.  You could have children who have dropped out of school, on drugs, selling drugs and/or etc. but they are not.  Don’t simply say the reason they‘re not doing unbecoming things is you reared them effectively.  While you may have done an excellent job rearing your children, this does not mean that they had to make good decisions.  They had free will to make horrible decisions and live a life that would bring you shame.

Too often children who always get into trouble receive the most attention from their parents—while the children who are doing honorable things are overlooked.  This shouldn’t be a reality in many homes.  Take time to show your children you love them and are thankful for the positive things they do.  When your children see you’re not going to give them any special recognition and attention for the noteworthy things they do, then they can turn to doing negative things as a means of getting your attention.  Children know poor behavior gains attention from their parents.  Your children want to know they have your attention.

Don’t work your children like they are your slaves.  Your children are not your slaves!  When they do things around the house to make a valuable contribution to the workload, let them know you appreciate what they do and do something special for them from time to time to prove your appreciation.

When your children bring home good or great grades, this is a big deal and you need to show them this is a big deal.  Don’t simply act like getting good or great grades is what they’re expected to do without truly rewarding them for their grades.  Classroom demands are increasing for students and their great work needs to be acknowledged and rewarded.  Everyone likes to be acknowledged and rewarded at some point.  It’s quite understandable for a child to want to receive praise and incentives for the great work they do at school and home.

Learn to listen to your children before it’s too late.  Your child can be considering suicide and you not even know because you’re too busy fussing and/or cussing at him or her about some inane matter(s).  When you talk to your children, you can learn about their problems, fears, dreams, and etc., which can help you to be better able to lead them on a path to success and aid them in proper development.

After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that left many young children dead, this should reveal to you how important it is to treasure each moment with your children.  When your child goes to school and you’re at work, it’s not guaranteed that he or she will return.  Every opportunity you have to love on your child should be seized.


Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison


  1. This one is a goody, Antonio – and is guest blog worthy material. Let me know if this is plausible. I have witness my nephews constantly being ignored when they are doing well in school, as soon as they make a mistake they receive all the attention in the world.

    1. Thank you very much! As people, we have to learn to give the good and great things our children do even more attention than the undesirable things they do. This taps into our general proclivity to be a very reactionary people, instead of being proactive. Yes, I would love to have this piece featured on your great site! Feel free to feature it whenever you would like. Just let me know when. Again, thank you!

  2. Thank you very much! I hope more people be doing this, this world is really getting mad. You see I can only post comments on the internet for only few minutes a day. I am at college but living under parental surveillance at 20 years of age with a crazy ungrateful “mother”. There is simply nothing I can do, I hope things get better for us all. Jesus said in the Bible (Matthew 12:46-50 ) He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly His mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to Him. Someone told Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.” But He replied to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.” For all I know in spirit we are not connected the same way as in physical/biological. Your family may well manifest as a butterfly as the Buddhists would well say… You real mother is not always your biological because in the spiritual level we are dispersed.

    1. Surya: It is my hope that things will improve between you and your mother. I will certainly be praying for an improvement in your relationship with her. You’re 20 years old and she’s going to have to accept that reality.

  3. This read is perfect! There are so many things in it that I have wanted to say to some people in my life but knew they would never listen to me; especially the bit about suicide. That really hit home with me and hopefully the individuals on my Facebook page who need to read this will. I have shared it in the hopes that I can help be the change that they need! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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