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“My Wife Wants Me to Contact the School and Complain That Our Daughter Didn’t Make It Into the Talent Show”

what to do if you child doesn't get into the school talent show

Nobody likes to see their child upset, but as parents it’s important to know when to jump in and find a solution and when it should be used as a teaching moment. Our children will hit many obstacles and challenges throughout their life, and it’s our job to equip them with the necessary tools to deal with them. The truth is that in life, they won’t always get exactly what they want. But what happens when parents have opposing views on how to deal with upsets that their child faces?

One dad  has turned to the internet for validation and advice after an argument erupted over the best way to deal with things after his daughter wasn’t chosen to compete in the school talent show.

I will be quick. My daughter is in third grade and she tried out for the talent show. It is the end of the year show. In short she didn’t get in. The school is too big and if they let everyone in everyone would be there for hours. She was very upset about it and had been crying.

My wife wants me to fight the school and get her into the talent show. I told her no and this started an argument. I think it’s good for kids to face failure and she thinks I am heartless.

I told her she can do what she wants but I will not back her up on this.


Commenters were quick to commend the father for not carrying out his wife’s wishes and instead realising that learning to face setbacks can be a good way for children to grow and learn resilience.

You nailed it, kids learn a great deal from failure. NTA. (GirlDad2023_)

You sound like an awesome parent. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to, and it’s great for your kid to learn that lesson while the stakes are relatively low.

I did the same with my kids, and they are all grown adults who are doing an excellent job navigating in this world. Your daughter will not only be fine, she’ll be better equipped for life

Keep up the good work, dad.


She’s in for a wake-up call if she keeps dancing beyond elementary school. If she can’t handle tanking an audition, she’s in the wrong discipline. (5girlzzOne)


NTA – eight years old is not too early to learn that your talents may be found somewhere else. Additionally, if your wife makes the call and forces her into the show, your daughter will learn nothing except that she is entitled to something that everyone else must train and tryout for (are you listening North West?). (NewsboyHank)

Other commenters shared stories of how parents like his wife caused more harm than good despite their good intentions.

So my mom used to do this.  As an adult I now have conversations with my therapist about how I struggle with failure.  Don’t call the school.  Talk to your daughter and help her grow in her talent.  Teach her that failure is a part of succeeding.  Help her learn how to audition, prepare and practice.  Omg the amount of therapy money you can save her! (No_Conversation_1724)


Totally. I have a friend whose mom did this stuff. It lasted all the way till university, where she would call the school and argue about grades with professors. She would call the university and get extensions for her daughter’s essays. The mom was really proud of herself for advocating for her daughter.

My friend has lasting struggles relating to this and she hasn’t held down a job successfully in our years since graduating. She can’t accept any constructive criticism and has trouble with taking personal accountability of her own work. Her mom totally set her up for failure, in her attempt to remove all hurdles in her life. (basketweaving8)


A number of teachers also weighed in on the conversation to offer another perspective on why parents shouldn’t harass teachers when their children do not win or are not chosen.

As a teacher who has been on the choosing side THANK YOU!!!!! There are so many kids that want to do talent shows and not all of them are prepared enough to perform successfully. Parents who call/email/text to complain are just being a nuisance and giving their child a bad rep among the school staff. If your wife wants to contact the school about this then she should email the person who auditioned the kids and asked what areas her daughter should focus on to do better next time. NTA. (laVoce1986)


NTA. My wife is a elementary music teacher and runs the talent show. She sat down early to plan and set out x number of slots for performers and created a panel of judges to score the kids. That panel then made the selections based on score. She got so many emails from parents upset their kid didn’t make it, wanting exceptions made because their kid is “special” or were just upset. Several said they were going to go to the school board or district office to complain because it wasn’t inclusive.

You know what the outcome is? She’s probably not going to do a talent show anymore and now everyone loses. So fuck all of the parents who think their kid should get special treatment. The world is merit based, let your kids understand adversity and disappointment so they will strive to improve themselves. Support them in those efforts to improve and better themselves and teach them to handle the rejection with grace. Anything else isn’t doing them any favors.

And btw, our own daughter tried out and didn’t make it. She was upset but we helped her understood and vowed to practice and work harder at it. (gthrift)


This is what I always say about teaching. You try to do a good thing (a talent show) and parents have to torture you to the point where it is no longer worth the stress and misery. So you don’t do it anymore.

I had similar things going on at my school. Eventually, everything that became more trouble than it was worth, we stopped doing. That was basically everything that was fun. The vibe with the kids was noticeably different than prior years, but teaching at this point is survival, and we just couldn’t handle the stress anymore.

Even cutting all that still left an unsustainable amount of stress from constantly being attacked that I eventually left teaching all together. It took six months before I didn’t break out into a cold sweat and complete panic when my email notification went off, to illustrate how bad it got.

I wish I could explain this type of stress to people who have never experienced it and the massive effect that it has on these parents’ kids. (jerseybestdancers)

What do you think? What is the best course of action when your child faces a disappointment like this?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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