Dad's Letter that Tore a Family Apart

Dad's Letter that Tore a Family Apart

After bottling up years of disappointment with his three children, a 67 year-old English father wrote a scathing letter to his children expressing his bitter disappointment with them. Apart from causing a family feud, the letter has gone viral attracting a lot of media attention.

A letter that tore a family apart

A letter that tore a family apart

The issue of underachieving children

Even before their children are born, parents often already have ambitious plans for their children. It is not uncommon for parents to wish that their children would grow up to become successful individuals but unfortunately life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to.

In fact, one father was so disappointed with his three children that he sent out a scathing email expressing his bitter disappointment with them resulting in a family feud. The email has since gone viral online after the eldest daughter went public with the letter, which according to New York Times columnist David Brooks is because she wants to gain some publicity for her new book. The letter itself has led to a heated debate over whether the father’s actions were justified or not.

Related: Preparing your child for success in Primary 1

The letter that tore the family apart

In the letter, 67-year old retired nuclear submarine captain, Nick Crews expressed his bitter disappointment with their three children. In the letter, Nick bemoans over his children’s broken marriages and lack of career success. Here are a few key excerpts of the almost 700 word email taken from an article on the Blaze:
“We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news of our own children and grandchildren. I wonder if you realise how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us.”

“Each of you is well able to earn a comfortable living and provide for your children, yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement. Far from your children being able to rely on your provision, they are faced with needing to survive their introduction to life with you as parents.”

“It makes us weak that so many of these events are copulation-driven, and then helplessly to see these lovely little people being so woefully let down by you, their parents.”

“I can now tell you that I for one […] have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children’s underachievement and domestic ineptitudes.”

Unsurprisingly, two of Nick’s children are no longer on speaking terms with their parents. Their eldest daughter, Emily who is a 40-year old formerly divorced mother of three living in France with her French doctor husband is the only one still in contact with her parents. Nick’s 35-year old son Fred Crews who was formerly divorced but recently remarried has stated that he will not speak to his parents unless they apologise for the insulting letter.

Related: How good a father are you?


Why Nick sent out the letter

According to an article published on Mail Online, both Nick Crews and his wife continued to stand by the contents of the letter. Nick’s wife, Sarah spoke out in defence of her husband’s letter saying “An email was the right way to go because they absolutely took notice of something there in black and white.”

Nick Crews argues that considering the fact that his children were educated in private schools, they should have achieved a lot more in their careers. Emily is now working as a translator for a publisher in France while Nick’s son, Fred is currently working in a taxi office but has worked other jobs before including a pizza delivery driver. Nick’s youngest daughter is now working at a shop but Nick laments that considering the fact that she is a University graduate with a degree in Marine Studies, she should be aiming higher.

Nick says ‘I am not snobbish about delivering pizzas for a living or working in a shop, but if you’ve had a good education don’t you have an obligation to your own children to put it to use?” The failure of his children to live up to his expectations have caused disappointment and embarrassment to Nick, especially when talking to his friends. Nick says “That makes me weep, especially when you hear other people, our friends, talking about their children who are paragons, when I can’t give any good news.”

Nick’s supporters

Nick’s email has drawn support from many people who approved his no-nonsense tough love approach. According to a piece published on Today Mums, commentator null agrees with Nick saying “As a parent of grown up children I have to say I agree, all I seem to get on a daily basis is moaning yet they don’t seem to do anything to help themselves just dump it all in my lap!!!” Another commentator Ruckus also approved of the letter saying “I agree with Dad. He gave these children advantages most kinds could only dream of. After they were on their own it is their life to live. They should not be “dumping” their problems on their aging parents.”

What the children has to say

Fred Crews is perhaps the most outspoken against his father’s letter, demanding an apology from his estranged dad. The Mail Online reported that Fred lashed out against his father saying that it was due to his father that he lacked the self-esteem to succeed in life.

Fred blames his father for the way his siblings and his life turned out saying “Well, I’m sorry, but you made me. That also needs to be apologised for.” In his defence, Fred argues “I do not leech off him, my mother or society – except for a brief stint on Job Seekers’ Allowance – nor am I a criminal of any sort. I try to keep to the values I have been brought up with.”

Similarly, although Emily Crews has forgiven her father, she has also voiced her objections to some of the insults made in the letter. “None of us has been a drain on the State, none of us has got into drugs or done anything bad,” his oldest daughter, Emily Crews-Montes, told the Daily Mail. “None of us is lazy or has asked them for money. We’ve been no trouble to him financially or socially. My father’s problem is disappointment.”

What the critics have to say

Furthermore, Today Moms reported that many others have also criticised the father for his unnecessarily rough and blunt letter. None of his children have committed any crimes or done anything inherently wrong apart from failing to live up to their father’s expectations. Instead of motivating his children to be more successful as originally intentioned by the father, the letter seems to have only created a completely unnecessary family feud.


Related: 8 ways to be a better parent


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Written by

Sean Foo

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