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Parent Berated By Wife For Refusing To Fight School After Daughter Isn’t Cast In Talent Show

Little girl playing a guitar
FG Trade/Getty Images

We’ve all faced disappointment in our lives.

Especially as children.

What we might not have realized at the time is that when we found ourselves sad and disappointed as children, our parents were likely even more sad and disappointed than we were.

As there is nothing a parent hates more than seeing their child so unhappy.

Even so, parents tend to hide their sadness, and encourage their children to be a bit more resolute, and part of going through life is to learn from our disappointments.

The daughter of Redditor AvocadoSalty2202 was devastated when she was left out of an event at school.

Hating to see their child so unhappy, the original poster (OP)’s wife was unwilling to sit idly by, and demanded the OP join her.

But the OP refused, believing that doing so would deprive their daughter of learning an important lesson.

After being called “heartless” by their wife, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not contacting the school to get my daughter into a talent show that she didn’t qualify for?”

The OP explained why their daughter’s recent disappointment at school was an occasion where they vehemently did not have their wife’s back:

“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.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to complain to his daughter’s school about her not being cast in the talent show.

Everyone agreed that the OP was right in that their daughter had to learn how to live with disappointment, and if their wife felt complaining was necessary, then she could do so herself.


“Unless she clearly should have been picked.”

“And your wife could do her own dirty work.”- No_Hat9118


“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 f*ck 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

“Former cheer coach here, THANK YOU.”

“Some parents will never understand that sometimes your kid isn’t good enough and they need to put more effort into their craft.”

“I was literally almost fired because I told a kid and her parents during camp that she needed to practice and stretch at home.”

“Apparently, it wasn’t my place.”

“When the OUTSIDE judges scored her low on jumps they asked me why she did so poorly.”

“NTA.”- Whorible_wife69


“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


“I volunteer in community theatre.”

“Parents who call and complain about their child not getting a part are the worst.”

“There are 1000 reasons why your child didn’t get the part this time.”

“Our upcoming production had 72 people try out for 25 slots.”

“Most people didn’t get a part.”

“People that had lead roles last year did not even get in the chorus this year.”

“It happens.”

“This is life.”- EvilHRLady

“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.”- BellaVoce1986

“You nailed it, kids learn a great deal from failure.”

“NTA.”- GirlDad2023_


“Is your wife going to call and complain if your daughter doesn’t win too?”- Pa17325


“It’s a shame your daughter didn’t qualify and it’s natural that she’s upset about it but those things happen.”

“She might even not remember that in a couple of years.”

“She’s still in the third grade and she’ll definitely have more opportunities to show whatever her talent was.”

“And you are right, it’s good for kids to learn that sometimes they will not win things even if they really want to.”

“The only thing left to do is comfort your daughter, encourage her to keep practicing and, if there is another talent show whenever she enters fourth grade, she’ll be ready for that one and maybe she’ll qualify then.”- softcapybaras


“Kids need to learn how to deal with disappointment.”

“She’ll survive not getting into the show.”

“By the time summer starts she probably won’t remember or care.”- Live-Pomegranate4840


“Just went through this with a 3rd grader.”

“Everyone could try out, but only 3 kids from both 3rd classes would be selected for the talent show due to time constraints.”

“For me, how I handle kid feelings is always with giving them individual attention (empathy) and being mindful of individual personalities.”

“I didn’t start with telling her what you said, I started with just being there with her in one of her favorite parks and letting her share.”

“My kid isn’t much of a talker, so swings and keeping the conversation brief was what she needed.”

“If your kid is a talker let her vent first before offering advice.”

“My older kid is a talker.”

“She has to get it ALL out sometimes multiple times before she can dust herself off and even hear anything I say about trying again.”

“She also responds to music, so I sometimes find a song that matches the situation, which my 3rd grader hates.”

“For the 3rd grader I praised her for her effort, and did my own goofy embarrassing dance to help her laugh a little while she processed.”

“She likes cuddles on her terms only, silly pratfalls, animal cuddles, and art where she gets to destroy and recreate stuff.”

“She didn’t get into comp dance earlier this year, so I think experienced helped her understand you lose some you win some.”

“After she’s processed a bit more, I can get to the lesson, but like you I wouldn’t deny her the experience to learn to grow.”

“If your wife is still having problems with empathy sans fixing everything, you can share the research on Growth Mindset.”

“It can get a bit hokey, but boils down to feel your feelings and learn what you can from mistakes.”-Randomstopwhy

“Michael Jordan didn’t make his Junior year team.”

“You know what he did?”

“He practiced.”

“You’re so NTA.”

“You’re an upstanding parent.”- LoveMeSomeCats_

Parents simply hate when things don’t turn out the way they want to for their children.

And if this was a case of nepotism or deceit, the OP’s wife has every right to be furious.

However, it’s important for children to learn that things don’t always turn out the way they want things to, and complaining to the school will not teach the OP’s daughter any sort of lesson.

If the OP’s daughter continues to practice and work hard, then maybe she’ll have more luck at next year’s talent show.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.