Father Writes Letter To Children: "I'm Bitterly Disappointed!"

Many parents who have watched their children throw away their opportunities in life may wish they had expressed themselves in similar terms.

Nick Crews, a retired nuclear submarine captain, became so frustrated after his son and two daughters suffered broken marriages and failed to fulfil their career potential that he fired off an extraordinary email to them. He complained that he and his wife, Sarah, were “constantly regaled” with stories of the “happy, successful” lives of the families of friends and relatives but had nothing to say about their own children which reflected any credit on them.



Dear All Three

With last evening's crop of whinges and tidings of more rotten news for which you seem to treat your mother like a cess-pit, I feel it is time to come off my perch.

It is obvious that none of you has the faintest notion of the bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out to us.

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.

Fulfilling careers based on your educations would have helped — but as yet none of you is what I would confidently term properly self-supporting.  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.  The predictable result has been a decade of deep unhappiness. 

I can now tell you that I for one, and I sense Mum feels the same, have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children's underachievement and domestic ineptitudes. I want to hear no more from any of you until, if you feel inclined, you have a success or an achievement.


I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed.




Yesterday one of his daughters admitted that she had needed a “kick up the backside”. Emily Crews-Montes, 40, said: “He wouldn’t retract what he said, and nor should he. In no way would I ask him to apologise. Fundamentally, I couldn’t have a great quarrel with what he wrote. I accept it was too harsh. But if you live in France, you’re used to being judged harshly.”