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Parents get letter shaming them for raising kids in ‘tiny’ California home

SAN DIEGO — A letter criticizing two California parents over the size of their home is going viral after the couple posted the note on Facebook.

Mike and Kelly Brüning are the parents of two boys, ages 2 and 4, and have lived in the same two-bedroom condominium located steps from the beach for nearly nine years, according to KSWB-TV.

The San Diego neighborhood is built on a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay.

The letter addressed to “Mike and Kelli” was typed by someone only referring to themselves as the area’s ZIP code “92109.” When they opened it, they were surprised by what they read:

“Parent,

It’s important that you know that you guys are about the most selfish parents around. Because you like the beach, your boys are trapped in a tiny, one bedroom upstairs apartment. Kids need yard to play in. A swing set, or trike to ride when they want to, not just when it’s convenient for you. I don’t know this but I doubt that either of you had to grow up under these conditions.

SHAME ON YOU”

The couple posted the letter on Facebook with a message of their own:

“Now … this place just got interesting. We received this in the mail today … not everyone in 92109 is solid. Sometimes harassment comes is simple forms.”

Friends and family who have watched the boys playing happily on the beach and in the water quickly commented on the Facebook post.

“Wow who has the right to tell you that? Kids grow up in big cities, in small apartments, in poor or rich countries and they turn out just fine. Having the beach and your playground is luck. I wish I grew up in a small place by the beach just like that,” one person commented.

“Silly. Tell them the beach is bigger than any yard in America. And way better,” another wrote.

“Cowards … not even a return address … just like most to stick their nose where it doesn’t belong,” someone else posted.

The parents assume the unidentified sender was a neighbor because of their misspelled names appearing on the front of the envelope.

Dr. Rachel Milstein Goldenhar, a licensed clinical psychologist in San Diego, reviewed the letter and offered guidance to parents who receive unsolicited advice.

“Unfortunately parents have been judging each other for thousands of years,” she said. “It’s easy to be a critic. It’s much harder to be a good parent. Part of parenting is that other people will judge your decisions. In parenting, it’s important to stay grounded and focused on what your goals and values are for your family and not focus on what others think.”