Meet Michelle and Dan Hamill of TLC’s Our Little Family!

our-little-family-tlc Lori Acken

One of 6-year-old Jack Hamill’s toddler twin sisters wants him to turn the television down. Right now. She’s not going to tell him again — which she informs him in a voice that handily drowns out the offending appliance in the first place. It’s one of several amusing interruptions in the chat I’m having with the kids’ parents, Dan and Michelle Hamill, who — along with their adorable, tow-headed brood — are the stars of TLC’s Our Little Family, which premieres Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 10/9CT.

Dan and Michelle Hamill and their kids, Cate, CeCe and Jack star in TLC's Our Little Family
Dan and Michelle Hamill and their kids, Cate, CeCe and Jack star in TLC’s Our Little Family. Photo: TLC

All five of the Hamills live with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and throughout the series, Dan, a  48-year-old professional woodworker, and Michelle, 40, tap into their own experiences to help their kids adapt to the world around them while celebrating family milestones and events, and everyday ups and downs. I caught with the Hamills to talk about their family and their hopes for the series.

MORE: We talk Our Little Family Season 2 with Dan and Michelle Hamill!

Channel Guide Magazine: Let’s start with how you because a family in the first place. What’s the love story?

Dan: We met an event. Little People of America has an annual national event but then there are smaller regional events in the spring and fall and we met at a regional in New Jersey. That was the first Little People event I ever went to. She’s from Maryland and I’m from Canada, so we became friends at first. We had mutual friends and we hung around a lot and dated other people for maybe two years and then at some point we started dating and the rest is history. Engagement, marriage, kids …

CGM: … and a TV show! Tell me how the series came to be.

Dan: The people at Discovery Communications posted something on Facebook that they were looking for a little person contractor and a friend of mine posted my name. They asked for my permission to call me and they did. We talked on Skype and they sent people out to speak to us. I guess they liked what they saw and wanted to share it with America!

CGM: Did either of you have initial hesitations about opening your lives with the cameras?

Michelle: Well, we have three kids. The girls are too young to realize what is going on, so my main concern was for my son Jack because his life is going to be out there and he’s in kindergarten and what people might say and comment and things like that. He was my No. 1 concern

CGM: Did it help knowing that TLC’s The Little Couple and Little People Big World have been so well done and well received?

Michelle: Oh, of course! That’s the best thing. Because of those two shows and how wonderfully they have been done, I was almost positive that this show would go in the same direction. But I’ve never really had my life out there so at the same time, that was my concern. And then, as I thought more about, Jack is in kindergarten and for all those moms out there who have little-people kids, I want them to see how a six-year old can develop and become just like everyone else.

CGM: Tell me more about using your experiences to help your kids navigate growing up in an average-size world.

Michelle: It’s definitely a plus that we have been through life as little people and we know what to expect and we can relate to our kids when stuff happens. But I definitely think the world is a lot different today than when we grew up, so that’s going to be the challenge as they grow up.

Dan: It’s certainly different than if you’re an average size parent with a little-person child — you’re probably much more concerned than we are in some respects. We’ve been there and that will help at any crossroads we come to, but we also look back on our childhood and we went through it relatively unscathed. Of course it’s still scary and you want everything to go well for your child and even better than what you had. But we didn’t have any big nightmare memories, so we don’t have as much fear going forward with our children as an average-sized person who is new to all this might.

What we try to do personally — we hope the show will do moving forward — is for the average-size parents that are members of the association for the Little People of America, if their child happens to be a little person, we want them to go there and use all the benefits of the Association. We like the fact that the parents all socialize together and become friendly with each other and provide a confidante that is going through the same thing. We encourage them to speak to us to make sure that average-size parents of little people speak to the little people parent of little people. It’s not two separate groups.

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CGM: Tell me more about Jack, Cate and CeCe. What are we going to learn about them as the series progresses?

Michelle [laughing at the shrieking in the background]: You’re going to see that the girls are very dramatic!

Dan: The girls are definitely more high-maintenance than Jack was.

Michelle: You’ll see that Jack is pretty easy-going. He has fun with basically everything that we do throughout the series — you only really see him sad in one storyline. Other than that, what you see on TV is how he is. He’s pretty great.

Dan: He’s really outgoing and witty and funny and he’s been a great boy. Hopefully he continues that way and stays as polite and as caring for others as he is now. And the girls are unique in that they have a soul mate right there beside them 90-percent of the time. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad. They’re fun together, but they’re also uniquely different.

Michelle: You’ll definitely see there are different sides to the girls, even though they are twins — they’re definitely very different individuals.

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CGM: What are you most hoping people enjoy most about Our Little Family?

Dan: Well, we want them to be entertained first and foremost. We want to tell the story that we’re little, but we don’t want that to be the only story that we tell. We want people to see how our lives are different from theirs because we’re little and things we run into, but we also want people to see that our lives are really close to theirs — probably closer that they think. And people who have twins might watch it for the twin thing. Hopefully people get different things out of it.

Michelle: There’s a lot of humor it. Like dinner — we’ve done a couple of dinner scenes and they’re quite humorous.

Dan: I’ll also be interested to see some of the things that went on with Michelle and the girls while I was at work.

Michelle: Ha!

CGM: The Little Couple and Little People, Big World have lasted far longer than either family imagined, turning them into bona fide TV stars. Have you given that part any thought?

Michelle [laughing]: It’s a little scary. I’m trying to take one step at a time! [laughs]

Our Little Family premieres Tuesday, February 17 at 10/9CT on TLC.

Photos and video: TLC

27 Comments

  1. Just watched the episode where Michelle’s mom & brother watched the kids so Dan & Michelle could have an afternoon together. They were sitting on the deck & Dan started trying to converse with Michelle. She kept telling him to be quiet & just sit. She kept rebuffing him until she just completely ignored him. The hurt look on his face when he realized she really was not going to talk or listen to him when they had a chance to visit alone broke my heart !!! Why treat your spouse like that ?? Made me really sad. I hope they watch the shows & she sees that & apologizes, but I have my doubts.

  2. i was not impressed watching Dan the dad teach his son how to golf by throwing his club every time he was unhappy with his golf stroke. How immature and inappropriate is that for any adult to act on a golf course or anywhere for that matter let alone while teaching his son! and his son tossed his club too!!It looked like he was seeking attention by poor behavior and was truly teaching his son the same poor behavior! Dan……..STOP IT

  3. Michelle is mean as heck. Poor Dan; he is so whipped! It’s a shame he doesn’t have a decent soul to associate with, as an antidote to nasty Michelle.

    Whenever he compliments her, it seems SO forced. It seems that if he doesn’t, she will PUNISH HIM! Nasty woman! Spoiled, bossy, unappreciative, and acts like her kids are better than anyone else’s kids. They will suffer with a mother like that.

  4. did Michelle have natural birth with twins? were they early?
    sorry my nurse brain kicking in.

  5. I do not watch this show any longer. They are so rude to others. If you do not want attention from other people, why do you have a show about your family. You know, some people really like you. I know I did. Until, y’all were rude. If I saw y’all on the streets, I would have stopped and said hello. But, y’all were so rude to those people. They were being genuine when they were trying to talk with you, but you were so rude to that young lady. And, I would have loved to take a picture of y’all, but y’all were so rude about that, also. If you don’t want attention from people (fans), why are you and your family on TV? I just adore your children. They are so sweet. Mom and Dad, you have a lot of work to do.

  6. My 96 yr old Mom loved to watch Our little family and the Roloff”s. She watched them faithfully and watched the Roloffs children grow up.I would call her when ever I saw them on TV and she was so happy to watch even if it was a repeat . She was amazed at the parents and how they raised the children ..how respectable and sweet they were to each other..which is RARE with families of today. I started watching them also. The Hamills are one of a kind …the love they have is unreal..Jack ,Kate and Cece are just amazing Michelle and Dan you are doing a fabulous job ! My mom passed on the day they aired the Hamills went to Roloffs farms but I know she was watching !!! God Bless all of you and thank you for always putting a smile on my Mom’s face. Good job! I love the show.

  7. I am 5’0 tall everyone say I am dwalf because I am not over 5’0 feet tall..I watch your guys show.I love you guys .your kids are so cute.

  8. Like little people Big world, and the little couple the show brings to light the problems of being a little person, and how hard in ways it is to live in a world that really does not accommodate them. But the children need to be protected from the media, and public, too. Let the parents be in the open. Like the show very much.

  9. Michelle, and Dan,
    I am raising three of my grandchildren and live in Ohio. There are not any little people in this area so it brings up the question I would like to ask you. I want my children and grandchildren to respect everyone. I see how it upsets you for people to take pictures of your family. If I should happen to ever see you I would love to say hello. Would asking if a picture is all right before just taking one be the right way to go about it? I want my grandkids to respect everyone for who they are. I do not ever want to intrude or over be rude. You have such a beautiful family and Jack cracks me up ” I ammm getttting soooooooooo Old!” I about lost it laughting. You two take care and I do hope people relize that we all need to show respect everyone.
    Shawn

  10. I am from Ontario Canada and I absolutely love your show. Dan and Michell are raising 3 beautiful children. They are really well rounded. I think Jack is funny and very SMART and the girls are so cute.

    I very much understand that Michelle is very protective of her kids and would not like someone to take their pictures. I would not like someone taking my kids pictures. There are too many nuts out there and you never know what they would do with them!

    I wish only goods things for your family and it’s so nice to see Michell being very close to her mom and siblings. All the best in the future for this wonderful family.

    Sincerely,
    Rose

  11. I watch the show occasionally I do think the parents are great parents however I’m curious… Why are you so rude? You get mad if some one talks to your children or takes a photo. You did a tv show that people all over watch so, you knew you would be in the publics eye. Did you not? If you do a tv show people are always amazed by children they are going to talk to them or take photos of them when seen out and about, just as they do any other tv figure. If you didn’t want the attention why do the show? Why be so rude to people? You are now a public figure you need to expect people are going to snap a photo or speak to your children. Sorry just had to ask and state my opinion.

    • I AGREE AT FIRTS BEFORE HAVING TO REWIND MY DVR I THOUGHT IT WAS MOMMY SAYING THAT TO TOURIST BUT IT WAS NOT IT WAS DAN!!
      UGHH DISAPOINTED AND SHAMED ON YOU DONT WANT TO REPEAT WHAT WAS ALREADY SAID… ILL I CAN FINISH THIS UP WITH IS GGGREAT ACTORS…

    • I agree with you, Michele is rude, she expects people to not act as if her family is not different than any other family but has put them before the camera to make them different. I also have to say her children are as rude is she is, very fresh and smart mouthed.

        • Bonnie: If you knew how to argue (most of us learned in college English 101 or high school debate class) you would know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that we are to stay “on topic” which means that comments are to be about the Hamills, NOT your fellow posters.

          You are NOT the arbiter of the Internet. None of us are required to only post those ideas that YOU approve of, or risk being scolded. In fact, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, without having to be certain that YOU approve of each post.

    • I too am a mom and I wouldn’t let anyone take a picture of my kid without asking ME permission first, and they better have a good reason! I mean, what about privacy! As Michele explained on the show, these peoples were only taking pictures because they are small peoples… what a lack of respect! Would you take a picture of someone because he’s black or has no hair or whatever make’s him or her different from you!
      And I don’t know a lot of public figures who really likes to have their children picture taking… do you?

    • If you actually saw the show-they weren’t famous when the episode was being filmed. The people were taking pictures because they were a ‘little’ family. If one of my kids was different than what is considered normal, I sure wouldn’t want people taking their picture.

      Seriously, know your subject before you make an idiotic post.

      • Susan: Seriously, know the “rules of engagement” for arguing before you start calling names.

        Since WHEN are you allowed to call someone’s post “idiotic?” Since WHEN are the “rules” not in force? Only when YOU want to break them?

        Maybe I would like to call YOUR post “idiotic” because it does not follow the rules we have all learned in college English 101 or high school debate class regarding the rules of argument, which are the same, EVERYWHERE. I know that decent, civilized people in the English speaking world are to obey the same rules, and I know that I am not allowed to call names, or refer to anyone’s post as “idiotic.”

    • Oh. I so agree with you I’ll never watch this show again because of that.
      here’s a mother that has the nerve to display and exploit her precious children on international tv. and actually is protesting when people want to take a picture? ???? the mother has the warped mind here. People always want to take pictures of so called celebrities. no one’s looking at her children as being freaks.

  12. I had oral surgery a few days ago & came home feeling depressed. I turned on my TV and started watching this show. It was like someone had injected me with The Happys! I forgot my pain and was totally immersed with the Hamills’ life . Given that my own childhood was far from normal, watching these parents cherish their children leaves me in awe. It affirms my belief that love can overcome anything life throws at you.
    I hope this show stays on for a very long time.

    • You are right on …they are a wonderful family and to all of you who think they are RUDE and the children talk funny. ..How dare you you are the Rude ones and have no compassion for others….The Hamills are WONDERFUL Loving Caring people Shame on you Haters with nasty comments… Bonnie

      • Bonnie: I will not repeat my post where I reminded you that according to the “rules of engagement” for argument, we are to stay on topic (which means ONLY discussing the Hamills; not anyone else) and we are not to “scold” others for a difference of opinion.

        I realize that you have never taken the requisite class on argument in college English 101 (in high school it is called “debate” but it’s the same thing). So, until you can take a class, or buy a book, or teach yourself, some of the basics means staying on topic. If you LOVE the Hamills, say so! But, you simply must allow others to have a different opinion, if that is their choice. IOW, they are NOT telling you NOT to like them, so please don’t tell others that they MUST like them. We are all entitled to our own opinion in the USA. It is the law. And, it is mean-spirited to “scold” those who disagree with you. The other posters are NOT required to follow your line of thought or they must prepare to feel your wrath. That is NOT how we argue in the English speaking world. And, “not liking the Hamills” is no reason to scold, insult, or name-call.

        You are calling people you do not know “rude.”
        You are calling people you do not know “haters.” (Boy I’m sick of that NASTY word.)
        You are shaming people you do not know.
        You are accusing them of “having no compassion.”

        Good grief! I AM compassionate. I am a full time volunteer (yes, that’s right, 40+ hours a week) and have been named “Volunteer of the Year” for my community group. But, I STILL don’t like Michelle Hamill and YOU aren’t going to “bully” me into changing my mind.

  13. Oh. I absolutely adore this show! It is so family oriented, so much fun.The kids are great, and so astute. I laugh till I cry at times at the twins and Jack, they are so animated and so natural. I am often amazed at the things that come from the twins’ mouth. I pray it stays on the air and we watch the kids grow and so amaze us. Hamill parents …. you are doing a great job! Blessings!

  14. All of you are such a Wonderful inspiration i enjoy watching the show very much i would love for you a to come to Canada i would open up my home to you and cook for you we had 4 wonderful kids 3 boys and 1 girl i am still the neighborhood auntie with treats crafts and presents for all keep up the great work Hamills xxxooo

  15. I love the show. Being an educator for over 34 years, I certainly hope that the children are in speech therapy. It is very difficult to understand what they’re saying. I’m sure Dan and Michelle will do what is right for their children but the sooner the better.

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About Lori Acken 1190 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.