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

35 Comments

  1. Do all the children have a speech impairment. I think it is very difficult to understand the children. I realize the girls are little but the oldest boy is very difficult to understand. Like the show. Yes the wife is bossy but …

    • Sorry one of the twins is just creepy as hell. Shes a weird lil tike.Jack is amazing he needs his own damn show. Compared to that knock off brat Will of Jen amd Bills Jack could teach him a thing or two about being kind and compassionate. Jack needs a for real show. I love the parents they are just real. The mom puts in overtime with her family and loves her husband. They were great at the Roloff farm. Also unlike the little couple they do not play favorites among the kids,they put high expectations and hold them accountable with discipline accordingly and if any of the kids hit mom like Willy did Jen, oooh weee what a serious deal that would be. Love the Hamills they are #1.

      • Neither one of the girls are “creepy” looking! Really? They are a blessing from God and so adorable!! The family is sweet and very loving. I hope you can see through your narrow-mindedness

  2. I love the kids and the Mom & Dad in our little family. I also love the show the Little couple withe win and big brother. Now to the part the completely frustrates me. I have been trying very which way to get info on Michelle & Dan & Bill & Jen. Which is real or just a show. Which kids really belong to who? HELP!!!!!! Roz

    Please don’t dissapoint me I am holding my breath waiting for a reply.

    • Hi Roz. They’re both unscripted “day in the life of” series and each couple’s kids are their own. Bill & Jen have the impossible adorable Will and Zoey. Dan & Michelle have the impossibly adorable Jack, Cate & CeCe. All make for some of the best TV time ever, if you ask me.

  3. I love the show as I do most of the show’s that TLC air’s. However, I think the name of the channel should be changed to TLC-EX for exploited. TLC loves to exploit ppl who are not “typical” or “normal” per say. Think about it! The people or family’s are either too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too many kids, can’t have any kids, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy all the shows on TLC as does most of the population which is why they are airing but am I the only one that see this? Also I would love to know what size clothing Cece and cate wear? Anyone know?

  4. JULIE HERNA DAZ IS JEALOUS OF MICHELE BIG TIME……..AND ENVIESWHAT A GOOD MOM MICHELE IS ……..BE CHRISTIAN JULIE

  5. Why is it that with some little people their tongues stick out? It’s so disgusting & also what is it with Michelle’s hands especially her right hand it turns inward or something?

    • Why is it that you are thinking garbage on the inside Susan? Consider stopping that in yourself. You can do it. I know you can.

      • I agree Lisa…those of you who make ignorant comments are probably average-sized and have no health issues

  6. I enjoy the show, but I agree Michelle needs to back off from Dan. He’s a very hardworking man who goes out in the “real world” every day to face many more challenges than Michelle is facing. Being at work is far more difficult than being a stay at home mom. Mom’s can put the kids in bed or let them watch TV if they get out of hand. Mom’s can take a nap, or if they feel like it can put off the chores for days…. Moms don’t have to deal with nasty bosses, co-workers, clients, customers, etc.. that a person working in the real world CAN’T send to bed or turn on the TV to soothe them. Also, Mom’s don’t get evaluated and have to worry if they are going to be sacked/fired/canned every day. People working the real world have this reality daily. Other then that I love the kids, Jack is the sweetest little guy who genuinely has a wonderful warm heart and the girls are really cute.

  7. I heard you are from Canada…where from Canada? I’m a Canadian as well and just love your show. I love how you interact with each other and the children. A very loving family. A joy to watch.

  8. We just got home from Cameron Station water park in Alexandria with my twins. I told them I saw beautiful blonde hair girl twins with a blonde hair brother at the water park, and then they pulled up your picture when we got home! You guys were with a group of people and looked like you were enjoying the day!

  9. Just watched the Christmas episode. Surprise about ‘the perfect gifts’ and insulting the kids cookies as not up to snuff for the party. Jen would have never, well said this. The two moms are different. I’m sure the money is a great help and that will be good for the kids. I see a new car. For me, I look forward to seeing the Arnolds, they just flow so well. Also, I see the channel went looking for a new little person and found this family. Maybe something new?

  10. Also they were teaching a son to drive so that 2 that are missing from this season what is the deal?

  11. The first season didn’t they have an older child that didn’t get to go to a dance or am I wrong?

  12. This family is fine. I enjoy the show. Why do people think they have to talk crap about other people this way. They are just like everyone else in life just small. And unlike some shows this family had morals and love…….Luv this family!

    • I love the show. I tears my heart out to hear Michelle talk down to Dan the way she does at times. I hope she doesn’t wake up.one morning to find herself raisie three kids all by herself. My advise to Michelle is cool it in front of cameras at least.
      Marie

    • I think the Hamil children are not only adorable but they are a riot. Jack is very quick witted and for those mean folks who can’t understand him they have close caption for all the kids. Michelle is a hands on Mom who is very involved with her children. I do not find her bossy or TLC exploiting anyone. I find it educational to see diversity in television.

    • I agree but. I think their just only jealous because little people do more good things than big people that’s the truth. Little people works very hard & little people need a a big respect just like a normal people in this world. I love their show the twins are so cute.

  13. Michelle I just think your great !! I just watched the episode withe you and the turkey . Michelle you seem so sweet but girl you need new neighbors the one advising you about the turkey is a complete asshole just saying and size has nothing to do with your neighbor maybe assisting you the durst time honey I live in the greatest state of the work Tennessee maybe it’s a southern thing but if it weren’t for our neighbors I wouldn’t even get my grill started but your neighbor was so not nice about any of it I don’t think height has anything to do with a turkey but she reads as she’s a little jealous it shows all over her I hope this kinda shows that I bet she’s a know it all and we girl you don’t have to brine a turkey for it to be good look up Reynolds browning bag holds up to 21 pounds juicy and a butter ball turkey is so great . I hope you and your family have great holidays but that neighbor lord I’ll pray for her I could not stand her sorry Michelle I wish you well on that

  14. I hate this show and won’t be watching again. This should be called the michelle…me..me.me show. She is the boss and her poor husband knows it. She loves the camera and the attention on her. To want your kids to be dwarfs is selfish. This family is so boring compared to the Roloffs and Bill and Jen. Get it off please.

  15. RE: comments on Little People Big World
    In Any Roloff”s defense, she kept her new home clean.

    • Exactly What kind. She is a bossy person who rules the roost. She should be ashamed of herself.

  16. Although I have not watched this show, late last night I saw a preview commercial for a new episode. I simply can’t stop thinking about the dangerous situation the kids were in when they were not wearing proper life jackets on a moving boat. Although I have never taken time to make a public comment about any reality TV show, I feel compelled to raise the issue of this obvious lack of safety and lack of parental awareness of the danger this presents. Accidents can and do happen on the water. If any young child is near open water, they should be wearing individual life jackets to protect them from the obvious danger of drowning. It appears as if the boat is on open water and moving fast. I can’t imagine how a group of adults including the parents and filming crew members could have allowed this to happen. Didn’t anyone think about safety?

    • I totally agree with you, and it upset me also. It’s unconscionable for adults to allow children on a boat with no life jackets on. It only takes a moment for a tragedy to happen. What were they thinking?!

    • She just thinks of the money she gets from the show. That is more important to her. Believe me I know her. Nasty selfish woman.

    • I was also concerned about no life vests…?????
      Plus in one episode while they went to DC Mitchell said No Pictures …. They r tv celebrities now. Everyone wants a picture of movie stars. So why not ???? Its no longer about ur sizes.

  17. I have all good things to say about the “Our Little Family” TLC show!! I really was excited that they live in Maryland being that
    is where I grew up!! I live now in Honolulu, Hawaii!!
    I think it was very nicely presented in which they educated us in
    a manner that we could understand some of the everyday challenges they go through as a little person in comparison to the average person!! I just adore their children!! CeCe my fave I must say not to mention Cate who is also so cute and has a different personality from CeCe and Jack their sweet adorable
    fun loving ,smart son!! He is such a great brother to his sisters and he has such a loving, caring persona to him!!
    Michelle & dan are such great parents that I truly respect & admire! I hope there will be more Seasons of their show too come cause I sure do LOVE their show!! I still am watching the clips, etc.. that they have on TLC.com /Our LittleFamily!!
    I actually have been trying so hard to be Friended with Michelle on her Facebook because I want so badly to connect with them somehow and send them the entire family a Care Package from Hawaii!! I would be so thrilled & Honored to be able to do so!! I wish someone could help me try to connect with them?!!
    I hope that this New FAVORITE show of mine “Our Little Family” will continue on for years to come!! I am sure not only myself would be a devoted fan but many others would too!!
    So All the Best to the Hamill Family I have the fondest admiration for them and hope to be able to send them some gifts of Aloha as they say here in Hawaii! =)

    • Control yourself, karen. You sound like a creepy stalker.
      Not a fan of this show. I’m sure they’re perfectly fine people but they come across as very rehearsed and stiff. And really tlc, how many little people can you exploit anyway?

  18. I’m sure this is an ok family, but how many little people shows do we need? Soon they will be calling it the Dwarfism channel. The Rolloffs were ok at first, but the wife is a slob, I enjoyed the show when the kids were young, but it’s run it’s course, I love the little couple, they are both highly educated, kind people who have real jobs outside of tv.

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.