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Dad Balks After Childfree Daughter Demands Money He Was Saving For His Future Grandkids

Grandparent sharing a piggy bank with grandchild
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Some people have big dreams of having a large family, whether it’s by having children of their own or by enjoying their grandchildren.

But sometimes these people’s children do not share the same dream, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Upset-Guava2589 was excited to have grandchildren in the future, so much so that he started a fund to pay for their college expenses and more.

But when his daughter announced she would not be having children, the Original Poster (OP) couldn’t see all that money going to waste.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for not giving my daughter the money that was reserved for my grandkids?”

The OP was excited to have a big family someday.

“I (58 Male) and my wife (59 Female) have only one daughter (30 Female). We always wished we could have had more kids, but due to medical complications that I won’t go into, we only had our girl.”

“Because of that, we’ve always dreamed of being grandparents, so we made long-term investments that paid off, and now we have almost $350K saved up to help raise our future grandkids and cover their college expenses.”

“I want to make it clear that we never pressured our daughter to have children in any way. She simply knows that the money is there and what it’s intended for. I’ll explain why this is relevant later on.”

But the OP’s daughter did not want to have children.

“The thing is, our daughter recently made the decision not to have kids. She told us a few months ago and even had a tubal ligation soon after.”

“We were both a bit shocked and asked if she was sure, but we also reassured her that we’ll always be there for her.”

“I won’t lie, I’m really disappointed, but not in our daughter. It’s her life, and it’s not our place to impose anything on her. My disappointment stems from the fact that I won’t have grandkids.”

“However, if this is what makes her happy, I have no right to say anything about it.”

The OP’s daughter disagreed about her potential children’s fund.

“Last week, we had lunch at our house with our daughter, and she brought up the topic of the money we had saved for our future grandkids.”

“We simply told her that we will make use of it differently now. For example, I’ll be able to work fewer hours before retirement, and we plan to use the money for travel.”

“At that moment, our daughter’s expression changed, and she fell silent.”

“When my wife asked if she was okay, she suddenly exploded, accusing us of punishing her for not having kids and taking away the money that she would have used if she had children.”

“The situation became really tense, and she stormed out after the argument.”

“Now she’s not speaking to us and has posted about it on social media. We’ve also received some unpleasant messages from our daughter’s friends, expressing their disapproval of our actions.”

“Let me be clear, we haven’t disowned her. She will still receive whatever money or properties we have when we pass away. However, we saved that money specifically to support our future grandkids, and now that we know we won’t have any, we decided to use it for our own purposes.”

“Is that wrong?”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

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

Some thought the OP was being unfair to his daughter for wanting to be childfree.

“YTA. You dangled a huge amount of money over your child’s head that she would only get if she produced you grandchildren.”

“You also say you are disappointed in her life choices as if you only had her so you could have grandchildren. If multiplying and grandparenting was so fundamental to your life, you could have adopted more children, but you chose to put all your expectations on one child.”

“Though your daughter is indeed not entitled to that money, you shouldn’t have told her about it. This way, it really comes across as if you were only happy to help your daughter financially (in a significant way) only and only if she produced you grandchildren.”

“Your daughter must feel like you primarily see her as an incubator for grandchildren, regardless of whether you wanted that or not.” – No_Chard_2305

“Is this money that you’d saved for grandkids something that your daughter has always known about? Did you share the intention with her when you invested it?”

“She’s very clearly (to me) gotten the idea into her head that you had saved the money for her and her kids and you’ve now ‘gone back’ on that.”

“You said, ‘I won’t lie, I’m really disappointed, but not in our daughter. It’s her life, and it’s not our place to impose anything on her. My disappointment stems from the fact that I won’t have grandkids. However, if this is what makes her happy, I have no right to say anything about it.'”

“Your disappointment about not having grandkids comes off as disappointment in your daughter not having children. If you’d wanted guaranteed grandchildren, you could have followed many routes to get there.”

“You chose to invest in a future that you had no rights to and told your daughter that she would be rewarded for giving you that future. She has decided that the future isn’t something she wants and you’ve now taken the reward away.”

“Actions have consequences, and it sounds like y’all both needed to learn that.”

“It’s your money, use it however you see fit, but YTA for offering your daughter an incentive to have kids. She’s making her own choices and mistakes, and I think you should be damn proud to be her parent. She’s a whole ass person who has lived to this age and managed to figure out what she wants, despite what the world is pressuring her toward.” – black_mamba866

“YTA. What is bizarre to me is that anyone would hold that expectation over their child’s head. ‘No pressure but we will give you 350k if you give us grandkids.'”

“OP should never have told their daughter about the money if they had conditions attached. If she chose to have kids they could have surprised her with it. Even if OP didn’t intend it, openly holding money like that over someone’s head with conditions is absolutely manipulative behavior.”

“ESPECIALLY if you tell them they don’t get it if they don’t do what you want them to do. It’s her choice and it’s your money, yes- but it’s unfair to think that someone wouldn’t feel like they were being punished for their choice in this scenario. That is a LOT of money.”

“Does she really want kids? Does she really not? If she doesn’t have children is it her choice or an act of defiance from the pressure put on her? If she does have children is it her choice or would they be used as a cash cow? You will never know the true answer to this now. She might not either.”

“You don’t need to give the money to your daughter, but you do need to evaluate why you held that kind of financial ultimatum over her in the first place and apologize.” – karmacrossing

“YTA. You’re punishing her for not having children. The money wasn’t going into a specific trust account for grandchildren. It sounds like you had $350K earmarked for when your daughter had a child.”

“So she doesn’t have a child. Either way, she rightfully assumed that would be her money to spend. You didn’t say the money would sit until her kids became 18 years old; rather, that upon birth the money is given to your daughter. Therefore it’s her money to spend, obviously also on her child if she had one, and you’re definitely in the wrong.” – SpiceLaw

“YTA for setting the expectation and earmarking for grandkids as if her value to you is only tied to her ability to reproduce. I see why she exploded.”

“If you would give it to her for her children, why wouldn’t you give it to her as your child? Sure, you don’t HAVE to give it to her, but what’s your relationship with her worth?”

“I only have one child. When he was young, I made an offhand comment that I would buy him his first car, assuming at 16he probably would need a car to get to work and need a job to get a car.”

“When he was 15.5, I bought a new car and was planning to give him my old car. It was a recent enough Mercedes in great condition with a little over 100k miles on it. Not a bad first car.”

“He ended up not getting a license. After paying insurance and registration on the car for a couple of years, I sold it rather than let it rot in my driveway and having to drive it to keep the battery alive.”

“When he was around 19, he got a job he couldn’t walk to, so I was letting him take my newer car to work, but then I was stuck at home all day. I told him he probably needed to get his own car because I was feeling trapped.”

“He then said, ‘Well, you told me you would get me my first car.'”

“At that moment I had a choice. The choice was what my relationship with my son was worth. I could have told him the Mercedes was that car and he was the one who didn’t get a license. Or I could demonstrate that I was a person of their word.”

“I chose the latter. I basically used the amount of money I got for the Mercedes ($10k) and bought him the car of his choice with it or offered he could use it as a down payment. Either way it was basically a wash for me. He felt that I lived up to my word and he was happy.”

“I still think he was kind of wrong and was a little out of line since he was an adult now it wasn’t exactly the same situation I had pictured but in the end, my relationship was more important than being right.”

“And years later, he and I still have a great relationship, and the older I get, the more help I need from him, and he and I have a very fair dealings relationship to this day.”

“Split the money with her. Or find out what she wants to do with it. Is she planning something frivolous or is she trying to buy her first home or start a business? Is she a college grad already? Or is she trying to pay for school for herself?”

“If she’s starting a business, just invest in her! If she’s buying a house, 50% will be a good down payment and a nice investment in her future. And if you keep 50%, you can work less and you kind of both win.”

“You can be right or you can preserve your relationship. You need to decide right now what that relationship is worth. For me, I don’t want to be more valuable dead than alive to my child.” – Unlikeyl_Ad_1692

But others thought it was clear the money was never meant for the OP’s daughter.

“NTA by a long shot. That money had a specific purpose, to ensure your grandchildren had the same educational opportunities that your daughter had. It was NEVER going to be her money. It was going from your account to a University.”

“Her life, her body, her decisions. You should continue to stay out, as you have. Your life, your money, your decision, and she needs to show the same respect.”

“The fact she’s posting about it online tells me she has a whole lot of growing up to do, and just reinforces that she definitely does not deserve a $350K windfall.”

“In fact, OP, this sort of behavior would make me as a parent question whether it’s prudent to leave them anything, or donate my estate to a charitable cause I care about.” – tastygluecakes

“NTA. I’m like your daughter. I chose not to have kids either. Yet I never demanded from my mother that she give me the same money she put away into college accounts for my nieces. Because to be childless was my choice and it was her money.”

“This is your money and using for your retirement is your right. Your daughter is not entitled to it and she should not have assumed that she would get it, especially without talking to you first.”

“Also, airing her grievances publicly and getting her friends to send nasty messages to you is a really low thing to do, and the sign of a bully and abusive person.”

“A person who subcontracts her attacking people out to her social circle because she knows she can’t win the argument on the merits of her own case, so she tried to win via peer pressure. I gotta admit, if my child did that to me, I’d be seriously thinking of leaving my estate to charity.” – bamf1701

“NTA, and I’m baffled that anyone read your post or this comment and came to the conclusion that you’re an AH in any way, shape, or form.”

“First off, the $350k was NEVER intended for your DAUGHTER. It was for the benefit of any potential grandkids you may one day have. You, as far as I can tell, made that clear while also not putting undue pressure on your daughter to have children. It was grossly presumptuous of your daughter to assume that the money would be redirected to her during your lifetime once she decided not to have children.”

“Beyond that, you have given her every financial leg up that someone her age could ask for. You helped her cover university costs, got her on the property ladder, and who knows what else? It’s clear that you saved that money with the intention of making sure your grandkids had all of the same privileges as young adults that your daughter did. That’s not something that you should feel bad about.”

“You’re 100% entitled to use the money you’ve earned and saved as you see fit now that there’s no chance of it being used for its originally intended purpose. Much like your daughter has bodily autonomy, you have autonomy over your finances and that’s that.” – pudgesquire

“OP is definitely NTA. I wonder if the daughter had the tubal ligation assuming she would still get the money and that was a way to do it without having to wait for her parents to pass away or for them to accept there would be no grandkids. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never had the urge to tell my mother, or anyone else for that matter, that I had a vasectomy.” – Mikey3800

“NTA. You’re not ‘punishing her for not having children.’ You might be had you set aside that money to give to her if she had children, but you didn’t. You set it aside to give to her (potential) children themselves.”

“I’m thinking (I’m not a grandparent, yet, but a great-sibling) private school, college tuition, summer camp, braces, those sorts of thing. Sure, your daughter might benefit from your gift, but only to the extent that she wouldn’t have to pay for that stuff for her children herself.”

“She’s an a**hole for expecting you to give her the money you had earmarked for grandchildren. Please, retire early, travel, and enjoy it. You earned it.” – SamSpayedPI

Though the subReddit was impressed by the amount of money the OP had set aside for his daughter’s future family, they were divided over his intentions, as well as the pressure such a large sum would place on someone who was deciding whether or not to have children.

Though she did not end up with the money, it’s fortunate that the OP’s daughter remained true to herself, rather than simply having kids to gain access to the funds.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.