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College Student ‘Humiliated’ After Parent Forces Them To Tell Family They Lied About Graduating

A girl wearing a graduation cap and gown.
Boy_Anupong/Getty Images

While “honestly is always the best policy,” more often than not, being honest can be extremely difficult.

Particularly if you know that being honest will likely result in pain or disappointment to those closest to you.

Even so, the truth always has a way of getting out, and the longer you withhold information or deceive friends and family, their harm and anger from discovering the truth will only grow.

Redditor Puzzleheaded_Tea4045 was very excited about her daughter’s impending college graduation and was planning a big party to celebrate, inviting family from near and far.

Unfortunately, the original poster (OP) would discover that the party could not take place, owing to her daughter neglecting to tell her a rather important piece of information.

Furious by her daughter’s deceit, the OP felt there was only one appropriate consequence for her daughter’s actions.

Wondering if she was going too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for ‘humiliating’ my daughter for making her tell her relatives that she isn’t graduating and paying me back for the all rental stuff.”

The OP explained why the graduation party she planned for her daughter needed to be canceled and why she felt the need to hold her daughter accountable:

“My daughter was supposed to graduate college this semester.”

‘We have been talking about her graduation party for basically seven months.”

“What she wanted to do and who to invite.”

“We have already sent out the invites and multiple relatives have booked flights to come up.”

“The issues is my daughter isn’t graduating.”

“She lied to everyone for at least four months.’

“She failed a class she needed to graduate last semester and didn’t inform anyone.”

“She told us this yesterday: the party is in about a month, and everything has been paid for already.”

“So I informed her she needs to call all her relatives and explain the situation.”

“If they can’t get a refund for their flights, I expect her to offer to pay them back.”

“I also informed her she needs to pay back the rental price since I can’t get a refund for some stuff.”

“This resulted in a huge argument, and she is calling me a jerk for humiliating her.”

“I explained that it is her fault and if she had informed us months ago, this wouldn’t be happening.”

“My husband thinks I am being a bit harsh but is sticking with me.”

“She knew she failed the class by break, the first week of December.”

“She had all December, January, February, and this March to inform us and didn’t.”

“She continues to plan with us for the graduation party and never informed us she wasn’t graduating.”

“It was a core class, offered once a year.”

“She will need to take it in the fall.”

“She knew she wasn’t graduating.”

“The school isn’t letting her walk. She will have to walk at the December one.”

“Multiple people are asking what I would have done if she informed me.”

“I would have moved to the party and helped her figure out how to make the best out of the extra semester.”

“Probably would have looked into if she can add a quick minor, but can’t do that now since most of the summer classes have been filled.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, they generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for making her daughter call her family to tell them she wasn’t graduating.

Some agreed that if the OP’s daughter shouldn’t have lied to her, they felt the OP’s punishment was too harsh, and she badly overreacted.

They acknowledged that her daughter probably lied to her out of shame and embarrassment, finding everyone to be at fault.


“I was a few credits shy but walked at my graduation ceremony.”

“I made up the two classes I needed the next semester.”

“I honestly don’t know why you are punishing her so harshly.”

“You are just making it harder for her to open up to you in the future.”- sirensong150

Others found the OP’s anger completely justified, agreeing that her daughter had plenty of time to tell her the truth and there were consequences for her dishonesty.


“She had plenty of time to let you know.”

“This was totally avoidable.”

“The consequences of not doing so are that she has to let people know & repay if they’re out of pocket.”- Apart-Ad-6518


“I knew personal responsibility was unpopular on Reddit but, man, I don’t know what is going on with all the people straining to come up with reasons this adult should not have to engage with the consequences of a) failing and b) lying about it.”

“Unreal.”- cb1977007


“Your daughter lied to everyone about her graduation, and it’s only fair that she takes responsibility for her actions.”

“It’s not your fault that she failed a class and didn’t inform anyone, and it’s not your responsibility to shield her from the consequences of her deception.”

“Calling her relatives and explaining the situation might be embarrassing for her, but it’s a necessary step in owning up to her mistakes.”

“Your daughter needs to understand that her actions have financial consequences and that she must take responsibility for them.”

“Her choices led to this situation, and while you still love and support her, she must face the consequences of her actions.”

“She needs to understand that honesty and responsibility are crucial values that will serve her well in the future.”- AllisonRipplee


“Choices have consequences.”

“Your daughter apparently hasn’t fully learned this lesson.”

“This doesn’t sound nearly as harsh of a wakeup call as you could be choosing.”- dublos

“NTA at all.”

“You’re doing well teaching consequences without giving her more to fix than she caused.”

“It’s not punishment, it’s fixing her mistakes.”- 9and3of4


“I’ve been in your daughter’s shoes of having to tell my parents that I’m not going to graduate, so I can definitely sympathize with her, but at the end of the day, she brought this upon herself by seemingly focusing more on planning the party than on her studies.”

“I’d argue it’s even in her best interest to call everyone individually.”

“If you go ahead with the party and it comes out that she isn’t graduating, she’ll have an EXTREMELY public humiliation that would likely cause a lot of anger, too.”

“If anyone humiliated her, it is herself.”- uberprodude


“Your daughter is an adult.”

“Sure, it would suck to tell you she’s not graduating, but adults do things that suck all the time.”

“Every person making you out to be a monster because you expect your daughter to be accountable for her actions is dead wrong.”

“Your daughter knew she wasn’t graduating and tried to pull a quick one to cover it up.”

“It doesn’t sound like you’ve taken anything to an extreme; making her be honest and admit her mistake is what parents are supposed to do.”

“You didn’t say you’ve disowned her, you aren’t threatening to cut her off…etc.”

“You just expect her to be an adult.”

“That‘s good parenting.”

“The people who are trying to come up with reasons this is your fault and claiming she didn’t feel ‘safe’ being honest with you are stretching it.”

“Even kids raised in great homes with good parents would likely be reluctant to be honest here because the fault lies with them, cant blame parents for making her fail her class.”

“I don’t see this as much different than making your kid go back to a store to return a stolen item, in both cases the parents are trying to teach their kids consequences, not be co-conspirators.”-saintandvillian


“I’m sorry but she should have said long ago.”

“It would be one thing if it just turned out she was failing but for her to know for 3 months and not say anything is ridiculous since part of the celebration is seeing her walk and she can’t do that from what you said (I’m shocked the school won’t allow it since it’s only one class).”

“She lied, she made the choice, she’s the one who humiliated herself.”

“What is she thinking would happen?”- thefallenS117


“She’s not the first kid to fail out one class at the last semester.”

“She’s what… 21? 22?”

“I would expect this kind of behavior from a high school kid who got in trouble for drinking.”

“She’s too old for that now.”

“She could have just told you she needed to take a summer class first or just one more semester before you did the party.”

“She didn’t have to lie.”

“It’s important she gets this NOW before she enters into the workforce thinking she can pull this crap.”- otsukaren_613

It’s understandable that the OP’s daughter was embarrassed about failing a class and likely afraid to tell her mother and the rest of her family.

Even so, it’s hard to sympathize with the OP’s daughter when she helped plan the party, knowing full well how much money her parents were spending, well aware that she wouldn’t be graduating.

Had she been honest, it seems safe to say the OP’s reaction would have been slightly more compassionate.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.