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Parent Called ‘Inappropriate’ For Explaining Family’s Financial Problems To 12-Year-Old Daughter

Photo by Jon Flobrant/Unsplash

When it comes to parenting, everybody loves to share thoughts on the ways to do it best.

And then everybody loves to share thoughts on how the best way was wrong.

Parents only have their instincts to fly on.

And that can be a tough navigation.

Case in point…

Redditor disappointedkiddo198 wanted to discuss their story for some feedback. So naturally they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for telling my best friend her husband made a pass at me?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband and I have a 12 year old daughter, Karlie.”

“She’s is an absolutely great kid and I couldn’t ask for for better.”

“She’s been absolutely great through the global situation, especially when her dad lost his job in aviation.”

“He started as a lorry driver last march, but that is significantly less than our previous income.”

“Karlie had some understanding of the situation but not a full one because she is 12.”

“Every year, her school holds a trip for each different year.”

“It takes place at the end of the year and it’s usually given short notice.”

“This year is no different, we were given 3 weeks notice to hand in the permission slip and payment for the excursion.”

“There has been none since 2019, for obvious reasons.”

“This year its to a theme park for my daughter’s age group. “

“It was a bit of a shock to us since previous years we were given at least 6 weeks notice – we had actually started to believe it wasn’t happening this year.”

“Karlie’s birthday is in early July, and we had been saving for that.”

“So we decided to sit down and explain to her that she could choose to go on the school trip or to do something with her friends for her birthday, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible to do both.”

“She chose her birthday but asked why the trip wasn’t possible.”

“So I took out pretend money and explained her dad’s old income, vs it now, and how things had to change.”

“But I also explained that she is a child and she doesn’t need to worry, that things will get better again but for now money is a bit tight.”

“I didn’t tell her any real numbers, just so she doesn’t stress.”

“We thought all was well until her teacher called me for a meeting today, and at the time I was like okayyy… this is weird.”

“Apparently the teacher overheard Karlie telling her friends about the situation, and said it was inappropriate to explain finances and outgoings to a child.”

“To add to that, I put unnecessary pressure on my daughter by ‘forcing’ her to choose.”

“I was talking to a mom friend of mine about it and she agreed with the teacher.”

“So. AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

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

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“Sooooo NTA.”

“I wish more parents (and specifically my parents) had been more open about money realities.”

“With my parents, it was ‘no because I said so,’ and had they just explained our life situation to me.”

“I was a smart and sensitive child and I would have been infinitely more cooperative.”

“And I would have learned something important about life early on.”

“The teacher is dead wrong.”  ~ NoreastNorwest

“Yes, and kids notice the tension in the house.”

“If it goes unaddressed, they will start filling in reasons for it that almost assuredly won’t line up to reality.”

“And if you can’t afford both, of course her choosing which she prefers is the logical choice.”

“What’s your other choice? Deciding for her? Printing money in the basement?”  ~ Jitterbitten

“This. If the teacher is so concerned about a child learning about how the world works… she’s welcome to pay for the trip.”

“OP explained it very appropriately by using examples and not the actual numbers.”

“The child understands ‘Okay, We were at A but now at B’ and won’t dig deeper because she got an explanation she’s satisfied with and understands.”

“Kids aren’t exactly not dumb they will feel it.”

“Even see it when you don’t buy the same amount of groceries or cut down on some stuff.”  ~ Dangerous-WinterElf

“OP gave her daughter a good lesson about reality and also about making choices.”

“12 is not too young to make a choice between options presented by a parent; each option involved fun and about the same costs.”

“It wasn’t like OP put a huge burden of making a life-changing decision on daughter.”

“NTA is not enough, I applaud OP for trusting her daughter to handle basic info to make a reasonable decision.”  ~ sailingisgreat

“My parents never talked to us kids about money, despite being pretty poor.”

“Like, I knew we were poor because I rarely got new toys/clothes/etc.”

“And I learned to be quiet about those wants after a while, but realizing that we were poor gave me terrible anxiety about money (especially when I saw my mom sitting up late at the kitchen table with the bills & checkbook all spread out, looking stressed).”

“It caused me a lot of trauma surrounding money – I still have issues with hoarding food and possessions because I was so worried I’d lose them as a kid.”

“I would have appreciated if my mom had sat me down to say ‘Hey, even though we’re going through a difficult time financially right now, we’re not going to let you go hungry or lose the house.'”

“‘We need to tighten our belts, but we’ll always be working our hardest to take care of you.'”  ~ Psychological_Fish42

“This. They asked the child to choose between two fun but completely unnecessary activities, not, like, food or electricity.”

“I feel like the message was delivered exactly as you suggest here.”

“Totally NTA.”  ~ thiswomanneedsafish

“As I was reading, I thought if anyone disagreed, it would be her husband.”

“Otherwise, I thought maybe her daughter didn’t handle it well and is scared of what could happen if dad got laid off again.”

“A teacher telling op she’s wrong for teaching finances in an age appropriate way.”

“So that her daughter could choose which activity she would enjoy more, wouldn’t have even been on my radar!”

“If the daughter went to school and had an overwhelmingly emotional reaction to telling her friends she couldn’t go on the trip, then I could understand the teacher contacting the parents.”

“Even then, I would think the teacher would be letting them know so that they could address it, and reassure their daughter.”

“OP, you did amazing! “

“You gave her the ability to make an informed decision.”

“It also gave her a way to feel like she isn’t powerless and without control in a very tumultuous time.”

“Empowering your child with knowledge that is age appropriate is how you raise a capable and self-assured adult.”  ~ DragonCelica

“My father was also the, ‘No, because I said so’ type and if we kids persisted in asking for a reason we got punished.”

“Looking back I wish he had explained this to us because we just thought he was stingy.”

“I cringe when I think about how clueless we were back then.’

“NTA. Perhaps this incident could be a teaching moment for your daughter to not discuss personal family finances with others?”  ~ FleeshaLoo

“I knew full well that my mother managed the household on $500 a month.”

“She made that money stretch somehow.”

“I always had food, a clean house, and presents for birthdays and Christmases.”

“But for anything big I had to ask my father, or as a teenager, save up for it myself.”

“I understood, and I honestly had a great childhood, it’s never about the money.”

“I knew my mother loved me because she was there every day of my life, it also helped me understand that stuff didn’t equal love.”

“Kids need to be included to understand, not to be made to feel responsible, but to understand that we’re all in this together.”

“And we’ll get by together regardless of income. NTA.”  ~ randomusername71175

“NTA – I would contact a school administrator ASAP.”

“This teacher is so out of line it is maddening!”

“I can’t imagine for a second that someone who has these views should be a teacher, let alone confronting the parents.”

“As a matter of fact, more parents should give their children these kinds of discussions.”

“There’s a really good King of the Hill where Hank explains to Bobby family finances in a similar age appropriate way that you should reward yourself with!” ~ RNH213PDX

“NTA. She is 12, not a toddler.”

“And if you can’t afford both birthday bash and school trip you can’t, and she needs to know why.”

“Inappropriate of the teacher to interfere in your family’s private business in my opinion.”  ~ No-Impression-8134

According to Reddit sometimes parents do get it exactly right.

Finances are a delicate issue.

And hardships need some explaining.

Don’t worry OP, all will be well.