Parents only want what they believe is best for their children.
Even when their children don’t follow the path they hoped they might as adults, they still want to support them as best they can.
However, even the most supportive parents must draw the line eventually, and force their children to figure some things out on their own, as all adults must do.
Redditor SirProfessional4024 wanted all her children to have a bright, prosperous future, and made plans to ensure they would.
When their eldest daughter’s life took an unexpected turn, the original poster (OP) still offered her help and support.
Until this daughter wanted their regarding two notable turning points in their life, which is where she finally put their foot down.
Wondering if they were being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AIAT), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not letting my daughter use her college fund for a wedding or house?”
The OP explained why they were hesitant to let their daughter use money set aside for a specific purpose for something else.
“I (43 F[emale]) have 4 kids. El (22 F) Katie (17 F) cam(15 M[ale]) Isla (5 F) and I’m also currently pregnant.
Me and my husband (50 M) started adding to college funds every month for each of our kids pretty much as soon as we found out we were pregnant.”
“I won’t say the exact amount but my husband has an excellent job so it’s more than most.”
“We never told our kids because it just didn’t feel necessary.”
“El got pregnant when she was 16 and ended up dropping out of school.”
“I was very disappointed but I understood.”
“However I was under the impression she would return later, but she has no plans to.”
“The dad stuck around and now they have 1 more kid (3) and one on the way.”
“They are engaged but don’t plan to marry until they can afford it.”
“They were doing okay financially for a while but due to the market right now they’ve been struggling because El can’t get a job since she doesn’t have a diploma so we’ve been loaning them money.”
“Katie is a senior and just got accepted into college, we’ve been setting everything up and obviously she knows about the fund now.”
“Katie and El were talking and she was telling El about the school and El asked how she was planning on paying for it.”
“Katie responded ‘my college fund’ I was in the room while they were talking and this made me panic.”
“We had just planned on splitting it between the remaining four since we knew they were going to college.”
“El asked me if they all had one and I wasn’t going to lie, so I said yes.”
“She got really excited and went to call her fiancé and tell him the good news.”
“I was confused and told her she couldn’t have the money, she asked why and I said it’s for school.”
“She got upset and left my house.”
“The next day I get a call from El, she was crying and begging me to let her have the funds so she could finally afford a down payment and maybe even a wedding.”
“I told her she could have the money if she went back to school and whatever money was left over she could use for whatever she wanted.”
“She got super mad and started yelling at me and saying it’s her money.”
“I told her that it was MY money and those were my conditions and she hung up.”
“Now we are being harassed by her fiancé’s family, they aren’t as fortunate as us, calling us a**holes and a lot of other names.”
“Saying it’s all gonna go to waste if she doesn’t use it, were setting her up for failure, etc.”
“Now I’m wondering if I’m the a**hole because my dad said we should give her the money as we ‘saved it for her after all’.”
“So am I the a**hole?”
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, it was generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for declining to let her El use her college fund to pay for her wedding or as a downpayment.
A number of people pointed out how depending on the type of savings account it is, El might not be legally allowed to use that money for anything other than her college tuition.
“Is the college $$$ in a 529 fund?”
“If so, there are restrictions on how that $$ is spent as it is only for books, tuition & anything else related to cost of school.”
“If it’s just $$$ in bank account then it’s up to you to decide how that $& should be spent.”
“The $$ can be for your grand kids college fund instead.”- 5nl007
“How is the money set up?”
“Is it in a 529?”
“That can only be used for college/educational expenses or it’s a HUGE penalty.”
“In that case, directing it towards the other kids makes sense, even if you direct it towards HER three kids so they will have an established college fund they likely won’t have otherwise.”
“At the end of the day, it’s your money to do with as you please, but it may damage your daughter’s relationship with you depending on how you spend it.”- EntertainmentKind252
Others felt that it was unreasonable of El to demand even more money from her parents, as they were already offering her and her family considerable financial support already, with some wondering if doing so might start a trend with the rest of her children.
“OP is already loaning El money without knowing when or if she will pay her back.”
“If she does give her money, it should be with a plan to make El more financially stable.”
“But El is not asking for that.”
“This is El & her bf’s situation:”
“They owe El’s parents money and rely on them for loans.”
“They will soon have another child to support, making that 3 kids.”
“They cannot afford to get married.”
“El lacks the qualifications to get a job.”
“Despite this, El’s demand is for money for a wedding or to take on more debt by buying a house.”
“OP is not obligated to simply give her kids money.”
“She had a purpose in mind.”
“She could, and probably should, adapt that based on El’s situation but it’s understandable that she wouldn’t want the college fund to be spent like it’s a windfall.”
“It’s an investment.”
“El shouldn’t be looking short term but at what she and her bf need to support their family.”
“If she doesn’t have her GED, she should get it.”
“If there’s technical or other training they could benefit from, they should pursue that.”
“If a courthouse wedding means they can better support their family, they should do that too.”-Mermaidtoo
“Choices have consequences.”
“And you were specific about what it was for.”- Aiyokusama
“If OP basically buys one of her kids a house instead of school.”
“Who’s to say the others won’t choose the same thing?”- Aderyn-Bach
“A GED is affordable and doable.”
“She’s choosing to keep having kids she can’t afford.”
“She doesn’t need a wedding, she needs a reality check.”
“If she was putting forth minimal effort to better her life it would be reasonable to ask for some money.”
“A fancy party does nothing to feed and clothe her kids.”
“You offered her what’s left from the fund if she goes to school.”
“She’s decided that school isn’t important, save her funds for the grandkids.”- Odd_Trifle_2604
“That money is for her future, and she just isn’t working on having one.”- helendestroy
“It’s your, and your husband’s, money.”
“If it’s to be used for education, that’s your perogative.”
“It’s not her money.”
“End of story.”
“But also, how are they going to pay the mortgage on the house, and the taxes, insurance, repairs, etc., when they are already struggling financially, about to have three kids under 4 years old, and she can’t get a job because she hasn’t gotten around to getting a GED or any kind of other education or job training?”
“Is taking on a huge financial responsibilty going to magically help them pay their bills and stop borrowing money from you?”
“I know rent is getting crazy in some areas but homeownership ain’t exactly cheap and there can be big ticket surprise repairs- whose gonna pick up the tab if that happens?”
‘I’m guessing you and your husband.”
“Her getting angry and yelling that your money is in fact her money is crazy entitlement.”
“Especially given how much it sounds like you and your husband have already helped her.”
Others suggested that even if the OP didn’t give the money to El for her wedding or a downpayment, they should try and reallocate it so that El and her family still benefit from it.
“NTA but instead of spreading it to your other kids, maybe you should save that money for El’s kid’s college funds.”
“Clearly she and her husband are not in a position to do that for their children.”
“That way, you’re not making her feel unsupported.”- Beautifulhestia
“I mean the way I see it, OP is still offering to pay for an education at any time for their daughter.”
“That seems more than generous.”
“Maybe save that college fund for the grandkids if your daughter never goes.”– cobaltaureus
It’s understandable for El to be frustrated, knowing her parents had money set aside for her that she might now never get to use.
However, that money was set aside for a specific purpose.
And though it might not happen any time soon, El still might get to use that money for that specific purpose, as there is no time limit to education.
Here’s hoping an open, and civil, family meeting can resolve this issue.