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Parent Won’t Host GED Graduation Party For Adult Daughter Who Stole Money Due To Drug Habit

A young woman wearing a graduation cap and gown.
Phira Phonruewiangphing/Getty Images

When we accomplish anything, big or small, it always feels like a cause for celebration.

Of course, not all accomplishments merit a big party.

But notable milestones, such as a high school, college or graduate school graduation, winning a major case, or being honored with an award do.

Most people like to throw friends and family members parties to celebrate their achievements, while are perfectly fine throwing them for themselves.

Then there are those who expect big to dos to be thrown for them.

The daughter of Redditor West_Visual781 hit hard times during high school, eventually giving in to her demons and dropping out.

Thankfully, the original poster (OP)’s daughter was finally able to turn her life around, and wanted to celebrate.

However, she expected the OP to plan the celebration, which they flat out refused to do.

Wondering if they were wrong for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The a**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to hold a graduation party for my daughter for getting her GED.”

The OP explained why they refused to throw a party for their middle daughter’s recent accomplishment:

‘My middle daughter has always struggled with academics.”

“She was in the average classes usally getting a C or B.”

“In high school it got harder and she went through a lot of tutoring.”

“When she was 17, she almost failed out.”

“She had been tested before but it came back with nothing.”

“We learned at that time that she decided to stop, she wasn’t turning stuff in and told us there was no point since she doesn’t do well academically.”

“She also had a huge resentment at the time for her younger sister that was academically inclined.”

“She turned 18 and refused to go to school and dropped out.”

“After this she spiraled and ruined a lot of relationships with friends and family.”

“She had an addiction.”

“Her three siblings do not speak with her and my wife doesn’t interact with her.”

“That’s a whole different story but in short she stole a lot of money.”

“She is now 26 and back on track.”

“She called me asking me to host a graduation party since she got her GED.”

“That I did it for the rest of the kids.”

“I told her no for three main reasons.”

“The first being she isn’t a graduating, she got her GED.”

“No one will show up, she has screwed almost all of the family so they won’t go and her friends are shady so I don’t want to invite them.”

“My last is that she is 26 and this was suppose to happen when she was 18.”

“She called me a jerk.”


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
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

The OP was somewhat divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole.

Some felt the OP was justified in saying no, but also felt they could have handled it better, and maybe should have offered to celebrate their daughter’s accomplishment in a smaller manner.

“NTA, but I might offer a compromise, she needs to try to make ammends with the family.”

“If she does then I might offer a nice dinner out with the immediate family or those willing to go.”

“Her accomplishment deserves to be recognized but she also has some work to do.”

“Sounds like until now things have been pretty toxic.”- many_hobbies_gal


“However, since the two of you are still in contact, maybe go to lunch or dinner together?”

“That way she can still be celebrated, because it is a great achievement!”

“You were a slight ah when you said it was supposed to happen at 18 and not 26 though.”

“She still did it. I don’t blame you for not wanting to throw a party that no one will show to or have her shady friends at, but something is better than nothing if you’re wanting to maintain the relationship.”- Limp-Star2137

While others felt that neither the OP nor their daughter came off looking particularly good, agreeing that the OP’s daughter was out of line for asking for a party,  but that the OP should have found a way to acknowledge her turning her life around.


“She’s not entitled to a party.”

“She’s not entitled to you spending money on her.”

“She’s not entitled to relationships with her siblings that she hurt/alienated.’

“But you’re an AH.”

“Instead of being proud of her achievement, and her turning things around, you told her ‘this isn’t important, you should have graduated at 18’.”

“People celebrate achievements all the time…milestones in life or things they are proud of.”-Usrname52

“Does she want the celebration because she finaly gets her live back on track and wants to be celebrated for that.”

“Or does she wants it because being celebrated means, she gets money.”

“If first soft YTA.”

“Your arguments are valid, yes.”

“But she is still your daugther and seems to be getting better (and wants to share that with her dad?).”

“So maybe do some small celebration for that.”

“If there is no one who would attend, maybe invite her just to a dinner or some amusement park she would enjoy.”

“If it is the second NTA.”- Trevena_Ice

While on the flip side, some felt that neither the OP nor their daughter were the a**hole for more or less the same reasons, feeling that the past behavior of the OP’s daughter validated the OP’s refusal to throw her a party, but that she non the less deserved to be celebrated for turning her life around.

“It sounds like her behavior towards you and her family has been really harmful, so I wouldn’t call you an AH for having this type of reaction.”

“So I’ll go NAH – she HAS been an AH in the past, but this question is not about whether she was an AH for stealing from you (of course she was) but about her expecting or wanting a ‘graduation’ celebration.”

“I encourage you to consider if there is a way to celebrate and honor her achievement.”

“Unfortunately this reads like you are at the end of your tether with her, are maybe the last one she actually has any decent relationship with, and are focusing on the surface-level reasons why she shouldn’t get a graduation party.”

“I think you should look deeper.”

“This woman has overcome a lot.”

“You describe someone who worked hard at school but who constantly struggled and it finally became too much for her, and for someone who had gotten so far off-track, it IS remarkable how she has pulled herself into a more positive place.”

“Do you think she’d appreciate a small dinner hosted by you, even if it’s just the two of you?”

“It sounds like possibly part of her issue is feeling like a failure compared to her siblings, or even like you’ve favored them because they are high-achieving, and she’s trying to achieve some level of parity with them.”

“So a GED at age 26 might not be the same to you but it represents something significant for her and I think some form of celebration of that would be good.”

“I’m completely unsure what you would do about the fact that she has no relationship with the rest of the family, however.”

“She might need to just realize that, after having been SO harmful in the past, she has more to do to repair those relationships before she can expect ‘normal’ treatment from her family.”-owls_and_cardinals

“I feel for you all here, having had some addicts in my family, including one who stole/scammed us all for a lot of money.”

“My suggestion is that this isn’t really about the graduation party.”

“It’s about your relationship with your daughter and all the damage that has been done.”

“Yes, she deserves kudos for getting her GED and keeping her life straight the last few months.”

“Honestly, if my relative who is addicted to opioids got her life straight for 6 months, I would host a party because when we tried to intervene to help her, we all promised that we would have her back IF she got help and got clean.”

“Will I ever be able to 100% forgive her for the things she’s done?”

“I don’t know, truthfully.”

“Will I ever be able to trust her again?”


“Flat no.”

“I’m going with NAH here because I think this is really above the pay-grade of this website.”

“I’m sorry you’ve gone through this with your daughter.”

“Addiction sucks and ruins families.”

“I hope that your daughter straightens up and can keep going in this positive direction and in time you can improve the relationships in your family.”- 3kidsnomoney—

It seems that both the OP and their daughter might be missing the bigger picture here.

The OP seems fixated on not throwing his daughter a party feeling she doesn’t deserve it, while his daughter is fixated on getting one, feeling that she does.

When the important factor here is that the OP’s daughter seems to have finally turned her life around for the better, leaving room for healing and forgiveness among the family.

Something both of them will hopefully realize sooner rather than later.

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'.