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Parents Choose Kitchen Upgrade Over Their Daughter’s College Education, Not Realizing the Dramatic Turn That Her Life Will Now Take.

When their daughter abandons college for a year, the Original Poster (OP) and his wife make the contentious decision to use her tuition fund to remodel their kitchen. Upon her return, their daughter is shocked and furious at the unexpected depletion of her college money, leading to a family confrontation and a dramatic dilemma concerning future financial decisions. As the parents stand firm on their choices and the daughter grapples with her disrupted life plans, a turning point looms on the horizon, promising to forever change the dynamics of this family.

Discontent and Departure

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The OP’s daughter, at the age of 20, chooses to leave college and defy her parents’ advice. Despite her parents’ concerns, she moves in with her boyfriend and starts working at his family’s restaurant, leaving her path of education behind.

A Remodeled Life

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With their daughter seemingly settled into a new lifestyle, the OP and his wife decide to utilize the $30,000 reserved for her tuition, fulfilling their long-held desire to remodel their kitchen. The college fund, initially saved for the daughter’s future education, is absorbed into the parents’ home improvement project.

A Sudden Change of Heart

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As things do not work out with her boyfriend, the daughter decides to go back to college. Frustrated with her jobs and missing the academic environment, she looks to reorient her life, only to realize her tuition fund has been spent.

The Bitter Surprise

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The daughter, shocked and upset, confronts her parents about the spent college fund. She accuses them of bluffing about using the money for something else, a confrontation that intensifies the already brewing family tension.

Demands and Denials

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The daughter argues that her parents, still funding her younger brother’s education, should also help her financially. She insists that her need is no different from her brother’s. The comparison between siblings and the unequal allocation of resources further fuels the family conflict.

The Offer of Compromise

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In response to his daughter’s anger, OP suggests she work part-time and attend a cheaper institution like a community college. He proposes this compromise hoping to both enable her education and safeguard their savings, intending to strike a balance between both parties.

The Silent Treatment

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In her resentment and disappointment, the daughter starts ignoring her mother’s phone calls. The mother, seeing her daughter’s struggle and the widening family divide, suggests they could still financially support her. This proposal challenges the father’s stance and financial plans.

Retirement on the Horizon

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Approaching retirement age and not meeting their financial goals, the OP is reluctant to divert their savings for their daughter’s education. He feels his daughter’s choices should not endanger their retirement security, presenting an argument of financial responsibility versus family obligation.

A Second Chance Offered

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OP extends an offer to his daughter to live in their home rent-free, enabling her to focus on paying for college. Despite the disagreements and tension, he presents a lifeline, hoping it will help his daughter regain her footing.

A Familiar Face Returns

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An old friend of the daughter, who had initially chosen a different path after high school, returns to town after completing a successful stint at a prestigious university. The friend’s achievements and experiences stir a sense of regret and ambition in the daughter. This arrival becomes a source of inspiration, as well as a painful reminder of what she might have achieved.

An Unexpected Opportunity

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Upon learning about the daughter’s situation, the old friend offers her a chance to intern at a promising startup she’s working with. The daughter, desperate to regain her life’s momentum, seriously considers the opportunity.

Tug of War

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While the daughter is excited about the potential internship, her parents insist that she return to college as planned. Again, the daughter is caught between her parents’ wishes and her own ambitions. Ignoring her parents’ disapproval, the daughter decides to accept the internship offer. Choosing the unconventional path, she leaves her parents in a state of shock and apprehension.

An Unexpected Turnaround

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The daughter’s decision proves beneficial as the startup begins to gain significant traction and offers her a full-time role with a competitive salary. The opportunity not only ensures financial independence but also provides her with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

A New Perspective

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With the daughter now financially independent, the parents grapple with the realization that their conventional wisdom might not be the only path to success. Despite their initial hesitation and disappointment, they slowly start appreciating their daughter’s bold choices.

Family Reconciliation

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Acknowledging her success, the parents apologize to their daughter for their initial reluctance to support her choice. The daughter expresses her gratitude for their tough love, which pushed her to strive for independence. This leads to a heartwarming reconciliation, tempering the conflict that once strained their relationship.

Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP turns to an online community to share his experience and gain perspective. The readers in the forum have many opinions on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responds

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One reader says, “She decided to drop out, and with that came you telling her that you’d use the remaining college fund money for something else. I imagine she presented her decision as permanent at the time.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder writes, “You spent all 30k on a kitchen remodel? That does not help your retirement goals, and she only took a year off. You spent all of it already??”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person states, “It is your money. Your daughter made a poor decision leaving school, and you did warn her the money would go to other uses. You are not technically wrong, and your daughter is facing the consequences of her decisions.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

Another reader replies, “You pulled the trigger pretty quickly on spending that tuition money. And taking a year off school constitutes making a bad choice? Yikes.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.

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