When the Original Poster (OP)’s 20-year-old daughter decided to return to college after leaving and spending time in the real world, she expected to have her tuition set aside. However, upon discovering her parents had reallocated her college fund towards a home renovation, tensions reached a boiling point, leaving both parties at a fraught crossroads.
A Daughter’s Decision
At 20 years of age, OP’s daughter made the choice to return to college after a year-long hiatus. Previously, she had abruptly left her academic journey, deeming college unsuitable for her. Against OP’s strong recommendations, she moved in with her boyfriend.
New Beginnings in Business
Upon leaving college, the daughter found herself employed at her boyfriend’s family restaurant. She embraced the challenges and responsibilities of the food business. All the while, she was oblivious to how her earlier decisions would reshape her financial landscape.
The Nest Egg
At the time of the daughter’s graduation from high school, a sizable sum, just over $30,000, was earmarked for her college tuition fees. This reserve was a testament to OP’s forethought and commitment to her education.
The Alluring Renovation
Once their daughter left college, OP and his wife contemplated refurbishing their kitchen. As the desire grew, they decided to reallocate the tuition funds to this home project. The transformation would soon become a point of contention.
Return to the Old Dream
The daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend disintegrated, and her stint in the restaurant world left her dissatisfied and wanting more. So, she decided to retrace her steps back to college to finish earning her degree.
After informing her parents of her new plans and requesting access to her college fund, the daughter was met with refusal and the truth was revealed. She expressed her shock at the usage of her college savings for the kitchen renovation.
Assumptions and Bluffs
The daughter had believed her parents’ threats to use the tuition money elsewhere were empty. From her perspective, their financial support was assured, especially since they continued to fund her younger brother’s education.
OP suggested she consider more affordable education options, such as attending a community college. Additionally, he proposed she undertake part-time work to fund her education. These solutions aimed to bridge the financial gap.
The discussions grew tense, and the daughter’s frustrations mounted. She felt betrayed, especially when juxtaposed against her sibling’s continued support. The underlying sentiment was clear: she expected equal treatment.
In the aftermath, the daughter maintained her distance, deliberately ignoring her mother’s attempts at communication. The relationship between mother and daughter grew strained. Each missed call only intensified the rift.
A Mother’s Compassion
Despite the tension, the mother contemplated ways to provide some financial aid. Her empathy for her daughter’s situation wrestled with the practicalities of their financial standing. She hoped for a middle ground.
OP was acutely aware of the impending phase of retirement. He and his wife were slightly off track from their retirement objectives. Drawing from their savings now would only exacerbate this gap.
The Weight of Choices
OP believed that individuals must bear the consequences of their decisions. His daughter’s choices had led her to this crossroads. He hoped she would understand the logic behind his stance.
Sheltering Beneath Familiar Roofs
To ease her financial burden, OP said she could stay at their family home, rent-free. This gesture aimed to allow her to prioritize her college expenses. The family grappled with the complexities of responsibility, expectations, and equity.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and judgment from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “I presume that at the time of her dropping out, she presented her decision as permanent since she said that college wasn’t for her, meaning that you don’t know how long she would’ve taken to go back to college if she went back at all.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “I am getting odd vibes from the tone and how quickly OP moved to disappear money into a kitchen when they’re behind on retirement.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Many kids make mistakes during college, especially because it was just a year off. I get she made the choice and the mistake over a boy, but you could have been a safety net for her.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “You saved for your daughter’s education for 18 years, yet you didn’t hesitate to put the money to other uses the moment she diverted from a traditional education path.”