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She Wanted the Best for Her Daughter, But the Unsavory Crowd She Kept Around Changed the Course of Her College Future.

The Original Poster (OP) finds herself at a crossroads when her 16-year-old daughter falls under the influence of troubling peers. As OP grapples with the decision to delay her daughter’s college dreams to ensure her safety, a confrontation with family members culminates in an emotional standoff.

A Mother’s Concern

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OP is proud of her 16-year-old daughter’s accomplishments, but she also knows her daughter is naive and easily manipulated. Her daughter struggles to pay attention to her surroundings and cannot stand up for herself. Whenever she faces challenges, she turns to OP or her father for help.

The Troublesome Friends

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OP has observed her daughter getting involved in potentially dangerous activities due to the influence of some friends. These friends aren’t the best company, contributing to her daughter’s negative behavior. Despite OP’s warnings, her daughter continues to interact with them.

The College Dilemma

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To protect her daughter, OP and her husband decide she should not attend college until she turns 18. Given her late December birthday, this would delay her college start to 2025. OP intends to keep her daughter safe, not to restrict her growth.

A Hard Conversation

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The daughter, excited about her future, starts discussing college applications. OP breaks the news that she shouldn’t bother applying right now due to her parents’ decision. Shock and disappointment fill the room.

Emotional Outburst

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Upon hearing the news, the daughter starts crying and expresses anger towards OP. Her strong emotional reaction, according to OP, only further emphasizes her immaturity. The tension between mother and daughter escalates.

Aunt’s Intervention

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After the confrontation, the daughter texts her aunt, seeking consolation. Without fully understanding the background, the aunt quickly judges OP’s decision. She labels OP a terrible person without knowing the entire story.

Doubts Creep In

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Despite being sure of her decision, OP questions herself after her sister’s harsh words. Is there a better way to ensure her daughter’s safety? OP doesn’t want to alienate her daughter or cause her to rebel?

Daughter’s Plan

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Realizing her mother won’t budge, the daughter devises a secret plan to gain independence. She looks for ways to become emancipated and move out of the house. The rift between mother and daughter deepens.

The Revelation

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While cleaning, OP discovers letters from colleges expressing interest in her daughter’s academic prowess. There are scholarships, which means her daughter could be financially independent. This new information brings added layers of complexity to the situation.

The Unexpected Ally

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The school’s guidance counselor reaches out to OP, explaining the importance of supporting her daughter’s academic journey. The counselor shares stories of bright students who missed opportunities because of overprotective parents. OP is conflicted.

Father and Aunt React

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OP’s husband believes that waiting until their daughter is 18 is the best way to ensure her safety. Meanwhile, the aunt apologizes to OP, acknowledging her snap judgment, and offers her support. The relationship between the sisters starts to mend.

Daughter’s Plea

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The daughter writes a heartfelt letter to her parents expressing her understanding of their concerns but also highlights her own ambitions and dreams and begging for a compromise. OP seeks advice from other parents and professionals, attending parent support groups and listening to stories from both sides to gain a broader perspective.

The Mediation

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A family therapist is hired to mediate a conversation between OP, her husband, and their daughter. They discuss their fears, hopes, and concerns. A middle ground is found: The daughter will apply to colleges but choose one closer to home for her first year to allow her to experience college life while still under her parents’ watchful eyes.

Was The Mother’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP wonders if she is being overprotective. She posts her story online to find out what others think. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “Stop helicopter parenting your daughter. A few months more at home won’t make her more mature. College will.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “You were a lazy parent who didn’t teach your child these things and now want to punish her for not knowing them? College is also a good place to learn all this before she gets to the real world and someone takes advantage of her naïveté.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “Honestly, her reaction is a perfectly normal response to your throwing a monkey wrench into her plans for the future without warning or consultation.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “Her actions and attitudes reflect your parenting over the years. Maybe college will help her ‘grow up’ without you around to keep her pinned down.”

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