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Parents Hold Back Part Their Daughter’s College Fund, But What She Discovers Years Later Would Fuel a Unreckonable Family Resentment.

In a twist of parental intentions, a man and his wife face an unexpected family conflict over the unequal distribution of education funds between their two children. When his daughter learns about her unused fund, a conflict arises, leading to resentment and questioning of familial bonds.

The Trust Funds

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The Original Poster (OP), a 54-year-old man and his wife have two children, a 23-year-old daughter, and a 21-year-old son. The grandparents had generously set up education funds for both grandchildren. OP and his wife, both having post-graduate degrees, had expectations that their children would follow suit and therefore chose not to use the entirety of the limited funds for their undergraduate studies, a fact they kept from their children.

Diverging Paths

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Their daughter, a liberal arts enthusiast, and their son, a STEM aficionado, choose distinct paths for their college education. Despite their worry over her choice of studies, the daughter received substantial scholarships and opted to study music and film at a prestigious institution. The son, with less scholarship support, pursued engineering.

The Struggle and Triumph of the Daughter

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Living off-campus in a modest apartment, the daughter learns to budget effectively to manage her expenses. Upon graduation, she secures a job in her field of study that she enjoys, even though it doesn’t pay well. She decides to forego graduate school, contrary to her parent’s expectations.

The Privilege of the Son

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Due to a lack of scholarships, the son’s education fund is used to support his college experience, affording him a comfortable apartment near the campus. He secures a promising job, which precludes any intention of attending graduate school. This decision, while disappointing to the parents, is accepted as he is already on a successful career path.

The Revelation

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Upon learning about her brother’s luxurious living conditions, the daughter confronts her parents. She discovers the existence of the education fund she thought she never had. Her parents explain their intent for her to use it for graduate school, a decision she perceives as unfair.

A Sting of Betrayal

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Feeling hurt, the daughter asks if she can access the remaining funds. Her parents explained the penalty fees on education savings accounts and that unused funds would return to her grandparents. Feeling dismissed and wronged, she distances herself from her parents, communicating minimally.

A Public Consensus

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OP reaches out to an online community, seeking validation for his actions. However, the majority of responses label him and his wife as the wrongdoers. This feedback prompts a reconsideration of their decision.

A Cold Response

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In the face of public criticism, OP approaches his daughter about her wishes regarding the fund. Her indifferent response suggests the potential of transferring the fund to a younger cousin. She dismisses the idea of grad school and claims to have never expected financial support.

A Maternal Divide

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The parents debate their next steps. OP’s wife, having a strained relationship with the daughter, wants to take her words at face value. OP, on the other hand, fears the resentment behind the daughter’s indifference and suggests withdrawing an amount equal to what her brother received.

An Unyielding Stance

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The wife remains firm in her opinion, considering their daughter’s words as final. The couple agree to continue discussing the matter. The conflict brings to light their differing attitudes toward their daughter’s situation.

The Grandparents’ Trust

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As the situation unfolds, OP shares that the grandparents, now mentally incapable of participating, had entrusted the decisions regarding the funds to the parents. They were aware of the stipulation regarding graduate school and had approved the use of the son’s fund. Their wishes were to support the parents’ decisions.

An Unanswered Call

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OP attempts to call his daughter, seeking a resolution, but she doesn’t respond. He sends her a text message instead, expressing his concern over the strained relationship. Despite the mounting criticism, he holds onto the hope that their relationship isn’t beyond repair.

An Uncertain Future

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Despite their good intentions, OP and his wife grapple with the unintended consequences of their decisions. Their actions, initially aimed at securing their children’s future, now seem to have sown discord, especially with their daughter. The future of their relationship with her, much like the fate of the unused education fund, remains uncertain.

A Strained Relationship

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OP’s wife continues to stand by her belief that they should respect their daughter’s words and decisions about the fund. However, the mother-daughter relationship is already strained, with the mother often disapproving of her daughter’s life choices. This educational fund situation only adds another layer of complexity and conflict.

A Flicker of Hope

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While the situation seems bleak, OP holds onto hope. He aims to rectify the situation despite the wave of criticism and his daughter’s cold responses. The story ends with the underlying message that family ties are complex and require constant effort to maintain. OP continues to hold hope that reconciliation is still possible and he can mend the damage.

Was The Parent’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “So let me get this right…your daughter attended college and had a scholarship. Your son attended college with no scholarship. You chose not to let your daughter use her college fund for everything that her scholarship didn’t cover, and you let your son use it for everything. The college fund you said “wasn’t even her money” isn’t yours either!! What exactly do YOU plan to do with HER college money?”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote: “Oh dear, just goes to show you that having a Ph.D. and a Masters does neither make you a good parent or smart in any way.”

A Third View On The Story

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A different person states, “Do you know why all that you did seems unfair to your daughter? Because it is unfair to your daughter. You had the ability to use the funds to cover her living expenses during her undergraduate. (This, of course, is a bit bizarre. Are you a trustee of a trust? Or did the grandparents set up a 529 plan and give you full control over it.) Yet you did not even tell your daughter about these funds. Talk about a faithless trustee.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

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