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Dad asks if he's wrong to make 12 y/o daughter pay rent to teach her life lesson.

Dad asks if he's wrong to make 12 y/o daughter pay rent to teach her life lesson.


Sometimes a parent's desire to teach their kid a lesson can go way overboard.

One dad is planning on ransacking his daughter's baby-sitting money to teach her a lesson about fiscal responsibility, and he's asked Reddit if this would be a good idea or not. Pretty much everyone agrees it wouldn't be the best move.

The dad says he lives with his wife and two kids, ages 12 and 10. His 12-year- old recently started baby-sitting and makes $5 an hour. Says the dad:

I thought it would be a good exercise to teach her about taxes and fiscal responsibility if I charged her $1 for every $5 she earns. I pay for everything for her - her education, food, clothes, extracurricular activities, etc.

This isn't about her paying me back though, it's just to teach her a general life lesson. She has no real need for the money anyways, maybe once in a blue moon she'll go to a movie with her friends or get some lunch for example.

The daughter freaked out that her dad wanted the cash — so he went into her piggy bank and stole it.

I said that the $1 for every $5 is her 'rent' that she will pay to me at the end of each week. Well the end of the week came, and she broke down crying as I tried to take $12 from her (she babysat for 12 hours that week). I felt bad, but also wanted to stick to the decision I made and am hopeful that she will ultimately take something away from the experience.

She refused to give me the 'rent' so I went into her room and took it from her piggy bank. I explained how the IRS does the same thing in real life but isn't so nice about it, and that this is a learning experience.

His wife and his daughter cried, but he doesn't want to budge.

She broke down into hysterics and my wife started crying as well. My wife has since calmed down since I helped to comfort her, but my daughter will not talk to me. I am starting to question my tactic, but also think it will instill bad habits if I reward her crying when I am trying to teach a lesson. AITA for charging my daughter $12 in rent?

He added a few additional details that make it seem as if he really does just want the money:

My wife does not work, and I also have a 10 year old son. So currently I am supporting four people by myself. I am hoping to encourage my daughter to 'chip in' (even though as of now it's almost nothing) just to instill that value, rather than have her freeloading even though she is earning a salary

The people of the internet are not in this dad's corner. At all.

A 12-year-old is, by definition, not a freeloader, ppixie said:

you pay for her everything because you decided to have a kid. The only way this would be okay is if you were making her put a dollar out of every five into a savings account for her or something. Let your kid be a kid. Those life lessons come soon enough

And boudicas_shield offered a little prediction of the future:

My deadbeat father used to open my birthday card from my grandmother in front of me, stuff the enclosed $10 in his pocket, and hand me the empty card. When I protested, he said he deserved it because he gave too much in child support already. My father and I no longer speak.

Dominosismycrack wondered why the dad wants her to feel the pain of the IRS at such a young age.

he's a kid for 4 more years and you're trying to force her into an adult role. She's got 70 more years to get f*cked by the government, she doesn't need you to start it early.

And Johndough1066 pointed out that child protective services might not be that into a parent charging a 12-year-old 'rent' in the 21st century:

Your daughter is crying. Your wife is crying. And you're asking if YTA?


If your lessons that are just meant to help result in tears? Your lesson is no good.

Something else bothers me about what you are doing -- what are you doing with that money?

You don't mention that and I'd like to know.

Btw, you can't charge a 12 year old rent. You are responsible for caring for your child. I'm not saying this would be right, but if someone had it in for you and reported this to CPS, it could create trouble that would not be any fun at all. Not likely, but it could happen.

So the verdict, overwhelmingly, is that this dad needs to chill.

Hopefully he'll be getting coal this year.

Sources: Reddit
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