As a parent, you want to set your kids up for financial success. But they don't always see the long-term vision.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a dad asked if he was wrong for not giving his son the same money as his daughters. He wrote:
My wife regularly uses Reddit and recommended I post on here because our family is split on who is in the wrong. I 56m have 4 kids together with my wife 54f, we have 3 daughters, Chloe (32 F), Wendela (30F) and Emily (24F), we also have one son, Lucas 26m. Me and my wife have since the birth of each one of our kids put in monthly payments in a college fund for them.
The amount in the funds was enough to cover all four kid’s college education. Our kids all choose different paths in life, whether it was their degree, place of education, or what type of school, they all went with something different. When our oldest, Chloe graduated high school, she talked to us about how she was unsure what she wanted to do with her life and had been thinking about taking a gap year.
We talked with her and told her it was her choice, that if that was what she wanted she should do it and not rush into education. She did take 2 years, during these years she worked and in an agreement with me and my wife paid us $250 in rent each month to continue living with us. She still ate our food, we cooked for her, and still bought her necessities.
The $250 were put in a savings account that we gave her access to when she and her now husband were beginning to talk about buying a house. Even though the situation was not the same with each kid, they all knew about this and the plan for how the money would be used. Wendela lived with us for 3 years after college, Emily lived with us during college. They both took part in this.
The issue is with my son, he like his oldest sister wanted to take a gap year. We encouraged him to do so, he asked if he could stay with us. We told him yes, but told him about the rent situation. He was not happy with this, saying that he was our son and we should want him to live with us for how long he would need to. We explained what the money would be used for, he said he did not give a s#$t.
He was very angry with us for a long time and ended up staying with a friend of his. This all happened around 8 years ago. We have a good relationship now with both him and his wife who are excepting our first grandchild. He recently brought up how all his sisters got money to buy a house, showed me pics of a house that he and his wife had been looking at.
I said it looked nice, to which he responded with asking when I could give him the money. I told him that he made a choice when he was 18 and that he would not receive any money, he said that it was unfair and that he was young and dumb and should not be punished for it. I told him that I did not have that kind of money to just give him.
He left the house after arguing a bit more, my wife and his sisters all are on my side. However, his wife and my mom have said that I am in the wrong and I should want my grand baby to have a place to live and should not punish him for mistakes he did as a young boy. AITA for not giving him the money?
People had a lot to say.
NTA You can't give what you don't have. These are two different situations. Out of curiosity, did he ever go to college, and did you pay for some or all of it?
And OP responded:
He did go to college, from my knowledge the amount saved in the fund was enough for his whole education + a bit left over.
NTA. Your son seems to think he is entitled to the benefits without compensation, the way you and your wife have set the rules for your children is excellent I think and now he simply reaps the results of his own choices. Giving in to his request is like disregarding the efforts made by the others three.
Furthermore, knowing that these accounts were made with the rents paid by his sisters he could have saved this money himself, but he chose not to do so.
"should not punish him for mistakes he did as a young boy."
What about when your daughters were the same age and made the opposite decision? They are apples to apples and he's come out rotten.
No, you're not punishing him for making one choice. You rewarded your daughter for making a different choice. What you did was positive reinforcement for commendable decision making. Your son doesn't get positively reinforced because his choice wasn't commendable. You have done nothing wrong. Those who say you are, want him to freeload off you and are using fallacies in their arguments.
NTA. They got $$ from you that they had paid for rent. He decided not to live with you, didn't pay the rent, and therefore there is no $$ for him.
OrangeCubit had a major question:
I’m confused by the math here. So when your daughter went to buy her house you gave her $3,000? Maybe I’m just traumatized by the current housing market, but that wouldn’t even make a dent in a downpayment. Why would your son care THAT MUCH?
And OP responded:
I guess I explained it bad, just reread the text. We firstly opened up another fund and put the money there. When they first started talking about buying a house, we emptied it, put it into a savings account then gave her access to it.
So the amount was more, in total she paid us 6,000$ total that was put in ti that. Bit of a complicated process but worked well. So when she got access to it, it was in a savings account.
Edit: When each kid got access to the rent money, it was in a savings account. However, before it was put in a fund so the money grew. Explained it really bad, sorry.
Edit: Many people have asked about this so I add it here, he did go to college, I was at his graduation and he uses his degree today. What the four of them chose to do with their college fund was up to them, but from my understanding they all used it for college. If they did not, then they did not.
I have never asked any of them for proof of what the money was used for, so that is my I can’t say with a hundred percent certainty that it did go toward their education.
Clearly, OP is NTA, his son is just throwing a fit.