Honestly, I don’t even feel that this situation needs to be on Reddit but my daughter, husband and many of my family members are calling me an asshole and I’m really not sure anymore.
For context, four years ago, when my daughter was 12, she desperately wanted a pool. She said that all of her friends had pools and she was the only one who didn’t have one, plus she loved swimming. She insisted that she would use it daily in the summer.
My husband and I could afford one, but as I’m sure some of you know, pools are very expensive and neither of us really like swimming so we wanted my daughter to understand the cost she was asking for. We made an agreement that we would install a pool but that once she was old enough to start working, she would pay us back for half of it. She quickly agreed.
Well, flash forward to now. She’s 16 and just got her first job, and now she wants to save up for a prom dress she really likes. I reminded her of our agreement about the pool and she no longer wants to uphold her end of the agreement. I insisted, threatening to take away phone and car privileges if she doesn’t pay her father and I back.
Now, she won’t speak to me. My husband is agreeing with her, saying that we can’t have honestly expected a twelve year old to keep her end of the agreement. For me, this isn’t even about money — it’s about teaching my young daughter the right morals to live life with. I don’t want her to think she can just go around making deals for her benefit and then just not upholding them. AITA?
INFO from OP:
I’m paying for her food, clothes, the house she lives in, the car, and everything else. This is about morals, not money logistics.
Here's what people are saying:
You got in a verbal agreement with a 12 year old for thousands of dollars and are now trying to enforce it? Seriously? Four years later. The right morals to live with are that 12 year olds cannot legally enter contracts. That’s the moral. Yta. And just.. very very misguided
Don't forget mom is mad that her responsible daughter, who has a job at 16, and a goal, isn't giving her money to her! Mom needs to learn some values and should be ashamed! Especially putting her the weight of debt on her 16 year old. Mom's a hideous person, huge YTA
I think she's teaching her daughter a very valuable lesson at a very young age. It's gonna benefit this girl a lot to learn about budgeting and loans BEFORE she gets out of college and is on her own for the first time.
This feels more like a 'right lesson, wrong time' situation. Unfortunately I think this is one where timing defines whether or not the lesson actually gets learned.
I doubt anything will be learned here other than 'my mom is willing to charge a child thousands of dollars for a promise she knew I'd have difficulty keeping when I couldn't possibly be expected to understand what I got myself into'.