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Mom won't pay for teen daughter's school trip; 'I'm teaching her a lesson.' AITA?

Mom won't pay for teen daughter's school trip; 'I'm teaching her a lesson.' AITA?


When this mom is fed up with her daughter and decides to get petty revenge, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for being petty and not paying for my daughters school trip?"

I 37f have a daughter Mia 15f. Mia is very forgetful/irresponsible when it comes to school. She is barely on time/late to school most days even though we live a 10 minute walk away. She will do homework last minute and often ask for extensions with work.

She had a tendency to remind me to pay for school related things like lunch money, just before I’m going to bed, or that she needs to take something into school so can we run to the store and quickly get it.

Last month, I went on a wild goose chase to help Mia locate ingredients for her home econ class, after she told me at half 10 she needs xyz ingredients and she just checked the fridge and we don’t have it.

She was reading the ingredients of an email, and when I saw it was dated a week prior, got annoyed Mia couldn’t have told me before when we did the big food shop for the family.

I told her the next time she needs something for school to tell me the day she gets told or the day after latest, or I will not be helping her out.

My husband has stopped helping Mia with her last minute requests and calls me a pushover for helping her out, but when she asked today to put down the deposit for a school trip I put my foot down.

Mia has known since the start of the school year she had a school trip to Germany. Her school sent an email out two months ago asking for deposits for kids to secure their place on trip. It’s is about 150, and Mia asked me today to pay as the deadline is midnight or she may not be able to go.

I reminded her what I said last time about deadlines and organisation and as she chose to tell me last minute I will not be paying for her deposit. She got upset as all her friends from history class are going.

I told Mia that she can pay herself from her savings as she has a part time job, which is more than enough to cover her deposit, but she wanted to save up to buy a new game console.

I told her to pick if she wanted to go on the trip or get a new game console and she called me an AH, and now I’m wondering if I’m being unreasonable. My husband is on my side but my youngest said it was mean and Mia is very upset with me.

ETA- Mia doesn’t have ADHD, but she is dyslexic so this does explain the schoolwork sometimes, but she will ask for extensions on top of her extensions which is a sore spot for her and my husband who wants her to be more organised and not leave work last minute.

Mia has been tested for ADHD and doesn’t not have it, I did my research at the time and realised it often gets overlooked for girls but even after getting another opinion she doesn’t have ADHD. She gets help from a school advisor regarding her dyslexia and at home we have discussed strategies to help her stay on track with her responsibilities. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

lovebveach7 writes:

NTA. If she didn't have enough of her own money, I'd probably cave but she wants YOU to spend YOUR money instead, knowing full well that she blew it, AGAIN.

Stick to your guns. She needs to literally pay for her mistake. If she can remember what game console she's saving for, she can remember her obligations.

If she has a cell phone, why isn't she setting her own alarms and entering reminders on her phone's calendar??? She's 15 years old, ffs. Stop babying her. You're not doing her any favors.

How is she supposed to learn and eventually move out on her own if you're always enabling her?

techlobster writes:

I believe something is amiss. Alright, she's 15, old enough to put phone alarms to important things.

But you don't seem to have taught her how to organize. Have you given her a planner? Or help her set her schedule for study and play? Some kids need more supervision than others.

About the trip and deposit, I think a good compromise is: she pays the deposit with her savings and puts in place any strategy for reminding deadlines, and they show improvement (not saying she will fix everything, but needs to have some improvement) the parents pat back the deposit and the rest of the trip. In general, ESH.

mothe7 writes:

YTA "Dyslexia can affect memory, concentration, multi-tasking and communication. All impact on everyday life. If you're in a relationship with someone whose brain works differently to yours it can be confusing and frustrating."

I have a daughter with dyslexia and we went through the exact same things with her. It was frustrating at times. But it was the way her brain worked. We had to work on ways to help her remember.

Example, getting her into the habit of putting anything with a deadline as a reminder in her phone. Writing notes and leaving them in prominent places around the house. Lots of visual reminders.

Over time my daughter did get better, but it wasn't because she remembered better or was more organized. She just had learned ways to help that worked for her. Her brain still works the same as it did before.

She had to work hard in learning a different way of doing things then the average student and she has now begun her adult life and is managing well. Dyslexia is much more then just trouble with reading and writing.

springflowpers68 writes:

YTA and from what you have described, you have not done what is needed to help your daughter develop organization skills or had her reevaluated for possible learning disabilities, which she clearly shows signs of having. You choose this huge learning opportunity as the hill to die on?

You should have together worked up timelines, fee responsibilities, etc. for the trip, which would have helped her better develop skills that will help her going forward. Instead you take a punitive approach.

Perhaps you don’t want her to go and this is your way to get out of her going. When you have children who learn differently it is your responsibility to get them what they need, be it tutors, organization workshops, etc. i know for a fact those resources are available.

I feel so bad for your daughter. ETA since she does have dyslexia, have you found tutors to help her with this LD? There are excellent programs for this.

notonewspeak writes:

NTA. Poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part. At age 15 your daughter should understand the importance of making lists, acting on issues when they arise (trip email about deposit) and not ignoring them till the last minute and setting priorities.

I am not saying she should master them at 15 but she should at least be working on it. Mia has hopefully learned an important lesson through your refusal to pay.

solicitedadvisor writes:

NTA, but if she has issues with organization and has not been able to figure it out herself, it is your place as her parents to help her navigate this. For example, you can set up a weekly family check in where she actively checks on all the things she needs to do, compiles a list, and shares it with you along with the respective deadlines.

Joint activities like that would teach her the skills to be more organized. Expecting her to figure it out on her own without guiding her (and then getting annoyed with her when she fails to be organized) seems unfair, or at least not helpful to her situation.

Jury's out on this one. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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