Is it wrong of me to ask my daughter to pay us back for senior year if she doesn't graduate?

I’m a mother of 17-year-old twin girls. When I was married to my ex-husband (not their father), he was abusive in every way possible, wouldn’t hold a job. It took me a long time to get away from him. During the time with him, we moved a lot, the kids changed schools etc, because I was the only one contributing to the household income, and I couldn’t do it all on just my income. During this time, my girls were strong; they helped me a lot, were honor students, all of that. This was their middle school years, 6th-8th grade. They started high school, we moved once more, out of district. Their school allowed them to stay, since they only had 2 years of school left, and gave them special permission. The youngest of the twins was showing signs of depression. I sought therapy for her. She sees a psychiatrist, has medication and sees a therapist. When the pandemic started and the kids went virtual, both of the girl’s grades started to drop. The oldest of the twins has since gotten herself together. She dropped AP classes and is focusing on her grade level graduation requirement. The youngest of the twins just doesn’t seem to care. They’re in talks of revoking her special permission, with 5 months left until graduation. No matter what I do or say, she just doesn’t seem to care. We have had meetings with the school, counselors, teachers. The school even tried an intervention for her where they sat me, her, the principal and all of her teachers down together. She has been told a dozen times by a dozen people that graduation is in jeopardy. She has a support system. Her grandparents on my side, her dads side and both step-parents are involved. As are her aunts and uncles, both parents and step-parents. So, am I an assho!e mom for telling her that if she doesn’t graduate, she has to pay her parents back for the money that we have shelled out for senior year? At this point, we have spent (for both girls) $800 for senior pictures, $200 on yearbooks, $120 cap & gown, $250 on class rings. Her step-dad and I spent $2000 on the rental for senior week. I want my kids to experience and enjoy everything possible during their very unusual senior year and keep it as normal as we possibly can for them. She was diagnosed with depression, social anxiety, OCD, and ADHD, but we are actively treating those issues. And she has no issue getting up and going to work, no issue doing what SHE wants to do.

1 Like

The problem is enforcing that. Such a shame. She will regret it someday. Regress of her issues she needs to do what she needs to graduate. Who takes her to work? Ferries her around to places? Does she have a car? Quit catering to her. Tough love.

1 Like

Coming from someone with pretty much all of those diagnoses, yes its hella wrong of you to ask her to pay it back. Shes struggling with depression and so many other things and you think getting up and going to work is something she wants to do? Do you not realize its a constant battle every single day for someone who struggles with those? Oh shes on meds, sees a counselor, has a support system? That’s cool, but sometimes that’s not enough to bring someone out of a deep depression. Its hard to pick and choose battles. I dropped out my senior year and never looked back because of depression. The extra mental stress it takes to do homework, read and think is really hard sometimes, so work may just be the easier of two evils.

23 Likes

I wouldn’t make her pay you back for this year. But maybe make her pay for it herself next year when she graduates.

1 Like

You chose to spend that money. Maybe she feels overshadowed. Regardless your children do not owe you for providing for them, nor do they owe you for things you decide to spend money on whether they finish it or not.

20 Likes

The prospect of having to pick up the remainder of her senior year in a different school district is a surefire way to ensure that she will not graduate on time. So I’m a little reluctant to have an opinion in favor of her paying you back.

2 Likes

Do you really think adding MORE STRESS/PRESSURE and more of a reason to work than go to school is going to help ?!
Id take her for a mental health day , take her to lunch , have a day together just the 2 of you nd listen to her. Ask her why … ask her what’s going on . LISTEN and don’t be the over bearing pressuring parent and just be a loving mom for a minute… I can assure there’s a lot more going on than you know

20 Likes

She’s already depressed and you’re gonna add the anxiety of paying if she doesn’t make it. Just because the issues are “being treated” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s working. She might need different meds, this has been a hard year on everyone and some people struggled a lot switching to virtual. And the bigger question is did she ask you to spend all that money? Or did you do it out of the kindness of your heart. If you did it out of kindness it would seem it wasn’t so kind if you expect to be ‘refunded’.

7 Likes

I understand you are grasping at anything that you are hoping will turn her around at this point. It sounds like she should already have an IEP or a 504 in place with the depression and other issues going on. I would set up a meeting with the school and her iep group if she has one (hopefully she does) or they shouldn’t be able to just revoke if she has one. If she doesn’t have one yet she sounds like you might be able to get one in place

4 Likes

I would be more worried about her mental health than any money.

26 Likes

All of these illnesses and you somehow expect her to be able to cope with online studying? She goes to work because she can actually leave rather than stay put but you say you want her to have things then ask her to pay it back? I get tough love but this isn’t it.

11 Likes

No.
Worry about her mental status more than the money you wasted. Trust me.

You won’t be saying anything about that money if she ends up not being alive anymore. It is harsh and I’m sorry for saying that but, love her. Make her feel loved.

18 Likes

You’re her mother and it’s your job to care for her she doesn’t need to pay anything back. Don’t punish her more. I promise you with the way she is feeling and what she is going through she is already punish enough and you will only make it worse.

9 Likes

As a person who has suffered with all of these, your lack of empathy for your child is absolutely shameful and breaks my heart. I would give anything to be “normal” and for you to treat her like she has a choice in how her Brain is made up, makes me feel sad for her. Encourage her to find a trade or job she loves. Support her finding a passion that can be career. Vet tech school, hair stylist, pet sitter…there are many things beyond college that can become successful careers.

15 Likes

Yes your wrong. Sorry :woman_shrugging:t2:

5 Likes

yes. yes you are. no wonder she doesn’t value your support, it has strings attached. this honestly made me angry lol, you should have already known the answer to this question.

11 Likes

Virtual school is A LOT. And that change is overwhelming for a lot of people. Especially people that have things such as depression, social anxiety, etc. work may be easy for her because she’s used to it. Think back to when she started working or started going to high school, I’m sure it was rough for her. Maybe support her more and ask her what you can do as a team to get her through this last semester. Making her pay back for senior year though is a bit much. She didn’t have to have senior pictures or a class ring, that was something you chose to pay for.

3 Likes

That won’t help the situation and will create a divide in the family. Just help guide her. Seems like she’s really going through a difficult time. Did you put yourself in her shoes? Is it money or your daughter that’s important to you?

4 Likes

You should be threatening, when you turn 18… at that point, legally she’s on her own.

2 Likes

Coming from the standpoint of someone who went undiagnosed with a few of the same issues when I was that age (I wasn’t Dx’d until a year and a half ago and I graduated almost 20 years ago), for sure YTA. My dad and grandmother NEVER did this to me when I was sent to continuation school for my senior year at the last minute! I’m sure they were highly disappointed (which went away when I ended up graduating early), but they never would have made me pay them back for what they shelled out for my senior stuff.

3 Likes