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.


Do you want her to pay you back for her hospital stay for her birth as well??? She’s your child, unconditional love… If said treatment isn’t working, seek other, stay away from shit relationships that bring the children down!


Really? She is still a kid. She isn’t 18, it’s your responsibility. Sounds like she needs lots of love, guidance and people to be patient with her. She’s still a minor, I don’t feel like tough love is best in that kind of situation especially considering her mental health issues.


2020 and now 2021 has been hard on everybody so I can understand how she is going through some things. Being a teenager in high school can be overwhelming in itself. With that being said, she is 17. She’s not quite a legal adult yet and asking her to pay is just going to stress her out even more. Have you tried talking to her one on one?


So when your girls were younger they seen you in an abusive relationship, helped you while you were struggling (they were too), moved multiple times, changed schools, lost friends, etc. You made bad choices and gave them an unstable childhood! Now you’re asking if she should give you money because she has mental issues due to your parenting? Hell no she shouldn’t. You should pay for her therapy for life. The girls need help. You are the reason she seems like she doesn’t care. Maybe she does care but can’t because she has deeper issues than you can imagine.


I have a sophomore with similar issues. Threatening her with money isn’t going to change anything. Based on her diagnosis, she is not okay. She may seem so, but she’s not. It’s not about the money, you might end up pushing her away when she needs you the most.


Perfect example for natural consequences. You know your child and her therapist should offer recommendations. If she is as you say this is what I would do. She doesn’t graduate from school do not support her. Make her get a full-time job. She does her own daily care. Cook, clean, go to work, pay for EVERYTHING she needs to be an adult. Set rules. If she doesn’t follow you can have her find other accommodations. Don’t do anything for her at all. No reminders or anything. Give all numbers for her doctors and such and she is responsible for it all. She wants to make the decisions then she can do it for all of them.

This might sound rough but I have special needs children that I have worked with and included their therapists in decisions. If they do this then the consequences are this. Our children know we will not support them after HS. That’s their job. We will guide them to the right path and resources but it will be up to them. They don’t graduate then they go full time into adulthood with NO support from us.


You would be essentially punishing her for struggling with her mental health and not reaching your time line.

No matter how many people sit her down to get her to finish her school requirements- it won’t matter if she is depressed.
You are just going to make it worse by making her feel like a failure for something she can’t control. If she was doing drugs or making other bad choices leading to her being behind-okay I would be on top of her. But that isn’t going to work here.

Surely you could get some of that money back on whatever you rented. The other things you are just going to have to eat the cost of.

She needs real support to get through this hard time and asking her to pay you back isn’t that.


She asked for opinions, not judgement. There’s no point to be rude about it. Hi, sweetheart. I know how difficult school is right now, and your daughter probably isn’t really stable right now. I am a senior in high school, too, and I know how hard it is to keep grades up right now. You’re going to get frustrated, and your daughter is going to get frustrated, too. The best thing you can do for her is to check on her and help her as much as you can. Both of my older sisters have their GED’s (my oldest sister dropped out her senior year), and they’re both raising families and are living a good life. Some lives aren’t the same for other people, so maybe if you give your daughter some space (while still checking on her and helping her when she needs it) she will be living the life she wants. She’s old enough to be making her decisions, and I do not think making her pay back anything will help. You made the decision to have children, they didn’t ask for life, so I feel that they do not owe you anything. She is almost an adult, and I’m sure that she truly appreciates everything that everyone is doing for her. It might not seem like it, but this is a really stressful time in her life right now. I wish you the best, hun. :heart:


I’ve been diagnosed with all of the same things your daughter has plus some, as a result of what sounds like pretty much the exact situation as my mother put me through plus a little bit more. I’m still super affected by it and my mother and I have no relationship anymore. I’m grown with children now. You should support her through her mental health issues and then maybe later on she can complete her diploma. Just because it’s not during your timing doesn’t mean she won’t. If you love her then you will be her support and get her the help she needs. Or you could choose what my mother did and choose to be out of mine and my children’s lives because she will never own up to the awful things she put me through from a toddler till recently. I hope you make the right choice and wish your daughter and you the best of luck. The last thing your daughter needs is no family support like me and my children now. Its heartbreaking.


GED is acceptable & an easy do. No you don’t get that money back, she’s still a minor and in need of ongoing Mental Health treatment.


Sound like she needs help. I don’t think tough love is the way to go with this. This year has been extremely depressing for even the strongest person. I couldnt imagine being a child during all this.


I don’t agree with you. I don’t think you should make your child pay you back. From what you’ve said she suffers with mental health, why add more on to her? If anything you could make her mental health worse.

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My opinion:
You’d be wrong to ask her for that. She’s obviously struggling mentally and it’s affecting her education more than it should be. She needs more help than she’s getting, maybe more love too. Not saying you don’t give her love but she might need it in a different form or from someone else. But seriously, she’s still a child and you chose to do all that for her. Tough love isn’t the best option in this situation considering she has mental health issues going on and getting worse. Her unstable childhood probably has a lot to do with the mental health issues at hand.

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Don’t put more on her, she’s just a kid. Does she see a Therapist weekly? She should. She needs more love, attention and understanding not more consequences. Best wishes.


Why? Why have children if they are just taking up your money thats all this is about to you is money. If you gave a crap about your children this wouldn’t even be a question when you become a parent you are responsible for love support financial Needs to be there no matter what and just show that you love her and you of all people have her back. No amount of money is worth losing your child over ever I feel for her because those are very hard things to deal with and I hope and pray she is able to get any and all help she needs because if you are more worried about money then her mental health and wellness you won’t be worried about that if she does something very serious and won’t be around anymore think about that and consider that…


Hun until that kid is 18! You are the sole person responsible for providing for them you don’t get to charge your kid a fee for being raised wtf is wrong with you? Sounds like you both need to go to therapy asap!


I would not make her pay it back… she has all of those things going on, and while she has all these people telling her she needs to do it, maybe she just can’t. Depression is strange and the world we live in is even more bizarre right now. I can’t even imagine trying to be a senior during all of this. I understand how frustrating this is, esp bc one of the twins was able to pull it together, but they’re each their own person. Just my opinion :woman_shrugging:t2:


Shes clearly struggling and you want to punish her for that?! Poor young lady, I feel so sorry for her.

This can’t be real!?!? She is your child!! I wish I had a mother to even pay my senior year off but I did that on my own and worked my ass off for it to. She obviously needs some help and guidance and you wanting her to pay you back is just mind blowing. This has got to be a joke?! Stop just stop Jesus hell I hope she gets the help she needs and gets away from that toxic living smh