When Parents Use Money To Control Their Children’s Education

As we grow up, we learn that nothing in life is free. We are taught to work hard to achieve our goals and earn what we want in life.

However, pursuing higher education can sometimes come at a steep price, especially for those whose parents use money as a means of control.

Recently, a post on social media went viral. The original poster (OP) shared his experience of being forced to pay for his college education due to his father’s controlling nature.

OP revealed that his aunt and uncle are paying for their cousin’s college education, while OP is paying for his education because of the stipulations set by OP’s father.

OP’s father requires nothing below a B for grades, pre-approval of classes, and weekly meetings to discuss grades and other expectations. However, due to OP’s father’s temper and the stress it caused, OP decided to pay for school himself.

OP remembers,

“My dad has a temper, and I spent 6th-12th grade stressed out about grades and being screamed at or grounded over things that sometimes weren’t even my fault, like a teacher not updating online grading and an assignment being marked “missing” because of it. And getting my backpack and locker randomly searched by him for no reason besides “to make sure I’m not hiding anything “.”

During a family gathering, OP’s uncle asked his father how much his college education cost him.

OP, who was paying for his education, responded truthfully that he was paying for it himself. The father was embarrassed and upset, claiming that OP had embarrassed him.

While OP’s experience is undoubtedly challenging, it is unfortunately not uncommon.

Debt or Control? A Debate on Parental Stipulations for College Funding

The case of the original poster (OP) has sparked a debate on social media about the appropriate level of parental control when it comes to funding a child’s college education.

Users primarily argued that parental stipulations could harm a child’s well-being.

Commenter bmoreskyandsea defended OP’s actions, saying,

“So what if he was embarrassed? His emotions are not yours to manage. You told the truth.”

Other commenters, like LuCactus, pointed out that, actually, it was OP, who had already been embarrassed by his father’s actions.

According to the user, OP did nothing wrong by answering the question posed by OP’s uncle.

“I’m sure it embarrassed OP by having their locker searched by their dad at school too.. at least all OP was doing was answer in a way their father didn’t like, due to his father’s actions anyways.”

RedHotCurryPowder suggested that the father’s embarrassment was an admission of guilt for his controlling behavior.

“Him being embarrassed is him basically admitting what he’s doing is wrong”

SoLongSidekick expressed concern for the fact that OP felt he had to go into debt to avoid his father’s control.

“And the fact that this poor kid is being gaslit into thinking he might be in the wrong doesn’t surprise me one tiny bit. As depressing as that is.”

BullShitting24-7 shared personal experience of not taking money from their parents for a house.

“This is why I won’t take money from my parents for a house. I can already see them showing up at the front door with all their [stuff] like oh hey, we are moving into our house.”

Mimoo47 commended OP for pursuing his education despite the obstacles he faced and wished them luck.

“OP, it’s really admirable how you’re pursuing a college degree in spite of so many obstacles. I wish you the best of luck!”

Another user, Ertrinken, shared a personal story.

“I still have a vivid memory of being a freshman in high school and being really happy over scoring a 109/110 on a geometry test because I’d struggled with some geometry concepts earlier in the year.

“That happiness disappeared real fast when I told my mother my score, and her only reaction was to demand to know why I didn’t get a perfect score.”

This user’s story highlighted the potential harm that can be caused by overbearing parents.

The Verdict

The debate on this social media post raises important questions about the appropriate level of control parents should have over their children’s education.

While it is understandable that parents want their children to succeed and make good choices, the majority of comments indicate that controlling behavior can be detrimental to a child’s mental health and sense of autonomy.

Stipulations such as requiring good grades and pre-approval of classes may seem reasonable on the surface, but they can create a stressful environment for children.

OP’s experience of being screamed at and grounded over things that were not their fault is a clear example of this.

Additionally, according to the social media users, the father’s random searches of OP’s backpack and locker suggest that he was excessively controlling and lacked trust in his child.

Did the public get it right? What do you think?

Featured Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.