An uncompromising mother stirred Redditors into a frenzy when she insisted her young daughter uphold her end of a financial bargain. The question is, can a 12-year-old enter into a verbal contract? Here is the whole story.
She Loved Swimming
OP is the mother of a teenage girl who loves to swim, or who at least used to love to swim.
Neither OP nor her husband really enjoy swimming, but their young daughter hounded them for years to put in a pool at their house.
As the girl grew from childhood into her preteen years, OP and her husband could see that their daughter wasn’t going to lose her love for the water any time soon.
Future Her Would Split the Cost
So, when the girl was 12 years old, OP and her husband made her a deal. They would buy a pool and have it installed if the girl agreed to pay for half of it once she was old enough to start working.
The young swimmer was thrilled with the chance to get her own pool, so she said yes to the deal. OP and her husband held up their part of the bargain and had the pool installed.
As OP expected, her daughter loved the pool and spent many happy hours in the summer swimming and lounging in the water.
Now, OP’s daughter is 16 years old and recently got her first job. Like many teens, she’s excited to have some spending money that she can control.
One of the first things that OP’s daughter wanted to buy with her money was a prom dress. So she started stashing her earnings to save up for a particular dress she had her eye on.
But when OP heard what her daughter had planned, she was quick to swoop in and cast some gray clouds on those plans.
What About the Deal?
OP reminded her daughter that she had agreed to pay for half of the swimming pool.
OP told her daughter that she had to start repaying that debt now that she was making money. But the girl doesn’t want to do that and doesn’t think she should have to.
OP has no intention of backing down, though, and intends to make her daughter pay up. She has threatened to take away the girl’s phone and care until she starts to pay up.
Ghosting Her Mom
After the blow-up between them, OP’s daughter refuses to speak to her mother.
And now OP’s husband has turned against her in this argument, too. He thinks that OP is being unreasonable and that they should just let their daughter have fun.
OP’s husband also points out that they could always afford the pool, but they just didn’t want to add on the expense and maintenance overhead.
He says that he never really expected their daughter to keep a bargain she made when she was 12 years old. He can’t believe OP did, either.
So now, OP is at odds with both her daughter and her husband, and it has her second-guessing her strict enforcement of the deal they all made.
At the same time, OP thinks it’s very important to teach her daughter a lesson and make her realize that she can’t go through life breaking her promises.
Not a Fair Deal
Redditors came down hard on OP for the way she’s handling this situation.
Most of them agree with her husband and daughter, and they think it’s silly for OP to expect the girl to pay her for a deal she made when she was 12.
They say that kids that age generally don’t have any idea about how much work it takes to make a certain amount of money.
They think it was OP’s fault for dangling a carrot in front of her face and enticing the girl to make an unreasonable agreement.
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