My Son Agrees With the Girl Who Sued Her Parents

csfMy son called to tell me that he did great on his midterm for Differential Geometry. It’s a hard class he said. So hard that he spends 20 to 30 hours studying each week.

I am proud of him. And we had a great conversation on how he’s finally figuring out this whole college thing — until I brought up the girl who sued her parents for her private Catholic School tuition, expenses, and future college education. (her photo is below)

I was sure my son would say, “What a jerk.”

We had a rough time his senior year and today he calls himself a jerk — looking back on how we interacted. (More on this in “My Son Wrote About His Crazy Mom for His Senior Project.”)

You can only imagine how I was shocked to hear him say that it’s “publicly accepted in our country for parents to pay for their kids college and that it’s her right.”

Where did we — or more importantly — I go wrong?

I read about how the judge called the high school senior “a spoiled brat.” I threw the argument at my son that the judge brought up — is it now going to be okay for a 12-year-old to sue their parents because he wants an Xbox?

My son said, “No, Mom. There’s a big difference between a college education and an Xbox.”


I see these kids as part of the “occupy generation”  — spoiled, feeling entitled, like society owes them something. These are kids that all got trophies in t-ball for participation (I’ll write about that another time!)

Saving for 18 years for our kids to go to college was our choice. (Read my post “College Costs — A lot!”)

Going to college is a privilege, not a right. The “paid for college privilege” is earned through hard work in academics, sports, and being a valuable member of the family and greater community. I’m proud that my kids work hard. I’m just surprised that my son has a different world view.

Is my son an exception? Or do lots of kids believe that their parents owe them college? Ask your kids if they believe college should be paid for by parents. Comment below and tell me what they said.

What is Differential Geometry you ask? According to Wikipedia…

Differential geometry is a mathematical discipline that uses the techniques of differential calculus and integral calculus, as well as linear algebra and multilinear algebra, to study problems in geometry. The theory of plane and spacecurves and of surfaces in the three-dimensional Euclidean space formed the basis for development of differential geometry during the 18th century and the 19th century. Since the late 19th century, differential geometry has grown into a field concerned more generally with the geometric structures on differentiable manifolds. Differential geometry is closely related to differential topology, and to the geometric aspects of the theory of differential equations. The differential geometry of surfaces captures many of the key ideas and techniques characteristic of this field.

From the Los Angeles Times: An open letter to my kids about suing mom and dad.


26 thoughts on “My Son Agrees With the Girl Who Sued Her Parents

  1. My son is only 4yo, but I have been wondering about the conversations we’d have if he were a little older. (Loved how it was laid out in the LAT letter.) My mom was a poor single mother of four, which meant the costs of college were not ones she could help defray. I will help my son to the best of my ability, as a choice if/as warranted by his own choices, not an entitlement. I want him to understand how many choices there are in each of these situations, on all ends, but of course . . . it will be interesting to see how this desire plays out in the years to come!

    • Thank you Deborah for your comments. I agree that it isn’t an entitlement. I remember when my kids were young — they appreciated things that they worked for and earned. Maybe our kids should not be given so much!

  2. My 28 year old son still complains that I didn’t pay all his expenses, just a grand a month on my tiny teacher’s salary.Meanwhile his dad, an engineer, paid nothing. I did not raise him to be this way, it is their collective mentality to think we owe them. I remind them all that no one gave me a dime, and that I am doing all I can. It isn’t enough to satisfy his ego. My 31 year old feels much the same way. I fear for their future when their children demand more of them and they cannot deliver. Parenthood has changed; children assume the driver’s seat far too early, even without invitation.

    • Thank you Toni for the great insight. I agree it is a collective mentality. My husband just said that what we give them for college and expenses is all a GIFT. It is not owed.

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