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I know my stepdaughter's secret, should I keep encouraging her to come clean?

Myhusband has always said if his children got tattoos he would not pay for college. His son joined military and immediately got some large ones, but he is not expecting his dad to pay for school anyway. My SD though after her 18th birthday went and had a very large tattoo put across her torso. It is covered by her shirt. She told me under the advice of her mother, she is not going to tell her dad until she completes college. (she starts in the fall) I told her it would hurt her dad to find out she deceived him in this manner. I urged her to tell him now, before she leaves for school. I believe he should pay for her education. I am worried about his hurt feelings and also how he will feel about my knowing and not telling. Am
I wrong in thinking she should do this now.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:59 AM on Jun. 10, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (156)
  • Hmm I am not for you keeping secrets from oyur hubby buy it may be best to let this play out. If she completes school he will be happy with tattoo or no tattoo. My brother did the exact same thing and hid his for 2 yrs. If she comes clean and he pays for school she doent learn anything except that he made empty threats. Dont help her hide it just ignore it and let him find out on his own.

    Answer by ria7 at 10:01 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • If he really wouldn't pay for school then I wouldn't encourage her to come clean, this could affect the rest of her life

    Answer by psugal at 10:02 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • i would give her a date to tell him by and then if she dont you tell him she knew her dad didn't want her getting it but did it anyway if she had money for the tattoo she should get a job and pay for school maybe you could talk him into paying half and the child paying half or something for not respecting his wishs

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • She knew the consequences, she made her choice. If she does not tell, you should.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • If he has said he would pay for college he shouldn't put conditions on it. Mom should have kept her mouth shut and I do not believe they should have told you. Look what's happening with that. Now you want dad told. I believe a tattoo is a personal choice and her educational future shouldn't be thrown off course bc of someone else's beliefs. YOUR beliefs say to tell dad and face losing her tuition. Dad's beliefs might cut her off and oh poor daddy for being hurt she got a tattoo. Kids grow up and get to make their own choices. Dad had his turn for his choices. Now he needs to stop being a control freak and do what he said he would do, pay for his child's education like a responsible father. What ever happen to loving our children unconditionally? My dad pulled that bs and took my college money and went to Europe bc he got pissed at me. THEN he wanted to complain I didn't achieve much in life. HE had a part of that!!!!

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:07 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I think it was wrong of your step daughter to put you in this situation. She needs to tell him - you need to tell her that she tells him, or you do. (Sounds like the bio mom trying to get a "jab" at dad, pulling one over on him...)

    Yes, this is a dumb reason to not pay for college, and you should encourage him to pay for it anyway. But, whether he does or not, she knew his rules. It's not like you need a tattoo to survive, like he was saying no food, no going to the Dr, etc. But, as an adult (which she now is), if she is old enough to make choices like that, then she needs to be old enough to accept the consequences of them.

    Hopefully, your dh isn't so unreasonable that the consequences are he won't pay, but then again, your sd should know her dad well enough to have taken that into consideration when she made her choice.

    btw, I have a 17 1/2 yr old and a 16 yr old - I can understand you're predicament.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:11 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Yes, keep encouraging. I don't keep anything from my hubby. Meaning, I would or not. That's what is wrong these days. People are not accountable for their choices. She knew the deal...she couldn't wait until college was paid for?! I highly doubt Dad is going to back out on college for his kid. She should have some sort of consequence tho....regardless her age. Would I do the same if it was my bio daughter...absolutely! Honesty is best imho.

    Answer by Loryl at 10:13 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I disagree, he didn't say that he would pay for her college unconditionally, then the dd did something he didn't like, so he pulled the money. I assume that the conditions were in place and the dd was well aware of them before she made her choice.

    Yes, refusing to pay over a tattoo is stupid. But, she had the choice to accept the conditions and accept the money, or not. Part of loving your kids means teaching them consequences for their actions, which should have started long ago (maybe it did with this dd, maybe not, I don't know).

    For example, my kids know we will pay for college, to an extent, for them - BUT - we will have the right to see the grades they're getting. If they don't want us to know what classes they're taking / what grades they have in it, because "they're an adult and don't have to" - then they can be an adult and pay for it. They're both fine with that.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:15 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Your husband sounds ridiculous-I got 2 tattoos when I was 18...and guess what I went to college and graduated....If my mom thought that way I wouldn't have a 250k job in the future...I would be working at some low paying job! It's not 1950 tell him to lay off the restrictions.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:24 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I would try to forget that she even told you.Put the thought as far back in your mind as possible. Ask your step daughter to please not tell you anything else like that because you feel too torn between your loyalty to your husband and your loyalty to her. If she wants to tell her father, then let her do it on her own time and in her own way.
    My step daughter has told me a few things in confidence as well...did I want to tell her dad? Well,sure..because we share everything.But did I?No, I didn' wasn't my secret to tell and it wasn't something that was life threatening.Anyway in the long run, I think she was just practicing telling someone so that it would be easier to tell her dad..she always ends up telling her dad about the stuff just takes some time for her to work up the courage to do it. But even still..if she never told him..neither would I.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 10:38 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

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