Almost any parent can agree that raising teenagers can be stressful at times. After all, that’s when regular tantrums and misunderstandings can be somewhat expected. But, occasionally, things can get escalated and cause arguments that are harder to manage.
A mother under the username u/Safety-Light3099 has recently shared a post on Reddit of how she ended up using her 17-year-old son’s “camp savings” to pay for the damages on his stepbrother’s car, which he had caused in the first place. The parent posted the story on the AITA (“Am I the A**hole”) subreddit less than a day ago, captioning it “AITA for using my son’s savings to get his stepbrother’s car fixed?” Since then, the post managed to generate a total of 12,500 upvotes and 1,200 comments.
In the post, the original poster (OP) described that it all started when her 19-year-old stepson got a car as a gift from his biological mom. “She and her family de ella are well off and unlike me, they could afford to buy a car,” she wrote.
The stepmother was still “happy” for her stepson to receive such a generous gift, but her 17-year-old biological son had the opposite reaction. “He complains about how unfair it is for my husband to let his ex give their son a car but not him,” she explained.
She knew that her son’s complaints were “unreasonable,” especially after he had proposed a certain solution: “My son wanted to take part in driving the car as a ‘compromise’ or else we would have to get rid of it.”
The mother then described how she had tried to explain to her son that the car belongs to his stepbrother and “he shouldn’t be expecting to drive it unless he’s given permission.” Nevertheless, the son kept giving ultimatums to the parents, demanding that the car be shared with him or otherwise “the car goes.”
Things took another turn when the father confronted the 17-year-old son, who later proceeded to damage his stepbrother’s car. “[…H]e threw paint on it, ruined the lights and damaged the front of it completely,” the mother wrote.
The OP described that when the stepson saw the damaged car in the morning, he “had a breakdown,” and her husband was “beyond livid” after seeing the footage recorded with the driveway security camera. And when the father tried to talk to the 17-year-old son, all the teenager did was “laugh and give him the middle finger.”
At that point, the mother decided to “take all of his camp savings for this summer to pay for the damages.” And when the son had discovered that, he “went batsh*t on everyone in the house,” accusing the mother of stealing and “trying to please [her] husband for ‘sex.'”
The 17-year-old also “told his stepbrother that he warned him and so he shouldn’t be blamed.”
“He also said it was my fault for not getting him a car or getting my husband to get him a car in the first place to avoid favoritism and conflict,” the mother wrote.
Towards the end of the post, the mom had expressed her concern about the son “spending [the] majority of his time in his room refusing to come out or eat.” She explained that she was “worried” because her son had previously “ended up in the hospital” as a result of low blood pressure caused by not eating.
Since the post was shared, the moderators have locked the comment thread “due to an excess of rule violations,” meaning new comments cannot be posted. But prior to that, over a thousand Reddit users managed to leave comments under the post, most of which contained supportive words in favor of the mom’s decision.
“[…Y]you handled that pretty well. Your son is almost an adult, he should act like it. He was not remorseful, and he should be grateful your stepson didn’t press charges,” one user wrote.
“NTA [Not the a**hole] at there. She did an amazing job as a stepmom to her son de ella, and a great job parenting her bio son, “another commenter said.
More than a few users suggested that the mother’s stepson should press charges:
“Stepson should press charges and this kid should have to pay him for the depreciated value from the damage,” one commenter said.
“Stepbrother should totally press charges,” another user wrote.
Multiple commenters also pointed out that the 17-year-old is “needs therapy.”
“He has serious problems and as he gets older if he doesn’t get this entitlement out of his head he is headed for a life of crime,” one user explained.
“His behavior is unhinged. I would put him in therapy asap,” added another.
“The kid also seems like he’s got some intense behavioral issues—maybe get him into therapy or at least talking to a specialist because this behavior seems really extreme for a kid who’s already 17,” another commenter agreed.
According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 20 percent of American households have at least one stepparent, and almost 30 percent “have a stepkin tie among either parents or adult children.”
Additionally, researchers from the University of Utah analyzed data of over 400,000 children in order to compare the mortality of children whose parents didn’t end up remarrying after their previous partner had passed away to stepchildren whose parents remarried, resulting in blended families. The research reported no significant difference between the two, concluding that stepchildren aren’t at a disadvantage.
Licensed mental health counselor GinaMarie Guarino told VeryWellFamily that “resistance from stepparents and stepchildren can be expected, which is challenging for everyone involved.”
“It involves taking the cultures of two separate families and blending them into a new family dynamic,” she added.
This wouldn’t be the first time when someone had decided to take it to the internet to share their parenting concerns. Newsweek previously reported on how a mother expressed her frustration on the fact that her toddler is regularly being forced to hug and kiss. Newsweek also covered another viral post on Reddit about a mother who refused to allow her children to visit their dying father in another country. And earlier this year, a post on Mumsnet has gone viral after a mom shared that she felt she was being “bullied” by her teenage stepdaughter of her.
Newsweek has reached out to u/Safety-Light3099 for comment.