17-Year-Old Lashes Out at 'Frugal' Stepfather

Gillian Sisley

Should a teenager’s outburst ever be supported?

It's tough on a child when their parents separate, and can lead to a lot of feelings of rejection, isolation, as well as other mental health struggles.

These realities can be even more difficult for a teenager. Biologically, teenagers are in an extreme spot of change and growth, resulting in emotional fluctuations, rising hormones, and learning to navigate more adult responsibilities.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a teenager and a stepfather get into an argument over money, and the mother does not punish her son for talking back to his stepdad.

Should a teenager’s outburst ever be supported?

A Reddit post published on June 13th, reported on by Taylor McCloud from Newsweek, has gone viral with 15,800 upvotes and 1,300 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she married her husband 9 years ago when her son was 8 years old. In general, her husband and son have a fantastic relationship, however, they've recently come to a head on the topic of gift-giving.

The author's birthday is in a couple of weeks, and she hasn't thought very much about it. She clarifies that her husband isn't a gift-giver, because he has a hard time figuring out what to get and doesn't like spending money on things that people won't use. The author has suggested some sentimental items now and again, but her husband just never gets them. She's come to terms with the fact that her husband doesn't buy her gifts over the years.

With that said, last night the author's son came home with a gift, and asked his mom to open it even though her birthday wasn't for 2 weeks. The author didn't think it would be anything too fancy, but the gift ended up being a big, beautiful wall piece with photo frames and built-in shelves.

After the author's son presented her with the gift, his stepfather immediately asked how much it had cost, and made a comment about how it was a ‘waste of money’ and that whatever he spent on it should have been invested instead.

Money is the topic of many arguments.

Everyone has a different relationship with money, and different philosophies as well. However, two people with vastly opposite philosophies around money can at times bump heads, and serious conflict can arise.

In response to the stepfather's comment, the son completely disagreed and made it clear that he was attempting to go above and beyond to celebrate his mother's birthday. The son said to his stepdad, "It's truly none of your business what I do with my money and since you outright refuse to buy my mother nice things that she absolutely deserves, I will make sure she gets something nice."

The husband then looked at his wife, expecting her to say something or chastise her son, but when she didn't reply he just shook his head and walked off. He later accused the author of embarrassing him in front of other people by not saying anything to the son. The author simply told her husband that her son was right.

Thoughts? Should the author have scolded her son for talking back to his stepdad? Or is the author in the right for saying nothing when her son called out the stepfather for never getting his mom anything nice for her birthday?

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