Stepmom Tries to 'Steal' 15-Year-Old's Money as Punishment

Gillian Sisley

Are parents entitled to the money their children earn?

What's the role of a stepparent? This can sometimes be a difficult question to answer, especially if a blended family hasn't discussed the details of their new arrangement.

With about 40% of marriages ending in divorce, and 1/3 of those marriages involving children, it's likely that most divorced people will remarry and then have to figure out what a stepparent role will look like.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a stepmother who has access to her stepdaughter's bank account threatens to take her money as a form of punishment.

Are parents entitled to the money their children earn?

An online post published on September 23rd, reported on by Maria Azzurra Volpe from Newsweek, has gone viral with 17,000 upvotes and 2,300 comments.

The author, a 15-year-old girl, begins her post by explaining that she broke curfew a few days ago, and her stepmother has made a rather shocking threat to the teen.

The teen further explains that her stepmom and father got married 18 months ago. While the author generally gets along with her stepmother, she has been having a hard time adjusting to her stepmother's insistence on punishing and parenting her.

The teenager adds the context of saying that her father and stepmother have access to her bank account and know the PIN that the author has for it. While this isn't entirely unheard of when it comes to minor children, it is the threats her stepmother has been giving her related to her account that are most shocking.

Is taking a child's money ever a valid form of punishment?

The author goes on to say that because she broke curfew several days ago, her stepmother is threatening to take ‘20% of the teenager's money’ in her account as a ‘fine’. The stepmother is saying that she will take out 20% every time her stepdaughter breaks curfew until there simply ‘isn't any money left’.

The author adds that the money she keeps in her account comes from selling handcrafted items that she has made herself, so in light of this threat, she transferred her money into an account that she shares with her big brother to protect her hard-earned funds.

The stepmother is furious that she has moved her money to another account, and feels the teen has 'undermined her as a parent'. The author's father is also upset with her that she 'didn't trust him enough to protect her money' because he insists that he ‘would not have allowed her stepmother to take any money’ from her. And ever since the incident, the author's stepmother has now 'banned her' from seeing her big brother, in a vain attempt to not allow her to access her own money.

What do you think? Was the author entirely justified to move her hard-earned money to a safe account that her stepmother couldn't access, after the threat was made to take it? Or was this a move that truly did undermine her stepmother, and show distrust towards her own father, thus making the entire situation worse?

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