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Teen who steals $2,000 from mom to party in another state sparks fury


A 17-year-old who stole $2,000 from his mother’s account and ran away to party in another state is being slammed online.

In a post shared on Reddit on Nov. 21, the boy’s mother (u/throwaway462o2) wrote that she was “beyond furious” but didn’t know what to do about her son’s increasingly bad behavior.

Although Redditors were sympathetic to the mother’s plight, many suggested she needed to be tougher on her son before he got into serious trouble.

A file photo of a mother and teenage son arguing. Reddit users suggested the teenager needed more boundaries and discipline.
PIKSEL/iStock/Getty Images Plus

What is normal behavior for a teenager?

Parenting consultant Roma Norriss says “tough discipline” isn’t always the best approach to curbing rebellious teenage behavior.

“Some of the things our teenagers do are quite shocking and distressing,” she said. Newsweek.

“But it’s actually more useful for parents to read this stuff as a form of communication.”

Norriss said that by adolescence, children are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but can act as a call for attention.

“We tend to want to move in with heavy lectures and discipline to make sure the behavior stops, but that can erode the (often already fragile) relationship we have with our teenager,” Norriss added.

“Instead, remember that if your child isn’t making good decisions, they’re not in a good space and need your help.”

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can seek advice from experts and your story could be published on Newsweek.

“Actions have consequences”

In her post, throwaway462o2 wrote that she and her ex-husband are divorced, but on good terms. They co-parent together, but their 17-year-old son lives with her.

Since he was 14, the boy has made his life “hell”. He started sneaking around to see girls and not doing his homework, but the mother had a hard time disciplining him.

“I’ve always been very relaxed about discipline because my dad abused me when I was a kid,” the Redditor wrote.

“I would take his phone rather than keep him away from his friends, or I would make sure he has to come straight home after school, but the behavior has only gotten worse.”

In recent months, her son’s attitude seemed to be improving. He told her his problems were because he missed his father, who lives in tri-state because of work, and that he felt stressed. To reward his behavior, the mother added him to her bank account, so he could “spend money on things he liked”.

However, she quickly regretted this decision. One morning, she got up at 7 a.m. to get a glass of water and realized that her son had disappeared from his bed.

“Of course I start calling and calling him furiously but he doesn’t answer,” the mum wrote.

“I see I have several text messages from my bank regarding various amounts spent with his card. I immediately deactivated his card from my banking app.”

Heartbroken, throwaway462o2 posted that she was “crying and crying”. Her son stole a total of $2,000, putting her in financial difficulty.

After calling her ex-husband, she texted her son to tell him how angry and disappointed she was, but didn’t get a response until two hours later.

“He finally responded at 9 a.m., saying he had crossed state lines and could not return immediately,” she wrote.

“When he finally came home, we had a huge altercation. I threw stuff at him and told him to get out of my house. I’ve never felt so out of control.”

The son’s excuse was that he had a new girlfriend and wanted to impress her and her friends, some of whom were “as young as 21”.

“I told his father he had to come here and get him,” the mother wrote.

“I’m sick of putting up with my son’s abuse and that was the final f****** straw.

“I called my bank to sort it all out, but I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the heart.”

Teen who steals ,000 from mom to party in another state sparks fury
A stressed woman on the phone to her bank to dispute a charge while holding a credit card in her right hand. Reddit users wrote that the teenager needed to find a job and pay back every penny he stole from his mother.
fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Many Reddit users were angry on the mother’s behalf as the post received nearly 10,000 upvotes and 1,300 comments.

“You tell your son to get a job and he has to pay you back every red penny,” mcmurrml wrote. “It will teach him to pay his debts and his responsibility.”

“If he’s old enough to spend that much money impressing a bunch of idiots, then he’s old enough to get a job and pay it all back,” Stabbmaster commented.

However, some users felt that throwaway462o2 should have taught his son better rules and boundaries, before things got out of control.

“Listen, I’m not saying it’s your fault, but a lot of it is,” the cheeky monkey wrote. “You can instill discipline and respect in a child without beating him.”

MysticSmear agreed, commenting, “I highly doubt he’s learned that actions have consequences. And I don’t think she’ll start teaching him now.”

Actual-catlady wrote: “You let him have unlimited access to your money? What happened to giving the kids a weekly allowance AFTER he finished the chores or something?

In an update in the comments, the poster wrote that she doesn’t want him to get a job so he can focus on extracurricular activities such as sports. Nevertheless, she told him to sell his consoles and his computer, and the son will move in with his father.

“I’ve put up with him long enough and I think it’s time for him to be with his dad for a while,” the mother posted. “He’s a lot tougher than me.”

Throwaway462o2 isn’t the only Redditor to fall out with a family member over money. A man turned to the True Off My Chest forum in August for advice, after his wife and stepson were caught stealing from his daughter, while a woman posted in October that she refused to pay her stepsister’s school fees after stealing from her boyfriend.

Newsweek contacted u/throwaway462o2 for comment but was unable to verify details of the case.

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