Yeah no, he has to pay back that money. He can sell his game console, get a summer job , whatever, but he has to pay each penny back. Teenagers have a rebellious phase and that’s okay, but behavior like this is unacceptable. At his age I would have never thought of doing this to my mom, because I knew that it would have broken her heart to lose that amount of money for no reason.


my rebellious phase was taking 20 seconds longer to come to the dinner table, and shutting my door harder jesus


In HS my mom kept asking questions and wouldn’t stop (there was something going on at the HS and she was fishing). I asked her if she was done grilling this side and would she like to grill the other. Doh! She was pissed. Normally my dad didn’t get involved but he just pointed in the direction of my bedroom.


What an awesome line. I would have got my ass beat if I said that to my mother. I'm stealing this for future use.


Honestly, awesome line. This is what a “rebellious phase” should be, not destroying your mother’s bank account..


not a native speaker so can you explain what that means?


Grilling is slang for intense questioning and also a term for cooking meat


Mine was wearing all black and rolling my eyes a lot.


Same. I grew out of the eye rolling but getting old enough to want to start again. Still rocking all black.


It's not a phase, mom!


I called 411 once because I got curious to what it was and was so scared when I learned that there was like a $.75 charge on the phone bill. Also, I would say "Night" instead of "Good Night" when I was angry... I was a very rebellious child.


I would order pizza (with my own money) if my mum was out for the evening and thought that was rebellious 😂


Slammed my door so much that my mom took it off the hinges. No door = no slamming. Mom 1, Me 0.


damn L privacy, W mom


Mine was/still is kinda staying up longer then I'm supposed to. I'm 16 and still am doing that jahahs


You're absolutely correct. When I was probably 16 or 17, I blew through my money (working very little because I was a spoiled brat). We had these enormous containers of change for trips, big dinners, etc. My selfish, short-sighted ass decided to dig through and pull out enough quarters that it was extremely noticeable. Probably $40 worth? I then took them to the coin machine thingy at the supermarket. It was the most selfish thing I had ever done, and ironically I was just stealing from myself. When they realized what I had done, I spent the entire summer's worth of Saturdays doing landscaping in the yard with them. I deserved it. What this kid is is incomprehensible to me. I have a 17 yr old, and I am also not with his dad. I can't imagine him hurting me this way. It would break my heart.


Agreed, this is an opportunity to impart a lesson about accountability for his actions.


Not all teenagers. I didn’t. Ever. Neither do my two teenagers. Jury is still out on my 10 year old lol.


Agreed! And also, sorry to hijack, but I really appreciate your edit OP, this is NOT your fault. Take some time, remember you love him unconditionally, and forgive sooner than later. But stay strong and continue to remember you have done your best!


My rebellious phase was staying in instead of going out and doing teen things like my mom wanted me to 💀


For some reason I never had a rebellious phase sometimes I wish I did a little more but nope. I guess not for everyone and stories like this makes me feel better about being a boring teen


You tell your son to get a job and he is to pay you back every red cent. You and ex get along which is great then call him and ask him to be on board. It will work better if you two are on the same page. Get a spreadsheet with the amount owed and update as he makes payments. This will teach him to pay his debts and responsibility. Please follow through on this. He is to pay the entire amount even if it takes a year. I don't want to blame you but for a kid who doesn't have a job or pay bills they don't understand the value of money and are hard it is. I would not give any teenager no matter how great they are free reign access to my bank card. Kids will go overboard because they don't understand and have that kind of discipline. Have you been teaching him how to budget, save money, pay bills, and manage money? He is 17 and almost an adult. Start teaching them at home. This is the way he can start. You write up the payment plan and he has a certain amount of time to find a job so he can pay his debts.


Absolutely, he should pay back every penny.


No ‘gifting’ parts of it back.


I would charge interest too 😂


He doesn’t have a job because he plays sports after school and is also in a club. I didn’t want him to overload his schedule, and with college on the way I just wanted him to focus on school. I’ve already told him I’ve started to sell his consoles and computer. As far as a job goes, his father will be handling that (yes I’m sending him away, I cannot physically be around my son at this time) and will be sending me money that my son makes. If that makes anyone upset, so be it. I’ve put up with him for long enough and I think it’s time for him to be with his dad for awhile. He’s a lot tougher than I am.


>He doesn’t have a job because he plays sports after school and is also in a club. Not any more he doesn't. Time to learn to pay his debts.


Turns out when you steal $2000 you need to sacrifice some of your hobbies to pay it back. That sucks but it's life.


Exactly what I was going to say. Being able to be in sports and a club after school is a privilege, not a right, and he forfeited that privilege when he decided to blow through $2K of his mom's money. I'm glad the kid is going to his dad's, hopefully dad will put him in his place because he needs it. Bad.


Contact his coaches and the club leaders. Explain to them why he won't be participating any longer.


Yep. But also please be open to suggestions they might have. This won't be the first shitty behaviour they've seen and they might have ideas that keep this kid in healthy activities while also making amends.


He's probably going to a new school where his dad lives.


OP, under no circumstances should you or the dad be the one to explain to his coaches why he is leaving. He must do that himself and in person.


He'll probably lie. Mom needs to be there. She should go to the school and make her son tell them everything. If he's already with dad, then I guess he'll be in a new school.


Nah, have the son do it


so he could act like its blown out of proportion?


If make him do it under direct supervision.


Have him own up to them first. Coaches will respect that. Then you can talk to the coaches and give your side of the story. I’m sure they’ve heard every excuse in the world from these kids.


Op this!!!!


Yeah if his schedule was really overloaded he wouldn't have time to go across statelines and party. Sounds like he would rather his time be loaded with something else. I commend op on what she's tried thus far, hopefully he grows out of his shit head ways but oof to all of this.






And I don't think Christmas should be generous, if at all this year.


I don’t think Christmas should involve any presents. Instead he should to be made to work with a charity.


I was really bad before Christmas one year (can’t remember what I did tbh) and I had to take all of my gifts to the fire station to give to more needy children as punishment. Let me assure you I smartened up real quick. Lol


socks and underwear. basically coal to kids and teens lol charity work as well, but yeah only gifts of boring function


Or thanksgiving. Everyone can have elaborate dinner but make his ass a TV dinner and if he complains, tell him it’s better than the food in juvie.


Realistically, OP's on a tight timeline here. Kid's 17, he could be in his senior year. If he already got accepted into a college because of extracurriculars, and got an even halfway decent scholarship, he could couch surf for the next \~9 months until college starts, and live on campus for a few years, completely out of her control. I mean, if he's stubborn enough. That's absolutely something my brother and a few of my cousins would've done in this situation. I'd say keep him at arm's length, and ***try*** to get the money back, but don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.


This is the correct answer but I don’t think OP will do it. If her response to “my son stole money from me” is he “can’t pay me back because it might overload his schedule” I highly doubt he’s learned actions have consequences. And I don’t think she will start teaching him now.


And what interest is. Otherwise he may drag it out.


Honestly, sports and clubs are a privilege it seems he could stand to lose. Maybe having a set job that he has to go to with set hours would serve him for some better self discipline. Just a thought. It sucks that you’re in the situation you’re in though, and I’m terribly sorry he’s done you so wrong like this. Wishing better days for you, truly. Edit: saw your edit. I’m glad you’re able to at least recoup some of the amount lost.


Agree. He doesn't like it. Well sucks to be him. Welcome to the real world and real world consequences. He has to learn what would happen because otherwise he's not going to be equipped to make the correct decisions when he is on his own.


Also, just my two cents but my Dad was the same as you in thinking I should concentrate on sports and clubs as well as schoolwork so I could get into a good college. And I did! I excelled at school. However, because I didn't have much experience with a "real job" or handling my own money or having financial responsibilities, I was hit hard with reality once I graduated college. I am still recovering from that in my 30s. Kids need to be taught financial responsibility. We need to be taught how to save, how to invest, how to get a loan and improve our credit. We don't pop out of the womb knowing that shit and we certainly don't just obtain the knowledge once we finish our schooling. I know I could have done the research and found a lot of this out myself, but the way my parents handled money did not help at all. It was like they said "don't worry about that stuff, you don't need to know, we will take care of it" and then when I was out of college switched it up and said, "figure it out yourself, you are an adult now." I am now no contact with my Dad, if that adds anything to my example. Not just for this reason but still.


Your words are so eloquent, nicely said. I was a mess about money, and when I went to the bank about my account (can’t remember why) the bank manager took such pity on me that he sat me down and patiently taught me how to compare my checkbook to my account and the best way to manage my money. A total stranger put me on the right path to money management.


Thanks for the compliment on my writing, that made me smile! And yes, see how one afternoon with a little effort changed your financial intelligence so much. If you could learn that in an afternoon, from a stranger, imagine what the world would be like if these types of things were covered in school. Wow. Maybe I am just gullible but writing that last paragraph gave me the epiphany that these things are not taught in school because it is another way to keep the masses (minorities, immigrants & the lower class) poor. Without even the basic skills needed to advance ourselves, we will stay in the cycle of poverty, be desperate for any low paying job just to keep our head's above water, and become victims of cyclical side-effects of being poor such as high interest rates, overdraft and low balance fees, etc etc. Ouch, that realization hurt.


Agree with you, but sometimes even the best efforts in the school system still don’t get through to kids. My school required an “economics” class for all graduating seniors. It was taught in a very hands on way, and was more basic life skill Econ than what you would typically think of an Econ class being. How to balance a checkbook. How to make a monthly budget. How credit cards and interest work. How to rent an apartment and make sure you UNDERSTAND your lease. How to buy a car. How to figure out what kind of car loan you can afford vs what the salesman tells you you can afford. Really helpful tools for kids who are a few months from having to navigate these things for real. And yet, despite us all taking the same class, SOOOO many of my friends beefed it the second they went out on their own, and freaked out when disaster happened. A friend LEASED a very nice new car, and then was sobbing when it was repossessed after the lease ended **because she didn’t know she had to return it, she thought she bought a Camaro for $7k** Another friend was kicked out of his bank and threatened with court, because he threw away all of his mail. Turns out he had over-drafted, which incurs a $50 fee each day you’re in the negative. Once the bank took all of his savings to cover the overdrafts that he kept ignoring, they threatened legal action. He just literally thought if he ignored it, it would go away, because he didn’t know what an overdraft was, and refused to call the bank or his parents and ask. Another acquaintance was evicted from her apartment, because she thought she was beating the system and getting free rent by sub-letting to like 5 random people in her one bedroom apartment. She didn’t read her lease, and was SHOCKED when she was evicted on short notice because that many people violated about 10 housing safety codes, and sub-letting was banned explicitly. Alllllll of these things were covered in our Econ class. And the teacher was a really cool guy, who took a lot of care to make sure we were prepared. But everyone hated that class because *It’s boring. I don’t need to know any of this*. I know not all schools offer this, and we were lucky. But it was painful to see how many friends treated the class like a joke, and then fell into the exact traps that the class was designed to save us from.


That class sounds awesome and should be universal. But as you said, a lot of students didn’t take it seriously or forgot it all or willfully ignored advice. But, I think that has more to do with it only being one semester or a similarly short and stand alone class/lesson. If it is part of the curriculum from elementary school, then a lot of the concepts couldn’t be missed by even the worst slackers without a lot of effort.


Ours starts in elementary. They earn a monthly stipend, from jobs held in class. Then they have to pay rent, for their desk, and other bills. They have a monthly bank meeting, with a banker (usually a parent helper, I was banker a few times). Where they get their earnings, pat their rent, utilities, and other bills, then find balances and are offered things to buy, like gum passes. My oldest loved it. And saved his money like no other. In fact, he got into trouble for selling gum to classmates for their gum passes. Teacher felt bad, as he was quite the “entrepreneur” according to her. I should’ve been the mad one, as I had been stocking the entire 3rd grades gum supply for a month or two! Couldn’t figure out how he could chew that much gum, but said he was sharing and was proud! They do this among others, plus the mandatory economics class in high school. Still have some that come out not knowing shit.


This is so important, I was given pocket money as a kid, then when I became a teenager it became a decent allowance (£25pcm in 2003) but when I turned 14 I was fully expected to get a job and while parents would pay for basics (food, house, utilities, clothes I *needed*) I was responsible for anything on top of that. Travel fares, extra clothes, games whatever it was that was one me completely. My 5yo has already started getting 50p a week so I can start explaining the value of money with her already, about 6months in she already understands and is implementing saving for something and currently has £3.50, so if my *5yo* can learn impulse control and responsibility over her own money then my gosh OP your 17yo is over ready.


I started working at 14 too... But not because I was made to but because I realized very young that anything coming from my mom is coming with strings attached and I didn't need any more of her strings manipulating my life and movements. Good fricken thing I did too and didn't listen to her "your job is to go to school and let me worry about everything else" Pfft. Because a few months before my 16th birthday she brought soon to be husband #3 home from the bar and kicked me out a week later. If I didn't have that job I'd probably be dead today.


I support your decision to send your son to his dad's. Especially, if his dad is willing and able to set firmer boundaries As far as, consequences go. Him being sent to live with his dad who lives 3 states away means: 1. Son will no longer be playing sports or participating in his club. 2. He will no longer be in the physical company of the gf and the pals he was trying to impress. 3. He is now the new kid and will have to work to establish a new friend group. Maybe this will allow him to focus on his studies more. 4. Without being involved in sports and club he will now have time to work a part-time job and repay his mom. 5. With distance and time away from his mom. Maybe now he will reflect on his past behaviors and understand how badly he treated her. 6. By sending him to live with his dad, mom has established that she has boundaries and will enforce as needed and when necessary. This shows him his mom is not be a doormat.


When it’s laid out like this, I whole heartedly agree.


I'm 18. I play sports, have a work heavy position in my JROTC battalion, and am a part of the drill team. Yet I still manage to work 3 to 4 days a week despite having a heavier class schedule than most of my friends that don't work. Trust me your son will be fucking fine working. I pay for gas, car insurance, and a few other random things for myself and I get along fine. I make 11 an hour and I usually get paid roughly 130 to 190 a week. Idk where you live or what the minimum wage is like there but even assuming he makes 7.25 he could DEFINITELY pay you back that 2 grand. So I definitely second the idea of him getting a job on top of that this should double as part of his punishment so if he is too stressed and has to give something up then let it be the sports or clubs, let him learn that his consequences have actions and that when he spends money on credit he HAS to find a way to pay it back and that can jeopardize his fun things.


At the very least I think kids need to have summer jobs! I get wanting them to focus on school during the school year but unless they have year round school with more smaller breaks, they can still learn a lot and benefit from summer jobs. I worked 25-30hrs in the summers from 14 through the start of college (during college had full time summer jobs and part time in school). And I still had plenty of time for sports, friends, hobbies, and studying to get good grades.


Hell get into college fine without sports. He needs to repay that shit


Sending him to be with his dad for a while is a smart idea. It will give you time to financially and emotionally recover from the damage he caused. Hopefully, his dad will be able to reach him and turn his behavior around. Best of luck OP.


Yes. I also have health issues and between dealing with that and his behavior im probably not as on point as I used to be. This will also give me a chance to stress a little less and focus on myself and my physical health.


Sending him to his dad will also get him physically away from these so-called friends who are the impetus for his sneaking around and stealing. That, along with strict rules about school, work, and internet usage, should break the hold they have on him. And really, now that he’s no longer flush with (stolen) cash, to gift to these adults taking advantage of him, that might break the rest of his connection with those shady “friends”.


Looks like it’s time for him to quit all extracurriculars and get a fucking job.


You can take and sell his phone and get him a very cheap flip phone or something ? And if he had a gaming console or computer as well


He had time to spend 2000$ and didn’t really give you the grace of asking you or whatever, he deserves nothing.


You should make a spreadsheet of your income and expenses and show it to him (I guess via email since he is going to be gone). I think he deserves to know just how big an impact $2000 makes on your budget.


It sounds like you don't punish his bad behaviour and encourage his extracurriculars. He's 17 but across state lines partying?? I'm sorry you're in this situation but I think learning the difference between punishing bad behaviour and abuse would do you the world of good. If you let him continue on this path of going wherever and spending whatever without responsibilities, this post is going to be a summary of the rest of your life. If I'd stolen 2k from my parents, which is exactly what he did, I wouldn't get to do clubs and sports or go out with friends. I don't want to say you've created a monster but you certainly haven't prevented one from fucking you over.


For what it’s worth here’s a 🫂 I don’t blame you for your reaction one bit! Been there, done that. It will get better with time and the sting dulls.


You spend 2k of MY money, you don't get clubs or sports until the money is back. Actions have consequences.


Shifting him 3 states away will, I hope, put distance between your son and these older friends he has connected with. Ditto for ensuring that his main activities in life are school and work. His dad will have to figure out just how much internet access to permit, since I’m sure schools require email and internet usage now. Maybe they’ll need to set up a desktop PC in a common area of the home, and no laptop allowed, so he can’t make stealthy plans. And no smartphone allowed, either. Son can have a flip phone that texts. I don’t trust this group of adult friends one bit. WTH are young adults doing hanging out with a 17-year-old and helping him sneak around behind his parents’ back? Of course, now that the debit card is deactivated, and the money faucet is turned off, your son might be about to learn a valuable lesson about “friends” who dump you when they’ve got no more use for you.


My son is in HS and last year played football so he practiced after school and then still worked until 10pm afterwards and on the weekends. It can be done. I agree with sending him to his father. He needs a father figure to correct this behavior.


Unless he is getting a sports scholarship, those sports and clubs need to end ASAP. He works until that debt is paid is probably the most important life lesson you could ever teach him.


Good this will teach him since he won't be around his girlfriend anymore now that he is not living in the area. Good for you for not being a pushover and showing him you are not an ATM.


My parents always told me that sports and other activities were luxuries and I was not entitled to them just because my friends etc were doing them. I had to keep my grades up and follow house rules and expectations in order to continue doing the things I liked. There were times when I was grounded or punished and had to not attend my sports activities. If I had stepped out even a fraction as bad as your son did, I would have been yanked out so fast I would have left my cleats behind. You try to set your kid up for a good future and he repaid you by showing you how much he doesn’t appreciate it or respect you at all for it. He was showing off in front of others knowing there would be fallout with you and literally not caring about it. He stops his extracurriculars and gets a job to show him what it’s like to have to earn money and hopefully show him why he should be going to college. Hell, if it SNOWS where you live, he should be out there all day hoofing it everywhere with a shovel peddling his services. No excuse.


Just take his counsels and sell them yourself. When he freaks out, ask him if he likes being stolen from. Put him in therapy too.


I hope when you reach a level that is less angry you have a conversation with your son wherein you: 1) apologize for losing your shit on him. 2) Explain that as a 17 almost 18 yo you had provided him with a level of responsibility you thought he could handle and he instead absolutely shit all over that; 3) That he is too old to not understand that money while made from paper does not in fact grow on trees and it is his parents job to teach him that and that obviously you and his father fucked that up along the way so will be working together to ensure that he gets that message now; 4) the stupidly of trying to buying friends; and 5) boy does he make it hard not to dislike him intensely for having no care in the world for you and everything you do for him, but you love him.


I don’t know why you putting proper boundaries down for your son would make anyone upset.


This is good. He still needs to pay you. Please take this advice seriously. He can get a weekend job and send you the money. This isn’t just you being paid back, it’s the lesson it teaches. My sister did stuff like this and never had to pay me back (she stole from me and my family countless times). It taught her to treat others with disrespect and she’d get away with it. If she had faced normal consequences throughout her life, things would be different. She’s definitely a narcissist and has been in and out of trouble her whole late teenage and adult life. We have no contact with her.


Honestly OP! This focus on you doing for him is part of the reason you’re in this pickle. His first priority should school (grades) then paying you back. Help him get a job in a helping industry (nursing homes, shelters, elderly care). Those would all count as pluses for college admissions. If he fucks up, it’s on him.


I did the exact same thing when my son stole from my ex-wife. Spreadsheet, and I made him pay back all of it. He was depressed, had anxiety, and inherited my ADHD. I'm convinced he was lashing out because he didn't feel seen or cared for. We got him to a great psychiatrist and he's down to just the meds for ADHD. After paying his mom back, he played a couple of sports in high school and got a girlfriend--whom I quickly convinced to motivate him towards improving his grades. He's not completely killing it, but the attention he got was enough for him to turn things around. Please don't give up on your son, but know that it's going to take tough love for a while for him to redeem your relationship.


If he's old enough to blow that kind of money on impressing a bunch of idiots, then he's old enough to get a job and pay it all back. He needs to feel some true blue consequences, even if it goes as far as to let the bank report it to the police as theft. I doubt they will, as he was an authorized user on the account, but you get where I'm going with this.


At the bank I worked at, it would be very unlikely they would be able to offer any help with this situation.


At any bank, really. The best that could have been afforded in a situation like this would have been an out-of-state notice on the 1st transaction, and even then if she was known to leave the state for any reason that wouldn't be a cause for alarm.


I bank I currently work at has automatic fraud systems that block unusual transactions on accounts. We have people calling in pissed sometimes but in the reason it exists is literally this entire post.


I'm sorry you are dealing with this. At that age a child should be learning to be trusted... and he just proved he can't. All perks, and any sort of leeway should be removed. When I was a kid, I shot someone's sliding glass door. Guess who had to pay? My parents. Guess who was marched up to that house and was basically sold into slavery to pay back my parents? Me. Guess who was grounded all summer except to work off my debt? Me. I learned my lesson. You break that trust, it takes a lot to get it back. If I stole from my parents, everything I owned would have been sold, or destroyed. I hope this becomes a lesson for him as well.


I’ve already taken pictures of his computer and consoles to sell. I’ve let him know of this as well, and he’s not happy about it. He can keep his phone but I will be selling his stuff. I’ve already made sure that when he goes to live with his father that he won’t get him any new consoles or gaming stuff. That should get me at least half the money back.


I would only ask that you either remove the hard drive from his PC or get it wiped. Don't want someone buying that and getting some credit card info or anything off of it. Same with wiping the consoles.


Yes yes yes, that's an important step if you're selling them


Good. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. But you're being smart... you either sell his shit, or "you have x months to make me whole, or it's gone"


Sell on Facebook, don’t give his games to gamestop. They will give you Pennie’s for everything. You happen to know what games he plays? Some of them have skins in game that actually cost a lot irl money. People are willing to pay for these accounts.


Tell your hubby he will have to buy his new stuff on his own after he pays you back. This truly is a good learning experience for him.


If the phones paid off. Just turn it off, he can keep it. Just won’t have any service on the mf.


Just make sure you wipe his hard drives or remove them first in case he has any personal info on them. You don't want that getting into the wrong hands


I think he should be the one to do the work of selling the goods. It’s a hassle to do that and he should also have to work hard to get the best prices he can.


Dont forget the steam account


Steam TOS doesn’t allow you to sell the account. Of course, you technically could, but you risk getting the whole account banned. Plus, not many people are interested in buying Steam accounts for not only this reason, but because it’s so easy to recover an old Steam account with the right info. The majority of the people interested in buying steam accounts are only interested in buying hacked one.


Sometimes you can do your absolute best and they still turn out to be little shits


This exactly. I think my sister and I turned out well. But my eldest brother who we helped get through college, supported him on everything, and helped him when he got robbed by his "friends". Called us manipulative abusers after we pointed out we knew nothing about his Fiance. That we wanted to get to know her but she kept changing her story everytime we talked to her. Seriously it would all be in one day of "I'm working here" or "I'm actually not working" or "I'm going to school" or "I'm not going to school". Etc. It made no sense. He completely cut us out of his life after have married her. We still don't know her, or her family. All we know is he has now a fuck ton of debt and is overbuying things. She doesn't work, he earns the same amount as me, and has bought her a BMW and himself 2 Camaros this year. It's SUS.


She likely isolated him. That’s what abusers do.


I agree. But he doesn't see it and refuses to.


Yes!!! My oldest- super easy to raise Middle child- complete opposite Youngest child - undecided lol.


I wasn’t easy to raise but I turned out pretty okay. I’m a reasonably responsible adult, live with my boyfriend in another state, I’m cool w my parents…. little brother? He was a monster then and he’s a monster now. Baby sister’s the only one of us with her head on straight but she’s only been 18 a month so we’ll see.


I am the oldest of 5 and the most difficult my mother will vouch for this. I was extremely awnry and did not care for authority at all. I was a mess until I found out I was going to be a dad. Own a business now and had an attitude adjustment attending the hard knocks schooling. Each kid in every family is unique.


I agree. Overall mine are good kids, but they can be selfish to me sometimes. Kids are inherently selfish and need to be called to the carpet on their shit.


I’ve had to tell my grandmother this in regards to one of her kids. She has said that she doesn’t know what we wrong in how they raised them, but I pointed out how her other two children (including my now passed on mother) both came of childhood as responsible, respectful adults. The other one just has a lot of issues I won’t go into, and sometimes there’s simply nothing a parent can do—especially if the teenager isn’t communicating.


Sometimes your best just isn't very good


I'm trying to figure out why her form of punishment was to only take away his phone? I don't think hitting a kid is the answer, but the reason he did that was because he could. They're were no serious consequences. While he's old enough to know better she brought some of this on herself.


I am sorry your son took advantage of you. It sounds like now is a good time for a break. Your son was way out of line. I hope, when you're ready, you can work things out. He should also be expected to pay you back. I don't know what kind of spending limits you initially set on him, but whatever he went over, he needs to replace.


2.000 is two times the Spanish minimum wage, that's.... honestly atrocious. He needs to repay it back, every single dollar. I understand how huge the urge to snap his neck must be, but this is one of the moments where your prowess as mother is tested. You need to find a way to ensure he has the bare minimum income until he's refunded every single dollar he has spent.


That's almost a whole months paycheck for us. That's insane


It is in Spain too, they meant 2 times the monthly minimum wage which is, €1050pcm


i’m 17 now, and work 20-22 hours a week for $12 USD an hour. What this idiot spent of his mother’s money would be almost 3 months of work for me (taxes) I’m just saying this for reference


When my little brother (17 at the time) stole and ran up his mother’s credit card, not only did he have to pay it back but he was financially cut off from that point on. If he needed shoes, a new phone, or a damn stick of deodorant he had to either pay for it himself or work it off (hard manual labor like splitting wood and mucking out chicken coops). If he missed the bus and needed a ride to school, $20 or get your bike. Got a cavity and need a filling? Better lay off the candy and start picking up some extra shifts at work. The only expense he didn’t pay for was food.


Oof. Cavity and medical bills seems harsh but I understand.


>I let him have a card attached to my bank account so he could spend money on stuff he liked. Dude... what? You let him have unilimited access to your money? What happened to giving kids a weekly allowance AFTER completing chores or something? This seems insane tbh


My mom gave me a card in high school for gas and emergencies as long as i kept up certain grades. But to be fair i was a pretty easy kid, mostly just sassy. So i can see where she may have been coming from. Stuff he liked hopefully was spelled out more for him in restrictions like food/gas otherwise, ya i dont see why he wouldnt just keep pushing his luck. but i also wonder how many other times he abused that card without getting caught. $2000 is a large amount for supposedly the first time abusing it. The road to hell is paved with good intensions and all that.


I get it, but $2000? Why would a 17 year old need more than MAYBE $200 for an emergency?


Oh no i wasnt saying that the limit should be set at 2000! Tbh i have no idea what my mom set mine at if there was even one. I was to afraid to use it beyond gas and occassionally she'd tell me i could spend like 50$ at the mall with friends. I was just saying the card itself isnt a terrible idea. Limits should definitely be set individually by child needs and level of trust.


Only the parent can know what their kid is like. If you see your kid saves more than half of birthday money etc and is generally responsible than it’s fine. But I’ve seen plenty of irresponsible kids where the parent should have known better and it resulted in a blow up like this. For kids like that a prepaid card is best.


Yeah that’s crazy. When I was 17 I had a part time job and my own money. I had absolutely no access to my parents money.


I made my brother an authorized user on my credit card when he was in high school. Never did he ever spent $2000. Not all kids are terrible people.


OPs kid had a history of being a little shit, tho. I'm not sure what compelled OP to think a few months of good behavior means a reformed kid?


While your bro wasn’t terrible, her son was “from hell”. She should’ve known better


Wtf is wrong with him. But why would you attach his card to yours? You could have created a child account that you had access to but that could hold his money.


Guarantee she is busy being his friend and not his mother. Kid has multiple gaming systems yet 2k puts her underwater.


These systems can be multiple years old. Hell, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are 2 years old at this point and they were only like 500. 500 bucks saved up to spend on Xmas or birthdays gifts is very different to blowing 2 grand on a weekend to impress a girl. Hell, I have a PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and a gaming laptop, and I don't have even 1K to my name currently. I had to get the laptop because I needed a computer with an Nvidia graphics card to do CUDA and OpenCL programming for my degree. And the others were somewhat unhelpful financial decisions which were made when I previously was more able to make them. Circumstances change, and while I was able to afford them when I bought them, I wouldn't be able to get the consoles now and I'm hoping to avoid needing to sell the newer ones while I'm between jobs. And you're also assuming that she bought them. Maybe they were from grandparents or his dad?


Look I'm not saying this is your fault but alot of it is. You can instill discipline and respect in a child without beating them. The softly softly approach is not always the right way to go. I'm sorry this has happened but apart from your son being a bit of an asshole, you've enabled alot of this to happen. Stop giving him privileges. He's old enough to get a job. At this point I'd wash my hands of him a good amount of time and try to stop him growing up to be an asshole although I fear that's too late


Permissive parenting is the problem. She allowed him to terrorize her and never actually tried to seek help or parenting advice, and she inevitably blew her lid. If he was punished in ways that made sense to what he was doing, some sort of therapy or evaluation, or even just assuming he may have had big feelings about the divorce and leaving space for him to talk about it, something may have turned out differently.


You say you don't punish him. He acts like someone who knows he can do whatever and go unpunished. People advice you to make him get a job. You say you don't want him to drop sports. Cool, but he'll grow up a monster just because your father traumatised you and you overcompensated by letting your son become an egocentrical idiot. You have maybe once in a lifetime opportunity to teach your child about consequences. Maybe think about it.


She took his phone away but still let him hang out with his friends? How is that punishment? The kid knows there are no consequencs because mom is trying to be his friend because she feels guilty for the divorce. OP - you created this monster by not teaching him bounderies. In one of your comments you still want him to continue with sports and after school activities instead of getting a job. You need to reevaluate your parenting style, because even after all that he did, you are still making excuses for him and not making him learn from his mistakes.


Also punishmemts such as taking away the phone NOR grounding the kid don’t do anything.


You did not set up proper boundaries from the beginning. You didn't keep him from friends at 14? Why? You let him come home late still? Why? You have acted like a pushover and weak this entire time - then you burst in an inappropriate rage. The bad part is that you will feel guilty over this and let your son get away with all the shit he did. You have to fix yourself. Period. Sit down and outline rules of your household. Your son has to stick to them or he is COMPLETELY grounded. From everything. Period.


Out until 11 is one thing, likewise with wanting a girlfriend. The big thing though is also looking at who these friends are… what business does a 17 year old have hanging out with 21 year old adults? And what business do they have hanging out with a kid in high school… Spending extra money to impress a girl is one thing, but this is really sus when you are crossing state lines with older kids.


I see where he gets his questionable decision making skills. A couple months ago your son was a demon from hell, then he changed it up for a little bit so you gave him completely unrestricted access to your entire bank account??? That does not track at all. You gave adult responsibility to a child who has barely turned a corner with his behavior. Your son is definitely out of line, but you need to take major responsibility for this even being possible. Your decision making sucks. It's no surprise your son also makes crappy decisions.


Based on your post and comments there is a cold hard truth you need to face: you created this. First, pretending because he was young he didn't see anything is wrong. And being older and having his father away does affect him. You went with it didn't appear to affect him but then didn't take real steps when his actions started showing something is wrong. Second, you have coddled him. Lax on discipline, that's on you. I get having him focus on sports and school, but it sure does not appear like he has had any real reason to learn responsibility or consequences. Then you go and give him unfettered access with no limitations on your money and are surprised this kid who knows nothing about responsibility and consequences acted that way? Now you go to the extreme other end and throw things and kick him out? The only consistency you have shown him is that he has no real boundaries. And the second you back down and let him back in the house, which you know you will, he will learn yet again that he can get away things. Because you laid down a punishment you won't stick to. If you had said, you can't come back till it is paid off, that is a hard boundary. Edited to add people keep wanting to say kids stole from mom, but based off what? She handed him a credit card with no limits, she doesn't indicate she gave him any actual restrictions or rules. Was the kid completely irresponsible, absolutely. Was Mom irresponsible, absolutely. It is easy to call it stealing, but that's not really what it is.


Yes I think there’s an error here on Mom’s part not to have stipulated how much he could spend. He should still have to pay it all back but Mom needed to also learn better communication skills as a result of this.


Yeah I'm not sure why she is surprised at all that this happened. Up until a few months ago *she thought she raised a child from hell and then gave him a no-limits credit card?????* Why would you do that!? If there were darwin awards for economic matters this would be nominee material. A couple of months of being good doesn't make up for 3 years of being a terrible person. All she talks about here are things that he did. Not things she did to try and help him get to be a better person. For 3 years he was being a bad kid... ok so what did you do about it other than take away his phone? It seems pretty clear that taking his phone didn't help, so who did you contact in order to fix his behavior? I totally agree with you that she seems to have completely ignored the signs that things weren't hunky-dory. Also, legally she probably doesn't have a leg to stand on for theft and/or fraud. She gave him a no-limits credit card attached to her bank account... I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice but I don't see a possible cause of action here.


I am a lawyer, she has no leg. He had an authorized card linked to the account. Also, totally agree about her whining. She is so very woe is my, my child doesn't appreciate or respect me. Your child needs you to be a freaking parent and put in some rules and consequences. Getting tired of parents who create these little monsters and then cry for themselves. It is possible he could have been a little shit even if she did everything objectively possible and "right" but then at least she would be able to say woe is me with a little conviction. Oof now she is blocking people who dare to point out the fault she holds in this situation. Really showing her true colors here.


I figured. I'm but a mere 1L at the moment so I still know next to nothing. Totally agreed. Too many parents think that they are their kid's friend rather than their parent. There's an argument to be made for nature/nurture but everything she is complaining about seems to have been able to have been prevented by just being a better parent. We love seeing people show their true colors when they don't get everyone agreeing with them lol


Exactly!!! Mother has to take a lot of blame for this one.


Exactly. I don't have any sympathy for parents who let their kids get away with murder then one day just want to wash their hands of the problem they created.


He's a good boy!!! >Multiple run ins with the law, parents let them keep guns and drugs in the house zero oversight on their peer group. I can't believe this happened!


I never realized how dumb and naive people could be until I started reading posts from this sub and u/bestofredditorupdates or whatever it's called. God damn.


100% Add to that her edit, where she also indicates she intends to avoid the problem rather than face it herself. Modeling responsibility is important. I feel bad for this kid's future. I hope OP can pull it together before its too late.




My mom gave me a debit card probably sophomore year of high school but was very clear. This is for gas, and emergencies. Occassionally i'd go to the mall w friend and she'd be like okay you can splurge X amount on the card. I cannot even imagine dropping two thousand dollars in one night. Got a job at the movie theatre my senior year, boy was that eye opening how little $ you can get from 8 hours of work. I cant even imagine what my mom would do if i did that. Holy moly.


Seems there has been a lack of natural consequences in your parenting. Taking away someone’s phone does nothing to teach someone how their behavior caused harm. Punishment only teaches that you either should t get caught or what how big of a “fine” you’re willing to pay for something you want to do. It seems like he hasn’t actually been given the tools to make healthy decisions, which as you can see, is a huge problem. It’s also likely there is something going on mental health-wise that made it easy for him to make such a wreck less decision. If you actually want change you have to figure out what the problem is. And the problem isn’t that he’s a bad person. The problem is there is something wrong- your parenting style doesn’t work for him. It’s up to you to figure out if he’s mentally/emotionally ok and to actually connect with him. He should be evaluated for thing a like depression and ADHD, and possible substance misuse. When there’s a sudden change in someone’s behavior like this it’s not a character flaw, there is something else going on. If you need the money make him earn it to pay it back. Edit to add: the fact that your reaction is “how could he do this to me” and not “I’m worried about why he thought this was ok” is a massive red flag as a parent tbh. And your reaction taught him more damaging lesions in how not to treat people. I suggest therapy for you if you’re not already in it to work through your issues with your childhood, because that’s in immature and petty reaction to what’s an understandably extremely stressful situation. You need a break from him then that fine, but you’re abusive and reactionary way of dealing with this taught him your love is conditional, and the price is $2000.


That’s what I was thinking…if the problems started at fourteen did she not try to ask…why is he suddenly behaving like this and acting out instead of punishing him…? And how is she not concerned about the fact that the “friends” he’s with are 21..?!


This person seems way too fucking immature to have a 17 year old. No one forced her to become a parent. And for a teenager, this isn’t even that bad, teenagers are tough. You can’t just throw away your kid when it gets a little rough. I am sorry but I am not on the moms side it seems she has set up this slope for him to go down and now is taking it out on him (and PHYSICALLY, which is questioning after saying she didn’t want to be like her abusive parents, something tells me this wasn’t the first time she’d lash out like that). Teenagers are assholes, you need to parent them, not just give them no rules and boundaries then cry yourself to sleep when they do something wrong, NO SHIT. And you definitely don’t kick them out, she was SOOO worried about where he was that night but then kicks him out and had no idea where he was for multiple nights? And says she didn’t care? Ya nahhh fuck this mom.


Holy parent of the year over here. Great breakdown!


I can relate OP, my oldest son is 19 now. When he turned 14 I had a suspicion he was taking our oldest daughters car and sneaking into town after my daughter had called me a few times saying she thought someone had siphoned fuel out of her car. (I was working out of town at the moment). I told my wife my suspicion and suggested setting an alarm to “check” on him occasionally. Roughly 3 weeks later I got the phone call that he was missing along with “MY TRUCK”!!! I called the sheriff and told them that my son and one of our vehicles is missing and for all I know someone stopped by the farm and he could have been abducted! I said this knowing it would make it a priority. “Joy Riding” in my state by a minor is not a priority and I wanted to make sure he was safe before I strangled him. I was pissed!! They caught him at 3:30 in the morning trying to sneak back onto the property! I was enroute driving home when my wife called and told me the law had him and wanted to know what we wanted to do. She put me on speaker phone and when he told me he could release him to her or they could take him in I didn’t hesitate to tell the officer to take him. I spent the next 4 years dealing with a very awnry teenager and stuck to my word with him. It was rough getting thru that part of his life. He was definitely my child is all I can say, I did the same shit growing up. There were many “hiccups” along the way but I now have a diploma that i told him he could have back when he gets married but right now it’s my trophy! Stick with it he’s still your son and it can be aggravating! For every action there are consequences either good or bad. He will mature past this stage.


Just a heads up, playing up the potential severity of a situation to the cops is a really bad idea. Aside from the fact that you only did it so they would use police resources to find your kid, the other reason it’s bad is because then when they do find the truck they’re primed for a potentially more severe encounter. What you told them could make the difference between them approaching the truck with flashlights out to make sure your son is ok or them approaching the truck with guns drawn thinking they might be dealing with a hostage situation or something. This has happened all around the country, there was a famous one in LA a few years back when a guy got his laptop stolen, he told the cops the thief robbed him at gunpoint even though it was a simple burglary because he knew they would take that more seriously. The cops ended up killing the unarmed thief at the arrest because they were keyed up to be dealing with a violent offender.


I'm sick of permissive parents getting upset and giving up when their shitty parenting has consequences. You couldn't care less where he is? And now he's someone else's problem? At least you're being honest about the kind of person you are.


There is no remorse in your son's excuses. He will continue this behavior. Never trust him. Find a way to make him pay the money he spent. This maybe teach him, but I am not sure. Forcing him therapy maybe. Sorry for you. I hope things will be better.


Incredible that the person most responsible for disciplining and educating their child will simultaneously refuse to take any responsibility for their behavior and also confess to lashing out at them (throwing stuff at them and chasing them out of the house). You deserve any criticism you get, frankly.


You didn’t draw any boundaries with him, require any responsibility of him, or discipline him. Yes he’s an asshole, but you taught him to be this way. That doesn’t justify throwing shit at your own kid. Especially when you didn’t give him boundaries for the card that you gave him. He deserves communication and fair repercussions. Not 0 to 100 parenting. You’re both going to need therapy at this point, when you obviously already needed it


Also he started acting out at 14. Probably puberty triggering a possible mental health issues. My brother was a great kid. A little quiet and stadlffish though and once he hit puberty he become so withdrawn and reckless. Turns out he was depressed.


Why did I have to scroll so far to find this comment? There is definitely a parenting problem if you’re psychically abusing your child. Yes, hurling objects at them is abusive, it doesn’t matter how shitty he was acting. It’s also not teaching him any positive communication and coping skills.


People don't seem to realise that parenting works a but like dominoes. If something fucks up this bad it's probably because there were a multitude of mistakes made by the parents in the past. "he should understand the value of money" Well it is evident he doesn't, did OP ever teach him the value of money? Was there any evident behaviour that proved this idea except for "oh he's been on earth for 17 years". "he never does his homework and runs off do other stuff" Maybe you're not creating an environment he wants to be in? Poor kid honestly, imagine being raised in a situation where you're constantly feeling shitty about your parents mistakes and you can't properly express your own emotions and feelings. Hope he gets the help he deserves.


If I had done that to my mom I wouldn’t have seen 18 she’s have put me in the ground. My mum loved us and was a great mum but when it came to discipline she wasn’t messing around she was a single mom. She used to say she brought us into this world and could take us out of it if we pushed that point. Your kids not fearing the consequences of his actions. Time to bring on the fear. Parents should be loved and respected and you should be able to go to them for anything there should also be a slight fear of waking the mom monster inside. I’d be making his life a living hell and teaching him a lesson he will never forget


He’s a reflection of your parenting. That says a lot.


Right on the money!


You gave your kid unfettered access to your bank account?! LOLWUT?!


This is why teaching your kids to value money is one of the most important things you can do. I watched my parents struggle to become financially stable after we immigrated. Understanding how hard they worked for every penny makes me think 10x over before I ask them to buy me something I really didn't need. Even if you don't struggle with earning money, you should try and educate your kids from an early age on how to be responsible with it. Those lessons have stuck with me for life and I'm sure they would stick with other young kids if they're taught the right way.


Sounds like you really need to evaluate your decision making process. Why would you give a child a basically unlimited spending account? This one is on you.


Right like… youth checking accounts with small hard limits exist. Youth accounts require an adult signer and you have the freedom to add money whenever he needs it so things like this don’t happen.


Pull him out of all extra circulars. He enjoyed them? To bad. They would look good on his college application? To bad. Consequences have actions and if it were anyone else he'd have a criminal record. How much is a felony? Also he sounds dumb as shit did he think you wouldn't find out? Or that you'd punish him less?


This is incredibly bad advice. He needs more extracurriculars picking up trash and helping the homeless, or yah know, getting a fucking job. Hurting his scholarship chances is just more dumb financial decisions.


The entire post is disgusting. Op YOU are the problem. You didn't want to be a parent and let him get away with murder with basically no consequences and now wanna throw a fit because it has finally hit you where it hurts. You can try to make all the excuses you want it's YOUR FAULT for giving a teenager a credit card with no spending limit. You are a crap parent. End of story. Own it and quit playing the victim.


Not to mention when OP assaulted her son by throwing things at him.


There are a lot of comments here that seem to be piling on, so I'm going to try to be diplomatic here. Giving your 17 year old child a blank check in your name (which is precisely what you did by giving him the debit card) was an **unambiguously bad decision.** It does not matter if he's the most angelic son one could ask for, that does not change the fact that it's a bad decision. In that moment, your bank account became a joint account with your son as the other beneficiary. I would also call attention to how he reacted upon being found out. If I had pulled something like this, thinking I could get away with it, and then received a text from my parent essentially saying I'd been caught and to come home right away, I would find my way home with my tail between my legs. This is because my parents taught me from a young age (non-violently and very diplomatically I might add) that if I fucked around, I was going to find out. Everything you need to know about how your son views and respects you can be gleaned from his nonchalant response to your text. He was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, beyond a reasonable doubt, and he knew it - and yet, he was in no hurry to come home, not out of fear or shame but because he was having a good time with his "friends." That does reflect on you in some respect, regardless of how much you've tried. Did you have money set aside to help this kid with college? Garnish it to fill the hole in your bank account. Tell him to get a job, charge him rent, sell his possessions - prioritize recouping your lost assets. But once that is taken care of, you need to take a hard look at how you got here.


My daughter is 15. She’s not allowed to hold onto her own cash, after she tried to impress her friends with her birthday money. We had a BIG talk about the value of money, and that the people who gave it to her work for it. They traded hours of their lives so that she could have a gift. She then worked off what she gave away at $5/hr. We live in the country, with no shortage of chores. She definitely doesn’t have a debit card. And she will never have one that’s tied to our account. Kids do stupid things. It’s our job to either prevent it, or teach them when they’ve done something wrong. What bugs me the most is you talk about his abuse, and then say that you screamed, cursed, and threw things at him. That’s not okay. You can’t be “relaxed with discipline” and then go into a screaming rage. We don’t yell at our daughter. It doesn’t work. We teach her why something was wrong, give a consequence, and then do what we can prevent the situation from happening again. As I type this, my kid is in her room doing homework that she lied about. She’s taking a break from her tv and Xbox until she makes it right, and that includes me being able to confirm everything with her teachers. (Unfortunately for her, she chose to do this over Thanksgiving break.) When we got a report of her acting up in a different class, we did the same thing until she wrong an apology to her teacher. I’d rather be a mean mom now than deal with the consequences later.


Never give a kid Card Blanche. A lot of bank have a student card, and you can setup the limits. You have to put your foot down and set him straight.


WTF OP? - knowing he is difficult, you gave him access to your bank account? This is insane. You could have given him access to money with a limit. You could have told him to get a job. You gave him free range over your finances. He is a stupid 17 yo…honestly, what did you expect? My mind is blown by this. You really have no one to blame but yourself here. That said, he should pay you back. There needs to be a plan in place for him to pay you back. Maybe your ex can help with this. Set a game plan together and make your son stick to it.


**TLDR: I'm not sure why you're surprised in the slightest about this. You made a clearly dumb decision. You have a history of poor parenting and have assaulted and quite possibly battered your minor son. (Obligatory I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice).** So I gotta agree with some of the other commenters here and say that this is all on you dude. Let's break down your logic here: 1. Your son has been not a very good person to you since he was around 14. 2. For the past couple of months he's been good so you decided to give him a no-limits credit card. What? I had such bad whiplash reading that, I had to go to the emergency room. Why on earth would you do this? Never mind giving a kid a no-limits credit card "to buy what they liked" *at all*, why would you do this for a person who has routinely disrespected you for the past 4 years? Unfortunately, this is only the most recent spate of illogical reasoning. You have only punished him in the past by taking away his phone? What exactly was this punishment supposed to accomplish? All it creates for him is a balancing test of punishment. "Am I willing to get my phone taken for this? Yes. Alright, I'll do it." Punishment should be about getting a child to recognize why what they did was wrong. It sounds like they've never had that before in your household. It sounds like you should have really reached out for help in teaching your child because whatever you were doing obviously wasn't working. When you see that what you are doing isn't working, you ought to recognize that it is time to seek out help. You didn't do that and instead opted for the same punishment for 3 years. What's the saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Lastly, and most importantly, when your son came home you shouted and threw things at him? I hope you realize that is assault. It's battery too if anything contacted him. *On a minor*. You could very easily be sued for this and the outcome would really not be good for you in the slightest. I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.


This will hurt, but most good treatment does. Your son did not abuse you by spending the money you gave him access to. How did "good behavior" lead to you giving him unsupervised access to your money in your head? All that did was tell him that money is what you use to show love rather than something you earn through work. Your whole process was ass backwards here. Also wtf is this "how dare he fucking do this to the person putting a roof over his head." You are his mother, you're 100% expected to put a roof over his head, that's the bare minimum of being a parent.


>Edit: Thanks for all the comments and support. For those of you saying this is my fault, I could care less what you have to say. I know what I did, I know that I tried. I’m sick with health issues, have bills to take care of, and the stress is too much. He can come back but in the meantime I need him away from me so I can focus on myself. If I’m such a shitty parent, he’ll benefit from being with his father anyways. See? Everyone wins. I’m happy that I’ll finally be free to work on myself. I'm sorry for your situation, but this is just pathetic. You've created a situation where your son is clearly still reeling from being without his father, and you shrug it to the side because "oh he was young". Then you're too light on boundaries, and are *shocked* when shit like this happens. At the very least, take some goddamn criticism. There's no such thing as a perfect parent, but at the very least you can try and improve yourself instead of patting yourself on the back for abandoning your kid.


I know everything has already happened but who gives a teenager access to their credit card to buy things they want???????


You were naive to think you could trust him, teenagers are idiots, even the good ones. He should absolutely have to apologise to you and get a job to repay you the money. However, it is NEVER ok to throw things at your child. That’s abuse, the very same thing you accuse your father of. I know you’re angry in the moment, but I hope to Gaia that you haven’t told your kid that you couldn’t care less where he is. That will cause permanent damage to your relationship with him and there may be no coming back. Once you’ve had the chance to calm down, you will have the opportunity to lead by example. Apologise to your son for losing your temper, explain that you have feelings too and you’re allowed to be angry but the way you expressed that wasn’t ok. outline what is going to happen next. Remind him that you love him, but that you are still hurt by his behaviour and don’t like what he did. Speak to him about why it’s hurt you and the stress it has placed on you. Talk to him about earning your trust back and that it will take time. Remember to tell him that you forgive him. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for his input on what he thinks appropriate punishment/consequences might be. Kids often surprise us by being harder on themselves than we would be.


This is a kid who is crying out for structure and discipline!! You've been too lax and created this monster. I'm a mom of 2, I'm 40. You allowed him to lead the way. His mind isn't fully formed. He shouldn't have had access to that money or freedom. Good for you for checking him though.


>I’d take his phone rather than keep him from his friends or making it to where he had to come straight home after school but the behavior only got worse. so you didn't ride out the extinction burst, he won out so you essentially did nothing to punish him for doubling down then go 'I tried everything and im all out of ideas!'. You don't state an actual cash limit for the shared card beyond the obvious take that running away bad. Your kids' behaviour ramped up at 14 and your takeaway is "eh he's fine the divorce was ages ago, dudes just being a brat, anyway discipline doesn't work". Kids aren't going to tell you everything, you don't know for definite that 'eh nothing is wrong at all ever'. I don't trust your reasoning. What gets you to finally cross the threshold and abuse him (You threw objects at a seventeen year old minor and kicked him out of your house, that's illegal) is "how could he do this to me!!!". You do get parents that simultaneously 'spoil' their children but pull stunts like this and its because its all about their ego. "I don't discipline because I'm not the bad abuser" "I don't discipline because I don't like it and eh it didn't work first time so whatever, path of least resistance amirite I'll just bribe him with sweeties to be good" but what gets you to lash out isn't 'kiddo being bad' by itself, its something that hits your ego. 'How could he do this to me' etc. Where's the worry? Were you being his parent or his custody bestie that will give him another xbox if he doesn't stay out late this time? "how dare he be hanging out with these 21 year olds without telling me" *Who are these grown-ass adult weirdos hosting a minor across state lines?* Your kid is not okay. Where's his age-appropriate friends? Why are these people hosting him? People don't run away because they're happy and got it good, normal adults don't host runaways they met online because it screams liability issues etc. How old is this girlfriend of his? You just straight-up don't know any of his social circle. Furthermore, if his father is constantly abroad *where the hell does he live right now?* Homeless teens and runaways are massively at risk for creeps. Have you told his dad "btw kicked him out for spending the money I gave him access to spend without a conversation on limits lol"? What's your game plan for losing custody seeing as you evicted a minor and I can't see that landing well as soon as anyone besides you and kiddo know? You broke the law, there is no "to be fair, I was reeeaaaally mad at the literal child, look how awful he is" clause here.


It’s your fault OP. People are being sympathetic because it’s Reddit but come on, no discipline then giving him a card tied to your account? He’s a literal child, be a grown up and stop being mad and sorry about yourself.


So wait, wait, wait.... So he hasn't had much discipline and doesn't know consequences or responsibility, or thinks he can get away with things. Ok, it happens, this can be corrected.... Then you finally give consequences - dubbing him a demon, throwing things at him and kicking him out? That went from 0 to 100 and there's no in between. I am astonished. This isn't entirely your son's fault. Part of this is clearly on you.


"After years of terrorizing me, my child started being marginally better, so I *gave him a credit card attached to my primary spending account*" excuse me WHAT


This either sounds like a troll post, a straight up made up lie, or a story with details missing/ truth sprinkled in between lies. How delusional can you be to give *unlimited* access to a bank account which holds all of your income in to a fkin child that is not allowed to drink yet? I don't trust my own damn self not to steal from myself, how can a person that's probably over 30 make such a foolish move? How is that a reward for decent behaviour?? " oh, i wonder where i went wrong...:(" MISS, EVERYWHERE.


Lol you gave a kid a credit card


I did this to my mother (not quite $2k, around $800 circa 2002ish). My mother is a saint and did her best to raise us the way she knew how. My parents split when I was 11 months old and I never witnessed any fighting. My father was always in the picture. He would drop off packed school lunches on his way to work, picked us up every Tuesday night for dinner at his place and on the weekends for trips and sleepovers, and took us to all our extra curricular activities. They were present, though not really open in the way we see today. Both parents grew up in homes with addiction and abuse and it showed, but I always knew I was loved and safe. To this day I don't know exactly why I did it. There was a fair in town and I spent most of the money on midway rides, games, and food. Trying to impress the same way your son was. I don't know how my mum didn't beat me within an inch of my life, but corporal punishment was always a last resort in my family. I spent all of my teens as a runaway, being accepted into families/groups that didn't have any expectations of me. My parents always knew where I was, stayed in touch and made sure I was still part of the family. It wasn't until I was 17/18 and beginning to mentally and emotionally mature that my life turned around. I'm a female so he might need an extra year or two. I went back to school numerous times and on my own dime. I started an entry level position that turned into my first career, and moved back in with my mum. I was able to pay her back everything I owed her though I could never take back what I did. We had lots of conversations about why I stole from her but I had no answers. I still can't explain what was going through my head or how I rationalized this behavior to myself. I've spent half my life with the guilt of knowing I had hurt the person who loved me most, and there are still days where I call my parents and tearfully express how grateful I am to them. In a show of grace and acceptance I can only hope to achieve someday, they are generous with their forgiveness and positive affirmations when I need it most. At 28 I was diagnosed with ADHD and a lot of what I went through made sense. The impulsivity, self-harming activities, and trouble making friends ultimately put me in a situation where I was making all the wrong decisions. Don't get me wrong, I accept full responsibility for every choice I've made, but it did provide some context where there had been none before. Therapy is a good idea for everyone. No one is the perfect parent, but if you ask me, my parents were pretty freaking close. A lot of responses here indicate that you've done something wrong and are somehow deficient, but I'm here telling you that is not the case. Children lash out/act out where they feel comfortable and safe. A lot of the kids I got into trouble with never made it out, but my sisters and I did. I attribute all of my success to my parents never giving up on me, and not holding my mistakes over my head when I came back to them bruised, broken, and disillusioned. They provided a safe place for me to lick my wounds and create a new plan. They encouraged me to embrace adulthood by charging me rent and giving me more responsibility around the house. It was a respite that I needed desperately, and the world seems even more cruel and unforgiving than it was 20 years ago. You may end up having to draw new boundaries in the future depending on what choices he makes moving forward but he is still so young. I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to forgive the way my parents did, but if you do I hope you take it. If all goes well, he will be lucky enough to live a life where this is his deepest regret, as it is mine.


Sometimes it’s a simple thing that breaks the camel’s back. Let him live with dad for a bit. I did that when my son turned 18. He didn’t speak to me for 6 weeks and truly we needed that time to move forward. It’s been 17 years and we are very close. I respect him as a husband, father and son. I know your heart is heavy and you likely feel betrayed. Sending hugs to you


I mean...sounds like you never disciplined him


Even if my 17yo son was Gandhi he would not have access to my financials


You literally said you didn't try to discipline him due to your father abusing you. So it is your fault. What idiot gives a 17 year old full access to their bank account, too? Maybe if you would have tried harder, actually disciplined him, maybe tried therapy to see why he was acting so different suddenly, it wouldn't have come to this. You're the parent. Own up to your mistakes.


There's a lot of people who aren't acknowledging what you could've done better in this situation, so I'll start: Why the fuck would you give your kid a debit card attached to your bank account instead of something like an allowance? You're essentially letting someone who's never had to be fiscally responsible and who's unaware of the value of money spend someone else's i.e., your money. How else could that have played out? If you want your son to be independent and have spending money, he can get a job, which I recommend having him do to pay you back the $2k he spent. Also, taking his phone is a terrible punishment. That just enables him to sneak out without you being able to know where he's at. And I have no clue why you'd even think that's a better punishment than saying he can't go anywhere except for school, especially when that's the privilege he's currently abusing. Your son is proving to you that he's not responsible enough to be independent, and even the "independence" you're giving him is actually just you letting him walk all over you while he does what he wants. He's still depending on you for that, so he's not really independent at all. It's not abusive to keep your son from going anywhere if him leaving the house for extended periods of time with bad friends is resulting in him being destructive towards you and himself. There's a difference between not wanting to make your kid upset and actually being a parent. I know you want to be better than your father but being your son's friend isn't the way. Kids have tons of friends, most temporary, in their life, but they only get one mother. It sounds like your fear of being too harsh has resulted in you raising an entitled brat.