A mom recently posted on an online forum to determine if she made the right decision when disciplining her 16-year-old daughter, Bethany. Bethany has a stepsister, Maria, who is turning 15 soon and will be having a quinceañera.
Maria’s dad and her mom (the husband’s ex-wife) took her to buy a dress for the impending celebrations, and the dress, with alterations, amounted to $3000.
Bethany was extremely jealous of her sister’s party, and after an argument with her stepsister, Bethany used a Sharpie to scribble all over the dress and ripped the back of the dress.
Maria’s mom and dad were extremely angry, and Bethany’s mom felt obliged to front up the money to help buy a replacement dress. As punishment, Bethany had to get a job and pay her mom back. Bethany sees this as her mom siding with Maria and being unfair to her.
The Green Monster Strikes Again
Bethany’s jealousy might stem from them spending more on her stepsister’s quinceañera than her sweet 16 birthday party. Also, the total cost for Bethany’s dress was $450, whereas Maria’s dress amounted to $3000. Many posters agree that the discrepancies between the costs might be the cause of Bethany’s jealousy.
A Quinceañera Is Different from a Sweet Sixteen
Many people who replied agree that Bethany is wrong for destroying the dress. However, she might not understand that a quinceañera is culturally different from a sweet sixteen. Quinceañeras are usually huge events that celebrate a girl’s transition into womanhood.
What is a Quinceañera?
There is a religious ceremony at the church, which is then followed by a celebration. When you consider this, a quinceañera is more comparable to a wedding than a sweet sixteen. Bethany might not understand this and may think that Maria is getting a better party than her. However, that is just the nature of the event.
Did Bethany Know It Is a Mexican Tradition?
Bethany’s mom does note that while she and Bethany are white, Maria and her father are of Mexican descent. Therefore, she might not understand that Maria is not being favored, it is just a Mexican tradition.
Other posters believe that Bethany deserves to be punished regardless of whatever she may be feeling. If Maria was a random stranger, she would have gotten into more trouble for destroying someone else’s property. In different circumstances, Bethany could even be legally charged for her actions. She should, therefore, be thankful that her mom is sorting this out and that the legal system is not involved.
She Should Not Even Come to The Party
Other posters even pondered over whether Bethany should still come to the party. If she has already trashed the dress, what’s next? The décor, the cake, the presents? Other suggestions included getting her a babysitter, making her stay home with her mom, or picking up an extra shift at her job.
This is not ‘normal’ teenage behavior and can actually be seen as quite toxic. Bethany still has the $450 dress with many posters feeling like she should return or sell the dress and give the money to her mom to start chipping away at her debt.
The Value of Money
It might take Bethany a very long time to pay her mom back, but some posters have suggested that it will teach her the value of money. It is a good lesson to learn that will equip her with skills that will be beneficial later on in her life.
Others argued that we need to understand the financial status of the family before deciding. Maybe $3000 is not a lot for them, and Bethany may not learn the intended lesson.
More Punishment . . .
Some suggested that paying her mom back is not enough, and Bethany needs immediate punishment, such as grounding or her phone being taken away. She needs to learn that actions often have immediate consequences, and her mom’s repayment plan is actually quite gracious and accommodating.
Could There Be Some Mental Problems?
Some people suggested that Bethany should be tested for mental illnesses, but the majority agreed that she would be taking it too far. Also, your mental health cannot always be used as an excuse for poor behavior.
The mom was unanimously voted as doing the right thing. She is being a parent to Bethany by punishing her for her actions. In fact, many posters agree that it makes her a good parent for teaching Bethany about accountability and consequences.
Bethany’s Mom Couldn’t Let It Slide
Others even stated that if Bethany’s mom had let this slide, she would have been in the wrong for not sticking up for Maria. Hopefully, this was just a mindless act of vandalism from Bethany that won’t be repeated.
Parenting is a Delicate Balancing Act
It shows the fine line that parents need to tread. This is especially true with step-siblings, as there can often be accusations of unfairness and jealousy. We just hope that the quinceañera went perfectly without any other mishaps!
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