A mother has questioned whether she did the right thing after forcing her daughter to pay for the cost of her stepsister’s quinceañera dress after she ruined it.
In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” subreddit, the mother explained that her oldest teenage daughter Bethany is white, while her stepdaughter Maria is of Mexican descent. The two girls have been in each other’s lives for almost 10 years, getting along well until now.
Because Maria is almost 15 years old, she gets to celebrate her birthday with a quinceañera, a party known in Latin America as a girl’s transition into womanhood.
For the party, Maria and her father’s ex-wife went out to purchase her a dress, which ultimately cost $3,000 for both the dress and alterations. Throughout the lead-up to the quinceañera, Bethany has expressed a lot of jealousy over her sister’s party, according to the Reddit poster.
“I’ve informed her it is part of the culture just like when she had a huge sweet sixteen party with her friends. I spent more time with her to try to make her feel better about it and got her own much cheaper dress for the party,” the mother wrote.
However, the jealousy came to a head when the stepsisters ended up getting into an argument. “The party is supposed to be in two weeks but my daughter, after an argument with Maria about the TV, scribbled Sharpie all over the expensive dress and ripped the back. The short story was that everyone was pissed,” the Reddit poster wrote.
After giving her husband and his ex-wife the money for a new dress, the mother decided to teach Bethany about the consequences of her actions by punishing her to get a job and pay back the full price of the dress.
According to the poster, Bethany wasn’t happy about her punishment. “We got into a huge argument over it and the whole situation isn’t fair that I am choosing Maria and being a huge jerk,” the original poster explained. She ended her post by asking whether or not the punishment was fair and if she was actually “a huge jerk”.
Many people took to the comments section of the post to defend the mother’s punishment for Bethany, taking note of her age specifically. “Your 16 year old destroyed someone else’s property. It is her responsibility to make restitution,” one comment began.
“This isn’t taking sides, it’s good parenting. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to impress upon Bethany that if this were the property of someone other than a family member, the police or court system would probably be involved. She’s fortunate that her parents are willing to work out a repayment plan with her instead.”
Another commenter agreed, writing: “She’s 16, not five years old. In two years she will be 18. If Maria was my daughter, Bethany wouldn’t be allowed at the party. She can stay home grounded, she destroyed the dress. What’s next? The cake? Or decorations? What she did was uncalled for. I would no longer trust her with any of the party things. Does Bethany at least seem remorseful? If not, she can stay home.”
Other suggested that the mother may have even taken her response a step further, and required more “immediate consequences” of her daughter, such as grounding or a loss of phone privileges.
“Hers were the actions of a spoiled child having a tantrum, not those of a maturing young woman,” one commenter wrote.