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Teen Irate After Stepdad Overcharges Her To Prevent Her From Moving Since She Helps At Home

Side view of an angry teen girl in casual clothing with backpack standing alone in a corridor

Teaching kids about money and how the world works can be a very daunting task.

But the sooner everyone learns how important money can be, the better off many people are.

Sometimes adults can decide to take a more difficult road in teaching.

Sort of a ‘tough love’ approach.

That route can often come with drama and harsh feelings.

Case in point…

Redditor Mindless_Cut7653 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for ‘stealing’ from my 17-year-old stepdaughter?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I 46 [Male] have been married to my wife Amanda 41 [Female] for 6 years.”

“When Amanda and I met she had two children from a previous relationship Chloe 17 [Female] and Marcus 15 [Male].”

“Despite their father being absent, the children have never viewed me as a parental figure which does not bother me as although I love their mother, I don’t see them as my children or feel any love for them.”

“They’re good kids, just not mine.”

“Earlier this year Chloe expressed her desire to move out at the end of the year.”

“I did not think she could realistically afford to move out.”

“Her mother and I both work long hours, so Chloe leaving would mean I would most likely have to hire help or cut down my working hours as she does a lot to help out at home so her leaving would not be ideal.”

“I handle all household expenses so in order to deter her from leaving I suggested she try paying a portion of the bills/home expenses to get an idea of what living alone will be like.”

“She and her mother both agreed this would be a wonderful idea and so we drew up an agreement that she would pay ¼ of the bills and household expenses and her mother and I would stop financially supporting her.”

“I thought this would be enough for her to change her mind however she was able to afford this comfortably.”

“I decided to lie to her and tell her that due to inflation our bills and expenses had risen greatly and she would owe me an extra $150 a month.”

“My hope was that even if she could still afford to pay me she would not be able to simultaneously save enough money to move out.”

“Recently her brother Marcus was doing a school project that required him to analyze our family’s electricity, gas, water, etc usage.”

“I foolishly allowed him access to my study to look over our past bills.”

“At some stage, he asked his sister to assist him in his work.”

“When she was looking over the bills it came to her attention that I had been overcharging her for some time.”

“She worked out roughly how much money I overcharged her and went to her mother with this number.”

“They are now calling me an a**hole for stealing her hard-earned money and are demanding I return the money.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to call it hard-earned when most of it is inheritance from her father’s passing.”

“I had her best interest in mind and think I was just teaching her how the world works.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“YTA. You had her best interest in mind and were teaching her how the world works?”

“Yeah, sure, that she has to watch out because the world is full of thieves and jerks.” ~ Holiday_Trainer_2657

“Yes! Imagine saying ‘I lied to my stepkid about our expenses so I could take money from her so she wouldn’t leave and instead would be our free labor when she’s trying to branch out as an adult.'”

“And not seeing how every part of that is an AH move 😭 but exactly, there are people like OP in the world, so at least now she knows how awful humans can be.” ~ Lostsock1995

“100% this. His goal must have also been to teach her that everyone is out for themselves, and you can’t trust anyone, even family.” ~ KMK_Direct

“Ooof a true piece of work.”

“If you were truly trying to ‘help’ her you would have never actually charged her and just saved all the money she gave to you to give back to her.”

“Why randomly start charging her to try to keep her from being able to leave??!”

“That’s so Incredibly manipulative!”

“You were just stealing from her with the intention of keeping her at home so she could clean your house and pay you to do it.”

“I cannot believe her mother accepted this.”

“It’s straight-up villain behavior.”

“And you would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids… goodness gracious.” ~ fatoodles

“’I don’t see them as my children or feel any love for them.'”

“Yeah, YTA. Especially because you also used deception to take money from a child.”

“You clearly have some resentment for their father because you made it sound like he was absent when he was dead.”

“Not only that, to take from your partner’s child’s inheritance for completely selfish reasons is insane.”

“You don’t have her best interest at heart if you’re spending her father’s money to prevent her from moving out.”

“You’re mooching off of a teenager, seek help.” ~ lenaanabelle

“Of course YTA.”

“Why are you putting ‘stealing’ in quotes as if it’s not actually what you are doing?”

“You lied to her and stole her money.”

“You took advantage of a teenager and manipulated her to line your own pockets.”

“Disgusting that you even try and justify your behavior.”

“Your wife should have second thoughts about you if this is how you act and think it’s acceptable.”

“Pay back your victim.” ~ HeirOfRavenclaw

“YTA what you did was both shi**y and shady and I’m glad they’re calling you out.”

“Also how much does Marcus help around the house?”

“If losing Chloe is going to leave the house in shambles then maybe it’s time for everyone else to step up a bit.” ~ nayciajazomo

“YTA and the ‘I had her best interests at heart!’ bit at the end is hilarious considering you just spent the entire post complaining about how much you don’t want her to move out because she does a lot around the house.”

“You’re just mad you’re losing a live-in maid, so you’ve been lying to her in order to extort money to try and prevent her from moving out.”

“Give her that money back, loser.” ~ Reasonable_Rub6337

“YTA. What I’m hearing is that you didn’t want to lose your live-in maid, so when she proved that she could indeed afford to live on her own, you lied to her to keep her at home.”

“You are disgusting.” ~ WolfGoddess77

“YTA. You literally wrote you don’t love your wife’s kid and the reason you don’t want her to leave is because she does the chores.”

“I would get banned if I wrote all the nice things I think about you using your stepdaughter as a maid and trying to manipulate her to stay home to do the chores.”

“I don’t know how you even thought anyone would write NTA.” ~ Rough-Nebulaz

“YTA. But you got one thing right.”

“You did teach her a valuable lesson about the world and how it works.”

“Even supposed family members may try to screw you over and steal from you.”

“And it’s a steal, not ‘steel.'”

“No need to use quotation marks when you literally stole from her.”

“Oh, and you actually stated right at the beginning that you did this to deter her from moving out, not to teach her anything.”

“You were thinking of yourself, not her.”

“At least your wife can see what an a**hole you are even if you can’t.” ~ inFinEgan

“YTA in so many ways.”

“You freely admit you did not want her to move as she helps out so much it would not be ‘ideal,’ then claim a few paragraphs later you were looking out for her best interest.”

“Let’s see how.”

“Instead of hiring a housekeeper; you lied and pretended to give a s**t about preparing your S[tep]D[aughter] for life away from home.”

“In reality, you were hoping she would fail financially.”

“When she didn’t you doubled down to set her up for failure by lying about your utilities.”

“Who knows what lengths you would have taken this to; at the expense of her finances and self-worth if you weren’t caught.”

“Getting an inheritance because your father died isn’t easy money.”

“I’m sure they’d rather have their father, especially now, but someone like you could never comprehend this.”

“You are a cheap monster and I hope her mother leaves you over this.”

“Anyone deserves better.”

“If you’re trying to teach her the world is full of AH’s well done.”

“This is the first time I wished there was a level of YTA.”

“Shi**iest of YTA’s.” ~ ckptry

OP came back with some info…

“Thank you, everyone, for your helpful suggestions.”

“I will be putting the sum she estimated I overcharged her into an account and will tell her I was saving it as a surprise.”

“Hopefully, she doesn’t come across this post.”

“A response to some common themes in the comments…”

“I would like to make it clear I have never cleaned my home and will not be starting now.”

“I do not like the noise of the vacuum or the smell of cleaning products.”

“Maybe I went too far by saying I have no love for my stepchildren.”

“I want to make it clear that I like them they just annoy me as they’re not my blood.”

“You all need to get a life.”

“I aged down everyone for privacy reasons which was my mistake.”

“Many people are concerned Chloe is a minor.”

“I would like to make it clear she is in fact older.”

“However, I still do not wish to reveal her age for anonymity’s sake.”

Well, OP, Reddit had a strong reaction to your situation.

Thankfully, it sounds like you came around a bit.

A life lesson was learned for everyone here.

It may be time for some family therapy.

Good luck.