Having your stepchild and biological child live together can work out well, but parenting gets a bit complex. You don't want to play favorites, but it can be challenging. How do you deal with your stepchild bullying your biological child?
AITA for taking back the money I contributed towards my stepson's camp after he took my daughter's sticker collections
Context: my daughter (12) is disabled and has been since she was 5. Her activities and interests are minimal except for her love for stickers. She loves collecting stickers and spends most of her time doing them. If there's one thing she enjoys doing, this is it. It also helps her get rid of stress and anxiety.
I've been saving for my stepson (16)s summer camp and so far have contributed 80% while his dad contributed 20%. It's a massive deal for him, and last week, he begged my daughter to give him her camera, and she refused. He begged, and she kept refusing. He then turned to me, and his dad and his dad asked me to do something, but I told him if she said no, he had to accept that.
My daughter's refusal upset my stepson. Later I found out that he 'punished' my daughter by throwing away all her stickers. He admitted that he and two friends dumped them in car oil and then burned them. I was in disbelief but very angry.
I scolded him, banned his friends from the house, and then pulled back 80% of the money I paid for his camp. He started crying and begging and apologizing, then called my husband. My husband told me that pulling the money was an overreaction and a step too far; he said I was trying to hurt his son rather than just 'let him learn from this experience' (I don't know what this is supposed to mean).
My stepson destroyed my daughter's childhood collection of stickers; some were hard to get (like marvels, for instance). He didn't deserve a reward for his behavior. My husband disagreed and said that I promised and can't pull back now cause it'll make my stepson resent me for good. Instead, he offered that we punish him by taking his electronics for three days, but I said no, that wasn't enough.
He kept saying, 'don't make that mistake,' and made me feel guilty about my decision. I might be going too far, but my daughter is devastated. She's still crying over her collections and refuses to talk to anyone.
NTA (Not the A**hole)
Your husband is an a**hole. Your stepson is also an a**hole.
He should have to get a job for the summer to buy back every sticker.
Do not reward him for destroying your daughter's stickers. And your husband is making him into an entitled jerk.
You’re contributing way more to your stepson's trip than your husband, which is a considerable imbalance because the bio parent(s) should be paying most of the costs. And in this case - it sounds like he’s taking advantage and knows he is.
Your stepson doesn’t seem to care WHO is paying the bill as long as he goes and doesn’t seem to realize that camp is a privilege that can and will be taken away by the person paying for it.
Your stepson doesn't know how to take No for an answer, and your husband refuses to teach him. This can end badly for him, affecting any relationship, be it family/friendships / romantic relationships.
Your stepson went out of his way to harm your daughter because no one taught him the word no and how to accept it as an answer.
Your stepson took the one high-value item your daughter had, and he ruined it beyond repair, and he’s not sorry for it at all. He’s only sorry that his actions have consequences, and he’ll be paying for his actions in full.
His “punishment” to his sister didn’t match the “crime” he could have damaged the camera itself, but he didn’t and went for something FAR more valuable because he knew that the stickers would hurt a lot.
Your husband is trying to guilt-trip you even though he barely put any money into the trip.
Your husband doesn’t seem to care that your daughter was harmed at all and doesn’t seem to be trying to make things better.
Your husband is telling you that your and your daughter's emotions are invalid compared to his sons.
NTA (Not the A**hole), but you do need to look at the bigger picture here because there are a lot of red flags sprinkled all over.