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Borta Blog: MOM = ATM

Karen Borta-2013 Karen Borta
Karen is a veteran journalist who joined CBS 11 News in 1995. Prior to...
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In these final hours before Thanksgiving, I have to admit I’m feeling just a bit guilty.

That’s because while I’m thankful for so very many things in my life, right now the dominating emotion is frustration– specifically, frustration with my 15-year-old son. (Because he got irritated with me the last time I blogged about him, my son will henceforth be referred to as Surly Teenager, or “ST” for short.)

I have a feeling there are probably many other parents who can identify with my plight.

That is, having a teenager who treats you as his personal ATM.

Case in point: just the other day ST told me there would be a fundraiser at school at which one of the clubs would be selling treats and snacks. So I gave him $10. I thought I was being fairly generous, but apparently I was way off the mark. ST informed me that he would need at LEAST $20, because there was no way he could get ANYTHING for just $10.

“C’mom, mom. Ten dollars will only get me, like, a cupcake, some Doritos, and maybe a water,” he told me in a very surly way (hence the moniker “Surly Teenager”).

I told him that it sounded like a mighty fine snack, and ‘you’re welcome’ for the $10 gift.

We bickered like that all the way to school. Finally, I compromised by telling him I’d give him a $20 bill, but that anything he spent over $10 he’d have to pay me back. He was not happy, in fact, he was angry that I didn’t understand his need to have more money at his disposal.

In his defense (and it’s fairly weak, if you ask me), Jake doesn’t have a job, so he relies on my husband and me for spending money. But the problem is, the funnel of money in his general direction never seems to stop! And he tends to be a lousy steward of the cash we do give him.

So, on that note, I’m going to be very thankful that my son is healthy and has such a promising future.

And I’ll be even more thankful when I figure out how to teach him a little fiscal responsibility.

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