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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen and Stepdad Square Off Over Video Game Purchase

DEAR ABBY: I have two sons, 14 and 10. I just got married a year ago. My husband, "Kurt," has taken on the father role and does pretty well, although I think he sometimes goes a little overboard.

He and my oldest son, "Elijah," worked on a roof together, and because my son made $200 plus a $70 bonus, Kurt got upset with Elijah when he used his money to buy an Xbox. Kurt thinks Elijah should have bought clothes, toiletries and other things he needs because we aren't rich. I agree to an extent, but it's gotten out of hand.

Now Kurt is so upset that he doesn't want to give Elijah another opportunity to make more money for himself. He really made a huge stink about how Elijah spent his money. What to do? -- VERY FRUSTRATED MOM IN MICHIGAN

DEAR MOM: "What to do" is to calmly and privately remind your husband that Elijah is 14, and his decisions are not always mature ones. Then suggest he and Elijah work out an agreement that in the future when Elijah earns money, a certain percentage of it will be put into savings, another portion will be used for necessities, and the rest can be used for items at his discretion. It's called budgeting, and it's an important lesson every teen should learn.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Teens