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Another reason I hate BM

I love dogs's picture

Wow this new site is something to get used to! I hope everyone is doing well and had a refreshing weekend. I can't wait until Friday! I wanted to post sooner, but the site was being updated, of course.

This past Saturday, I missed a call from BM and assumed it was SD wanting to come over. I text DH (he was at work) and asked if he knew why she called. He didn't and assumed it was SD, too. I call BM back and they want to come pick up SD's rubberbands for her braces since she is having a sleepover with her friend. I guess BM ran out and was too lazy to get more from the dentist during the week. 

ANYWAY.. We got SD12 a phone on our plan and have installed a parental setting to monitor whom she is messaging, which apps/ sites she's using, etc. BM thinks SD needs to be 14 to have a phone, but in reality, SD is the only kid in her class without one and now that she's older, DH and I think it's necessary to have direct communication with her. BM refuses to see this and must prefer to have to contact SD's friends and their parents instead.

I ask SD if she is taking her phone to the party and she says that BM said no and will I ask. I asked BM myself and she says something like "I've told SD I do not want her having a phone and I don't agree with you and DH allowing this without us making a 'family decison' so it stays at your house". I say ok and they leave. 1) I find it HILARIOUS that BM is all about making "family decisions" now, 5 years after she refused to do any of that and was open about/ got away with it in court. 2) She doesn't want DH having contact with SD without her knowing and it is all about control. 3) SD is glued to her tablet and laptop 24/7 with BM so why can't she have a phone that is monitored and paid for by DH? 

I loathe this woman and just love to see her dig herself into the hole she's creating. DH predicted her controlling behavior would backfire and it is. SD can't stand to be with BM for many other reasons that the cell phone. This is just a cherry on top.


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I know your BM is crazy... So it's probably totally not her thinking, but I don't agree with a kid having a cell phone until they're driving tbh. I could care less that "everyone else" has them. If she needs to borrow my phone to make a call, then sure, she can go ahead and call whoever she needs to. But she doesn't need how own yet. She's RARELY ever somewhere without DH or I, and she has our numbers memorized. She's never not with an adult that has a phone she can borrow, so i don't see the logic in giving it to them.

So keeping it at your house might make sense if she doesn't think kids should have phones. She's not taking the phone and never giving it back, it sounds like she's just informing you she doesn't want it at her house. However you're in COMPLETE rights to have it when she's with you at yours. Different houses have different rules.

I'm not saying that's her reasoning, and it's possible (probably likely) it is just the control thing. But just something to think about Smile

I love dogs's picture

Thank you for your response. DH said it perfectly: BM is refusing to recognize that SD is growing up and doesn't want to be her best friend anymore. I also get along with SD most of the time and don't have to punish her severely like BM does to get the result I want. DH doesn't either but for some reason,  BM and the boyfriend can't figure it out.

I still can't stop laughing about her "family decision" comment. BM only informs DH of "family decisions" if she must and usually he never hears about major decisions.

twoviewpoints's picture

I wouldn't get involved in what BM allows or doesn't allow the child to do/have on BM's time. IMO, it really matter not that Dad got the phone. Dad has no control over what happens on BM's time. Many households where kid is EOWE feel quite free to refuse the opposite parent provided phone either in the second home or to be used in the home (sometimes used if under the second home's guidelines). 

So Dad got the kid a phone. Only time he can control whether or not his daughter can carry it or use it is strictly on his time. And setting the phone up where only Dad and/or you can monitor and track it's usage but then expecting it to be used on BM's time (which is the large majority of the child day to day life) is , IMO, rather controlling in and of it's self on Dad's part. 

While I do disagree that there must be a "family" decision/discussion on when and whether the child has a phone , I do believe the parent who has the child in their home during their parenting time has final say in regards to if the kid will be using a cell or not during their parenting time. 

Just like Dad nor you get to monitor what devices or times and usage of electronics (laptop, i-pad whatever), purchasing the kid a phone under Dad's plan and his personal monitoring , handing it to the kid and telling BM kid should be able to use it , doesn't mean BM has to give a hoot what Dad gave or says. 

I suppose Dad could try an attempt through the courts to modify the Co to state the daughter can have this phone and use it during BM's time, but I doubt without extremely good reasons other than what you are currently giving, the case will be successful. 

Being both you and Dad thought the call was originally from SD, it doesn't sound like BM forbids calls to her father. However, if BM does  begin forbidding Sd to contact and/or have phone privileges during BM's time to her father, again, modify the CO to list days and times. That modification is usually successful. 

Maxwell09's picture

We are on our way to this problem as well. When SS was at Bms's this past weekend, he got ahold of her phone and used it to text DH. It was simple stuff like "I love you" and "going to park today" I mean he is only six years old so he isn't writing novels or sending SOS signals...yet. But when he got home I told him thta it made his dad really happy to hear from him this weekend and to know he was having a good time and he told us that BM took her phone back from him and told him no more. This is the second round of this. Back when he was in PreK, the students were required to know a phone number and their address. I taught him mine because it is the easiest. Once he understood what it was and how to use it, I was getting 5AM and late night phone calls whenever BM would give him her phone to occupy himself but then leave him unattended. She blocked me soon after that. Now it's Dh's turn I guess with the texting. 

But at the end of the day, BM can allow what she will at her house and with her child. If she is controlling then watch for her to offer skid an nicer, newer version of a phone to get her onto her plan and off your DH's just so she can have all the controlling features to keep up with her. That's also probably why she won't allow her to use it while she is with her. 


bananaseedo's picture

I actually fully agree with bm on this one, too young for a phone.  Her house her rules, and IMO yes this would be normally a 'parental' decision from both-not possible with high conflict people apparently though.  My boys were 14-15 when they got their first phone-or maybe a year older even.  They can use bm's phone-there's LOTS of reasons to keep cell phones out of children's hands that have nothign to do w/control.  No 12 yr old needs a phone.  Dad is showing his 'I'm better then you are' competition side it seems to me.


momjeans's picture

I love dogs, BM got skid an iPhone when she was SEVEN years old. BM didn’t speak to DH about it. 

You’re correct, it’s all about control trying to say when and where she can have the phone. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Her house, her time, her rules. If she doesn't want SD to have a cell phone, then that's on her. It was absolutely NOT your place to talk to BM about the phone on SD's behalf. Instead, you SHOULD have stood up for BM and told SD not to call you looking for you to undermine her mother.

Remember, SD will turn on you as quickly as she has BM. You have been giving her a lot of "fun" memories - weekends with her friends, manicures, a cell phone, etc. Of course you have an easier time with her; you're the gravy train, and she'll behave as much as she has to keep it coming. She CAN behave for BM but chooses not to. Instead of trying to stick it to BM, you should be trying to hold SD accountable for her behavior with ALL her parents.

I don't like BM in my case much, either, but you bet your hiney that I chew out the boys when they are disrespectful to her or don't listen. Disrespect to any adult isn't okay, and it's doubly not okay when it is a parent or stepparent. You and your DH are only feeding the crazy. If you cared more about SD than you did about sticking it to BM and her BF, you'd be putting your foot up SD's rear for trying to play you against her Mom versus trying to tell BM how to parent on her time.

beebeel's picture

All of this. It was not your place to question the BM on phone rules in her own house with HER kid. She's not your kid!! 

I also find it hilarious you accuse the bm of being controlling (it's her kid!! LOL) when you are the one trying to tell her how to parent HER OWN KID.

There has been plenty of times I've disagreed with a decision the bm has made. How many times have I tried to control her parenting choices? Zero. 

DaizyDuke's picture

Every Freaking Word of this. 

DaizyDuke's picture

I have to say I agree with BM here.  And I can honestly say, that as a BM myself (if DH and I were to seperate) I would be LIVID if I specifically told BS that he could not have a phone until he was 14, and then DH got him one at 12 and I would NOT want it at my house. 

My skids thought they had to have phones at 8 and 9... because everyone else had one and because BMs thought it was a "safety" issue which made absolutely ZERO sense to me, especially now that I have an 8 year old.  There is NEVER a time that he is either not with DH and/or myself, or MIL, or my mother and he has two friends that he goes and plays with from time to time, but of course we know both of their parents well and have their numbers and vice versa. He certainly doesn't need a phone at school and he plays sports all year long, but coaches have our numbers and 95% of the time we stay at practice.

I just don't see the "necessity" and I think it was wrong of your DH to thumb his nose at BM's wishes on something of this nature. 

secret's picture

I got my kids a phone when they were young. 10.

Reason being, I don't have a home phone... AND, I wanted to get them to get used to walking to school on their own... only a 5 minute walk straight up the path in front of my house, but still... they had to check in when they got to school. I was still home while they were walking.

After they got used to that, I started adjusting my work hours so that we left at the same time, they'd call me when they got to school (I was on a city bus). Then, I'd leave before them... a call before they left, reminder to lock the door etc... and they 'd call again when they got to school...

I told their dad I didn't really care whether he was on board or not, because I had my reasons for getting them a means of communication.... I also had the phone company put monitors and restrictions on the phone - only the oldest had it, they had to share, they could only use it between certain hours, and only certain numbers could/would get through...

When the oldest moved on to middle school, I got one for my middle DD, same rules... and when SHE moved on to middle school, I got one for my youngest, again, same rules.

As far as using the phone for other things, they were really restricted so they couldn't be on it for hours at a time....

So I understand the safety thing. I wanted them to have the means to call 911 should something happen on the way to/from school, or at home. Staying alone for 5-15 minutes wasn't much, but it's enough for something to happen, ya know?

When they turned 13 (at this point had the phone for 3 years as a means of emergency communication) I lifted some of the restrictions but not all... and even now, the oldest is going to be 16 soon... his phone is still restricted to a certain point. lol

Thing about split parents is that... one parent can say one thing... but the other parent is NOT required to abide by that, because they no longer have a say as to what happens with the child when they're with the other parent. The other parent is making 100% of the decisions while the child is in their care, and even if they get a phone against your wishes, it's not really thumbing their nose at your wishes, because you don't have the authority to make wishes about how he spends his time.

I understand, though, that not every 10 year old is mature/responsible enough at 10 to be alone for short periods of time... mine were. If mine couldn't wipe their own butt or be trusted not to get into stuff at that age, I likely wouldn't have gotten them one, because I'd have had to baby them by walking them to school etc... but circumstances are different I suppose. I could trust my kids to be alone at home for short periods of time when they were 7, 8 and 10.

I have a feeling that I won't be able to trust SS home alone at those ages. lol