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From no contact to contact every day

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

When BM gave DH SD's phone number almost a month ago, both DH and I texted SD. We knew SD got a phone for Christmas as did SD's teacher, but BM did not give the number until SD started spending a whole weekend at BM's parent's house because of BM's new job and said the phone was so SD could better communicate with DH by text and phone. BM said that SD had the phone after school until an hour before bed.

Well it was radio silent from SD on the phone for 3 weeks and now suddenly since Monday, SD has been texting both DH and I almost every day. SD comes to our house for 10 days of spring break this Saturday. Does BM really think we don't see through her motives of SD suddenly being able to answer us? 

DH and I don't think SD as a 6 year old need, she needs a phone. Which is why we didn't even ask for the number when we found out SD "got a new phone." Plus this is the 3 or 4th "new" phone SD has received in 2 years so it has changed several times the number and was actually her sister's phone not SD's. I guess we will find out when SD gets here who's phone it actually is, but SD is not going to have near the freedom she supposedly has with the phone at BM's.

Since it is only a 10 day visit and took 19 days to get a response back, might not even let SD have the phone this visit at all, like usual. We will see how the next two months until summer visit go whether or not SD has it here and there to communicate with BM. We were fine with letting that happen in a limited and supervised capacity, but then it took until the days leading up for SD's visit to actually answer us, so clearly it is only to try and have BM get what she wants, to be able to talk to SD more when she's at our home.  

Does BM really think we are that stupid and do not notice? She does the same thing with calls, all year she's difficult about it and then when it's close to SD coming here, she isn't as difficult for a few weeks and then expects us to drop everything and be a door mat for what she wants with calls. We don't have a memory of a goldfish, we are very well aware of the games and difficulties you make with calls.


JRI's picture

What does SD say?  Can she even spell?

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Pictures, emojis, etc. ... yeah if you saw any of my blogs with her education she's struggling with reading and school so no she doesn't read but sends us voice memos mostly

Winterglow's picture

At least with voice memos, you can be sure that it really is your SD who's sending them.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Especially when in the past BM has said the phone was SD's and then the phone would come here and we would see it was clearly SD's sister's phone, not SD's. 

JRI's picture

I have read your caring and sensitive posts anout your SD's educational challenges and the clueless BM.  Leaving aside the issue whether someone her age should have a phone, I would say any communication with her is good.  So, if shes sending you guys stuff daily, fine, she's learning to communicate in many ways.

As far as BM, not much you can do except you're in control of the phone while SD is with you so when its not SD's "phone time", turn it off and put it away.   

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

by the fact that suddenly the week leading up to SD coming here we are both getting messages from SD every day. We aren't going to let SD have free range with a phone or any electronics here so we don't expect BM to do it there, but it is like don't say SD always has her phone until an hour before bed then 19 days go by not a response and suddenly SD is messaging us every day. It isn't with BM there either because most of the time it is when SD is on the bus from school so she clearly wants to talk to us just hasn't had the phone as often as BM alluded to her having it.

ESMOD's picture

I would partially blame the inconsistent communication with her phone at 6 years old as typical for that age.

Phones are not just for communicating. they also have games.. take pictures etc..  And tne new spate of contacting could be just sD learning a new skill set with the phone.  and little kids don't have a wholly full formed idea of what normal keeping in touch is with a phone either.. though I'm guessing she will figure that out..

No answers could be as much from BM just being lazy and disorganized.. the phone got lost for 2 weeks etc.. who knows.. I would just see how things go forward.

As to having the phone at your house.. I don't think it would be terrible to have the phone and allow her use of it daily.. when she is somewhat supervised.. In fact her dad should be using it with her.. asking her to show him what she likes doing with it.. it might be just a bunch of kiddie games.. and not so much of the communicating...

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

that you can't have the 6 year old be responsible to make sure the scheduled phone call happens because she is only 6. My point was that it is very obvious BM is letting SD have the phone this week to communicate with us because SD is about to come here. For 19 days, there wasn't a word, but now SD is messaging both DH and I every day and when she is on the bus home, so clearly she wants to talk to us. We just won't hear it from BM that she lets SD have the phone to communicate better with us, why don't we do the same here. 

Personally, DH and I do not think she needs to have daily use of the phone at 6. SD has her own tablet here that is loaded with kid appropriate games. The other reason we aren't for so much use of this phone is because BM allows SD to play roblox and other things we don't think SD should be playing at her age. Probably let SD use the phone on Wednesday in the middle of the week for a little bit and that is about it. If the next two months we hear from her more than just the week leading up to her visit, then we can revisit it for SD's summer break here. We just won't let BM manipulate us into letting SD use it more because suddenly SD now is communicating with us when it clearly isn't that she doesn't want to or she wouldn't be constantly messaging us all week on the bus.

justmakingthebest's picture

While I agree a 6 yr does not need a phone and can lead down paths that you don't ever want a child to go down- at least the communication from SD is encouraging. 

I after typing my response, I remembered something that happened with my own daughter that was kind of eye opening with kids and cell phones. I want to say she was probably 7 or 8, but she lost a tooth and the tooth fairy was supposed to come that night. She was so excited! She asked to play a game on my phone and I let her. Next thing I know she comes running down the hall MAD as a hornet! She looked up "How to catch the tooth fairy" and found out the tooth fairy wasn't real. That was the end of all the childhood magic. I felt awful for her. My son had his doubts but still kind of believed at that time- so it ended it for him too. 

She was looking up something innocent enough, but obviously it was eye opening to see how fast they learn to search things that are of curiosity. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

her outside of all the frustration surrounding the schedulded video calls. 

Oh no! That definitely sucks! On SD's tablet we have the search engine disabled so she cannot just look up things on the internet, but no idea what parental controls if any are on SD's cell phone.

Harry's picture

That BM gave DD a phone to contact HER. when DD is at your home.?  The old dog and ponie show..   Phone is for contacting you,  but most like,y SD, doesn't have the phone when at BM..  Now forceing you to let SD keep the phone at your home?

NO,  That phone goes someplace that safe and away from SD.  She gets it for what ever contact time with BM.  1/2 hour after dinner. Every day, every other day, You don't want to be replacing a $1,000 phone because SD lost it or broke it

Yesterdays's picture

Agree  I would just give it to her at a set and scheduled, routine time such as after dinner for contacting her mom and thats it. You tell her the rule at your house is no phone unless it's X time of the day. I kept the cell phones away from my kids as long as possible and I don't regret it. It gave them more time to do real, things. I noticed if I took their phone away or limited it they would be more creative and go outside and play sports, etc. If they had their phone they'd be laying around with it.. No matter what the age 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

trying to pass it off as something for DH and we will not be fooled. SD has a tablet that we bought her to use when we tell her she can use it. We personally don't think a 6 year old should have unlimited access to any electronics but should be playing inside, outside, etc. 

Probably going to let SD use the phone one day in the middle of the week for a little bit of time, but that is it. It is only a spring break trip not the 8 weeks of summer. It wasn't until this week that we have gotten the chance to communicate with SD more and scheduling phone calls/video calls with BM is consistently difficult. We aren't going to be fooled by the sudden communicate before her visit. If the next two months we get a bit more communication with SD and not just the week leading up to her coming, then we will revisit it, but we will not play into the manipulation for BM to get what she wants.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

she is DIFFICULT all year about scheduling it and actually having SD available for the calls on time, etc. BUT then as we get real close to a visit, BM SUDDENLY isn't nearly as difficult and then has super high expectations of access to SD on our time. Like we really are not dumb, we see through you and it is a pattern, this is no different!

Livingoutloud's picture

Our SGD is 8. No way no how she'd be having a phone let alone use it all day unsupervised. Even my insane crazy SD knows better. But if she insisted SGD must have a phone, she's not be using it in our house. 6 year old shouldn't have phones, let alone use them unsupervised 

when SD arrives, maybe allow supervised use an hour a day and then it's locked the rest of time. She is 6!!!! 


NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

SD has a tablet one of the amazon prime ones that is age appropriate. BM we know lets SD play Roblox and other games that are not appropriate for her age so I can only imagine what she can get into. So far we are thinking on Wednesday which is the middle of the visit, SD can have some supervised time on the phone, but that is it since it is such a short visit and she has a tablet we let her use a half hour a day with age appropriate games. 

Livingoutloud's picture

My SD thought it's ok if SGD used Roblox on iPad. Omg. You know what she was doing? Chatting with strangers!!!!!! DH and I caught her. SD was so terrified, she did not know how Roblox works, we are now storing it in our house until she is older. Roblox connects you to other people who might be grown ups searching for kids to groom.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

While communicating with BM about something different she said something about Roblox and DH said how he does not allow SD to play Roblox at the house and she has not asked to play. BM claims she has all this parental controls and supervises SD playing this. BUT months ago when DH called BM's phone to talk to SD at the scheduled time SD didn't answer for 3 hours and BM said I had given SD the phone earlier so she had it and was busy playing Roblox that's why she did not answer... So SD was clearly unsupervised on her phone for 3 hours playing the game so she totally contradicted herself.

Livingoutloud's picture

I think even with parental control they can chat with people on Roblox. My DH is pretty savvy and he couldn't figure it out. SD might eventually go to Apple Store and ask for help with parental control on Roblox when SGD is a little older. But even with parental control 3 hours on electronics is too long. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

we think Roblox is just not appropriate with and or without parental controls. But this is also the same woman that set up SD's older sister with a tik tok at like 7... 

Livingoutloud's picture

There are some games on there that look kids could play. Pretty innnocent BUT even with parental control there's a chat feature. It's a disaster waiting to happen 

Livingoutloud's picture

I think kids need a phone when they start staying home alone and go places alone. Until then, there's zero need 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

when I started staying afterschool for sports. Until I went to college, I turned my phone in every night to my parents, they never let me have it overnight unless I was sleeping somewhere else. 

DH and I were talking about getting SD the Gizmo watch because you can only text and call the 10 approved contacts because we thought that was age appropriate for her and could open up communication with us.