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Tablet issues

Merrigan's picture

Hi again all!  I’m about to spend another weekend at my bf’s place with his sd15, and I know that once again, I’ll be asked half a dozen times why I didn’t bring my tablet with me. 

Backstory:  I got a new tablet six months ago, and with my lack of experience with kids, I thought it would be good to bring along sometimes to play games and watch YouTube with my sd.  It very quicky turned into “her tablet”, which included dropping it, leaving encrusted food on it, taking it without permission, and asking me to pay for games (and telling on me to her father when I said no!).  She took it to her cousins house while we were visiting, and all the kids turned into howler monkeys over it.  (I had a six year old tell me I had to download a violent game because his mommy said so!  Which was a lie). The final straw was when she swatted my hand away from it when we were using it together.  I didn’t know how to react, so I decided never to bring it back. 

Since then, I’ve heard every time why I don’t bring “the tablet” (not Merrigans tablet) over and over again.  She asks why over and over again.  She’s even said she can’t wait for me to move in so she can use it all the time!  The kicker is, she has her own older tablet!  I’ve told her dad it’s not coming back and he tells her this, she just asks over and over again.  


Ranting a bit, it’s just driving me mental. I feel foolish too cause as an adult, I should have known better. 

Rags's picture

Rather than having SO tell her that the tablet isn't coming back, you do it and tell her exactly why.

"That is MY tablet, you are rude, grabby, you abuse it, you get food all over it, drop it, and do not respect my belongings.  So, you won't ever play with it again even if I do move in."

Lather, rinse, repeat each time she asks about it.

Merrigan's picture

Thank you!  This is what I needed to hear. I’ve been justifying leaving it home gently so far.  

tog redux's picture

She's 15, why is she acting 5?

I'd rethink moving in if your SO can't set any limits on his kid's behavior.

Merrigan's picture

He was surprised when I said I’m leaving it home because of how it’s treated.  It’s just stuff to him that he can replace.  

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Surprised by what, exactly? Does he EXPECT you to let his spoiled kid use your tablet??

If he thinks so little of the expense, then HE can bloody well BUY ONE FOR HER.

Merrigan's picture

He was just like, “oh!  I’ve never seen her drop it. But ok!”  And that was that.  He’s very very chill and even-keeled about everything, as am I.  (We’ve been together three years and never even had a fight. Which is probably bad). We both have great jobs, and he said he’d replace it if anything happened. But I’m not letting him throw money around like that.  

He’s told her to save up for one, but she’s really gung-ho about mine.  

And to be honest, she got so absorbed in it that she stopped asking to be entertained constantly and I bet it gave him a break.  (Found him in his room reading a few times).  Maybe that peace seemed worth 900 bucks to him.  Ay yi yi.  


Ispofacto's picture

him:  “oh!  I’ve never seen her drop it.”

you:  "yeah, i'm just making shit up.  you know me, i do that alllllll the time."  and then stare at him until he withers


Merrigan's picture

I’m starting to realize via this great forum that she may be developmentally delayed. She considers herself a child and doesn’t want to grow up.  Plus her BM has instilled her with a ton of entitlement. And might also be emotionally abusive. Sad

Merrigan's picture

That was my first impression. She even admits to being spoiled. Her dad paid for everything for his ex and her for so many years - we can’t go anywhere without her expecting to be bought something. I gently told her once on a trip with just me and her to the mall (she had spending money from her dad) that I’m always happy to treat her to lunch and snacks, but I can’t buy her toys etc unless it’s a holiday or birthday.  I thought I was just being honest and setting a boundary.  She got quiet and shut down and afterwards  had a meltdown with her dad, not directly about me but about wanting stuff. She apologized after for sounding spoiled. 

shamds's picture

”daaaaadddddeeeee i want my tablet, and moooonnnnneeeeeyyyyy for shopping pleeeeeaaaassssseeeee” whilst chucking a hissyfit as developmentally delayed because they want to be a kid forever

Trying to Stepmom's picture

My stepdad had a laptop (from work) that he let me watch DVDs on. I decided to borrow it without asking to take it to a friend’s house. This was clearly before everyone had DVD players. 

When I got home he was not happy, told me how he could get in trouble if something happened to it (because it technically belonged to his work) and I ended up being grounded. 

Granted, my situation was a little different than yours but the table is yours! You have full right to tell her no whether she’s your stepdaughter or not. I would have stopped bringing it once she got bossy and demanded you download things and especially once she got food on it. 

Merrigan's picture

Exactly!  I grew up sharing the tv and family computer, with limited time on both.  And borrowing books from people or the library was a big deal!  We had to treat things with respect.  SD throws her fathers phone around and expects me to let her use mine. I say no to that as well (she snoops, as I found out the first time I let her use it) and she’ll keep asking, or say to her dad “can merrigan look up toy/thing on her phone?” over and over again.  

Harry's picture

i think there need to be rules set up first and SD has to follow the rules.  I think moving in will not go well for you.  It’s going to get worst unless Disney dad set rules and everyone follows those rules 

Merrigan's picture

Thank you. Im starting to realize that we’d need to buy our own place together, where I can set rules as an equal owner.  Though he bought his house after the divorce and sd hates it.  It’s not her primary residence, but it’s not 4000 sq ft like the original home so she says it’s sucks. I’d be happy with a 2 bedroom affordable condo that we can split costs for while saving for a recreational property.  

notarelative's picture

Please do not think a geographic cure will work. Unless her dad is willing to say no to her, the problems will follow. 

Gimlet's picture

Yes!  You could live in the Biltmore estate and this behavior isn't going to change.

A shared residence doesn't mean that because it's also yours that you will be successful taking part in laying down rules.  Rules are only as good as the enforcement of them and it does not sound like your boyfriend is willing to enforce any boundaries with his daughter.  

I would remain in my own home and see how things proceed.  Reaching 18 in lots of cases just means an adult living with you instead of a kid. 

Dogmom1321's picture

WARNING I thought the same before we got "our" house. I assumed since I paid too and was in my name, that I would have more say. I had to be VERY clear that no toys were in the den, you clean up after yourself, the office is for WORK, not SK downloading games on desktop, and that OUR bedroom and bathroom was for US. DH looked at me like I was crazy,  it I pointed out SD had a bedroom and play room, the least she can do is be respectful of our spaces too. 

SteppedOut's picture

I honestly can't for the life of me fathom why you are even considering buying a shared home with your boyfriend given his daughter's behavior... I mean, imagine bot being able to ESCAPE back to your own home. Ugh. Really? 

Merrigan's picture

I thought maybe then she’d be more respectful of my space and things.  I’m totally wrong here aren’t I.  Sigh.  

Wrong Way Diva's picture

At 15, she should be working part time and saving for her OWN tablet.   My kids were always much more frugal with their OWN money than spending mine.   You could be teaching her a wonderful lesson on money management--1/3 of your paycheck is spending money, 1/3 goes into savings for a short-tem goal (tablet), 1/3 goes into long term savings (college, car, etc). 



Harry's picture

That your BF is going alone with his DD.  He not parenting her into showing respect for others peoples property. Or respect for you.  That you can not bring something over with out being grabbed and played with. How is life going to play out with this kid?  

Is she going into your bed room and all your stuff is her stuff.  There are serious boundaries problems here.  SD has no boundaries!!  I would start really looking at what is going on. Is other things if yours being touched, used play with ?   Do you really want to move in when your SO does not have your back. ???

Merrigan's picture

Right now she goes into his bedroom whenever she wants. If I move in, I’d have to establish a knock first rule right away.  So far the only things she’s interested in of mine are my phone and tablet. Though she did pick up my designer sunglasses once and then said “I’m a kid, you should expect kids to touch everything”. 

Cbarton12's picture

Uh I totally missed that the kid was FIFTEEN until I read again. How the heck is she still acting like a child getting food over it and calling it hers when it's obviously not. And slapping your hand away??? 

She sounds severely spoiled or there is something else wrong with her. Plain and simple tell her it's not coming back nor is it hers to use because she doesn't know how to respect people's property. 

hereiam's picture

I’m starting to realize via this great forum that she may be developmentally delayed. She considers herself a child and doesn’t want to grow up.

What do you think this means, long term? There is a chance she will never want to, or be required to, live on her own. Can you be sure that you and your SO won't get stuck with her? Forever?

Merry's picture

If this is happening now with a tablet, imagine when you move in. She will help herself to your clothes, shoes, perfume, shampoo, jewelry, underwear. Because everything in her world belongs to her because it's just "stuff" per Daddy.

Developmentally delayed or spoiled rotten, there are no boundaries now. Don't expect boundaries later unless you enforce them. Then you can expect resentment from both her and Daddy because you've upset their dysfunctional apple cart.

For now,  become an observer. See what happens when you ask him to make changes in parenting, boundaries, whatever. If he is willing, great. Keep on observing. If he is not willing, well, then you know SD will always come first. That would be a great big dealbreaker for me. 

Merrigan's picture

Thanks everyone for all your help. One of the reasons I’ve let all this happen is that she can be a very sweet girl who hugs me and tells me that she loves me when I visit. So I feel tremendously guilty about posting.  But I’m a very slow learner, and this other behaviour is foreign to me. All these experiences you’re all relating are eye-opening. 

Rags's picture

What is appealing about a life with a man who is this abject a failure as a parent?  Don't ruin your life over this failed man and father.  His daughter is a product of his failures.

Move on.

Harry's picture

Next weekend bring the tablet locked with a passcode. See what happens ?

 A. BF respect you and your property, tells DD to knock it off

B.  BF try’s to guilt you to let DD play with the tablet, DD is not going to hurt it, be a bigger person, she needs to used it.  You hate my DD. Ect

C. He goes out and buys her a bigger and better tablet 

A is the correct answer and you have a change to make this work

B and C totally wrong.  And it’s time to look for someone else 

Do you really think SD will stay out of your bedroom ?  Anytime you leave the house she will be in there by herself or with BF.  Playing with all your thing 

Harry's picture