SS spying for his mother!

s.deeDecember 6, 2008

How do I deal with this....

We live in FL, SS12 and his mother live in CA. Things are very nasty and bitter between my DH and his Ex so we don't have contact with her except for SS issues and visitation.

Well, SS has been taking pictures with his camera phone of our home, all the rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, furniture??? appliances... you name it! and texting them to his mother (he was here for Thanksgiving).

No secret she is always harassing DH for more money, is she up to something? Or am I just being too hormonal right now??

Thanks for opinions!

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I am always concerned that pictures end up in the public domain, and that is not always in anyone's best interest. You dont want to invite burglars. Are there other children -- but if not, is your image on any pics??? I would tell DH to tell SS that unless he stops with the camera, DH should hold the phone, and allow SS to have it as needed for calls. X may want more $$ and she can pursue that through any legal means. You cant stop that.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Sadly, 'spying' is a pretty common tactic, and one that takes many forms. (My own Ex was so competitive that he asked 9 y.o. DS to find how how big the diamond was in my 2nd ring so he could buy his GF one that was bigger! Strange but true.)

Have you ever actually said anything to SS? Something along the lines of "When you take all those pictures, it almost seems like you are spying on us! I'm sure your mom isn't really interested in our furniture, is she?" If he comes up with some reason why he should take pictures, you could first offer to take a bunch of pictures of him with his Dad, and simply say that it makes you a little uncomfortable to have him taking pictures of the house when it's his Dad he'll want to remember.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 1:59PM
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I wanted pictures of my grandmother's house. I had her take pictures of me in every room, including the bathrooms!!! dorky, but true. Do you know he's doing it for his mother?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 2:04PM
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I had a similar problem with my SD, every detail of our lives was being reported back to her mother. I finally sat down with her and told her that she really wasn't being very loyal to her dad and it made us both uncomfortable. That was all we could do. I really think this is a common occurance with children in step family situations.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Thanks guys.

No other children except one on the way.

For sure he is spying for his mother - she thinks we these multi-millionaires so she wants to see what we own, and how she can get more $$. I am sure that our possessions have no clout as to whether she can get more $$ but any change in income (which is less now than last year) is a way. We believe she is bi-polar. I never ever talk to her, I keep out of their issues, but when he (SS) is doing this, I do get mad.

On one hand I have nothing to hide, the other, why is it any of her business? She should just be concerned that we do take care and support their son. She pines for DH to come back to her, even though other days she hates his guts. Then she directs this bitterness towards me and turns the SS against me and DH saying it is my fault they can't get back together. SS never calls me for mother's Day, or for my birthday. Never. DH has to remind him, even then he won't call. Oh well... I can't force him.

I find it so sad that she is robbing her son of the opportunity to have a Step-mom that loves him very much but poisoning his mind.

I want to hear that it will all get better. I want to hear that one day SS will wake up and realize that his mom is playing him, and using him like a pawn in an evil game of chess - trying to hurt us. I have these really negative feelings towards her, but almost feel sorry for her too.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 2:49PM
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If I wasnt clear, let me try again. Regardless of motives, I dont want pics of my house and my relatives out in the publci domain. I wouldnt try to ascribe motives to the SS.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 3:10PM
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here here! Except the damage is already done.... So now what? Just talk to SS and let him know what he did was "wrong"?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 4:43PM
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DH should talk to SS. Cyper-security is no joke in my mine. Others here disagree with me, but I think DH should tell SS that he is not to take pictures expect in publice places or where he has permission, and he should not put pics of himself anywereh on the web. My opinion.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 4:52PM
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I agree with kkny, it doesn't matter WHY he took the pictures, he should not be taking unauthorized pictures. That is a misuse of his camera phone and dad should hold the camera phone for him next time, not just talk to him about it. It doesn't matter if his mom put him up to it or not, he's old enough to know it's a violation of your/DH's privacy, period. Why not ask him to snap some shots of mom's house and send them? (that's a rhetorical question) Of course mom would probably flip her lid if he did that. This is an opportunity for DH to set up a boundary in his house regarding privacy. If he lets it go until next time, it leaves open the possibility for a next time. I wouldn't let there be a next time.

Kids spy on parents for several reasons. He may be prompted by the other parent or he may be doing it on his own. The bottom line is that he needs to know it's wrong and unacceptable, regardless of whose idea it is. I like Sweeby's idea to just tell him "your mom doesn't want pictures of that... who wants a picture of a couch with nobody on it?"

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 8:39PM
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I think taking his phone away from him is what we should do, but DH has to do it. We have a house phone and she can talk to him using that.

One other thing I left out was that he would also snap pictures of my face, especially if they were not flattering at all. I caught him doing it, he would hide the camera behind his back when I confront him, and make faces at me. Can u believe it? This is coming from a pre-teen! I want to snatch his phone and smash it in front of him, but we know that is not the thing to do...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 1:23PM
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I've been through this with my Sd..she came with a digital camera taking pics of all at one point. Especially her room.
I erased her entire memory bank. And then my husband also kept doing it untill she got the point that if she was to bring that camera she was only allowed to take pics of people. Not property and not even her room. Her room is also shared by her brother and its also a slash computer i do not want anyone checking computer stuff or whatever in my household.
I personally would tell your SS and your husband the phone is not allowed ever int he house again. You have a land line he can use to phone his mother. Under no circumstances is the phone ot be kept in the house. If he insists then break it. As the second warning and tell mother you will pay for the cost of replacement with the condition is not to bring it ever again into this household.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 9:10AM
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I don't get it...
Why is it such a big deal for SKids to have photos?
Big enough a deal that you would consider taking away his cell phone?
And even if he had photos on his cell phone, or emails them to BioMom, it's not quite the same thing as posting them on Facebook. And even if he posts them on Facebook, do you really imagine there are bad guys out there 'shopping' for a new big screen TV out of some kid's room on Facebook?

So the kid takes pictures of the furniture and of his/her room to show BioMom. Is it unreasonable for BioMom to want to know what her child's room looks like in the other parent's house? I came right out and asked my son's StepMom if I could see his room in their house. He had said repeatedly how wonderful it was, and that she had done all the work herself, and I told her that. She graciously agreed, and I complimented her on her work and thanked her for going to so much trouble to make my son happy in his new room. She may have thought it was strange -- but certainly no harm came of it.

Imagine that BioMom wants more child support and goes before a judge with photos of your new living room set. Do you really think the judge is going to be sympathetic to a mom who has her kid spy on the other parent? And it won't change the numbers. Normally child support is based on each parent's income, and a new sofa won't change that. If your house and furniture makes BioMom seethe with jealousy, just try to enjoy that...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Sweeby, I agree with what you are saying but depending on the photos taken, there still may be privacy issues. If it were a simple case of mom wanting to know what her child's room looks like, she could ask dad or come visit. My SD's mom came to see her room. We didn't give her a tour of our house or our room, it would bother me if SD took pictures of my bed & sent it to BM, even if I could relish in the thought that she is jealous & insecure. Even if it's never posted publicly, it might still be an invasion of privacy. It's also a trust issue between the child and parents.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:08AM
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If the phone is behind his back and he is making faces at you and you are confronting him, is his phone capable of recording you yelling at him? Some of the cell phones have so many features, that I wondered if this was one of them.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:24AM
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Interesting thoughts BNice -- But frankly, I think even entertaining ideas like that will make you crazy!


I'll admit that I am on the naive side,
but I'm also on the happy and laid-back side --
and I think the two are related.

Whenever DS complains about his dad, my first question to him is always "What happened right before your dad got so upset?" And Ex and I have finally come to a 'cover each other's backsides' position, even though there's no love lost. The stakes are just too high. We both want what's best for DS, and know that sometimes the parents (and steps) have to be the 'bad guys'.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:59AM
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Sweeby, I was kind of wondering what the big deal was too, although everyone else seems to agree it *is* a big deal. I've sent pictures of every room of my house, my yard, my sad little tomato plants, and yes my appliances to my family (only my mom has seen my home irl). I'm sure they mostly don't care about my furniture, either, but they are polite enough to pretend they do ;-). I just picture the mom in this situation venting to her friends about how her son keeps sending her all these pictures of her evil ex-husband and his new wife's house (like she really wants to know what their living room furniture looks like!!!) and how it's all she can manage to pretend to be interested and not scream at her poor kid to stop sending them.

((yes i realize i'm sending pics of my own house to people of my own choosing, and no of course i don't really know if mom sent the kid to spy or not, that's just the image it brings to my mind))

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 5:14PM
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maybe it's the intention of why he's sending it that makes it a big deal to the OP.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Honestly, I tend to be protective of peoples privacy -- but others here arent, so I dont know whey they are so upset at this.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 8:24PM
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