Return to the Stepfamily Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Posted by lovehadley (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 24, 09 at 13:37

This woman is UNREAL.

It's been a major issue lately for her regarding phone calls. Their parenting plan states "reasonable access" to child via telephone. But to me that is so tricky because, really, what is reasonable?

I am not kidding you---BM has always called 3, 4, even 5 times a day. During the school year--she calls when SS is in car on the way to school in the morning, then she calls in the afternoon as soon as school lets out, then again around dinner time and then again at bedtime.

On the weekends or in the summer, it's pretty much the same---I would say average of 4x a day.

The main thing I want to say here is that SS is not wanting to call his mom. Sometimes he wants to at bedtime and will ask, but other than that, really he never brings it up! It is HER calling HIM.

My DH has a tough time because often BM will tell SS to put his dad on the phone and then DH gets stuck in a conversation or argument with her.

He has been avoiding her calls like the plague.

Ever since this last round where she called the police/ CPS, DH has cut off her calls. He either answers and hands the phone to SS at bedtime, or he has SS call her at bedtime--but that's it.

He does not take her calls, for either him or SS, during the day at all.

Well, she flipped last weekend and said she is entitled to more than 1 phone call a day when SS is w/us---so I guess when DH picked him up today, he now has his own phone.

SS told DH that now his mom is going to call whenever she wants, and SS says he has to have the phone with him all the time.

Give me a friggin' break.

It is just one more control issue on her part. She HAS to somehow infiltrate.

It just bugs me, too, because it really is not like DH is cutting contact between his son and his mom. He's NOT. SS is never the one asking or wanting to call! OF COURSE if he said "can i call my mom?" DH would allow him to immediately! But he just never says that.

I guess we will just have to wait and see how this plays out, and see if it becomes an issue.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Did you get that book yet Hadley?


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

No! I really, really need to! Does it talk about this particular issue?


 o
grandma

I guess DH said also BM programmed SS's grandparents' number in, as well. This is totally irritating, as well, because BM's mom will continually call SS when he is w/us and leave messages on DH's phone about how she misses him and wants to talk to him. GEEEZ. It is crazy, crazy. It's not like he is with us for 6 week stretches or something. Grandma can see and talk to him on BM's time, not DH's.

I know that might sound harsh but this is the grandma that told DH she fully supported her DD calling the police on me, and also told him that BM had some plan cooked up last summer to wait at the pool we go to, and say that she saw me slap SS, and DD, and the call the police---and then I would get my DD taken from me and wouldn't that be hilarious.

The woman is as insane as her daughter.

She outright told DH when BM was drunk that night and came to try to get SS---that SHE told her to do it. She herself said it was pathetic that BM was at the bar instead of with her son, and she drove to the bar herself and told BM to get out of there and go get her son. Never mind the fact that BM was WASTED.

So yeah--we don't really want GRANNY calling SS when he's with us.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"My DH has a tough time because often BM will tell SS to put his dad on the phone and then DH gets stuck in a conversation or argument with her."

Make no mistake about it....this is the MAIN reason BM is calling SS 4 times a day. There is just no other explaination.

I would treat SS and his phone usthe same as I would anyone elses. If the rules are no phone before homework is complete,room is clean etc, it would be inforced with SS. If the rules are loss of phone priveledges if you fail a class it would be inforced with SS...he could call mom once per day on a landline. If the rules are no phone calls during dinner then SS would not be taking moms calls during dinner. When he is in your home he is on your time and your rules regardless of who bought the phone. As long as he gets contact once per day I don't think BM could whine to the courts. You are not denying contact but you are denying constant interruptions in routine.

As far as BM getting SS to "put dad on the phone", dad needs to say no a few times. Just don't get on the phone. Simple as that. If there isn't anything really important to say just say no. She'll stop calling 4 times a day if DH stops getting on the phone with her. I would bet everything I have in Vegas on that!


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Glad you agree, Doodle, that one call a day is enough.

that is DH's main issue here. HE feels that one call a day is sufficient contact for BM and SS, unless SS wanted to call more, which he doesn't.

BM thinks one call/day is not enough. She feels she should be able to talk to her son anytime she wants to. If she didn't abuse the issue, it would be fine, but when she is calling 4+ times a day, you are right, it becomes an interruption in our life and our routine.

I really don't know what a court would consider "reasonable telephone access" to be.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"She feels she should be able to talk to her son anytime she wants to."

She doesn't want to talk to SS though. I thinkshe wants to stir the pot. SHe wants to russle up arguments with DH and stick in ya'lls crawl is what she wants to do.

I don't think any court would chastise you for holding SS to the same rules as others in the hoouehold as long as he is allowed contact once maybe twice a day at CERTAIN TIMES.

I am so glad BM can't afford a lawyer for stupid piddling little things like phone calls a thousand times a day. It would drive me nuts to have a judge interfering with every single aspect of my home life just because she's mental. I think if it's your home and you don't want to be interupted it should be your call on what's reasonable. Once a day is plenty IMHO. Calling 4 times per day is obviously just to be annoying.


 o
reply

"I am so glad BM can't afford a lawyer for stupid piddling little things like phone calls a thousand times a day"

I'm not sure what's up w/BM and her attorney. Last court go around, she had some crap-ola attorney who was an ex-boyfriend of her sister's. The guy was NOT a family law attorney and had no clue what he was doing.

This time, somehow she was able to get a good attorney, one who matches ours. I don't know how she is affording it unless either a)her DH is finally making decent money in TX or b) her parents paid for it. Option B is probably more likely.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

if it came down to a court fight, you'd probably lose on the once per day call allowed. the better approach would be to set rules regarding when phone calls are not permitted, e.g., during dinner, while out with the family, etc.

one other small issue, just because SS doesn't request to call BM, doesn't mean that he doesn't want to speak to his mother more frequently when she calls. if he starts to complain about the frequency of her calls or you see that it bothers him (which will be unlikely), thats a different issue, but so long as he isn't and the calls aren't interfering with your routine (reasonable things like mentioned above), you should allow the calls. if BM is only calling that frequently to get into it with DH, that is easy to nip in the bud by just not engaging until she gets the hint.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"Does it talk about this particular issue?"

This is exactly the type of issue the book is all about. How to deal with manipulative behavior in ways that are 'high road' but not 'doormat', and that put the child's best interests first while also protecting your legal interests as well.

This book is worth dropping everything right now, driving to the bookstore, and paying retail.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

It seems to me that she's just looking for ways to hit buttons with you guys, probably because your husband's enforcing boundaries for a change. She's pushing the limits, just like a kid whose parents are finally enforcing the rules.

Your husband needs to enforce limits on this, too. The kid doesn't "have to have the phone with him at all times." That's the mother attempting to set up rules for how things will work at your house. She doesn't set the rules. You and your husband do. She sends the kid to your house with a phone, that's fine... but that phone can be kept turned off on a high shelf except when it's time for him to talk with her. Her giving him a cell phone is not a way for her to get around the reasonable boundaries your husband has set. Unless he lets her. Hopefully he won't.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

loveH - Your DH should stop all verbal communication with his ex. I'm sure she believes she's controlling your lives! And as long as DH lets her, then realistically, she is. SS can have his phone, but there needs to be rules and it's a connection for SS and his Mom, not DH and BM.

There can't possibly be anything that important that your DH needs to talk to BM more than once a month... and that's pushing it! If she calls SS's phone and asks to speak to Dad, DH needs to tell SS no, and continue to not take her calls on his own phone or house line.

This whole scenario is just plain ridiculous, I don't know how you've put up with it so long without totally losing your mind... Once again, I can tell you, this is not at all healthy, and things have to change in order to find some "normalcy" for you and your family. Tell DH to cut BM off, be done messing with her, period. If she desperately needs something then she can put it in writing. At least if she gets belligerant on paper, you have evidence!

I'm continuing to pray for you and your family.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I would tell SS, "why don't you call your mom?" and "hey, I'll bet your grandma wants to talk to you!" and anyone else he wants to call, friends from school, kids from the pool/playground, etc. After all, it's her choice to get a 7 year old a phone. (oh yeah, I'd have DH write her a letter to say that he disagrees with her giving SS a phone at his age & that he is not going to monitor his usage, except at bedtime it gets turned off. If she gets a huge bill, it's her problem not yours. He should make it clear that he is not going to be responsible if SS goes over minutes or loses the phone, etc.) I wouldn't give it any power and see what happens.

On the other hand, DH has to be able to set boundaries in your home and there have been others that have a problem with kids calling the other parent, giving them a play by play of everything happening in their home. In my opinion, that's an invasion of privacy to an extent. Dad may need to talk to his son about proper phone etiquette and privacy.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Set the boundaries .... immediately ... but (smiling I agree Ima) get him a "new phonebook" to write all his numbers down in ... when he is on the phone with whomever he has to do it in his room ....

my SD doesn't do anything without a phone in her hand but she is not allowed to talk where we are talking because she will not talk to mom she will just let mom listen to the conversations going on in the background so she has to go in her room to use the phone but since there is no TV in her room "she hates being in there" .... so she now calls mom less and less. :)

When the boys are on the phone with mom they also have to go in her room because she is always asking "what's going on what is she saying whats daddy doing" how do I know?? you might ask because the boys say oh its just pseudo and dad talking or daddy's on the phone with (insert name) pseudo's not talking to me about anything.

If they do not go in their rooms to speak on the phone we do not talk until the phone call has ended.

My SS 11 cannot remember where his phone is 98% of the time hopefully he is as absent minded as my SS.... I have told them all I don't think any of them need a phone so if its gets lost I refuse to look for it so don't even ask! Mom is free to come in an look for it herself or have daddy but I will not.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

With all the stories you hear about cell phones being dropped or lost of going through the laundry, it may not be a problem for long...

(Why no! I'd never suggest doing anything like that on purpose!)


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

cell phone? at this age? you kidding me? what is he? 7? cell phone? this woman lost her mind.

i "love" that granny, she is worse than imamommy's SD's grandma. crazy woman.

and she certainly calls that often to control the situation and aggravate everyone. she is probably going to say in court that dad prevents SS from talking to mom.

I bet you if you tell the judge that mom calls 4 times a day days and night he will say it is disruptive.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I agree, set the boundaries immediately.
Sure she got him a phone, its your house , therefore he cannot answer the phone during, breakfast , dinner. lunch, movies....he has to leave it in his room. And its to be shut off after certain hours of the night...can put it on message answer only...lets say...9pm. and can only be turned on after 9am.
And tell the judge its disruptive calling 4-5 times a day. ...
Yes bm got a phone, your house, set the boundaries. Simple.
Oh yah, tell your ss he has to leave the phone in his room at all times. He can call people back if he missed any calls.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Problem solved.

DH nixed the phone at our house altogether.

We went to the pool around 2 today, and SS threw a hissy fit because he wanted (HAD) to bring his phone into the pool complex. He then launched into this thing about how it's HIS phone and his mom told him he is to call her anytime he wants, and that no one can take this phone away, not even his dad.

Well, DH said no. I could see he was about to blow his lid! He was very calm about it, and just told SS that the cell phone will stay at mom's house from now on. He said that he thinks 7 is too young to have a phone and that ANYTIME SS wants to talk to his mom, all he has to do is ask DH. DUH, SS already knows this.

Anyway, now DH is the "bad guy" of the moment but oh well. DH just decided he is not going to play this little game BM has going on.

She never should have gotten the cell without discussing it w/DH and then for her to give all that power to SS and make him feel like he can call the shots over his dad....uh uh.

Anyway, I know some may not agree, but I am glad DH did that.

He's printing out his phone records for the last 3 months for court next week in case it comes up----so he can show that he does NOT deny BM access to her son at all, just that he won't tolerate 4+ calls a day.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Good Job Hubby! Woo Hoo!


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I don't think he is wrong at all. 7 is not aprropriate age. My niece is 7 and no way she will have a cell phone.

If mom thinks it is OK, then he could use the phone when he is at moms. Let DH to be a bad guy, sometimes parents have to be bad guys to raise children properly.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

This may be a stupid question but wouldn't SS having a cell phone eliminate the amount your DH interacts with BM on the phone?


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

lonepiper -- I completely agree with you. I know my opinion differs from most posters re: giving child a cell phone, but I believe it eliminates lots of problems. i gave dd a cellphone at 9 so there are no issues about me calling her or her calling me or having to deal with ex at all. she keeps it with her at all times. if she is having dinner or out, etc. she'll not answer or answer or text and say i'm out or having dinner, etc. just as how adults would use a cellphone. if she is sitting and watching tv and wants to chat, we can have a text convo. its quite simple really. when she visits we talk or text pretty much all day long. this also prevented me from taking ex to court re: communication privilege, which is silly. ex had unlimited privilege to call and text on the cellphone until he decided to take the cellphone and read dd's messages and therefore i had to limit him to calling the house phone. but he can still call whenever he wants so long as its not after bedtime.

i dont see any reason why given the contentiousness, ss isn't able to keep his phone and use it to call his mother or talk to his mother when he wants. placing limits on children such as when and for how long they can talk to the other parent under the guise of "disruption" causes far more problems than it solves. because seriously, if ss is just hanging around at home, how is it disruptive for him to talk to his mother. its an excuse. if you always give the other parent something to fuss about, they usually will and therefore, accomodate when you can. as i said before, dh simply does not need to talk to her if she is calling to talk to him instead of her son.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Personally, I wouldnt give a 7YO a cell phone, but it seems to me that this way mom can call SS without talking to you or DH. I think it is reasonable to tell him it doesnt go to the pool, etc., to avoid loss, and to tell him it gets turned off at bedtime. Frankly, I would rather not speak to my X, and I would reather he call DD on her cell. X and I communicate through email.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

So glad your DH set boundries right away on this one. We had the same problem last summer it was BM's attempt to have a finger of control in our home. Besides SS is really irresponsible and we would not be willing to pay to replace it if it were lost or broken. We decided if he brought it here it would get left in Dad's truck until he drove him home. He is welcome to use our house phone anytime he asks. After 2 or 3 weekends leaving it in the car we never saw it again.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"when she visits we talk or text pretty much all day long."

That is exactly what we don't want to happen. When SS is at our home, we would like him to be spending time with our family, and not under his mom's influence. I know that might sound harsh but you need to remember that his mom is not a rational person.

DH and I both feel that this is a control issue with her. DH set a boundary for her and is not playing her games anymore.She got mad about that and decided she would just tromp right over his boundaries that he is trying to set. She still wants to call all the time to talk to SS and we just don't feel she should have that much insight into our lives. She doesn't need to know that we are out to dinner, or that we're heading to the pool or to my mom's or any other thing throughout the day, every single day.

This woman has pulled some unbelievalble and downright frightening stuff. Who knows what crazy thing she will try next? The more she knows about what we are doing and where we are going, the more she can attempt to cause trouble in our lives.

Again, JMO based on OUR situation. I am sure there are divorce situations where it IS appropriate for a child to have a cell phone, but we don't think it is in ours, given BM's drinking, her emotional abuse, and her erratic, sometimes violent, behavior.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

lovehadley, remember that ss going to dinner, going to the pool, etc. is also a part of his life and not just yours. there are some things that i can understand you not wanting ss to tell his mom, but the stuff you mention just don't rise to that level, imho.

when dd visits her dad, we talk about everything under the sun as we usually do when she's home and yes that necessarily includes, how was your day, what did you do today, what was for lunch, etc and all the details that come with that. when her dad calls, she is free to tell him about stuff like that as well. you should not try to stifle that kind of communication. what dd is not allowed to mention is "family business," like e.g., mom got a raise, or mom has a new boyfriend, etc. when she is visiting her dad, i never inquire about their "family business" either just things relating to or affecting my dd. I am entitled to all such information. and regardless of how crazy BM is in your situation, she is also entitled to such information. its caring about and asking about that kind of stuff that helps develop a strong bond between parent and child.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

But, (and I agree that a 7 year old doesn't really need a cell phone), this would be a golden opportunity to teach SS that just because a phone rings, doesn't mean you have to answer it. If it rings, the display says "Mom" or "Grandma" and he doesn't want to talk to either, just don't answer. If challenged on why he didn't answer, the reply is, "I didn't want to talk right then," or, "I was busy".


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Marie,

In a perfect world, that might be feasible. But, here in the real world, parents are not supposed to monitor the child's calls... so how would you know if the child is discussing family business unless he/she is being monitored? And what do you do when the child tells the other parent your personal business? Punish them? Take away their phone privilege? You cannot control what the child tells the other parent, but you can control whether a child tries to manipulate the situation.

So SS goes to the pool, he doesn't need to call mom right then and there to share he went to the pool... she can hear all about it when he gets home and calls.. they can talk about everything under the sun. But, it does not have to interfere with the other parent's time or activities and having a child on the phone during activities is an interference. Yes, a BM is entitled to information and sharing it to develop a strong bond, but not at the expense of the other parent's relationship and if the child spends all his/her visitation time on the phone with the custodial parent, they don't exactly have time to develop a strong bond with the parent they are visiting.

A few of the things you have said rub me the wrong way.. such as letting a 10 year old decide to not see dad, that you made sure you got sole custody so he can't keep you from moving, and if she does go see her dad, she spends a great deal of that time on the phone with you, talking or sending text messages. It paints the picture of an overbearing mother that won't allow the child to have a better relationship with dad... and that may not be true, but it's the impression you give with some of the things you write. (and I tend to disagree that if mom has a new boyfriend, it absolutely is dad's business... especially if he has a daughter and if the daughter is going to be around the new boyfriend... I can't think of anything that would be more important for dad to know! I would absolutely do a full background check on him.)


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

And this is what happens if you give it time:

"Our" BM got SD8 and SD10 a cell phone, for the same reasons as your BM Love: all to do with DH and you and interfering in your lives, not so much to do with keeping in touch with SS (but of course that is the 'reasonable' excuse).

My SD's were told to keep phone on them AT ALL TIMES and they were paranoid about it. BM calling all hours of day, and then also couple of times at night, like 11pm or once even at 2am (drunk of course, missing her babies)!! From then on the new boundary was 'phones off when it's bed time'.
The other rule is "not answering during dinner" and that is what we've left it at.

Now SD's are 11 and 13 and BM is over it. We did not engage in the cell phone battle, we let skids cary the damn things around and phone all day long if that is what BM wanted, and eventually she tired of it when she didn't get the reaction from us she'd hoped to get. (ANY reaction from you or DH will do by the way)

And that will be the same with your BM. If you don't play she'll give up eventually, it'll wear off. Unfortunately that's when she'll try the next thing, but you can only take it as it comes. I'd say don't fight it, have the basic rules and then just zoom out, as annoying as it might be :-)


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Marie,

We do not at all tell SS he can't tell his mom things. He can tell her anything he wants! And he always has. His calls to his mom are not limited! What DH limits is the amount of calls BM makes to SS, NOT vice versa. SS could call his mom 10x a day if he wanted. DH has never refused him the phone to call his mom, but he just rarely, rarely asks. His mom is the one calling HIM and if he has a cell phone on him at all times, then BM pretty much has a direct line to our family life anytime she wants.

" you should not try to stifle that kind of communication"

We don't at all. You are completely misunderstanding.

What we don't want happening is her calling as we're driving to the pool and him answering and saying 'yeah, we're at the pool." Or "yes, we're at____restaurant." PARTICUALRY given everything that's gone on, we don't really want her knowing exactly where we are anytime she wants. So what happens next time she gets all p*ssed off about something and decides to call the police and make another false allegation? If she knows, via SS, that we are out to dinner at a particular restaurant, she could call the police and have them show where we are. Paranoid? Maybe, but maybe not.

You have NO idea the kind of person we are dealing with here. In a perfect world, or heck---not even perfect but just a world with two rational, reasonable people--things wouldn't have to be this way. But the bottom line is, this woman has proven herself to be irrational, a drunk, and displayed crazy behavior time and time again. Yes, she is SS's mother and entitled to talk to him "reasonably" when he is with us. To US, reasonable does not mean she gets a direct line to call anytime she chooses.

SS can tell her what we did or what we have/had planned when he's talking to her at night, or on her parenting time. Or he can talk to her anytime he asks! (He never does.)

None of this is SS's fault, but DH and I both know this has less to do with her wanting to talk to her son and WAY more to do with wanting to control and know what we are doing.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"A few of the things you have said rub me the wrong way.. such as letting a 10 year old decide to not see dad, that you made sure you got sole custody so he can't keep you from moving, and if she does go see her dad, she spends a great deal of that time on the phone with you, talking or sending text messages. It paints the picture of an overbearing mother that won't allow the child to have a better relationship with dad... and that may not be true, but it's the impression you give with some of the things you write."

imamommy, I'm far from an overbearing parent. You assume way too much without knowing any of the facts. In fact, quite the opposite. DD and I are just extremely close and she is not close to her father, but it has nothing to do with me. Quite frankly, she doesn't like him. If you knew him and DD, you would understand why. I don't have time to go into the details now, but there is no way any court would ever give him joint custody given the things he has done and the way he treats DD. I would have been crazy to agree to joint custody under the circumstances. For example, when the custody situation was decided, things the court considered were ex spanking DD to potty train her, spanking her to break her from bad habits such as using a pacifier (I was away in graduate school). Now that she is older, he still uses those kinds of strong-arm tactics to try to control DD. When she visits she is on punishment at least 2x each day for complete nonsense. And he is always belittling her. It is for those and other reasons that DD does not like him as a person and literally dreads going for visits. In fact, she finally got the courage to run down her list of reasons why she hates visiting him to his face. He pretty much told her he isn't going to change, so DD just doesn't want any contact with him. Would you? DD is a great kid who every adult who meets her seems to fall in love with, no thanks to him.

DD and I talk all day when she is here and there is no reason that should continue when she visits her father. I keep a landline in my home just so that she can talk to him whenever she wants. everyone else uses cell phones. If I were trying to prevent them from having a relationship, I would save money and cut off the landline. In fact, it wasn't until things started to get as bad as they are that I stopped forcing DD to call her father more frequently. But she obviously has her reasons -- very good ones, in my opinion -- for not wanting to call and I will not force her to.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Wow...your ex sound like an army drill sergeant! He must have been brought up that way and probaby just sees it as his fatherly duty...can you imagine if you had a son with him? ouch....
Well, in the end if you daughter is not comfortable then she can refuse....i'm a firm believer in not forcing kids to see bioparents. Even with my skids. THey are both good kids. Have issues like all other kids, but if they want to be with their friends and not with there dad...so be it. But my dh makes it clear to them he does love them , miss them and if they want their friends its fine..but dont turn around and say 'you dont want us' they tried and failed cause daddy put them in their place.
From what i can see, my SD is well balanced. She's in the teen phase and now rejects both her parents...just wants her friends.. been there..done it myself. SS...mm...i honestly beleive he has issues...but closes himself off and my hubby and him are not close but not far either. Its non the fence so to speak. He aslo will soon be in teen mode...We expected.
LH - i'm so happy for you that your dh took a stand and said no to the cell phone. You see, she can buy as many things for her son...that doesnt' mean he is allowed to bring it in your household. Andshe can take you to court for it and the judge will tell her to shove it!


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I think it is completely appropriate to take the cell phone away from ss7 and tell bm to leave it at her house. How dare she give it to him and tell him it must be with him at all times and not even his dad can take it away!!

She thinks she has way too much control over what goes on in your home. And it sounds as if she has for too long.

There is no reason that bm has to control ss's time with you by calling constantly. I would think one call a day at bedtime to talk about his day should be sufficient. It's your dh's time with his child...it should not be constantly interrupted!!

Our kids have cell phones. And there are boundries. The phones don't interrupt our lives and if they do they are gone for a bit. SD for instance was carrying her phone in one hand and doing chores with the other. When we were in the car we would go to get out and she was too busy texting to get out of the car. When we would be walking in a store she was slowing us all down because she was playing with her phone. Finally we stopped with the warnings and took the phone away for a while.

When my ds goes to his dads he usually brings his phone with. I may send him a text saying goodnight each day, but thats it. If he responds then we text for a few minutes....if he doesn't I just figure he is busy. Its his time with his dad.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"I am entitled to all such information. and regardless of how crazy BM is in your situation, she is also entitled to such information."

marie-

You are wrong here. If the mom is unstable, causes drama, is an addict, has an abusive BF or like in loves case is a violent drunk then you want some of your life to be kept private from her. If there are other children involved you may not want the nut knowing where you are at all times.

The girls BM doesn't even have our address at this point because we have refused to give it to her. She brought foolishness around my baby and I put my foot down. SHe is no longer allowed at my house. If she DOES ever get straight enough to visit the girls the drop off and pick up will happen on the Police Stations front doorstep.

When the mom isn't normal you want to keep her as far removed from your personal life as possible and make no mistake, Loves BM bought that kid a cell phone just so she could nose around Loves family business. BM DOES NOT NEED A PLAY BY PLAY!

When it's her time she can talk to SS about his weekend but I would not be cool with her obviously spying on my daily actions via her kids cell phone...not at all. Not even if she was perfectly normal and not a looney tune. SHE IS SPYING. INTENTIONS ARE EVEYTHING.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

When the purpose of giving a 7 year old a phone is obviously to violate a no contact order so BM can call and find out what they are doing ANYTIME she wants, she is NOT entitled to do that!

Isn't dad entitled to spend his time with his son, drama free?

If SS has the phone, it should definitely be turned off when SS is with LH. If BM calls SS while he's with LH, and SS tells BM what LH is doing, where they are, etc. then BM is using her son to violate the no contact order.

It's no different than an abusive ex husband that calls his ex wife's friends or family to find out what she's doing, where she is, who she's with, etc. It's harassment and she is using a 7 year old child to do it. She is using her own child to accomplish it. It's very disturbing and hopefully the family court Judge will see it and do something.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Its kind of disturbing when its a one way street( I need to know things for my DS or DDs well being, but YOU do not discuss Moms raise (CS disparity, maybe)or moms new boyfriend( Um, I d want to know if moms new boyfriend is a pedophile)......


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I don't think it is about BM being crazy or not, there simply is no need to constantly call and know every little thing even for a normal BM.

If a parent suspects that child is not taking care off then maybe it should be addressed in court, but constant calling accomplishes nothing.

DD got her first cell phone when she started high school, until then she was almost always in presence of adult, so why did she need a phone?

I am a very involved mother but I simply cannot imagine texting or calling all day asking where she is and what she does at any age.

I am not a crazy or drinking BM LOL but if i would start texting all day long and asking what DD is doing, I would hope my X tell me to stop. It is ridiculous.

I am not inetrested to know if she is a pool at this particular minute or if she is eating lunch. I am not entitled to this info non stop. Her dad is entiled to her company without my interference.

It is completely appropriate to call once a day or even every other day and ask.

I also do not understand why these children want to talk on the phone all day long. Most kids do not want to talk all day long to their parents. Once a day is more than enough (although i think every other day should be OK too). It is a bad habbit and why would parents cultivate such habbit?

Also what adults have time to be on the phone wiht their children all day long? Don't they work or have other obligations? Most people cannot make endless phone calls from work.


 o
marie

your X sounds abusive and I am not surprised DD doesn't want to visit and doesn't like him. Of course you shouldn't pressure her. I wonder if in your situation visitations should be supervised or significantly reduced. I would not willingly send DD to anyone who dares to spank her. She is 10 so you have at least 8 more years to deal with it. I would address it with a lawyer and see if something can be done about it.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I hate the cell phone. My SD9 has one. She spends nearly every hour either calling her mom because her mom said to call, or having her mom or grandma call her. I told her a story and she immediately said "I'm going to call my mom and tell her that". And it was not a particularly interesting story, just something about the mountains we were camping in. Why would her mom need a constant news feed about what we're doing??

I swear every picture of the kid is of her with her phone, texting, calling, etc.... This constant "in-touch" is really infuriating. I wish I could take it away, but it's not my place.

Rant over. You have my sympathy. And I don't know what to do about it either.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I have an enquiring mind ;-) so I tried a quick Google search to see if there were and family court guidelines for what constitutes "reasonable phone contact" and how much would be considered excessive, interfering or harassing -- and couldn't find anything that answered that question specifically. There were a few asides about how allowing non-custodial parents to have daily phone contact was beneficial -- but nothing about the rights of custodial parents to limit phone calls except at night or during dinner. Yet, this problem seems to be common enough that there's just GOT to be somethingout there.

Anyone else want to take a stab at finding it?


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Ima, of course there is a difference between using phone to see what child is doing v. tracking down ex. That child happens to be with SM doesnt make it the same. Now if mom were asking child what is SM doing now, now now etc it would be different.

I doubt any court order forbids mom from asking what child is doing and with whom -- it is to keep the mom from physically bothering LH.

There is a difference between annoying and threatening.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"There is a difference between annoying and threatening"

Actually, there is a very fine and somewhat murky line. Think of this---BM could find out that we are at the zoo; and she could decide to "coincidentally" show up there with her own DD. Would this be threatening to me? No, of course not. But would it be harrassment? Yes.

The order is actually not just to prohibit physical contact but to prohibit ANY contact from BM to me. She cannot email me, cannot show up where I am (unless it is a school or extracurricular activity regarding SS), and she cannot send messages to me via any person.

Now, I agree that SS will at certain points relay information about me and our family to BM and that is fine. It's to be expected. We have NEVER told him he cannot tell his mom certain things, and would never, ever do so. He can tell her whatever he wants about our family and our activities---just not all day long, during our time.

Ima hit the nail on the head about the abusive ex that might call his wife's friends and family to find out where she is, etc. Is that threatening in itself? No, not really, but it's just the psychological threat. It seriously sucks to have to continually wonder what's going to happen next, what is she going to pull next, etc.
And the more BM knows about my day-to-day life, the more likely it is something will happen. This is precisely why we don't like the idea of SS having a cell phone that his mom can call anytime she wants. We don't want her having the ability to find out every little detail anytime she wants.

That's why, to make things simpler, DH nixed it altogether.

he had a discussion w/BM about it last night, and he agreed to have her call SS at set times twice a day, once in the AM and once at bedtime. Two calls/day has GOT to be considered reasonable contact.

She was pretty irritated about it and said she wants him to have the cell because she wants to call when she feels like it. Thankfully, DH is standing firm about this.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Love, I am sorry for your situation, but it is one think to call an Xs friends and family, another to call YOUR OWN CHILD. I know you have been through a tough situation, but if you can't tell the difference between calling your own child and calling a friends X you have gone overboard.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I can tell the difference, KK, but mark my words, in this case it is actually not THAT different. It is just a really good example and as close to our situaton as possible. If she were calling once or twice a day, I would agree with you. But calling up to 5x a day is excessive.

She interrogates SS when he is on the phone. "where are you?" "who is with you?" etc. There is a difference between having a conversation with your child about his/her day, and probing for information. She is going crazy because she has NO CONTACT with me anymore, and not much at all with DH, so she feels out of control. She doesn't like that at all.

At the end of the day, the reason BM wants so much contact is to get in our business.

I know it's easy for me to say that, and from your perspective, you might view it differently, but trust me--I know this woman, and my DH knows her even better. She has been in my life for almost 6 years and nothing has changed, except to get worse. She stirs up trouble for us at every chance, and things have escalated.

This cell is a prime example of her escalating. She used to call all the time (4+ times a day) and DH would let her talk to SS. He finally put the kabosh on that after the drunk incident w/the police, and that was when BM stopped being able to call MY cell. She used to call ME all day long to find out where SS was, what he was doing, etc.

It is all control, control, control with her. And then when we set boundaries, and stand firm, she ups the ante.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

As LH said earlier in the thread, SS was in the car with her DH when BM called and asked if LH was with them. How much more obvious could it be? She has already asked for the pool pass.. intends to 'hang out' with SS at the pool where LH goes, even though it's across town from where she lives. When that doesn't work, she comes up with the phone idea? Yeah okay... that's just a mom that wants to call her child. (note the dripping sarcasm!)

She is using her child to get to LH because she has a problem with LH for some reason and it is a form of harassment. When there is a no contact order and she is looking for ways to have contact via her child, that's pretty disgusting... just as disgusting as trying to put a child in her vehicle when she was drunk and then punching LH in front of her son.

But, when your agenda is to defend what a BM does, regardless of the circumstances... go ahead.


 o
Ima

I have never heard of a no contact order that forbids talking about someone -- but go for it, Ima.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Just last night I was talking to some of DD's friends' parents and they said their children texted them all day as well. So its not just me. It really just depends on the child and child/parent dynamics. And I work....long hours at that. DD and I are very close, and texting and brief phone conversations throughout the day helps keep us connected. Its not that we are texting for 24 hours nonstop, but random texts/phone calls throughout the day. She calls it keeping me "updated," which she does at home as well. I could care less what is going on in her dad's home besides her being properly fed, taken care of, and treated fairly. I'm sure he thinks I'm spying (e.g., that's why he took her phone and read her text messages), because that is just how some people think without knowing what they are talking about and thinking the world revolves around them.

finedreams, it is pretty much not worth taking her dad to court again. i tried to get supervised visitation when she was younger, but that did not work out, particularly because of the distance, and some judges just dont see spankings as a big deal and then there were tons of other stuff going on. Fortunately, the visitation thing I think will take care of itself given DD's athletic schedule. This summer DD is only going for half of the usual time as he agreed to let her stay so that she could compete in the state championships when she made clear to him she did not like him and had no desire to go.

regarding the reasonable phone contact, there are no guidelines. people should spell it out in their orders and it really depends on the particular situation. I think once a day is arbitrary and unless there is a strong reason for it, should not be the default. For example, when DD is in school, she will call me immediately after school to tell me about something she was upset about or excited about. She may call again later to tell me about practice or one of her activities. She may call again to talk about our favorite TV show I was missing. And may call again later to tell me something she wanted to share that she forgot about. Its these little things that help build a great parent/child relationship and ideally, a child would want to share those things with both parents and should not be limited to one call a day just because.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"regarding the reasonable phone contact, there are no guidelines. people should spell it out in their orders and it really depends on the particular situation. I think once a day is arbitrary and unless there is a strong reason for it, should not be the default. For example, when DD is in school, she will call me immediately after school to tell me about something she was upset about or excited about. She may call again later to tell me about practice or one of her activities. She may call again to talk about our favorite TV show I was missing. And may call again later to tell me something she wanted to share that she forgot about. Its these little things that help build a great parent/child relationship and ideally, a child would want to share those things with both parents and should not be limited to one call a day just because"

Absolutely, marie. The difference is you are talking about your DD calling YOU.

DH has no problem with SS wanting to call his mom to share whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And, on rare occasions, he will ask to call his mom, and DH hands him the phone, no questions asked. But I stress the word *rare.*

99% of the time, it is BM calling him. And not answering is not really an option, because if she doesn't get an answer, she will call, and call, and call. In another thread I posted about the time she ripped into him because we were out w/friends and she was angry at SS because he "didn't talk to her long enough." THAT is wrong. And that is how she is.

If a child wants to call the other parent, they should be able to. If your DD wants to share her day with you or this or that, that's GREAT.

But when it is the parent calling the child excessively, that is disruptive, plain and simple. And it is interfering with the child's time with the other parent and family.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

dotz, its not a one way street. ex doesn't need to know about my personal relationships nor any raise, etc. its not a child support disparity issue as ex pays very little and never on time as he thinks he shouldnt have to pay anything because i make much more than he does (by choice mind you as he could make just as much but wont becuase it would mean he would have to pay more child support). and who i date is none of his business just like i dont particularly care who he dates so long as they treat my dd well. and if they dont, which has been the case, i will hear about it. but what can i really do about it? when i have confronted him, he's denied it. if anyone i am dating doesn't treat dd well, she is free to tell her father, although she would tell me first.

given family dynamics, there are certain things that it makes sense not to want shared with the ex. nothing wrong with that.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

LH, I understand you are in a difficult position, and I do feel sorry for you. The excessive phone calls are annoying (although certainly less annoying than some other stuff) -- but I dont think rise to level of violation of court order and I would think you want to present yourself as rationale and distinquish violations from annoyances (not to us, but to GAL, Court, etc.)


 o
calls

KK, I don't think BM is violating the order of protection now--I think she IS trying to get at me, at us, anyway she can, though. But do I think it is a reportable offense? No. I do think, though, that by having a direct line of communication to SS, it gives her ample opporuntity to create more havoc in our lives.

Next time she goes into a rage? She can just call SS, find out what we're up to, and call the police and make some bogus allegation, and have them arrive wherever we are.

Her knowing specific details of what we did, when we did it, where we did it, etc. gives her more opportunity to create plausible accusations.

Ie: She could call the police or CPS and say "On 7-1, I saw LH at the pool slap my son." Then the police chould check and see that yes, we were at the pool that particular day and time.

Sure, SS will tell her things on her time that we did---but if he has a cell phone and she can call anytime and find out the specifics of what we are doing WHEN we are doing it, this just gives her way too much ammo.

The more information BM has about US, and ME, the more she can cause trouble.

That issue aside, it truly is disruptive to SS's time with his father and our family when BM is calling all the time. DH actually, many months ago, stopped the bedtime call and had it be about an hour BEFORE bedtime. The reasoning? BM would call at 8 pm when SS was going to bed--and she'd want to read him a story over the phone, say nightly prayers with him, stay on the phone while he was lying in bed for a few mins, etc. DH finally got FED UP and said no, this is MY time with our son, my time to have my rituals, etc. BM can do those things on her time.

It irked DH when BM would call in the morning while they were driving to school and SS would spend most of the time on the phone with BM---same thing when he would pick him up, and she would call immediately to find out about his day. The same would happen with me---I'd pick him up at 4, and at 4:02 the phone would ring and it would be BM, wanting to talk to him. THAT, when it happens consistently, over and over, is a disruption to the child's time with the other parent.


 o
mariealways

"ex doesn't need to know about my personal relationships nor any raise, etc. its not a child support disparity issue as ex pays very little and never on time as he thinks he shouldnt have to pay anything because i make much more than he does (by choice mind you as he could make just as much but wont becuase it would mean he would have to pay more child support). and who i date is none of his business"

Why is it only important to share if a SO does not treat your child well? You don't think it's important to know who your child is exposed to? What if they are nice to the child but do drugs? What if they have a problem with alcohol but treat the child well? What if they have other children your child will be around? (and what if they are a child molester) As a parent, I want to know who is going to be a regular in my child's life, whether they are nice to them or not. You may not care who he has in his life, or who he exposes your child to, but that doesn't mean he has to not care. In fact, he should care more as you are custodial parent and whoever YOU have in YOUR life will be around his child more than whoever he has in his life.

and if child support is based on both parties incomes, it is his business if you get a raise, or if you lose your job. If his choice is to not work and pay minimal support, then there are remedies... imputing income for one.

Lots of BM's that don't have custody think they shouldn't have to pay because the dad makes good money or more than them and may have a wife that works. It doesn't make a difference if it's a mom or a dad... all parents have the obligation to support their children. As an attorney, I think you are at an advantage.

But this thread is not about you, it's about a BM that got a 7 year old a phone after she was denied access to the pool where LH goes, after LH obtained a protective no contact order. This isn't about freedom of speech, it's about finding a loophole and using a child, her own child, to harass her ex's new wife.

Situations with two reasonable parents wouldn't have this problem. KKNY doesn't have this problem because she is not using her child to harass dads GF. He is not interested in harassing KKNY. Their child probably calls when she wants and there's NO problem.


 o
Ima

"Situations with two reasonable parents wouldn't have this problem. KKNY doesn't have this problem because she is not using her child to harass dads GF. He is not interested in harassing KKNY. Their child probably calls when she wants and there's NO problem"

100% agree, Ima.

This is a situation created by an unreasonable, alcholic BM. I've said that numerous times before--that in a situation with two reasonable (note, not perfect, but reasonable) parents, these issues simply don't come up.

Speaking of...how are things going for you right now? Any updates?


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I think there are two different things going on here. 1. The child calls the other parent because something has happened in their life that they want to share. 2. The parent calls the child and requires the child to check in incessantly about insignificant things.

When my DD is at her fathers for the holidays/summer vacation etc. I do not call daily. If she wants to talk to me, she has my number. When she is with me for the school year, her dad calls once every other day or so. If it's been a few days, I suggest "do you want to call your dad" in case she forgot/got distracted. Usually she does.

The other day he called me, and then put her on the phone. I want to have contact with her, but that is their time. It's really hard to keep the consistency of the day going when every hour or so it's broken by the other parents trip.

I don't think many people understand that kids have different personalities for each parent, esp. when they are divorced, and it can be very hard to switch between the two. It's disruptive, and it's rude to cut into the other parents time like that.

Think back to days when there were no cell phones. People were not up to the minute informed on your daily activities. Children saved up their stories for the dinner table. There is absolutely no reason to have a streaming data link directly to your child.


 o
reply

" don't think many people understand that kids have different personalities for each parent, esp. when they are divorced, and it can be very hard to switch between the two."

So true. DH and I always comment (rather, sadly, too) that SS has a double life. Things are so different when he is with BM compared to when he is with us, and vice-versa. Even the way he dresses is different! BM and I have totally different taste in kids' clothing, and the clothes I buy, that we primarily keep over here, are so different from hers. I know she feels the same way.

Two different houses, two sets of rules/expectations, and two families boils down to two different lives. In some ways, it is kind of sad, but I guess it is what it is.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

" don't think many people understand that kids have different personalities for each parent, esp. when they are divorced, and it can be very hard to switch between the two."

Very True! My Ex and his wife always saw the 'visitor' side of DS when I was the custodial parent. They thought all of my concerns about DS were overblown, and of course, I thought they had 'denial blinders' on. Then when DS moved there and visited with me, I got the prefect kid and they finally saw what I was concerned about! In that respect, losing primary custody actually improved our relationship...


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Loves situation is not about a Mom caring so much about a child that she HAS to call ten times a day to check in. This BM is a drunk who was willing to totally endager her child by driving with him in her car while under the influence of booze. NOT A CONCERNED PARENT!

This is about a crazy drunk EX who is trying anyway possible to intrude on LH and her DH's relationship/personal life. That is what it was with the pool thing and that's what it is with the cell phone. BM is hung up and totally preoccupied with the new marriage to the point of needing to know what is going on at all times. This woman is a control freak addict who is going nuts because she slit her own throat by striking LH and now has a restraint order against her so she can't PHYSICALLY intrude anymore. Thus the cell phone so she can at leas tcall fifty thoussand times a day.

BM is sending the message that one way or the other she is going to be in your lives causing drama. Take the phone. Let her talk to the kid twice a day. If she wants to piss money away in court over it then let her. At least that way it'll cost her.

I would look into what constitutes as harrassment in your statelove. Under the circumstances (your restraint) maybe she can be given guidlines from the court that she has to follow.


 o
Lovehadley

"It irked DH when BM would call in the morning while they were driving to school and SS would spend most of the time on the phone with BM---same thing when he would pick him up, and she would call immediately to find out about his day. The same would happen with me---I'd pick him up at 4, and at 4:02 the phone would ring and it would be BM, wanting to talk to him. THAT, when it happens consistently, over and over, is a disruption to the child's time with the other parent."

I just saw this. Love, your hubby needs to stop answering the phone at these times and let SS call her back after they have had time to do their father /son updates. BM can wait. The phone does not HAVE to answered exactly on the first ring!

This is hubby's fault for not just turning the damn ringer off when he KNOWS she is going to be calling at these times.


 o
Sweeby

"In that respect, losing primary custody actually improved our relationship..."

I bet there are a ton of other parents who would say this. It makes total sense.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

imamommy, trying to learn everything about who the other parent is seeing is what causes many problems that can be avoided, and all in the guise of, if he/she is around my child, I deserve to know. it normally doesn't fly in court either. a judge will not normally tell a parent, custodial or non-custodial, that she/he has a right to know that information. if my dd were around a drug addict (not going to happen given ex and self), i would know it and at that point could try to do something about it due to behavior. but does my ex need to inform me every time there is someone knew in his life? no. and since the answer to that question is no, the child need not give that information as well. if it comes up in natural conversation, that is one thing, but there is no reporting requirement.

back to the phone thing, this got off track, but as I originally said, if the bm here got the child a phone and calls a few times a day and the child wants to speak with her, it should be allowed. period. we don't know that he doesn't want to speak to her multiple times a day. the child may very well not ask to speak to his mom because he knows there is a rule that he can only speak to her once a day around bedtime. what i see all the time is parents wanting to control the other parent and seeing everything as spying, etc., and the child is stuck in the middle and the one that suffers. when dd was small ex called multiple times a day and it was not a problem. in an ideal world the child has both parents in their life full-time and able to talk to them as often as possible, whether initiated by the parent or the child. that should be the goal when the parents are no longer together as well. so unless it is really being disruptive, and i dont mean just saying it is, but it being actually disruptive, because the phone call is while the child is doing something with the other parent or having dinner, etc., there should be unlimited contact, unless there is proof that the child does not want it. every parent who is apart from their child wants to be more involved and feel as if they are not missing out. and with technology as it is, they shouldn't. there are very interesting clauses you can put into a parenting plan to cover everything from telephone contact to text messaging, email, online messaging, etc., the purpose of which is to keep both parents as in contact as possible with the child. at 7 unfortunately, all the child has is telephone contact. divorce is disruptive for the child so why make it more disruptive with arbitrary limits.

if love's ss doesn't want to talk to his mom, that will become very apparent and then he can just leave the phone in his room. its quite simple. i just see this phone thing come up too often and it hardly every makes sense to me. and let me tell you, it often comes off as being controlling, petty and irrational in court.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"the child may very well not ask to speak to his mom because he knows there is a rule that he can only speak to her once a day around bedtime"

Nope, not the case. Unlike BM, my DH is the caring and rational parent who has his son's best interest at heart. He would never, EVER tell SS "you are only allowed to talk to your mom once a day.""

SS just gets busy living with US and doesn't seem to think of talking to mom. Much like when he is with BM, he doesn't call DH except in the evening, close to bedtime

I think Marie you are attributing qualities your 11 year old DD has, and comparing them to a 7 year old boy. Sorry, but boys don't seem to like to "chat" on the phone as much as girls do. I can already see that diff. between my DD and SS. Also, a 7 yr old is really not "into" talking on the phone much yet.

Maybe when SS gets older, he will want to talk to BM or his dad more often---but for now, it is simply not an issue.

I think you are giving the BM in my situation way too much credit here. She is not the caring, "involved" parent you are describing.

I could go on and on about the times she has continually NOT put her child first. She with-held visitation for THREE WEEKS last summer because she was pissy w/my DH for taking her to court. DH talked to SS on the phone throughout the weeks sporadically, and SS sobbed one of the times, crying that he wasn't "allowed" to see dad. AWFUL.

Many times now when his mom calls now he asks his dad if BM is fighting. Slowly but surely, he is begining to see his mom is WACKY. It's to the point that SS tries to listen in on DH's phone convos b/c he thinks BM is causing problems. Last week, BM called him, and at the end, she asked SS to put his dad on the phone, and SS said "no because I'm afraid you're going to get mad at him." He knows.

This woman is irrational and insane. She sent her current DH to the hospital last winter b/c she got drunk, and ripped the phone off the wall, and chucked it at his head---he had to get stitches.

The year before last, she was fighting w/her DH, and I guess he stormed out of the house, and IN FRONT OF HER SON AND HER STEPDAUGHTER, she took a KNIFE to the blow-up Frosty the Snowman in their front yard. SS "laughs" about it occasionally, but DH and I both know it's a defense mechanism. Talk about terrifying for a child---to see a parent that out of control.

Last Christmas Eve--it was DH's night, but BM begged him to let her have SS until Christmas morning. DH consented. Well, guess what SS did that night? He spent the evening w/his stepdad at his stepdad's parents' house while BM stayed home gettgin plastered. She called my DH and me a gazillion times, sobbing about how she wanted a divorce, hated her life, etc.

Nice, huh?

You can sit there all you want and say that she is a caring, involved mother. Yeah, she loves her son, I will give you that--but she is an alcoholic with serious mental issues. We will do what we have to do to protect OUR FAMILY from her behavior and her antics.

A direct line of communication to SS is not needed and actually, is very detrimental to our family. And, truth be told, to SS. DH wishes BM had LESS influence over him than she already does. Unfortunately, until she really screws up, joint custody will continue---but that does not mean BM needs to be in constant communication w/their son on his father's time.

The woman has some serious issues, and everyone knows it---the former GAL, the current GAL, the judge, our attorney, and heck, even BM's own family knows it. We have a letter ON FILE in our court case from BM's cousin stating that she has a serious drinking problem.

If we ever go to trial, this cousin will testify on our behalf.


 o
Jeez louise

Marie-

For heaven's sake, the BM in this scenario is not caring...she's crazy. She doesn't give a damn what the kid is doing she just needs to have her spoon inthe pot at all times.

SInce BM has a restraining order against her for violent behavior with one of the household members it would seem there could be guidlines put in affect as to how many times she needs to call before it constitutes as harrassment. I'm sure the judge would take it into consideration anyway, especially since she tried to gain entry o the neighborhood pool and such. She is OBVIOUSLY looking for a loophole in her order and I'm sure a judge could see right through it.

The phone war comes up so often because it is a freaking pain in the rump intrusion when your phone is ringing seven times a day. Not even an interuption but a straight up intrusion. Notice that it's never the dad's calling the moms house fifty thousand times a day to "talk to the kid" either. HMMMMMM.

Again Love, turn off the ringer andd alow two conversations a day at convienient times for you and DH. IF SS expresses a want to call his mom than let him but I have 50 bucks that says he won't. Check the nuts messages and if it isn't an emergency don't call back till you are ready.

If she wants to be a big crybaby an take it to court...it's her money. Even then the phone can be "forgotten" or you cpould be "busy" or "outside". I am so so so glad BM is broke and can't get a lawyer for every dumb little thing.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

lovehadley, I am not confusing my situation with yours. I have seen this before, but of course I can not speak about former clients on a forum, so instead i will talk about my own situation. that being said, i would agree that boys and girls are probably different when it comes to talking on the phone at the younger ages. but at the older ages, there is probably no difference. boys text and use the phone just as much as girls do, as a general matter. each individual child's situtation,obviously will differ depending no their personality.

and dont get me wrong, bm in your case obviously has many issues. i am not taking up for her there. but we are talking about her relationship with her child and i will play devil's advocate (so to speak) there. and what i am hearing is still things like, "A direct line of communication to SS is not needed and actually, is very detrimental to our family," with an emphasis on people other than the child and what he wants and needs. this is precisely why what you say is absolutely true, unless she seriously screws up, the custody situation will not change.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

"of course I can not speak about former clients on a forum"

why would it matter if you are not using names or specifics that would identify anyone?

Just curious, what area of law do you practice?


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

I know the BM is not healthy, the child in question is a 7yo male. But my opinion is the same regardless of age/gender and health of the BM.

I have 7yo DD and 9yo SD. DD will get on the phone for an hour if she is "playing" with the person on the end of the line. But she doesn't think to call them. SD feels obligated to "share" everything that is happening with BM. Which is disruptive. How can we go on a 10 minute walk and have an interaction without BM on the other end "what are you doing now, oh you saw a squirrel" yammering away.

Since when do parents need 24-7 direct contact with their children? It's absurd. If you are truly a caring parent, concerned and active in the life of your child, you would want your child to form healthy relationships with the other adults in their life apart from you. This means "twittering" is inappropriate (whether on the phone or texting) when the child is with the other parent.

I think many parents are self-absorbed, self-indulgent people who transfer their needs onto their child. There is absolutely no need for me to talk to my dd several times a day, although I may like to hear her voice. It's selfish, it's wrong. And it fractures the child. The child is never fully, wholly in the present because they are constantly straddling the line.


 o
reply

"A direct line of communication to SS is not needed and actually, is very detrimental to our family"

Yes, but SS is included in OUR family.

So when there are problems and issues in our family, that directly and negatively affects SS.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

placing a child in the middle is definitely detrimental to the child's well being. Giving the child a phone and demanding he carry it with him at ALL times and when she calls, she inquires about where LH is... that is putting him in the middle. A concerned parent would not be concerned where LH is or if she is with him, she might ask him how his day is going or what he's doing... but what difference does it make if LH is there? She knows dad is there because he answered the phone.

While LH may feel it's detrimental to their family, agreed a court won't care so much about how inconvenient or annoying it is to the parents as much as they will care about how it affects the child. It affects the child because she's placing her child in a position that is harmful because he will be conflicted about what he says, feelings of guilt for being disloyal, and overall the child will not feel good about what his mom is making him do. He may want to talk to his mom all day long.. that's not the issue. The issue is that when he's talking to his mom, she's asking questions that are none of her business and may cause her son to feel conflicted... if nothing else, conflicted about how to answer. What if LH were sitting there when BM asked him? Does he tell the truth, knowing his mom will be upset? Does he lie? Lying will make him feel bad. Upsetting his mom will make him feel bad. He's in a no win situation and THAT is detrimental to the child.


 o
ima

Also, to add what to what you said.

It was mentioned that we don't know whether the child wants to talk to mom so much or not and that is a true statement. What if he doesn't. What if he gets sick of playing monkey in the middle but he's afraid of pissing mom off or hurting her feelings. He may feel obligated to answer every time she calls and that isn't fair either.


 o
RE: BM got SS a cell phone...how to handle?

Silversword wrote - "....2. The parent calls the child and requires the child to check in incessantly about insignificant things."

This is TOTALLY the case with my FSD. FDH got the phone for her. BM didn't want to pay for it. FSD tyen started getting in trouble by BM because she wasn't carrying her phone with her. Why should that matter to BM? She wasn't paying for it.

Then, FSD lost her phone and gave her one of HER old phones. So, at that point BM could say "well I gave you the phone so you need to have it on you all the time".

Finally, for FSD's 13th b-day, BM bought FSD a new phone on a new plan without telling us. Why did she need to take her off our plan? Well FSD said it was so she could be on BM's plan. Come to find out, BM never changed her plan when they moved (just another lie from the two of them). We found this out because we looked at our bill. We have AT&T and it has unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. It doesn't charge FDH any minutes to talk to BM. So he got curious one day because he noticed BM's number was the same number she had here. So he looked on the phone bill and sure enough, it doesn't charge him for his calls to her.

She just did it so she could have total control over FSD.

BTW, we still had to pay for FSD's old phone because her contract wasn't over.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Stepfamily Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here