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to say dsd can't have a mobile phone at our house?

(62 Posts)
AmigoShamigo Thu 20-Feb-14 18:09:56

Dsd is 7. Overnight contact has recently resumed with her and dss who is 6 after their mum stopping contact, moving without informing us, making false allegations etc. Dp said if the dc want to speak to their mum they can, but so far they haven't mentioned her when with us. His ex has now said dsd will be bringing an iPhone with her so she can call/text/whats app etc her mum whenever she likes. Dp has said he'll put the phone away but dsd is often instructed of her 'rights' before contact (I.e. If you tell me off I will be going home as mummy says you must take me if I want to go) so I think she'll want to keep it with her.

Nevermind the fact it has internet access which I'm not happy with dsc or our dc having unsupervised, I think it's very intrusive on our household not to mention disruptive to dps parenting time and undermining of his authority. Aibu to say to dp he needs to tell his ex that the phone isn't welcome at our house rather than make excuses to dsd and ultimately give in and let her retrieve it from wherever he's put it?

bearsprout Thu 20-Feb-14 18:16:03

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all, but I fear there's little you can do about it sad

VelmaD Thu 20-Feb-14 18:17:18

Yabu. Its most likely dsd won't use it, but its not your place to make this decision. If she is happier bringing it on the overnights then let it be. Maybe have a place she can leave it so she knows where it is but it isn't on her person all the time? Like on top the sideboard? If your dp is unhappy, then he needs to have the conversation with his ex and come to a decision that suits both of them and dsd. But its not down to you to tell your dp what to say.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 20-Feb-14 18:19:45

I would come at it from the angle 'we're doing this fun thing/ eating dinner' so we all don't need our technology now.

And if she kicked off a very positive voice 'do you want to call mum now' - then I'd take her to her room and say join us when you've finished the call.

Nothing world better than looking like you allow it when really she has to make a phone call separate from the family and then has to leave the phone alone when she wants back in.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 20-Feb-14 18:20:11


AmigoShamigo Thu 20-Feb-14 18:22:33

Dsd isn't bothered, Velma, it's just something she'll use as a blackmail tool against dp

VelmaD Thu 20-Feb-14 18:28:20

Then I suggest laurie's way tbh. If you try and ban it shell use it more - let it go and at seven she will forget about it soon enough.

All kids this age do the "mum does it this way" and play one off against the other - mine do it at my house and their dads all the bloody time. Luckily me and their dad are amicable and pull them up on it. Standard reply is "yes yes, and in this house we do it this way" and like Laurie "if you want to go and speak to your dad go do that" etc. It does work.

It takes adjusting all this blended family stuff. I've done it with my exhusband and my boys for a few years, but just entering into the other side with my boyfriends son so I know it can be a minefield!

Frogbyanothername Thu 20-Feb-14 18:40:11

We had exactly this, DH wishes he'd been firmer with his DDs mobile phone use in our home after we saw the texts her mum was sending her while she was here - undermining him, encouraging her to be disrespectful, arranging to pick her up mid-contact -it was awful. She was 12 and it contributed significantly to her first estrangement of DH.

We now have a very clear mobile phone rules for ALL DCs (currently just my DD but has been used for DHs DD (16) and his DS (10), too).Phones stay in family areas of the home. They are not to be used in private. Not only does that mean we can monitor texts and calls, but as they can be Internet enabled, it also upholds our Internet use rules (which are the same; only in family areas of the house).

At 7 years old, she doesn't need privacy to make/receive calls and now my DD is older, she speks to her Dad on the landline - she takes a cordless handset to her room.

In my experience, when a RP is hostile to contact, then phone calls/texts can have a very strong influence over the nature of the relationship between the DC and the NRP. In some cases, it is less damaging for the DC to have limited/no phone contact with their RP for a few days than it is to allow the RP to undermine and damage the relationship between the DC and their NRP in this way.

AmigoShamigo Fri 21-Feb-14 08:12:47

Precisely frog, they're only here for one night at a time at the moment - I don't see the need for their mum to speak to them at all when it's such a short space of time. IMO if roles were reversed and dp was demandingthe same (which would, in theory, be more reasonable as he's away from the dc more) then he'd be seen as dictatorial and controlling.

VelmaD Fri 21-Feb-14 09:03:20

My exh speaks to his children every night, has rung nightly since we spit up five years ago. I ring them when they go to their dads each weekend too.

Might not seem a big thing to you, but it obviously is to them. there will be much bigger fights over the years in stepparenting I guarantee, let this one pan out quietly.

JohnFarleysRuskin Fri 21-Feb-14 09:05:40

Laurie's plan is good. Sympathies op. giving a 7 yr old a phone with Internet access is odd but pick your battles.

MothratheMighty Fri 21-Feb-14 09:10:52

Not got a clue, but if you don't give her your wireless code, can she still use the internet?

LIZS Fri 21-Feb-14 09:13:39

It isn't your call really , dp has said he'll take it away so see what comes of it . Could you disable internet access or time limit it?

mrsjay Fri 21-Feb-14 09:16:24

this seems unfair for you to want to ban it what Laurie said up thread is more sensible jolly along with the phone and dont make an issue of it whatever happens between the adults in their lives affects her so if she has her phone and all the adults in her life and all jolly and happy about the phone then she will feel secure and happyimo, I know there is much more to it than that but if she has access to her mum while she is with her dad then she will be happy keep it on the side so she can see it and knows it is their,

mrsjay Fri 21-Feb-14 09:17:26

put a lock on your own router she wont be able to use the internet

Bluesandgreen Fri 21-Feb-14 09:20:35

My DCs and DSCs had mobiles at the other parents house. However, until about 14 they were always forgotten about by the child in question. DSCs DM was very keen they would always be able to have contact by their own phone and that the DSCs wanted it too. They still forgot to pick it up/switch it on/charge it even when reminded.
You may find it simply isn't a problem.

boydonewrongagain Fri 21-Feb-14 09:25:41

I can see both sides tbh if contact has only recently resumed then having her own phone is more likely to make DSD feel safe in that she knows if she isn't happy her mum can come and pick her up.
At the end of the day she is only 7 and due to circumstances beyond her control has had limited contact with her dad and you. It would be unreasonable to expect that these visits aren't somewhat stressful for her as her mum has always been her primary carer.

However I understand your worries about internet etc.

It would be best to come to a compromise that mum agrees to for example no phone at the dinner table.

But maybe this phone is more of a comforter at the moment as for all your DSD understanding mum is at the end of it.

I'd suggest password protecting your internet. She still has her phone for phone calls texts and games but you don't need to worry about what sites she is accessing at your house.

sashh Fri 21-Feb-14 10:31:36

But her a cheap PAYG so she can contact her mum if she wants but tell the ex neither of you want the responsibility of such an expensive phone.

Keep the phone at your house and monitor all messages.

PikaAchooo Fri 21-Feb-14 10:36:03

Sorry OP I think you are being unfair. It is something that belong to DSD and I don't think it should be removed from her.

I can understand why you have concerns but ultimately it was something that her Mum has given her so I would hope there are parental controls on it.

they're only here for one night at a time at the moment - I don't see the need for their mum to speak to them at all when it's such a short space of time

The above really is unfair. If your DSD wants to speak to her Mum or vice versa you have no right to block it.

mrsjay Fri 21-Feb-14 11:04:04

what pika said really for whatever reason the wee girls mum as been difficult and her dad hasnt seen her does not mean that a 7 year old needs to feel isolated from her mum in the day she is with her dad

MomOfTwoGirls2 Fri 21-Feb-14 11:21:37

Since she has 4G phone, she can access internet without going through your wireless internet.

However, I wouldn't take it off her. You don't seem to be sympathetic to the fact that she is only 7 and way out of her comfort zone. Ok, she is playing up, but I'm sure she would probably be much happier to stay at home with mom in her own environment. You don't sound very welcoming. Push too hard and she won't want to stay at all.
You don't have to be a pushover, but you do need to be kind.

Monetbyhimself Fri 21-Feb-14 11:30:23

YABU. Discuss the ground rules for phone usage with your partner e.g no phones at the table, after lights out, any phone calls to mum must be made whilst sitting in the living room etc.

To stop her being able to speak to her mum in what is a potentially difficult transition period is pretty cruel behaviour. Focus on making her feel welcome and safe and secure and at that age she probably won't even think twice about the phone after a few visits.

Frogbyanothername Fri 21-Feb-14 11:53:29

Your home, your DHs DD - your (joint) rules.

Mum is being unreasonable if she demands that her DD has 24/7 access to an Internet enabled phone in your home, your DH would be unreasonable to prohibit any child-led contact between his DD and her Mum.

There is a compromise to be found - but if the RP is difficult, then that may be unlikely. In some cases, watertight, court ordered phone contact may be the only solution.

(As an aside, I challenge anyone to justify the unsupervised provision of a 4G, Internet-enabled iPhone to a 7 year old. It is clear evidence that the RP in this case is acting provocatively against her ex, rather than in the best interests of the DC).

PikaAchooo Fri 21-Feb-14 11:57:29

But if relevant parental controls are installed on the phone what's the problem?

Pantone363 Fri 21-Feb-14 11:57:44

I didn't know 7 year olds were capable of blackmail. Your DH is her father, if she is blackmailing him surely he can do something about that? Like parenting?

Its her phone you can't remove it from her. If her DM wants to mess around picking her up half way through contact leave her to it, she'll soon get bored.

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