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#1 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep stx gave my dc, age 8 a cell phone. It was a surprise did not discuss it with me. Said it was to contact him. Like she could not use the house phone.
So now what? Yes I am irritated that he did not discuss it with me first. No I don't think she needed one. And of course he gave her no rules with it. H
e programmed in his new number and my number. He plans on probably just contacting her through there.
Right now I am also miffed that he is giving her new venues without my knowledge, right now I know when and who dc is calling via our home phone. Now she can call whomever, whenever without my knowledge. Maybe I am worrying prematurely. I don't know if I like dh calling privately, but that is probably worries. I just don't want him promising her things or saying he is going to take her somewhere without discussing it with me first. But I guess that could happen without a cell. But of course we all know it is different with an X. I also feel he is trying to create this "other life" for her and him" and exclude me.
So, mama's what rules should we have? Does your children have cells, how do they use them?
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#2 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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So he gave her a phone. So what. THere is nothing that states that you as a parent have to allow her access to it. You can keep it on the charger, make a rule for it just like you would for tv time or video games. set your own limits in your own house. MOST 8 year olds (even in the very mainstream fairly well off public school that my kids go to) do not have ipods, much less cell phones. Just because he wants all-hours access to her doesn't mean you are bound to give it to him.
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#3 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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I agree. It is up to you whether she is allowed to use it during your parenting time or not. But I would set rules that you would be comfortable following yourself. (Remember he can set the same rules at HIS place about her calling YOU on a cell.)

I agree, I live in a pretty wealthy area and cell phones generally do not start until middle school.

In my opinion they are a great tool sometimes, especially during emergencies and yet you definitely have a right to set limits.

You might want to check the general parenting board because I'm sure there are threads about cell phone use (without the custody aspect.)

My kids are teens. My ex used to call and make plans with them without asking me at first, and I politely put my foot down and kept reminding him and them (they were old enough for this to be an appropriate discussion, brief and polite) that legally (in our case) he was required to ask me first. Eventually he got the point and has been consistent about asking me first (by email.)

Cell phones are great for adults....for coparenting with an ex! You can discuss minor details by text which I love. For major things I prefer email. Either way it's more impersonal and feels better/safer/like a healthy boundary than having to hear his voice.

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#4 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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My kids have had cell phones since they were 9 and 11 and are now almost 11 and 13. The 13 year old has rules (because she needs them) and the 11 year old doesn't (because he doesn't need them). He should have discussed it with you and you can make reasonable guidelines but the fact is that, barring circumstances, he has the right to form a relationship/life that doesn't include you. If my children lived with someone else I'm sure I would try to make sure they had a protected way to reach me. I don't see it as a devious or wrong desire.
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#5 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes I totally feel it is way to early for a cell. And she is at an age, or will start to be when she wants to just "call" people (friends) and I can see how now I need to ramp up phone ettiquette (as in when to call) as most of her friends phones are their parents phone.
I am frustrated in that stx keeps adding things for me to "handle".
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#6 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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Assuming your ex has no history of being abusinve or controlling I don't feel it's a big deal. Save any stress and anger for the bigger items. I would email ex asking a couple questions like is it his intent to continue paying for this cell phone until dc is 18 or graduates from college and if he set any rules so you can incorporate those rules into your own.... then I would sit down really think about what rules you want set and explain those rules to your dc and email the rules to your ex.

I think my largest rule at that age is that the cell phone is only to be used when dc is away from home and not at school.

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#7 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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We got dd a cell phone when she was 8. She didn't really need any rules, because the only people she knew that had phones were adults. I personally think it's cool that your X got her a cell phone. They should be able to have something special between them. You may not like it, but that's healthy for them. She must feel really special to know her dad got her a phone just to talk to her on. I'd not let her take it to school (or make sure she knows to leave it in her bag), and I'd make sure generaly rules of etiquette are followed, but I'd not make an issue out of something that's probably special to her and a symbol of her dad's love.
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#8 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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ex got dd a cell phone when seh was 3. well really more a cell phone for me. it wasnt a control thing. it is totally fine for us.

its a child's phone with preprogrammed nos. so you cant truly call anyone.

it works really well for us because we have never had a sunday evening daddy pick up or mommy drop off at 7 pm time. its all v. loose. so the phone becomes essential mainly coz we are out so much.

dd told me months ago her dad is going to replace that with a regular cphone soon and he told me recently too. not asked permission but told. i see no big deal with it. i know my dd. i trust her. i know she wont misuse the phone. she is not a phone person anyways.

ex likes calling dd a lot even though he sees her every alternate day. i dont mind. mostly he informs her he has something planned so she will want to go over to his place. dd decides and sometimes she tends to stay longer with the parent who is doing fun things. which is mostly me.

itsallgood with due respect it sounds like YOU are hte controlling one here.

Right now I am also miffed that he is giving her new venues without my knowledge, I just don't want him promising her things or saying he is going to take her somewhere without discussing it with me first.

why should you know what he does on his time?

I also feel he is trying to create this "other life" for her and him" and exclude me.

gently here too mama but isnt that what single parenting is all about? why are you upset about this? [sorry i cant remember your other threads so cant remember your history or your custody schedules]

my dd has this other life with her dad that has NOTHING to do with me except to pick her up at a certain point. he had a bday party for her yesterday and i wasnt invited. however i am having a bday party for dd next month and he IS invited.

i think you are jumping the gun a lot here. you dont know what dd is going to do with the phone. how many phone numbers does she know? in this day and age esp. with single parents i think its absolutely necessary to have a cell phone on them. ESP. if the other parent does NOT have a cell phone (i dont). i know its sooooooooo much convenient for me that ex has a cell phone and not a home phone. most of the time i know i can get him right away.

dd has grown up with a cell phone. so i guess with her its nothing new or exciting but a tool to have. she is not a talker on the phone.

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#9 of 33 Old 08-28-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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My son got a cell phone when he was like 9 or 10. He's 12 now.

It's on ex's plan and adds like 9.95 a month to it.

It has been wonderful. I don't have a home phone anymore but he needed a phone so I could leave him alone while I ran a quick errand. And now he can be alone for a couple of hours so he needs to have access to a phone.

There aren't any rules. He uses it responsibly and takes care of it.

When ex and I were vibing a bit, it did bother me that ex could use it to get out of speaking with me. But it is truly fine now.

She won't have the phone at school, so it is really after school and on weekends that she will have it. She may not even remember to turn it on! It's hard to say. But when it is at your house you have every right to set whatever ground rules you like while giving him fair access to your daughter.

And yeah, the "other life" is just reality. This one is not the hill to die on imo. Pick your battles so that you can have the best possible co-parenting set up. The more you let him know stuff gets to you the harder things are. Don't let him see you sweat.
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#10 of 33 Old 08-29-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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Regardless of custody issues and such, I find 8 years old to be WAY too young for a cell phone unless your daughter spends a lot of time away from home with no adult supervision. I also think that a cell phone is a huge responsibility for a child and should be discussed between the parents and with the child before buying it.

In your situation, I would first call the ex and discuss it with him (if the relationship is not hostile, of course) and would see how I proceed from there. I would probably then decide that the cell phone can stay at her dad's house. I would also make it clear to the ex that any big decilsion like that should be discussed first.

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#11 of 33 Old 08-29-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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my stbx is abusive, so i will want my daughter to have a cell phone as soon as he has unsupervised private visits. hopefully he won't get them at first, it will depend on the judge of course.

but barring abuse, i don't think young children should have electronic devices. with the increased knowledge of them will undoubtedly come earlier proficiency with texting and constant contact. studies are already showing that we get a dopamine squirt from checking the phone. that has to have greater ramifications for addiction and other patterns of behavior in adulthood, especially if begun earlier.

the environmental impact of ubiquitous and unnecessary cell phone use is just terrible. think of the mines in africa and the lives that are destroyed there! it is just unconscionable that we don't take these factors into consideration when we decide whether or not we 'need' these things. a 12 year old alone at home doesn't need a phone- the land jack will still dial 911. we want them to have a phone because of our own insecurities.

as for your xh, unless it is in your parenting agreement i don't see why you can't turn it off at your house, and let her have access to him through your phone. he'll be angry, but who cares? i think you will need to learn how to accept that he does have a separate life with her, but- your house, your rules, his house, his rules.
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#12 of 33 Old 08-29-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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a 12 year old alone at home doesn't need a phone- the land jack will still dial 911. we want them to have a phone because of our own insecurities.
I was the one that mentioned my 12 year old needing a phone at home.

I also mentioned he was 10 at the time. He's a child that I have felt comfortable leaving alone from a young age because he is so responsible. It seems like common sense to me though that you leave a child a way to get in touch with a parent. I do like to touch base with him if I'm gone longer than expected. If he hurt himself I would like him to be able to call me. There are differing rules on leaving kids home alone--when he was younger there could have been legal, as in social services getting involved, if he had to call 911 and I wasn't home. And not leaving a way for him to get in touch would be worse. Insecurity? I'll call that common sense.
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#13 of 33 Old 08-29-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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I think you should talk to him about limiting who she talks to on the phone to just him for the time being. I don't think you should go beyond that or put rules in place regarding him talking to her until you speak to your lawyer about how much you can legally limit his access to her by phone without looking bad in front of the judge. There are automatic attachments on the divorce decrees in our area that tell parents they can't interfere with the other parents right to call their child, volunteer, attend school functions, etc... I think you need to check into what the rules are there before going forward with anything beyond limiting the calls to dad only. I am sure it hurts to be cut out of the relationship between him and the child you had together, but that isn't a valid reason to make your child only talk on the phone in front of you. In fact, it may be considered interference if you are there monitoring the calls and intervening during them. Talk to a lawyer to see though so you know what you can do in your state.
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#14 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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Irony, I said that the child doesn't NEED one. We just tend to call things needs when they aren't. None of us need phones- we want them. Reportedly humans got along for millenia without them. It seems like common sense in our society, but really it is the exact opposite. Common sense would tell us that if a child is old enough to stay home alone, then the child is old enough to handle emergencies. Where I live, all the landline phones will call 911 even if the landline is cut off. I thought they did that everywhere. Of course I would want my kids to have a phone during those first times that they stay home alone. I also wouldn't leave a kid alone that the state says is too young, though. But my sister called 911 when she was 9, alone with a friend down the street, got hurt, and they talked her through the what she thought was an emergency, and no social services got involved. Of course, the climate was different back then.
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#15 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 08:59 AM
 
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yes, i agree need is an overused word. and now there are also many more phone options through a computer that don't involve a cell phone or a land line.
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#16 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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My xh got my oldest a cell phone (13) and I got the younger two phones (10 and 7). They all have the same rules. phones go in the basket when you walk through the door. you ask permission before calling people. No answering it during supper or when you are already talking to someone. Even if it is Dad calling. Thats why they come with voice mail. I don't know if xh likes these rules but my house. my rules. xh also preprogrammed the girlfriends (former mistress) information in and set them up on blackberry chat. I put the kibosh on that. Not in my house.

But I think it is fine he got her cell phone and I do not think he needed to discuss it with you or get your permission (although he would have been wise to). But once it comes into your home you are the one who makes the rules about it.

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#17 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input. Meemee I actually don't have control over anything. We are still "married" right now, and just in the beginning process. Stx is driving this thing right now.
So of course my dc is in the throes of it as well. It thought we would try to be as amicable as possible and communicate, but not really happening, just barely as stx has ideas of his own and wants to implement them even if I disagree. He tries to slide it in somehow. I just think that it is way to soon in this process to develop a "separate" communication mode for dc and stx. Also I do feel 8 is to young for a cell even if this all was not going on. We also are home most of the time (homeschool) and have a perfectly good landline and emergency parent cell phones. I think it was way premature.
I think this put pressure on dc to now develop separate parenting relationships (which of course will happen), but I think premature before we have worked on the co-parenting relationship. Stx does not fully understand co-parenting. And even said it was "her" phone, why would I need to be involved with it. No way I think in a home an 8 year old does not really have "c-phone privacy rights".
Yes for sure, rules in my house are rules in my house. I will find a way of making this work.
Also I must admit, I am not a cell-fanatic, I don't really use one other than emergency, as we are usually always home.
I think stx was doing this somewhat for himself, trying to still be here 24/7 access even though he has decided to leave.
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#18 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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IAG - do you have separate residences? because if you guys do then the separation has started. it IS your house and his house. AND separate mode of communication (phone or not) has already started.

i know you want it to be more amicable. he obviously doesnt.

so you have to treat your house has different rules and his house has different rules.

cphone is not the battle i would die on. i know with my ex (which was healthy for us) he didnt want me picking up the phone and then calling dd on the line. when he calls he wants dd on the other end. i can understand that. which is why i think its ok for her to the phone. however if he calls too often you can lay down YOUR rules and stop her from talking long or at all. and yes i think it is a 24/7 access thing. though i find nothing wrong with that. i have the same with dd thru ex but i dont mind calling him and having him answer the phone.

i am not sure - the way things sound - you CAN have the kind of coparenting relationship you envisage.

with us it was just the basic stuff. GD, vegetarian... nothing else. dd goes to bed at dad's at 10, mine at 8. the day i found out he eats meat in front of dd but wont give her i cancelled our vegetarian plans for her and told him.

so i think the moment you have separate residences you have seperate parenting rules. i am not sure you can expect anything more than that.

it seems you guys have a lot to sort out. and i feel cphone is not the hill to die on.

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#19 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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He does have rights to private communication with his dd. And at 8yo no judge is going to say he doesn't. All you can control here is keeping her from using the cell phone when she is at your house. but I wouldn't restrict the amount of time she spends talking to him on it. You need to pick your battles. This is not one worth fighting. Trying to control everything and get a say in everything is going to drive you crazy. I know from experience. Your dd now has two parents and two sets of rules and two separate sides of her life. He gets to make some decisions that effect him and his dd without your input. Thats just how it is.

And I agree. If he has moved out it is time for everyone to start accepting that this is the way things are. It sounds like you are the one needing more time for this but we don't get more time. We don't, our kids don't. You and your xh are now officially separated and the co parenting has begun regardless of how messy or unsatisfactory it is. And we no longer have the luxury of holding to all our ideals or being involved in every aspect of our child's life.

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#20 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes meant to include that, certainly this will not be the hill to die on, for sure.
However the precedent needs to be set that we need to as best we can communicate prior to decisions being made that affect everyone. I would not surprise him with something to be brought into his home without him knowing. Also not to totally toss out our principles out the window, like careful on tech till safety rules are in place. Please keep in mind there were no safety rules given at the time of delivery. And this phone had internet, apps, full access, etc etc. All the bells and whistles. We have already gotten four calls from people none of us knew, including stx.
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#21 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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And this phone had internet, apps, full access, etc etc. All the bells and whistles. We have already gotten four calls from people none of us knew, including stx.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! now it all makes sense. yes absolutely you are right. and yes a precedence needs to be set. a 3G type of phone is i agree way over the top.

i am shocked - no safety talk. or internet talk. can she surf the net if she wants to? is it turned on.

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#22 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Oh yay. This is what xh got my dd. And I did fight that battle. Everything but the phone is shut off now. He has also taken her expensive phone for himself and gotten her a new simpler one. After I repeatedly made it clear that I am not babysitting the phone or making sure she has it. And he quickly saw that once all the bells and whistles were shut off she wasn't all that interested. I would pick your battles carefully..."stx, it is fine if you want dd to have a phone but can you please get x,y, and z shut off. I think that is a bit much for her." She had a bells and whistles blackberry pearl and it only took a few seconds for the store to shut EVERYTHING but the phone off.

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#23 of 33 Old 08-30-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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I got my kids a cell phone to share when they were 8 and 6. It never occurred to me to ask their dad what he thought about it. I wanted them to have it, so I got it.

We've found it very useful. I don't have to go through xh to talk to the kids nor he I. That's how we like it And it has allowed everyone, including grandparents, step grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and step cousins, better access to the kids. I'm all for that!

There are lots of practical reasons we like the kids to have a phone, as well, but they're not really relevant to this thread. I will say, however, that we live in a moderate income school district and most kids in the 4-5-6th grade range have phones.

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#24 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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I live in the hood and almost all the kids have phones. No one has computers or internet or TVs or cars but everyone has a phone I don't think most people have land lines though.

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#25 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Yeah, everyone has cell phones here too....but, like lilyka said, no one has most of the other luxuries everyone else considers "needs". I haven't had cable in almost 2 years, just got internet after a year (and mainly because I "needed" it for school) and have a car that is falling apart.
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#26 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got my kids a cell phone to share when they were 8 and 6. It never occurred to me to ask their dad what he thought about it. I wanted them to have it, so I got it.

We've found it very useful. I don't have to go through xh to talk to the kids nor he I. That's how we like it And it has allowed everyone, including grandparents, step grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and step cousins, better access to the kids. I'm all for that!

There are lots of practical reasons we like the kids to have a phone, as well, but they're not really relevant to this thread. I will say, however, that we live in a moderate income school district and most kids in the 4-5-6th grade range have phones.
Bunny did you find (at their younger age of 8) that you kids became the "go-between" for you and your x, or were you able to establish that as a no-no beforehand. Did it get into any of the "promises made over the phone" that you were not aware of, or activities planned that you were not aware of that conflict with schedules? I want to hope for the best and plan for the worst I guess.
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#27 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! now it all makes sense. yes absolutely you are right. and yes a precedence needs to be set. a 3G type of phone is i agree way over the top.

i am shocked - no safety talk. or internet talk. can she surf the net if she wants to? is it turned on.
None at all, and he didn't really even know how to use it, he has a different phone. So alas, I will take it to a phone store or someone more knowledgeable and learn about it. And get some of these things turned off. My c-phone only does calling. I did figure out how to delete the now 12 phone calls we received that we do not recognize the number. And I think there is something call a "call block" feature. I worry that if she types in the wrong number, they will see her number and yeesh if she gets into a phone conversation with the wrong person, etc etc etc.
I just was not prepared for this and now it is something else to handle and worry about. Right now I have asked dc not to make calls from it while we are at home and to use our regular line. She did find the game feature, are these rated "E" for everyone.
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#28 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Bunny did you find (at their younger age of 8) that you kids became the "go-between" for you and your x, or were you able to establish that as a no-no beforehand. Did it get into any of the "promises made over the phone" that you were not aware of, or activities planned that you were not aware of that conflict with schedules? I want to hope for the best and plan for the worst I guess.
My ex isn't around much, but he still does this on my phone. I don't think it is an issue of what phone the child has. If a parent is going to do this they will do it.
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#29 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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Cell phones are increasingly common for even young children, in divorce. I understand you have concerns, but you should be measured and judicious in your response. If you are in a contested custody situation, the court may not look favorably on you "interfering" with your daughter's ability to contact her father on a phone he provided.

But certainly, having the phone in your home gives you the ability to check it, to see who she's talking to, when and how long she's talking, etc. If there are problems, you're capable of physically separating her from it at bedtime, during school hours or at other times it's inappropriate for her to use it (dinnertime, church...) Also, most phones have a way to block specific callers, if you need to.

Does your ex feel there are problems with him being able to reach your daughter, or being able to talk for reasonable periods of time? Or do you think he was merely indulging her with a "new toy" she liked? OR do you think he was mostly trying to needle you, to point out you're not in control of everything? If so, needle him back by not getting bent out of shape about it. It's common for NCPs to feel like the CP has total control and to resent it and feel passive-aggressive about it. Is it necessary to "win" this particular battle?

My husband gave his son a cell at age 6. He got him a Firefly phone, which can only call numbers parents program in, online. Unfortunately, no one makes phones like that anymore, to my knowledge. In his case, there was a legitimate problem with phone contact - i.e., his ex allowed none. She also confiscated the cell phone. She also lost custody 2 years later and one reason cited in the 30-page ruling was her refusal to let DSS use the cell phone his Dad provided. Curiously, ever since the custody change, she will only use DSS's cell phone, to contact him. It appears that it really is nicer, more flexible and feels more private, for the NCP.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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#30 of 33 Old 08-31-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Bunny did you find (at their younger age of 8) that you kids became the "go-between" for you and your x, or were you able to establish that as a no-no beforehand. Did it get into any of the "promises made over the phone" that you were not aware of, or activities planned that you were not aware of that conflict with schedules? I want to hope for the best and plan for the worst I guess.

In our situation and even at that age, the phone was/is used just to contact the kids (good night calls, sharing good news, informing dad of events that they'd like him to attend, sending silly pictures, etc.). All coodination of pick ups/drop offs/activities/etc, were and continue to be between their dad and me on our own lines. There has never been subversion of any kind, never been an issue with inappropriately timed calls, no power struggles related to use or phone rules, and the kids have never been go-betweens.

Honestly, the phone has been nothing but positive for all of us.

Cami, wife to a guy and mom to some kids. Expecting someone new in Februrary!â¢â¢â¢â¢5â¢â¢â¢â¢10â¢â¢â¢â¢15â¢â¢â¢â¢20â¢â¢â¢25â¢â¢â¢â¢30â¢â¢â¢â¢35â¢â¢â¢â¢40
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