Is he overreacting, or am I underreacting?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 14. She's a good kid, but lazy. That is really her only flaw. She's a straight A student, is in the band at school, dances, has good friends, and other than being lazy, and pretty sloppy I feel very blessed.

Her Step dad is a wonderful man. Except that he is less than tolerant.

My dd bought a new cell phone in October with her own money. It cost her amost $200. We also switched her plan from Cingular to Qwest, because my husband is on Qwest, and we decided to all switch over to Qwest. Our Cingular plan isn't over until May of this year, so I am still paying for her monthly phone bill at Cingular.

Last week, she sprained her ankle, so she hadn't been in school for a few days. This week, she noticed that her phone was missing. The last time she remembers seeing it was the day she sprained her ankle. So, it has been gone for over a week.

My husband FLIPPED out on her. He said she was irresponsible to wait this long to look for it. (that is true) *I, personally wasn't mad that is got lost, just that she didn't go looking for it.*

She found it in her laundry.

He wants her off of Qwest. (brand new phone) He refuses to let her use Qwest, because it is his plan. So, I must now renew the Cingular for another two years, pay the $200 to deactivate her phone at Qwest, and buy her a new phone at Cingular. I am not going to make her pay for a new phone when I don't think this whole fiasco is necessary.

I think we should just move on. The phone is fine, it is working, there is no reason to spend all the extra money. But, I will if he keeps pressing the issue. Just to make him see the extra cost in his decision.

Am I underreacting? Should I have done something else? I told her I was mad about her not looking for it. But, we found it, so I want to just drop it.

I know she feels awful, and is resenting her Step Dad right now.
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#2 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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Well, first of all, I don't see how a straight A student, who's in the band, and a dancer could be "lazy". I feel a little worried that she's been labeled that. (Not flaming you at all, just pointing out that she's been labeled.)

I do think your dh is way overreacting. She sprained her ankle. She wasn't at school for a few days, right? Why would she look for her phone if she was at home for the past few days? I don't look for my phone until I'm ready to go out the door. I imagine that with the drama of the sprained ankle, she forgot all about the cell phone. Who can blame her? There were more important things on her mind than her cell phone.

I really think if you look at the situation honestly, you'll see that there are other problems here. Sounds like your dh is trying to exercise "authority".
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#3 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, first of all, I don't see how a straight A student, who's in the band, and a dancer could be "lazy". I feel a little worried that she's been labeled that. (Not flaming you at all, just pointing out that she's been labeled.)



I really think if you look at the situation honestly, you'll see that there are other problems here. Sounds like your dh is trying to exercise "authority".
By lazy, I mostly mean she is sloppy, she will leave her laundry on the floor for weeks. You can't walk safely in her room... Her idea of cleaning her room, is to move the pile from one spot to another.

I think my DH si trying to exercize his authority too. I just don;t understand why he is being so obnoxious about it.
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#4 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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sorry - i wouldn't do it. the cost of the change really defeats the lesson in responsibility. how about being responsible with money? clearly this move would not be financially responsible.
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#5 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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By lazy, I mostly mean she is sloppy, she will leave her laundry on the floor for weeks. You can't walk safely in her room... Her idea of cleaning her room, is to move the pile from one spot to another.

I think my DH si trying to exercize his authority too. I just don;t understand why he is being so obnoxious about it.
My 10 yo is the same way and I was so hoping that would improve.

Sorry your dh is being unreasonable. Can you talk to him in private about it?

ETA: What is he trying to teach her by taking her off the Qwest plan? If she still has a phone and a plan, then she could care less I'm sure. Why does he want her off his plan? Why does he think of it as his plan?
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#6 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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The whole thing sounds weird to me. I don't think she was irresponsible at all. If I'd just sprained my ankle, and was off school, I don't think the first thing I'd be thinking of was my cell phone. If she didn't realize that she'd misplaced it, she had no reason to go looking for it, anyway. She bought the phone with her own money - I'm sure she was freaked out enough by thinking it was gone to have learned something from this. I don't get what your dh's issue is - spending a bunch of extra money just to take her off one plan? What does that accomplish?

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#7 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 03:58 PM
 
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I think your DH is overreacting.

As far as I'm concerned, the consequence of misplacing her phone is that she didn't have it for several days and thought she lost it. If he really feels the need to do some kind of "punishment" on top of that, then I think taking away the cell phone for a few days (maybe the number of days it was misplaced?) would be far more appropriate.

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#8 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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I don't get it. Why would you punish someone for misplacing something? And, I see she bought the phone with her own money, too. So her "punishment" for losing it should be exactly the same as my punishment for losing something expensive I really wanted and bought for myself--anxiety and disappointment while searching for the object. I'm glad no one "disciplines" me for having other concerns and misplacing objects--especially when I'm distracted and not feeling good.

This really disturbs me. She is a person. It is an object. She is injured and probably in pain or at least uncomfortable. It was missing for a couple days and then found in perfect repair. Why would anyone want to punish her for this unless they were just getting off on a power trip? Also, she sounds, if anything, like an overachiever. And so she is "lazy"? Pardon me? It sounds like someone in the house, likely "dear husband" just doesn't like her and is determined to see the worst in her. What a nightmare for her. I feel for her.
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#9 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 04:19 PM
 
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I think he's overreacting. I just finally found my cell phone after it being lost for almost two weeks! (in my jacket pocket). My husband didn't make me get my own plan (cell phones are in his name). He was just happy he could call me again!

I would sit down with him and help him figure out if he feels he needs to teach her a lesson. Maybe make her responsible for her part of the cell phone bill? That way if she misplaces it again, she's paying for the days she can't use it?

But honestly, what's the big deal? So what if she doesn't check on her cell phone everyday, regardless of whether she needs to use it or not? It is her phone that she bought. If he's worried about loosing money because she can't use it because it's lost, does he also make sure that everyone puts in at least one cell phone call a day, regardless of whether they need to use their phones?

I guess I would say I think he's over reacting and he doesn't make sense!

~Julia

**sorry if any of the above sounded flippant, I didn't mean it that way!**
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#10 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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I think your Dh is totally off here. Not overreacting even, just reacting in a really strange way to this. I don't even see the connection to her misplacing the phone and him wanting her to get a different phone/plan. I just dont see what he's hoping to accomplish with that. Does he think she wont ever misplace anything again?

You are right, he's not.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#11 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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. Maybe make her responsible for her part of the cell phone bill? That way if she misplaces it again, she's paying for the days she can't use it?

!**
She already does pay for it. SHe wanted to be able to text message her friends, I told her she needed to pay for it. Her TOTAL cost each month for her phone and text message is $15. SHe pays for that herself.
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#12 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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He is way over-reacting. She misplaced a phone that she bought with her money?
Anyway he should be glad she can go a week without missing it, most teens might as well have the thing surgically implanted to their ear

nothing more to say I guess :
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#13 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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If she is paying for the plan, and paid for the original phone then it is NONE of your DH's business (or yours for that matter) what she does with it. Her punishment is self-inflicted and a part of learning responsibility. i.e. if she loses it she continues to pay for the plan and/or she pays (again) for a new phone. I don't see how switching plans will "teach" her anything and frankly is a ridiculous request by your husband that will do nothing but cost the family extra money.

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#14 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Seriously overreacting. She sounds like a good kid. Everyone misplaces things. Would he do the same to YOU?

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#15 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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I don't get it. Why would you punish someone for misplacing something? And, I see she bought the phone with her own money, too. So her "punishment" for losing it should be exactly the same as my punishment for losing something expensive I really wanted and bought for myself--anxiety and disappointment while searching for the object. I'm glad no one "disciplines" me for having other concerns and misplacing objects--especially when I'm distracted and not feeling good.

This really disturbs me. She is a person. It is an object. She is injured and probably in pain or at least uncomfortable. It was missing for a couple days and then found in perfect repair. Why would anyone want to punish her for this unless they were just getting off on a power trip? Also, she sounds, if anything, like an overachiever. And so she is "lazy"? Pardon me? It sounds like someone in the house, likely "dear husband" just doesn't like her and is determined to see the worst in her. What a nightmare for her. I feel for her.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I also find it very disturbing the way your husband is treating your daughter.
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#16 of 68 Old 12-04-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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She already does pay for it. SHe wanted to be able to text message her friends, I told her she needed to pay for it. Her TOTAL cost each month for her phone and text message is $15. SHe pays for that herself.
Oh, then I guess I don't really know what he's upset about? I guess I don't see how this occurence effected HIM. Did he have to be the one to look for the phone? Or did your daughter whine and complain about loosing it excesively? Is he a super neat freak? Or does he have OCD tendencies?

I know how I live would drive my neat freak friends CRAZY if they had to live with me.

Sort of off topic, but in regards to your daughters organizational habits, I have to say, you need to accept them and move on. I was/am exactly like her. I have photos of my room when I was young where you literally cannot see the floor. And sadly I'm still like that now, only now, I'd like it if my friends and my husband didn't have to risk breaking their necks to walk around, so I cycle between utter mess and relative cleanliness. I'm just always going to be this way.

If you can find a copy, read this book: http://squallpress.net/conqueringchr...ganization.htm

That book is me to a "T". It talks about the idea that messy, disorganized people aren't lazy or slothful, they just don't organize the way most everyone else does. Honestly, I keep most stuff spread out on the floors, tables, chairs, etc. because then I can find it. If I put it up in a drawer or box or the closet, I just don't see them any more. It also offers many many tips to help with organizing, like color coding, vertical storage, using the buddy system, etc.

Ask your daughter why she doesn't pick up her stuff, and I wouldn't be surprised if she tells you she can find just about anything she wants, or that she has a system of where things go on the floor.

Ok, sorry for that unasked for detour!

~Julia
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#17 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 10:11 AM
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My dd11 lost BOTH of hearing aides to the tune of $5,000.

There were no consequences for that - it was a freaking accident.

Your dh is being ridiculous.

Ask him this - how is acting in that way going to change anything?

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#18 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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It sounds like he's just being petulent and petty...for whatever reason, he's angry about this and since she has the phone and paid for it herself, the only thing he can really do is take his ball (plan) and go home. The only reason to put her on her own plan is so you don't have to deal with him having another little fit if she misplaces her phone again or he gets mad about something else.

I don't mean to be unsympathetic to DH. It probably is frustrating but teens can be sloppy and forgetful - she's not lazy, she just has different priorities right now.
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#19 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 11:16 AM
 
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I'm just curious, why did you switch her to dh plan in the first place?
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#20 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 11:24 AM
 
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You know, I was thinking a bit about this, and some of the other responses and it struck me that when my 3 DD (a preschooler admittedly) goes way overboard about something minor I start to wonder if there is something else, more serious, bothering her and usually there is. Maybe a little talk with him, hen you both have time to relax and talk, to see if there are some other issues with her (or someone else) bothering him?

I'm sorry if this seems out of line, but it seems to me that a lot of the GD things I have learned here have much wider application than just to my 3 year old

nothing more to say I guess :
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#21 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 11:33 AM
 
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Gee, I'm sure she learned her lesson for losing the phone. But just be glad she found it! I've done stupid things like that myself and I'm almost 40 years old. What's the big deal I wonder? She's only 14 and a cell phone is a big responsibility for a child, just as a car would be when she is 16.

I would let it slide and hope that it taught her a good lesson about responsibility. She's old enough to realize what she did was irresponsible but why keep punishing her for it.

My oldest child is only 11 but I don't expect him to remember everything or keep up with things, even though he usually does. But I wouldn't punish him for losing his gameboy or another important item at his age. But I would hope he would learn a valuable lesson from his irresponsibility.

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#22 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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ETA: What is he trying to teach her by taking her off the Qwest plan? If she still has a phone and a plan, then she could care less I'm sure. Why does he want her off his plan? Why does he think of it as his plan?
This is what I was thinking. If he really wanted to punish her he would take her phone away completely, not worry about what plan she is on. He just sounds very controlling to me.

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#23 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 12:00 PM
 
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I haven't read all of the responses (I'm at work) but this really reminds me of my stepson's stepfather. For him it is about exercising his authority and control, even when that crosses the line into ridiculous. For example, ss got totally yelled at for refusing to button his polo shirt's top button.
I understand the idea of demonstrating to your kids that you're in charge. But if having a 10 yr old ss has taught me anything, it is that 1. you really have to pick your battles and let some things go, even though you want to push them farther on principle and 2. natural consequences are a great thing.
I agree that if she lost her phone the punishment is... she lost her phone. And you don't buy her a new one.
But she found it. And I think really now your husband wants to make sure something of HIS isn't sabotaged or affected by something of HERS. And that belies deeper issues.
Just my two cents.
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#24 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious, why did you switch her to dh plan in the first place?
Her phone broke. But, we were planning to switch the whole family over to his plan in May, so it made sense to buy her a phone from Qwest. Even though we are still paying for her on Cingular. (9.00 a month)

I even ASKED him if he thought we should just add her on to his plan now, so she could get the phone she wanted. He agreed.

We haven't talked about it yet, he had to work early today, and I didn't want to start a heavy conversation (potential argument) when he needed to sleep early. But, I will bring it up tonight.
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#25 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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Yes, he's overreacting and being fairly nasty about it. Also, in most step-parent situations, I really think it's better for the bio-parent (father or mother, as the case may be) to have primary responsibility for disciplining the child.
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#26 of 68 Old 12-05-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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I would switch her just because he is being ridicuous, I really could not stand to go through this sort of freak out more than once if I was in the situation.

I would ask him once more pleasantly, if he really meant that he wants her off the plan and if so I would NOT SWITCH to his plan in May under any circumstances.

I lose stuff all the time, but I don't go around upsetting people for no reason.
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#27 of 68 Old 12-06-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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I myself must be one of those "lazy" people. I still can't seem to keep the laundry off my floor - although I do pick it all up about once a week when I'm actually doing the laundry. I have similar rules for the kids - I wash it if it's in their hampers or they hand it to me when they see me sorting, but I don't go taking their clothes off the floor for them.
The reason I quit picking up their clothes on the floor and washing them? I managed to wash - and dry - dd's cell phone! She says she knew it was in her pants pocket all along and she planned to wear them again the next day - so basically my fault for picking up stuff that wasn't in the laundry, and trying to launder it! So, I bought her a new phone, and I no longer pick clothes up off the floor - win/win situation for everyone.

Your dh is way overreacting. I say be glad if there are small areas in your teen's life that don't exactly thrill you. Everyone adolescent needs to work on that separation from mom and dad thing - if they aren't doing it in small, non-significant ways like keeping messy rooms, growing long hair, wearing funny clothes, they are probably doing it in large ways with much more permanent repercussions. What is the point of insisting that they toe a line in the sand that has no real bearing on life?

I mean, I'm still "lazy" with my laundry and clothes situation, but I'm otherwise a very well-adjusted, happy, productive adult. That's what I really want from my kids - not clean rooms.
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#28 of 68 Old 12-06-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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I don't know whom to quote here, but am joining a chorus of mamas saying - DH is being rediculous, DD is a teenager many parents would chop their right hand for.

Oh, and I lose stuff periodically too (and no, not in laundry, but like - forever)

Hope you'll find what triggers his "powertrippiness"
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#29 of 68 Old 12-06-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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I guess Im just not getting why he is so mad. She paid for her own phone with her own money. Has he never lost/misplaced anything before? I know I have. I have also broken some pretty expensive things.

I dont think she was being irresponsible. If she had actually lost it and not found it, why would he care? He wouldnt have been out anything.

JMHO, though.
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#30 of 68 Old 12-06-2006, 03:17 AM
 
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You husband is definitely over-reacting. She's a child and made a simple mistake. Get a grip mister.
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