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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 03-18-2018, 12:50 AM
denbigh denbigh is offline
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Default communicaton problems with cell phones

my teen doesn't want to communicate with other parent much, because of a poor relationship generally for, many years, but much worse just before and since separating. Other parent does not acknowledge their role in it at all, has never once apologized to child for this parents treatment of child in the past, and continues to speak to teen various inappropriate ways.

So teen did not always answer all the texts or phone calls. parent had an expectation every text should be answered ASAP. Sometimes did, more often did not. So the parent took the phone away (that was purchased by that parent). It has been few months now I'd like to get a new phone for teen. Teen wants a phone, but also is unlikely to start communicating more. Id also like to avoid a confrontation with ex over a phone. The underlying issue is that when ex got the phone, started communicating with teen a lot more. Teen would rather not communicate with parent at all and only goes to visit routinely because I havent given an option to not go. Teen cant control not communicating in person at parents house, but on the phone teen can control if and when communicates. If I just go and get a phone there is sure to be some bruhaha over it from ex. If I tell ex first Im getting a phone, likley will say that I am trying to make all the decisions without him. I dont want teen to go phoneless until adulthood. Honestly I want to replace the cell but I dont want to deal with the fall out so I am siting on the fence in inaction.

It feels like a condition of having a phone is communication with that parent. In a sense I can agree with that for the person who bought the phone, but not with having a phone at all. If ex bought the phone and took it away I guess that is their prerogative, but also feel it is my prerogative to also get a phone for teen.

Yet on the other hand the plus of not having a phone is that teen doesn't have to walk on egg shells all the time, all day and evening long about whether or not should answer a text and worrying about the ramifications of not answering/answering. I lived that for 20+. last week received a text and an email in the morning that I did not answer right away, because I didn't want to and the content would not have to be answered until first thing Monday morning in time for business hours. By 1:00 that day I had a phone call telling me I should have already responded.

Is it reasonable for parent to take phone away in this circumstance?
Is it reasonable for other parent to get a new phone for teen?
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:32 AM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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Disclaimer, I dont have teenagers. I think your waaay overthinking this. Yes, buy your teen a cell phone and put your own limits on it as per wifi, minutes used, as you are paying for it. Now she has 2 phone and can use them with the limits each parent has set for her. As for her not answering texts, emails & calls, if it doesnt meet ex's pre set requirements he can take his phone away from her. Dont involve the other parent in their cell phones which are basically on loan to your child. You dont need each others permission to supply a cell phone.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:44 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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First you need to deal with the communication issues with the kid and parent. YOU are responsible for enforcing the time and communication with the other parent. If kid had an issue with a teacher and wanted to drop the class what would you do? Say yes and let them walk away? No you would expect them to deal with it. Kid needs to deal with their other parent and perhaps you need to have a chat with the other parent. Remember too that you have a teenager and the filter of the information is skewed. Maybe dad is expecting him to be respectful and behave? Maybe dad is being an ass and lecturing him. Whatever the case, being divorced doesnít stop the other parent from being a parent and having a set of expectations from the kid is reasonable. You donít think a parent should expect to hear from their kid?

Case in point, my partners kid told him she shouldnít have to talk to him on a regular basis. Fast forward a year and suddenly its you donít make an effort to communicate with me. Your ex is trying to communicate with his kid. Kid is a teen who are notorious for being silent and uncommunicative. How would you feel if it was you and your ex was saying you were a bitch for expecting kid to talk to you?

If talking doesnít work then you need to suggest they speak with a counselor to work on communication together. Many many MANY schools have programs on how to talk to your teen, how to understand your teen, how to support your teen through positive communication. Your teen doesnít know the best way to communicate with their other parent and sticking your head in the sand and having kid do the same doesnít solve the problem.

This isnít an issue with the cell phone. Its an issue with communications and expectation with communications. Buying another phone isnít a solution.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:10 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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We bought my step son a cell phone when he was 11 because his mom didnít have a house phone and she rarely answered her phone if my husband called to talk to his children. It has its ups and downs...

Itís nice for him to have his own phone to communicate with however she sometimes takes the phone away when at her place so son doesnít get the full benefit from it... he is almost 13 now so he has it more often and we talk often, even if itís just a quick text back and forth. When heís with us he is welcome to use his phone as much as he wishes to communicate with his mother... he was with us on March break and we picked him up Friday... Sunday morning I guess his mom text him but he didnít respond... few hours later my husband received a text saying son was ignoring her. Dad asked that he text his mom back and his response was ďI just talked to her Friday itís only Sunday I donít care about the chickensĒ (they have chickens and apparently the text was about them)... still he text her back. He feels his mom texts him too much when he is with us and despite being 13 he doesnít spend a ton of time of his phone... most of the time this week it was just sitting on the table.

If Dad doesnít have equal access I can see why he would be upset his child isnít communicating with him. It wouldnít hurt for them to have a gentle reminder ďhey did you talk to your dad today?Ē... sometimes they just donít think about it... if dad has equal access the itís possible child doesnít feel the need for constant communication. Either way I would encourage your child to talk to their Dad... maybe set up a time every few days for child to text/talk to Dad?

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