Children with phones


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My 9 year old texted me from his new phone that his mom got him. We have never had any conversations at all about phones. We have 50:50 legal and joint custody. I’m confused why he has a phone now and how I should handle it when he’s here?
Also as a side note, he texted and asked if he could stay at moms an extra day. I’d prefer these schedule changes to come from her and not from him…thoughts on all of this?
@mattyice117 Change is hard and not having a whole lot of control is harder 🤷🏾‍♀️

Yes it would be nice for mom to discuss first. Assuming she had, what would your position have been?

If you'd prefer schedule changes to go through mom then you can share that with him and advise mom of same.
@halterfr33 If she had discussed it with me, I would have said if she wants to get him one then of course she can. I don’t agree with him having one yet at age 9 but she can do what she wants on her time. I’m assuming he’ll bring it here when he’s here so I’m going to have rules around it
@mattyice117 If it's not in the parenting plan how to handle cell phones, then she's within her rights, even if it would've been good co-parenting to discuss it with you first.

If you aren't comfortable with him using it in your house, you can have rules about it, but you should clearly communicate the rules both to the kid and the mom, and make it clear how he can get in touch with mom when the phone is not in his possession.
@mattyice117 It would be nice if all parents consulted about cell phone and agreed before either got their kid a phone but that doesn’t always happen and there’s not much you can do about it.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your child asking to stay at mom’s house an extra day as long as mom isn’t putting the child up to it so you feel obligated to say yes. If you don’t already have plans and are open to it I would always respond, let me discuss it with your mom.
@mattyice117 I got my 7 year old an Apple Watch without consulting my coparent. I wanted to be able to communicate with her without needing her dad. He was preventing me from speaking with her and I got fed up and got it thinking it’d prevent that from happening again.

He wasn’t very happy with the decision and we haven’t really talked about (he has an avoidant personality). He doesn’t let her use the watch on his days which defeats the purpose that I got it for her. He’s benefiting from it more than me. It’s only $15 a month so I’m just gonna keep it.

Your coparent needs to accept whatever boundaries/rules you place on your son’s telephone use on your days. Talk to your coparent and let her know what you want to do with the phone when he’s with you. As for asking to stay longer with his mom, he needs to understand he needs to go through the proper channels. He should be telling his mom, mom should be speaking with you, so both of you can make the decision together.

I’d speak with your coparent and make it clear that he needs to speak to whichever parent he’s with on things like a schedule change so both of the parents can make the decision.
@rvin I bought my at the time 5 year old a phone because his mom was preventing our communication. He had it for a year and now she threatens to throw it away if he brings it. 🥺
@mattyice117 I’ve personally always have been a fan of the the house cell phone idea. Where there’s just an extra cell phone in the house that kids can video chat their friends on. But it’s only allowed out during certain hours and it’s no one’s specific phone. It doesn’t go behind closed doors either. Maybe you get a house cell phone and the other one stays at your ex’s?
@mattyice117 I think 9 is too young for a phone as well. You don’t have to let the phone come to your house. I have refused to let my kids and my stepkids bring phones from their other parents houses. I would bet the wanting to stay has something to do with the phone and maybe just tell the child that changes to the schedule will be between you and the other parent.
@mattyice117 Dealing with this as well.. our 7 year old now has a better phone than my husband or I, and constantly is asking where it is and if he can use his data.. I feel like it's one thing for like an iPod touch or iPad, but a full on smart phone with a data plan for a child under 12 feels like a bit much
@dlongeuay20 I agree it could be a big nothing-burger. It could also be a way to control.

My ex will ground one of my kids and immediately go after the phone, knowing I talk with my kiddos everyday (they’re teens).

I work IT so my method is definitely to block apps and services but maintain an ability to communicate. She just wants to take it. It is the most effective method of discipline to limit their ability to communicate with friends, and I’m all about it when necessary. I can limit the contacts they can speak to, and during the school year there were times where their mom and I were the only ones they could talk to.

I’ve learned that sometimes parallel parenting is necessary with this other person.
@mattyice117 9 seems young when it comes to phones, but in split households, it's a bit of a blessing. Our 10 year old doesn't have a phone. However, they do have messaging apps on their iPad. It allows the child to communicate freely with the other parent and has never been an issue for us.

As for the requesting to stay, my response is usually along the lines of "sure pal, let me discuss it with (other parent), and I'll get back to you."
@mattyice117 The phone I see no problem with my ex got my 10 year old one so that they can communicate. However parenting time stuff still comes through us. However she has messaged her dad and told him about events she wants to attend that fall on his time
@mattyice117 Ughhhh. My ex did this too. Kiddo is not allowed to bring it here or to school. That’s all I can do. He already has a flip phone to communicate with us. What does he need a smart phone for if not fucking social media? Such shitty, lazy, pathetic parenting honestly.
@kingse Yeah, her moving close to us is new. We know she told him he can come over whenever he wants on our week, but have now heard she won't allow him to come on our weeks. We would rather keep things going how they have been, because co parenting has been a pretty positive experience for the most part. If she wants to try out letting him have free range on both of our weeks, we can navigate that. But until it is reciprocated, we would rather leave things be.

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