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Main Forums => Parenting Issues => Topic started by: Mom1Step2 on Feb 23, 2012, 10:50:33 AM

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: Mom1Step2 on Feb 23, 2012, 10:50:33 AM
 I have a new one for ya!
Two step daughters live with us during school & mom during holidays & summer. They have cell phones paid for by their Mother's Mother. In the past when the kids get bad grades or into other trouble, they get restricted from their phones & other electronics (depending on how severe).
Last week YSD got caught by her DH texting at school. He told her not to do it again, or he would now allow her to take the phone to school. A few hours later she did it again. She was texting BM from school telling her to check her out early (it was Friday of BM's weekend).
When DH picked up the kids Monday (holiday weekend) he was told that if he prevented YSD from taking phone to school, Grandmother would report him as having stolen property.
When he got home he called the Sheriffs department & spoke with an officer. Yes indeed charges could be filed against him for taking the phone, even it he just made her leave it home. He would be depriving the authorized user of use.
The only way out would be to return the phone to the Grandmother. But she would just take it to YSD at school, so we would have to repeatedly return it to her (if we even knew YSD had it, she could hide it).
We will be going to court in April, so DH plans to bring it up, but what a mess!
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: tigger on Feb 23, 2012, 11:10:28 AM
I would sit down with YSD and explain to her the rules for your household and your expectations in clear, no nonsense details.  I would explain to her the rules as set forth by the school. (Most are online, I think) and explain to her that not only is she in violation of your rules, she's violating those as well.

Texting friends is one thing.  Texting a parent is quite another.  I text my son in between classes and during lunch (I have his schedule next to my computer at work.)  I'm sure the story told to the grandmother was VERY different than what actually happened.  (Daddy got mad because I texted Mom and said he would take away my phone so I couldn't take it to school. vs I broke the rules and got caught and then defied the rules only a few hours later.)

Another option would be to get a replacement battery for her.  Let her run down her current battery and replace it with the new one.  If she breaks the rules again, switch out the new battery with the dead battery legally owned by the grandmother.  Technically, you are in possession of what belongs to you and YSD is in possession of what belongs to her grandmother. 

Also, if you know the parents of the other children that she's texting, you can make sure they know about it.  (I went to the parents of a girl who was texting my son after what I had deemed an appropriate time -- 11 p.m. and they had no idea she was doing it.  I showed them on the computer how to look up when and who she was texting in pretty close to real time.  They jumped on board and put a stop to not only the time but also texting during school (to others, my son found out the hard way that I could control the times of his texting). 

When in court I would have it court ordered that you have the authority to exact discipline in any way you see fit, including but not limited to the restriction of possessing electronic devices regardless of ownership.

My ex grounded my older son from his cell phone for using it during church.  OS came home all puffed up expecting me to throw a hissy fit since I owned the cell phone.  I told him that if he broke the rules, he needed to pay the consequences and that if he wanted to plead his case in front of me he ran the risk of me imposing the same punishment again.  He countered that was double jeopardy.  I told him that I wasn't bound the court of law and besides, he was the one going for an appeal so he was running the risk.  Stopped him in his tracks.
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: MixedBag on Feb 23, 2012, 12:47:07 PM
Tigger -- your approach works when you have two parents who work with each other.
In this don't.
SO....if Dad wants her to stop texting in school -- and Grandma threatens to press charges -- and the cops support Grandma.....
I'd first weigh how important this is to me as the parent.  And if I decided this must be followed through,
Then I'd be reviewing the school's policy -- and probably be making a trip to the school -- and let THEM be the bad guy.    Let Grandma argue with the school.
Good luck in court!
It should be dad's time, dad's rules; mom's time, mom's time, school rules....
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: Kitty C. on Feb 23, 2012, 05:17:47 PM
To expound on MB's remark, the first thing I'd do is talk to school officials and find out what their cell phone policy is.  Our school district does NOT allow kids to have their cell phones on during school and texting is strictly prohibitted.  The reason for that is the high incidences of cheating that was going on.  If a child needs to contact a parent during school hours, they can go to the office and either get permission to call on their cell phone or use the school's phone.
The district cell phone policy was upgraded a few years back to include penalties.  This is where local laws could also come into play....because I have doubts about law enforcement's authority to press charges.  The penalty for a child getting caught texting at school is confiscation of the phone and requires the parent or guardian to come to the school and retrieve it.  And local LE does not consider it as theft if a school takes a phone from a student.
Start with the school, since that is where the infraction occurred.
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: MixedBag on Feb 24, 2012, 06:57:48 AM
I wonder what the reaction would be if Dad texted child during school or started texting period.
And also took advantage of the fact that the child HAS a phone.
Kinda a backwards way but if it's good for one side, it should be ok for the other as well.
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: Kitty C. on Feb 24, 2012, 04:15:25 PM
Good point, MB..........
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: MixedBag on Feb 25, 2012, 06:55:28 AM
That logic -- what's good for you is good for me too -- blows so many restrictions or rules or complaints right out the window of the other parent.
And it's good to keep in mind when you parent your child on your time.....If you're doing it, then it must be ok for the other parent to do it as well.
Like bed times, TV shows, video games, sports, food, think about it.....
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: deezo1975 on Oct 04, 2013, 02:58:59 PM
Hmm, well me being a dad, have experienced this, but on the flip side. Mother has no house phone, only cell phone. In the past, I bought a cell phone for my 12 year old daughter, phone is restricted to call myself, mom, grandparents, emergency (911).
Cell phone was to be off during school hours so we never really had that problem, my daughter would turn it off during school, which is fine for all of us.
However, my ex-wife would take phone away as a way to punish my daughter at times (frequently and sometimes for weeks at a time). While doing so, the ex-wife doesn't answer my phone calls/return to messages to speak to my daughters. Or if she did, the response is "they're busy right now" or "they're outside playing right now" or "we're eating right now" or "I'll have them call you later" and I'd usually get no return call from them. Currently the phone is broke, so I have almost no contact with my daughters while they're at their moms.

I'd say, KIDS deserve the right to have access to both parents at all times, parents are divorced -- not the kids and parents, and just because the parents have different "custodial" time, that doesn't mean you stop being a parent and being available to your child. I get the whole thing when it's being abused, or in the instance of texting one parent to "pick up early" for no good reason, but really?

People need to put their pride aside, and do what's best FOR THE CHILD, that means, allow both parents to be parents. There are mothers out there with some serious pride issues (I'm sure fathers too) and believe that just because they're the PCP, that they get to call all the shots. I understand when one parent has some serious parenting inadequacies, but let's face, that goes on in marriages too.

Maybe this falls under some different email thread though, I don't know...
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: superdad01 on Aug 15, 2015, 09:51:18 PM
we have issues with a cell phone as well. The first time somehow it got broke and I got blamed for it. The childs entire time with me was spend looking at this phone. so I told child they are not allowed to carry it around. It sits on the counter. if it rings you can answer it. if you want to make a call, ask permission. The funny thing is child and mom act like this phone is so important. Yet anytime I try and reach her on it, she dont answer. So My conclusion to this issue was this.  If this phone is so important to you, why do you never answer it when I call.
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: sunbarbie on Mar 02, 2017, 06:43:03 PM
Thank you for this post, it is helpful.  I took the phone  away due to bad grades child was not allowed to contact anyone but me the cp.   Nothing in the court docs say anything about contacting parent while with the other parent. only lasted a week, child brought grades up all is well again.  but thank you for the heads up guys.
Title: Re: Cell Phones
Post by: MixedBag on Mar 03, 2017, 06:58:49 AM
Glad this old post is still helpful to someone today.