Cell phone use of a 15 year old caused conflict

Linda - posted on 04/06/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )




Nine months ago my husband had a situation with his 15 year old daughter. She was on our phone plan and within 10 days had used up our entire family data single handed and had over 17,000 texts all hours of day and night. We had never checked up on her and totally trusted her until my husband and I both got mssgs from our cell phone carrier saying we were over our data limit. We were certain there was some mistake...how do you use up a large amt of data in only 10 days? Upon researching, our phone records online revealed what was happening. Luckily, the texting, etc by my step daughter was almost entirely with her best friend, so there was no problem with that, but the amt of usage was the issue and the fact that she wouldn't put her phone down for any reason. My husband had to ask her to put her phone down at mealtimes and on outings. My husband talked to her with me present regarding the phone issue. I try not to overstep him in any way, so he handles any issues with her. He told her to cut way down on the data and texting or he would put 'smart limits' on her phone so that she couldn't text at night, etc. (except with him or her mother-they would remain as unlimited). She also would have to be in bed by midnight, so no texting, etc after 11pm. Her mother was advised of what was going on and the rules. Her mother texted back saying she had no problem with any of Ashley's phone issues, but that she was on her dad's plan so it was 'his call'. Ashley did not obey the rules and continued as if no talk had taken place because 'her mom said it was ok'. Her mother wasn't paying the phone bill. Bill felt he had no other choice but to implement 'smart limits' on the plan since she did not obey. She would no longer be able to text past 11pm and would have limited data. Well, apparently she cried to her mother, (who was informed of all this and kept in the loop). Her mother never said a word to Ashley's father, but she bought Ashley a new phone and put her on her plan. The only way Bill found out, was with continuing to check the phone records to see how she was doing, he found that she stopped using her phone. Ashley would never do without her phone. So, after a couple weeks he asked her about it and she told him what her mom had done for her. Bill was so upset, but did not show it in front of Ashley. He only told Ashley that he was very disappointed and that she would now have to turn the phone over to him at 11pm and he would give it back at 7am to ensure she would get rest. Ashley didn't say anything, but looked very unhappy. Bill didn't even have his daughters new phone # for 2 wks. Even though he had let his ex know everything that was going on, the ex told him nothing. Bill has never looked at Ashley's phone or read any of her texts. He totally trusts her in that regard. Bill emailed his ex-wife and let her know how underhanded this felt and that they should be united, not teach the daughter that she doesn't have to obey rules in her dad's house. The next time Ashley came over, the 3 of us had just returned from a great outing to eat and see a movie. When it was close to time to go to bed, Bill reminded Ashley that he would be taking her phone at 11 and giving it back at 7. She seemed fine with that and appeared to understand, but when Bill went downstairs to prepare for bed. He got a text from Ashley (she was just upstairs) saying she was sick and called her mom to come get her. Bill called his ex to tell her Ashley was fine and not to come and that this was just over the phone issue. The ex and her boyfriend showed up anyway demanding her daughter leave with them even though Bill was supposed to have Ashley until noon the next day. Bill had no time at all to try to talk to his daughter since his ex only lives a couple miles away. This caused a huge conflict between Bill, his ex, his ex's boyfriend, and myself. I began getting texts from both of them accusing me of causing this entire thing, saying 'I' had a control issue and that 'I' just wanted to see Ashley's texts. Apparently that is what Ashley had told them. This was Bill's parenting and I had nothing to do with it other than supporting him in his decision and putting on a united front with him. I would never, ever look at Ashley's phone. That is her fathers place if he wants to do it and that's totally up to him. Bill and his ex emailed back and forth to try to fix this for their daughters sake, but the ex didn't see it as an issue and even tried to give Bill advice. She suggested Bill let Ashley keep her phone at night and that he just check it in the morning. Bill let her know that wouldn't help because texts or phone calls can simply be deleted. He also told the ex that they as children had to follow rules, so why not Ashley, and that for her to be a well rounded adult, she must be taught about rules and to not play mom and dad against each other. Ashley quit coming over for 2 months over this. Bill and his ex emailed back and forth to try to resolve the issue. Bill finally threatened to go to court, then the ex finally had Ashley come back over, but with reduced hours. She no longer spends the nights (I'm sure she got her way-she never has to give up her phone. Mission accomplished.) Ashley played her mom and dad against each other and found a way to get what she wanted. Bill gave up and I feel has lost respect for his daughter. He barely talks to her anymore and she doesn't talk to him. She stays in her room, coming out only to eat dinner, then back to her room. It is very uncomfortable. We sit at the dinner table silently most of the time. The only time she will talk is if one of us asks her a question and then it's the shortest answer possible. The ex told Bill (via email) everything that supposedly goes on here in our household. Ashley told them I'm very selfish and cut her off when she tries to talk to her father, etc. This is a complete lie. I have never cut of a conversation between her and her father and never would do that. I make sure Bill and his daughter go places together alone and they used to eat breakfast together (just the two of them) every Sat morning. I stayed downstairs to give them daddy-daughter time. I have always cooked healthy meals when she is with us, picked her up at times when her father is running late, etc. Once I went to the school to pick her up after practice and she didn't even text to let me know she wasn't there. She stayed home at her mothers house that day. My husband finally called me after I sat there waiting for 20 mins to let me know she wasn't at practice today. She texted him 5 mins prior to let him know. The ex never lets Bill know anything. I thought Ashley and I had always gotten along in these 6 years and had no reason to think there were any problems prior to this phone issue. We always had fun together. I was flabbergasted by her accusations to her mother about me. Apparently Bill's daughter had been going back to her mothers house saying all kinds of things about me. Bill let his ex know that these things were not true and that I had been wonderful to Ashley. His ex belittles me in emails to Bill. Apparently she really dislikes me and doesn't even know me. I've been with Bill 6 years and have never officially met her even though we end up at the same events at times. She made the comment in an email to Bill that she and her daughter texts back and forth a lot and that 'must really burn her ass' referring to me. I would never care how much her and her mother texts. To the contrary, I would think something was wrong if her and her mother didn't have close contact. I raised my son and told Bill from day one that I wasn't Ashley's mother and didn't want to be. I've always told him it is his and his ex's job to raise her, but I would be Ashley's friend. During all this we found out that Ashley's mother and her mothers boyfriend are saying very negative things about us to Ashley. Bill has let his ex know that this is very wrong and hurtful to his and his daughters relationship and has asked her to stop. He even emailed her documents written by professional psychiatrists and psychologists saying how detrimental this is to their daughter. She just replied saying "LMAO, I've got better things to do with my time". He no longer communicates with his ex because she goes against everything he tries to do and it just makes matters worse. Very sad situation and I don't know what would help at this point.


Ev - posted on 04/06/2016




There is not much you can do but be a support for him. If his ex is going to go this direction there is not much you can do but he can. I believe that it is in custody/visitation orders in most if not all cases that the parents are not supposed to belittle one another to the children and that is what it sounds like mom is doing here. He needs to check his court orders and see what is going on with that and if it is, he could call her into contempt of court.

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