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Telephone Communication with Bio Mom while with Bio Dad

Lisa120eta's picture

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to check and see how you all handle phone communication with the other bio parent when the Step kids are with you. I have a SS 12 and a SD 10. My SS does super well at our house. Never any issues. SD is a different story. SD bio mom bought her a phone so that SD could contact her Bio Mom whenever she wanted to. She is constantly on the phone face timing with her mom. We don't generally have a problem with her talking to her mom but it's gotten to the point that she spends almost all of her time here on the phone with her mom. My question is, have you guys set time limits on how often your kids are on the phone with their bio parent? If so, what are those boundires? I just feel like SD is missing out on some awesome family moments because she is always on the phone with her mom. Thoughts?

thinkthrice's picture

this is a classic alienation tactic used by enmeshed parents. do you have 50/50 or are you NCP with EOWE?

nengooseus's picture

What she said!!!

We no longer allow skids to have a cell phone at our house because of this. BM texted and called whenever she wanted because she had full access. We initially thought that would be true for DH, as well, but BM made it clear to skids that this wasn't the case--going so far as to put DH on SD's Do Not Disturb list (according to SD).

For us, SS is the issue. She has PAd him to the point that he cannot have fun without her, so he makes everything miserable, especially if he has talked to her. She knows it and takes advantage.

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

When we originally went to court and won custody, the judge told BM that she could have a 5 minute conversation every night. According to the judge, any contact that disrupts the household routine is unnecessary and is an abuse of power by the other parent. So yeah, I think your DH needs to put some hard limits on it.

WalkOnBy's picture

We had the same issue with Medusa before DH got custody. And, like your situation, she wouldn't allow DH to contact the skids when they were with her.

We went to court and had the Judge order certain times and days that each parent could contact the other when they were in residence with that parent.

Not that she followed it, though,

ESMOD's picture

If everyone can be "reasonable" there is no reason why kids can't communicate "freely" with either parent. However, in your case, it sounds like she is spending too much time on the phone.

My first thought was that I don't like when the parent the child is with trying to block any contact from the other parent. Parents are still parents and have an interest in their child even when the child may be on visitation with their EX.. and vice versa.

But, when the constant contact is interfering with the child's ability to have a relationship with one of the parents then I think there is a problem.

For that reason, I think it's fine and perfectly acceptable for the parent that the child is with to tell them. "ok.. finish up the call and come in here with us" or "time for dinner honey, tell mommy you will call her later".

So, that might mean that there are nocell times so that everyone is focused and present. like during meals or during family game night etc...

It probably is also not a bad idea to help her understand that constantly ignoring people in front of you for your electronics is rude and that she needs to be aware of that.

strugglingSM's picture

I have one SS who that is a problem with. For the last couple of weeks, he's only contacted BM when he was unhappy about something DH did or failed to do, but before that, he was talking to his mother at least twice a day. When he spent a week with us over the summer, he contacted her in the morning and at night, usually to tell her how terrible our house was.

I wanted to say to him, I hope you spend all your time at home sitting on your mother's lap, since you can't seem to survive without her while you're away. He's 11, so should be well beyond the age when he misses his mom after being gone for a weekend. His mom went away on a work trip several weeks ago. He stayed with his stepdad. I hope he insisted on calling his mom every time his stepdad did something he didn't like.