Youngest son turned 13 a few weeks ago. His father (ex hubbie #1 – with a personality disorder) writes to me
I am getting Charlie a new Iphone. I took him shopping on Saturday and tried to get him to understand shopping for the best phone deal but the we chose just went bust.
It might be a good idea if you could encourage him to research these things because after 12 months he may have to provide his own funds to maintain the phone .
Make sure it is a pre paid deal not post paid so we don’t have to manage it for him and keep an eye on usage all the time . He is at the age now to be responsible for things like this.
Charlie’s father and I hardly communicate at all as our co-parenting relationship is full of conflict. I ask nothing of him and avoid discussions of any kinds. The new orders we just negotiated in court say that communication should be a minimum. He wrote this to me within days of the orders being finalised and is ‘flexing his muscles’ by blatantly ignoring the orders.
James’ request of me might sound reasonable, but if you have experience of abusive relationships and/or personality disorders you know there are a number of different layers and a great deal of past history that means it is not reasonable at all.
Additionally, I do not agree that a 13 year old boy needs an Iphone when he has an Ipad (which his father bought him last birthday) and I have to take it off him constantly otherwise he won’t do his homework, chores or get up off the lounge and take his eyes off it.
Stupid stupid me replied that in my opinion it wasn’t a suitable present, giving my reasons. Why was I stupid? I should have known, it is like a red rag to a bull – if I say I think something is bad – that is even more reason for him to do it. That has happened in the past and if only I had waited a few days to reply, I would have remembered that.
I got the usual passive aggressive reply
He Doesn’t spend much time on Ipad with us, we do things together.
I know that this epistle is subtly criticising my parenting – why aren’t I doing more things with him to keep him off the Ipad?? I remembered that there was no point me replying to the ex and instead again explained to Charlie that it isn’t a good idea that he has an Iphone at school.
He is addicted to his Ipad and I was concerned that he would play on the phone instead of talking to friends, doing homework, running around etc. I also have to take the Ipad off him at times as punishment for bad behaviour or so that he will actually do something around the he house. If the Iphone is his only phone, I can’t take it off him when he needs to take it with him to be able to contact me from school or when he is out. It puts me in a difficult position. Charlie explained that he wanted the phone to play music – so the best solution would be to have it as a phone during the day with no internet access and use it at home at night to download music on our home internet connection.
The phone arrived in the post (ex lives on the other side of the country and only visits our city intermittently when he is off work). Charlie, an excited but clumsy, inpatient, unthinking 13 year old, gets the phone out of the package. It is in fact not a new phone at all but his father’s girlfriend’s old one. In the package is a sim card. Charlie didn’t know what he was doing and despite my advice not to continue until he got some help – takes out the sim from the plastic packaging, breaks it and then tries to shove it in the Iphone.
Unsurprisingly it got stuck, didn’t work and now he only has access to internet at home and it won’t even work as a phone! I’m upset for Charlie that his new phone broke, although it was his own fault, and I was so tempted to say ‘I told you so’.
Don’t you just love it when karma works!