Dear Cory: Ex is Upset That I Got Our 11 Year Old a Cell Phone Without His Consent!
You do realize that there is such a thing as a phone plan that enables your daughter to call and receive calls from you and her father (plus 911) in the event of an emergency, but which otherwise restricts her ability to make/receive calls and texts or to access the Internet, correct? Additionally, unless you and your ex have sat your daughter down and had a frank discussion with her about the dangers of the Internet (i.e.: the existence of child predators, sex offenders, etc.), then there is no good, legitimate reason for you to be granting her, at 11 years of age, unfettered and unsupervised access to the Internet.
You are aware that this world, despite being filled with people who are mostly good, is not all sunshine and rainbows, right? You do realize that there are actually grown men and women out there who, if given the chance, would jump at the chance to abduct or rape your daughter, right? And you do understand that your daughter probably already has her own Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and/or Instagram accounts, and that she’s probably using them, as we speak, to share personal details online with people who may, in fact, be pedophiles, do you not? If you, in fact, do not know these things or, worse, have chosen to remain blissfully ignorant of them, then I must say that your problem is not your ex trying to make your life difficult, but rather the fact that you, yourself, are unfit to be a parent.
You complain about your ex not wanting to listen to you about why you want your daughter to have a phone, but have you ever actually listened to him about why he doesn’t want your daughter to have one? I noticed that your letter mentioned nothing at all about what your ex’s argument is exactly as to why he disagrees with your daughter having a phone, and I find this to very telling, especially in light of the fact that you used almost the entire first paragraph of your extremely short letter to throw your ex under the bus, when you could have used it instead to focus on finding a solution to this apparent “problem” of yours.
I will cut to the chase here: At the end of your letter, you ask if you should get rid of the phone or if I think you points are valid. First of all, your ex is clearly not upset about your daughter having a device that enables her to call her parents or 911 in the event of an emergency, but rather the fact that you didn’t just give her that ability but, again, unfettered access to the Internet, at only 11 years of age, thereby increasing the chances that she could be abducted, raped, or murdered exponentially—and that you did this without consulting him. In other words, you were extremely disrespectful. Secondly, what points have you actually made here? As far as I can see, your only points are that you’ve given your daughter a phone, that you were right to do so, and that your ex is wrong for disagreeing with you about that.
Allow me to be blunt: No, I don’t believe your points are valid, because 1) you haven’t actually made any legitimate “points” or arguments about how your daughter having this phone of hers achieves or has achieved your stated goal of “protecting” her, 2) as mentioned earlier, you could have given your daughter the ability to call you and her father, or 911, and to receive calls from you without giving her unfettered and unsupervised Internet access, 3) you could have consulted with your ex about getting your daughter a phone and come to a consensus on how much, if any, Internet access to give her, before you bought her a phone (yet you didn’t, which gives me the impression that you are quite a vindictive person), and 4) from the sounds of it, the phone has actually contributed to an increased likelihood of your daughter getting hurt, thereby defeating your entire stated purpose for having gotten it for her in the first place.
If your daughter were my daughter, I would get rid of her phone immediately, replace it with a more age-appropriate device that provides no Internet access and only allows her to make and receive the calls she actually needs to make and receive to stay safe, sit her down as soon as possible to have a discussion (which you honestly should have had with her years ago) with her about sex, child predators, and the dangers of the Internet and social media, and commit to never again cutting her other parent out of the decision-making process when it comes to life-changing choices, such as whether to get your pre-teen a smart phone.
But hey—what do I know? I’m just some guy who writes personal growth and development themed books and blog posts, and I know you’re just going to do what you want to do regardless of what I advise you, because if you won’t even listen to the father of your child, then why you ever listen to me?
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Please leave a comment below and tell me how you feel about this post, or better yet, visit its sister thread in the Manifestation Machine Forum and join the discussion about the topics covered herein. I can’t wait to hear from you, and neither can the millions upon millions of your fellow Mechanics!