Co-Parenting Issue

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Active scribe

Co-Parenting Issue

I’m currently having an issue with my 17 year old son’s father and his step-mother. At times my son and converse through Facebook messenger for one reason or another.

I have had issues in the past of these conversations being monitored by my sons dad and his step mum. I’ve had conversations with my sons dad saying that I’m not ok with this happening.

I now suspect that they are still monitoring the messaging between him and I. I am feeling very distressed because I feel like it’s an invasion of privacy between me and my son and I don’t know how to get around this.

Does anyone have some advice for me??
Mod

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Hey @Mssassy how frustrating that they are monitoring your messages. It sounds like this really concerns you. Do you have any idea what could be their intent behind this? Anything in your intuition kicking in? It is a complete invasion of privacy so I understand your wanting to sort the issue, can you confront the situation head on and ask them to cease? Or is it not an option?

 

I will tag some of our community for their input Heart

 

@Orbit64 @sunflowermom @Caz01 @taokat @Schooner

 

 

Prolific scribe

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Hi @Mssassy 

 

One option is to change the communication platform away from Facebook Messenger. 

 

A few are

Telegram, iChat, use a phone messaging app. There are lots of options. 

That way you could communicate privately. 

 

It all depends on the platform/computer/phone you are communicating on. 

 

Frequent scribe

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Hi @ Mssassy sorry to hear about your communication issues with your son. It's quite rude to be checking your sons messages considering he is 17 in any case. It sounds a bit like bullying to me. You have every right to message your son without interference. Can you just try texting or a phone call? I don't know your situation but can you meet for a coffee after work or school for a chat? Good luck
Mod

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Hey @Mssassy what are your thoughts on the above advice of changing the platform? Again so sorry about this situation, we're all here to listen.

Active scribe

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Thank you everyone for you sympathy and advice.

I do think a different platform to communicate will be the best option for now. However my son won’t be home with me until Sunday so we will discuss that then.

Ultimately I think it comes back to a power and control dynamic with his dad and step-Mum needing to have control over the situation as well as their judgement of me as a Mum.

This is probably the hardest part to deal with and it is a struggle every day to manage my feelings around this. Because I can’t control what they think or how they view me.

Thank you again for the support that’s been offered.
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Hi @Mssassy, I can imagine how upsetting and frustrating this situation would be for you. As with the other parents, I think it's an invasion of you and your son's privacy as well. 

 

Did your son's father give you any reason as to why they monitor your conversations? How does your son feel about it?

 

I'd suggest raising the issue again with them and maybe changing your communication app. The worry is they'll just start monitoring your conversations on any platform you use.

 

Would you and your son's father consider family counselling to work through this situation and come up with a solution that works for everyone?

Active scribe

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Thank you Taokat,

I did confront my son’s dad about it. As this has been an issue the past. He denied viewing the conversation between us. The conversation between us was about my son getting a haircut during his lunch break at school as this was the only time available for him.

Coincidentally they had a conversation with him about him getting a haircut shortly after my messenger conversation with my son. And decided he was not having his haircut during his break at school and cancelled the appt. This happened before my kids returned to the dads for the week.

Either way my gut says that my sons dad has lied about viewing the conversation. This is based on his frequent history of lying to cover his tracks.

I will at an alternative platform like Snapchat or WhatsUp that encrypts the messages and deleted them shortly after. Alternatively I will have telephone conversations instead of messages. But the only problem with this is my sons difficulty with remember things accurately.

Thank you for your input though. It’s greatly appreciated.

Frequent scribe

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Gee @Mssassy how frustrating for you I totally get it as my ex was very similar with my kids when they were younger . My boys used to go there every second week and I didn't have much contact in that time as they didn't have phones then. He and his partner tried to control everything. In the end I only fought the battles that were worth it. The rest I just learned to ignore. My daughter lived with me most of the time but my sons went to live with their dad when they both were around 12 full time as that's pretty much the age where they can decide on their own. A very painful time ,I had limited contact except every second weekend and soccer training. They are now 25 & 21. I have a great relationship with the 21 year old and the 25 year old we are still working at it. But guess what I haven't spoken to my ex in months, he has no control anymore the kids are adults and not at home and independent. But for all the pain I went through I have a relationship with them without interference . Have you heard the saying children are on loan until they are 18. Trust me when I tell you he is nearly an adult and very soon his father will have no hold over him. I have been told my ex was emotionally abusive before and after the marriage but I didn't realise. Hang in there all the best. x
Mod

Re: Co-Parenting Issue

Hello @Mssassy, what a complex situation! This sounds really difficult and frustrating to navigate. You are definitely entitled to private communication with your son and I am glad that you have some alternative options. I noticed you mentioned a little caveat with changing platforms, is there a way of assisting your son to remember?

I was also wondering if you use an iPhone by any chance?