She's mad at me for listening in on her phone conversation...

@foxyfire33 (10017)
United States
June 23, 2007 3:26pm CST
No, this isn't something that I normally do. My oldest daughter's father called the other day and I picked up the other phone to listen. I don't trust him at all because he's lied to her and said so many horrible things to her in the past. She's only 11 so I feel like I need to know what he's saying to her so that I can protect her. His calls are the only ones I monitor like that. Now she's mad that I "invaded her privacy". I explained my reasoning (not that I think I should of had to) and she calmed down a little but she still thinks I was being unfair. I really don't think I was wrong at all for listening. Do any of you listen in when certain people are talking to your children? How do you handle these kinds of things? Also if you have any opinions on what I did feel free to share...although I highly doubt I'll change my mind :)
7 people like this
17 responses
@sidoney (1033)
• Jamaica
23 Jun 07
no I don't maybe because I do not have anyone to protect like that but you should ease up a bit and ask her what he said she probaly just loves him and thinks thats a private father daughter time
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Jun 07
That's part of the problem, she really doesn't like him but he says things to her and adds "But don't tell your Mom" so she doesn't know how to handle it.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jun 07
"But don't tell your Mom!" Is your daughter old enough to understand the concept that anyone who tells her not to tell you something is probably up to no good? Can you explain to your daughter how when someone tells her this she should merely pretend to go along with the instruction and tell you right away what was said? I believe all children should be taught that no one with good intentions ever tells a child to not tell their parents something. When anyone does tell a child to keep a secret from a parent, the child should tell as quick as possible. I would teach this to my own children.
• United States
23 Jun 07
It's a good thing you are protecting her but honestly I don't think you should have listened in. There is a bond between a daughter and a father. Also you are breaking your bond of trust with her. Just now apologize to her and tell her that you only had her best interests in mind.
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
23 Jun 07
There is no father/daughter bond between these two. The only times he's "come around" is to start trouble. That's why I have to be on alert when he does bother to call. I did tell her that I was sorry she was mad at me about it and explained again why I need to know everything he is saying to her, I'm not sorry about that that though.
1 person likes this
• Australia
24 Jun 07
No i don't think you did anything wrong! your child's safety is your responsibility so you have a right to make sure she is safe, even from her own father, if he has done something bad before. Just tell your daughter that you listen to their conversation because you care about her and don't want her to get hurt. I personally haven't listened to other people's phone conversations.
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
I told her that but she was still miffed. I know she'll get over it, she knows I've been doing this for the past couple years so I'm not sure why she was so bothered by it this time. I just know that she's my daughter and I don't like him saying things to her that upset her. I'd rather have her mad at me than needlessly upset by him.
• Australia
24 Jun 07
well isnt talking to the father a better way to get this problem solved? if he insists on annoying your daughter about things he should be doing, calling the police is a way of solving it.. or maybe he just wants a talk with his daugher =D
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
Actually no, talking to him never helped. We have involved the courts and he's technically not supposed to call her. The reason he called this time was because she is allowed to call him when she wants to but he wasn't home so he was returning her call. This was the first time in over 6 months that she's tried to call him.
• United States
23 Jun 07
Boy that is always a tough one. The child feels like you are invading their privacy, and while they deserve their privacy I think sometimes if you feel they need to be monitored then I guess you have to do it. It is your job to make sure they are safe, respecting their privacy is great, but I think their safety comes first
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
Some times parents do get the tough jobs but like you said it's my job to keep her safe so I'll keep doing what I need to do. I wish I didn't have to of course but it's not my fault he has to be the way he is.
• United States
24 Jun 07
Yep and dont let her make you feel guilty, you are doing what you feel is right to keep her safe. Parents arent perfect and children will always dislike something their parents do. Good luck
• United States
23 Jun 07
Well I understand your point as well as that of your daughter. I think that as long as you have a trusting and open relationship with your daughter there is no need to listen to the phone conversations. I know when my son talks to his father I cring at the thought of what he might be saying, but I trust my son. I know that I have instilled all the necessary qualities in him. When he gets off the phone I might ask in a real by the way attitude what they talked about, he tells me everything, and it has never been too much to worry about. If it is something that concerns him he will ask me and we discuss whatever it is. Children learn as they get older about us (their parents), and although you want to protect her she will figure out the character of her father if she hasn't already. In the begining I didn't want my son to hate me, and feel like I was trying to keep him from his father. But I knew that I was protecting him. I would think of the times he would lie about something he always said he was going to do, or even times when he would try to manioulate my son against me. But in the end I won. My son saw for himself, and realized who is deserving of his trust and loyalty. If you really have to worry about what is being said, then I say listen!! If your childs well being is in jepordy (physical or mental), then I think you should make sure that he is not trying to say anything out of the way. Good luck! I wish our children could understand that everything we do is because we love them. Have a great day.
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
She mostly sees what kind of person he is but she does still take things to heart a lot. Once she was upset for weeks but wouldn't tell me why. It turned out that when she excitedly told him about her new baby brother he told her that MY children weren't her real siblings because only children with the same father count as being related. She believed him and was all upset that her brothers and sister weren't really related to her! But it took her weeks to tell me this because he told her not to say anything to me because I would probably get mad at her! There are other even worse stories about things he's told her so that's why I started listening. I think she mostly understands where I'm coming from (and I see her point also) and never minded before but this week she was just in a lousy mood no matter what I did...only 8 1/2 years and the teen years will be over. Right? LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 07
yeah them we can look back and say thank goodness that is over. I can't stand when parents say stuff like that about siblings. But one thing to make sure she knows that they are her siblings you are their mother and no matter what you love them. Take Care :)
@Stiletto (4597)
24 Jun 07
Although I wouldn't normally advocate doing what you did having read some of the things you've said to others who have responded I can understand why you do it. However, if he has made a habit of saying damaging and upsetting things to her I think if I were you I would be investigating the steps I could take legally to stop him from contacting her because it doesn't sound like a healthy relationship.
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
We did take legal action, I just explained it a few minutes ago on the first page. I didn't even think to add that part in the first place! Thanks for reading far enough to understand all of my reasoning. I wouldn't do it under "normal" situations either but he is far from "normal" lol.
• Canada
24 Jun 07
I think you did the right thing by looking out for your daughter only because you mentioned he has a history of doing that sort of thing. Although it is an invasion of privacy, your daughter is still at a young and impressionable age so in a sense your actions do seem justified. I must mention that you can't keep doing this whenshe is older. She will have to learn to make her own decisions. On a side note, your daughter at this age may not realize what you are doing and she will prefer talking to her father and not you (which is probably opposite of what you want)
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
I completely agree, especially that I can't do this when she's older. She will eventually be old enough to deal with him on her own but for now it's up to me to watch out for her. On your side note...you're absolutely right that her father is the last person I want her talking to about certain things BUT she knows I listen so it's not an issue anyway. Thanks!
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
23 Jun 07
I do not blame you at all, Foxyfire....it is your job to maintain a healthy understanding of what is going on in your children's lives....I have on occasion listened to a few phone conversations in my home that were not directed at me...like you it was out of a feeling of "protecting" one of my children...I feel that this is my responsibility and again, like you, do not really care what anyone else thinks or feels about it..... Your daughter knows that you are trying to protect her..she knows that her father is not beyond lieing to her...that is really sad, but I have seen too much of that to be surprised...speaks volumes for his character, in my book... Each time that I listened to a conversation directed toward one of my children, we talked about it, I never tried to hide it from them....and I always explained why...not because I felt that I was obligated to do so, BUT I wanted them to know that I was not just being "nosy" but that I was concerned for them.... I know that she is upset with you for now...but she will appreciate it when she realizes why you feel that you must protect her.....
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
24 Jun 07
Good to know I'm not the only one! She was in a lousy mood in general this week and I think that's probably where a lot of the resentment came from. This was the first time in at least 6 months that he's called so I thought something might be up. He seemed to be fishing for information but nothing much was really said. But I do know he lied about at least one thing...not that it matters...he told her he couldn't talk long because he was driving but the caller ID showed his parents' home phone number LOL. I know she is upset and I probably would be too if it were me BUT I also know how upset HE can make her when he thinks no one will find out. Someday she'll put the pieces together more and more and understand!
@Signal20 (2282)
• United States
24 Jun 07
I had a similar situation with my ex, his 2 kids-they were 7 at the time, and his psycho ex wife...We only gave her a cell phone number to call, because we didn't trust her with our home phone number, but she talked loud and you could stand there and hear what she would say to the kids. She always "preyed" on the girl's emotions because she was easier. One time she told the kids how she went to the circus with her boyfriend & his kids-knowing her kids really wanted to go, then proceeded to tell them how much fun it was. When they asked her if she would take them, she said nope, because you went to daddy's house instead....my ex grabbed the phone and hung up on her and refused to let them talk to her. They were crying and sooo upset because she wouldn't take them. Another time, she had gotten them a kitten for Christmas. When they came to our house, she'd tell the girl-oh the kitty is so sad and so sick because you're not here. He's not eating, I think he's going to die if you don't come home. This one the girl told us she said, then we did here her say it on the phone as well. That relationship with my ex lasted a whole 2 1/2 years, if you can imagine that lol, and the demise was all basically related to the ex wife interfering so much with the kids and our lives. I can put up with a lot, but she was just so friggin psycho.... So, after what I've experienced, and seen what some parents will say and do to their kids-which has completely amazed me I will say lol. I have no problems with what you did, and I say good for you. You're daughter may not completely understand it now, but she will in a few years. And if you're ex is that bad to her on the phone, she will get to the point of not wanting to talk or see him. Good luck to you both!!
@siki115 (153)
• India
24 Jun 07
I really cant understand whats the problem is?
@emisle (3824)
• Ireland
24 Jun 07
I think it would be better if you ask her to tell you if her dad says anything that upsets her rather than listening in. I know I wouldn't have been happy in your daughter's situation, even if I knew you were doing it for my own good.
• Canada
24 Jun 07
I have never felt the need to do this but I suppose if I was worried about my child and this was the only way I could see to figure out what was going on and to be able to protect my child then I might have done the same thing as you did . As parents we want to be able to protect our child from being hurt and if this was the only way you felt you could protect her then I can see why you did this but you have to look at it from her side as well . To her she sees this as you not trusting her or allowing her to make her own mistakes in life . Just keep trying to explain why you did what you did and when she is a mother herself she will understand more of what you are trying to tell her now . Sometimes we do things as parents that we are not proud of but only because we are trying to protect our children .
@4cuteboys (4103)
• United States
24 Jun 07
I think you did the right thing. I dont think that's wrong at all,and your right, you didnt "owe" her an explanation. Shes lucky you even gave her one, good mommy!! I would have done the same thing. I think that was totally right and not an invasion of privacy. I havent listened in when my kids are on the phone with their dad, but I make sure I am right there so I can at least hear their end of the talk.
@sunita64 (6474)
• India
24 Jun 07
Well if I would have been in your shoes may be I would have done the same but should have been careful enough not to let her know about it. For parents who really care at times do need to keep a strict eyes on children as 11 is a sensitive age when children are in the formative years and do pick up wrong attitudes and habits.
@azimsay (546)
• India
24 Jun 07
Yesterday my friend spoke with on phone .I told about SRI AMMABHAGVAN .which we want we beg to them tey will immidiate but promice them for seva.She is hearing all these things she get mad.
• United States
24 Jun 07
Of course, she have the right thing to do that she will be going to be mad at you. You have to consider her privacy!
• United States
24 Jun 07
I'm on the fence about this, but I think I'd end up doing what you did. Protecting your child has to come first. I'm sorry, though, that you are put in this situation...:(