did i start it wrong or was it time to do it?

Hi Parents, I have 3 kids, (2 girls - 9 & 7 years old, 1 boy - 1.5 years old). I have always been that protective mum, obsessive mum & probably extra cautious to my girls. I have always remind them about taking care of themselves and not to mingle too much to boys, except in sch for sch matters but no boys communication after that. Last June, my older girl turns 9 and we thought after so much of observing, she seems to be very independant and someone whom we know is capable of any task. we bought her a mobile phone, those common Samsung model, not any high tech but she is able to communicate through whatsapp, watch youtube etc. All the phones account is under my name so that i could monitor what she watch etc exp of course her whatsapp chat. As a mum and seeing her growing up, i wanted to give her the feeling that this phone is given with trust. A trust that no boys should have her number and a trust that i should not check her phone unneccessarily. It is used as a form of communication between me and the kids at home coz we dont have a house phone. So my girl will update me about the other kids, we video call when i miss them at work, a sort of communication with the helper as well. She has always asked for my permission before using the phone and any friends (only girls allowed) needs her number will have to go through me. Means they will need to message me before i release her number. However, recently, my husband caught her using the phone was late at night. As a dad, he think no twice, and his intention to take the phone is to keep it away from her but to our disbelief, she has been messaging a boy from class with his name kept as "MY BFF". there were messages of "love you", "you wont leave me, right?" "are you mad at me?" etc. Emoticons of flying kisses, people kissing. she tried to defend herself by saying that all her bffs say I love you to each other. But what disturb me was that, she will iniate the message first and if no reply from the other user, she will keep messaging till he reply. she will message things like "are you angry at me?" "why you never reply me?' "what did i do wrong?' etc. sounds similar right to what adults would do to our other half. there was also 1 particular message that caught me when she asked " so is it you and me are boyfriend & girlfriend?' Understand from the chat history that she even left her girlfriends group because this boy doesnt like them or she told him to not friend with them because they hurt her something like that. Fyi, this boy is her classmates. i could not hold my anger and talk and reprimand her about her action and how she has broke my heart and my trust (not sure if its too early to make her understand about trust) We decide to confiscate her phone but i keep emphasizing her about her mistakes and that she lied behind me, she broke my rules and she hurts me. but after a few days, i am not sure if what i did was wrong at the start or is it the sign that i should have start my BGR talks with her. but she is only 9 years old. i dont know how to handle this. At a moment, she was like kind of mad at me for having to take away her phone, but i told her the reason of her actions. things were ok. but will she hate me? What would you do if you were in my shoe? and because of this, i am not able to video call the kids when i miss them or see their pictures when i miss them. but i know i cant give her the phone because my husband will definitely against it hard. but i just dont want my kids to hate me. What should i do?

13 Replies
 profile icon
Write a reply

Hey Mummy, just like to share with you about my life story as a kid who had strict parents. I am 32 now and looking back, I wished I had better relationship with my parents. I wished they had been more lenient but to think again, if they had been lenient, I would have ended up in prison. I’ll tell you why. Back then I hated my parents for confiscating my phone. At 12 years old I ran away from home for a day. My parents went hysterical. They tightened their disciplinary actions against me. Threatened to send me away for some religious boarding school. That made me even more angry and I swear to God I grew up hating my mother for over 15 years of my life. At 14 I ran away again this time it was for a week or so because I didn’t have the freedom I wanted. Like go out with friends etc. I had to go home straight after school. I lost my virginity at 14. My parents sent me for a virginity test check under police orders after reporting me as missing person. The guy got caught for underage sex, got caned and imprisonment. But all that didn’t change me at all. In total, I ran away from home 6 times. The longest being 1 month when I was 16. I put my parents through hell. I put everyone through hell. At 17, my mom had to wait for me outside school just so that I don’t meet my then-boyfriend. Every single day. That made me even more rebellious because I was freaking embarrassed! I flung my studies, and starting working part time while studying when I reached 18. My father bought me a car at 21. Imagine how ungrateful I was back then. But that didn’t stop there. At 19 I got pregnant and went through an abortion at 10 weeks. My life was hell. At the age of 22, I got kicked out of the house. I rented a room for almost 2 years and lived through days without food and money alone. It was an eye-opener for me. Sadly it took me more than 10 years to realise I’ve wasted many years of my life. What I’m trying to say is that, at this age, in this era especially, some kids won’t seem to grasp the idea of discipline. All they want is things to be their own way without anyone telling them no. They will not understand why they can’t do certain things. Of course they will nod their heads and say yes they understand and cry and all that bullshit but it’s just gonna make them even more curious and want to do it even more. Some actually don’t care if you’re hurt. Harsh truth. They will put friends and their boyfriends/girlfriends before their own families. Be like a friend to them without trying so hard. Listen. Listen. And listen. Don’t judge, just listen. Don’t say a word, just listen. Be their best friend. Just like how you’d want a best friend to be like. It takes a while to adjust. It’s gonna be awkward but at least try. Try and make the effort to reach out to your growing child. Back then I wish my mom was like my friends mom, they listen, they joke around, they hug their children, they don’t shout at them, they don’t beat them up, and these kids grow up to be lovable kids, respectable kids, kids with a darn good future. Your 9 yo is a growing little lady. She will explore more in the coming years. Whether it’s gonna make you, or break you. And teenage years are every mothers nightmare. Loosen up Mummy, your girl wants to be heard and not reprimanded by both Mom and Dad every single day. She knows it’s wrong, that’s it. Leave it at that. Move forward. The phone is not the issue here. Good luck and all the best.

Read more

There is a proverb: "Food not eaten on the table, will be eaten under the table as crumbs." What I'm reading, is the break down of communication. Everything else is merely the symptom of a communication break down. I'm sure you don't need anybody to tell you that. Your text seems to indicate it, when you said you might need to start talking about subjects like BGR. You recognise that there is a need for transparency, so that you can make the right judgements for your child. Transparency needs trust too. I'm going to sound odd, but as parents, we need to earn our children's trust too. They are not our robots who do our bidding, but someone who is going to be flying out in the wild soon. I get many hints in your text that, you place expectations for your daughter to do your's and your husband's bidding. BGR is not something that your daughter can avoid, neither should she avoid. After all, it's how you and your husband got together in the first place. Don't put up red tape everywhere. Teach her how to judge a boy. Teach her how to love and receive love. Teach her to say no. Teach her to tell the boy, "my parents already validate me, I don't need yours" Teach her that she always belong to the family, not in the arms of another boy. Teach her that there is always love at home. Teach her to expect the boy to respect her boundaries. In fact, I'm going to suggest something against asian culture. Bring that boy home for dinner. As a parent, get to know that boy yourself. You're a mum, come on, you know what's a good boy and what's not. Your daughter might not know. This is your time to show your daughter your wisdom. Show with her your judgement and the rationale behind the judgement. Teach her to tell him herself the boundaries of relationships in your presence. Teach her to set the terms and conditions of this BGR. This is how you show your daughter (and your other 2) maturity, confidence, and independence. Your daughter is going to use that exact same stuff you teach today for her future marriage. Eventually, you are going to need to touch on other sensitive subjects, such a pornography, sex, masturbation, LGBT, etc... It can't be avoided. Can your daughter (and your other 2) trust you enough that she be transparent to you on the table, to seek you for guidance as she goes through these subjects? Or will she shy away from you, do it secretly under the table, learn from friends and internet, and potentially hurt herself? You are already a wonderful mum, protecting your kids from many dangers since young. Your daughter is coming to an age where she needs mental maturity, and you are the best person to learn from. It's time to adjust parental style. Give her the phone and ask her to invite that boy for family dinner. May God guide you as you parent your precious 3.

Read more
VIP Member

Hey there mummy! I'm just gonna be totally honest about my own experience, I hope I don't come across as "rude" or anything like that - but I'd just want to share things from another point of view :) I'm 21 years old this year and I am also a single mum to a 2 year old. Having said that, I can relate to your daughter in some way because I've started having relationships at a young age too. When I read about what you shared, it made me think about my own experience - and what made me turn to others was because of the lack of good, deep communication with mu parents. Yes, they would ask me about my day and school - but they wouldn't know when I'm feeling upset or in need of hugs etc. At some point, my parents just decided to stop hugging me and I never knew why. I mentioned good and deep communication because it seems like you do have good communication - you're doing a good job (like my parents did) of trying to communicate with your kids. But the part of deep communication isn't there - things from safe vs unsafe touches, how to handle emotions, what is okay/not okay to even the more "sensitive/taboo" things like relationships, what love is, how to protect myself etc. My advice would be for you to sit down and talk to your daughter, not in a strict, formal way - but maybe something relaxing like bringing her out for ice cream, going out to play - something that lets her relax and enjoy but yet be willing to listen to you. Start by apologizing for scolding her and taking away her phone, then telling her why you did that, why you felt that it wasn't okay and why you wanted to talk to her about it. Then apologise and say that you want to listen to what she thinks about this whole thing (who is this boy, does she like him etc) - and yes, listen closely! Let her feel secured to share the deepest secrets with you, but also that you respect her privacy too - if you feel the need for closure about this, teach her the things she wants to know. Whether it's about boys, what love is, how to protect herself, and how to be independent because in my experience, I can say that we don't need men - but they're nice to have around. From the messages that she sent out, I feel guilty for sending really similar messages too - but it's just being insecure about something and it could very much be that she likes this boy (I could be wrong). Don't react too much, but talk to her as if she is your friend - what is this boy like, why do you like him, is he nice to you etc. Then take your role as a parent and mix it in - let her know your stand and that she has to be completely honest with you, so that you can support her in everything she wants to achieve in life.

Read more
VIP Member

Yes true every parent nightmare. When I think back, strict parenting does help. I came from strict parenting environment and I m thankful when I did my own parenting as I knew it was for all the good. However children will never know until they are parent next time. I have a gal 8yrs and on off gal talk (no daddy no btothers) would talk to her that cannot even let man/boy touch her even if daddy/brothers as she is old enough to bath,change herself,etc. I also gave her own mobile this year but STRICTLY home use only to entertain herself, google up new findings through YouTube etc and most importantly to use google translate for her Mandarin homework very useful. Though could be tough to crack her brain on her own but to have a faster understanding and complete her work then night time after my work (bef COVID19) to go through with her. This way teachers her independence in self help. She is now more tech savvy then parent. How have its downturn as she is too hook on videos for hours gluing her eyes and turn a deaf ear when calling her for meal breaks. Good sides are: she has widen her general knowledge,tech savyness and showing me planets,cute animals show off skills,google up 5min craft,etc very interesting and sometimes I share the video with her built our bond stronger. (Sometimes I too was hook on the videos and daddy will be slightly mad i encourage her watching for long hours)

Read more

Somehow a topic from probably 3 years ago surfaced out. Lol. I feel that at the age of 9... isn’t it normal to mingle with both genders? Not sure why there’s a need to stop her from mixing with boys. All my life, my BFFs are all male.. Sometimes our character just does not allow us to effectively mingle with our own gender. Not sure if you’ve ever heard of the story of blue beard or Pandora’s box. The more you restrict someone from doing something (without logical and proper explanation), the more curious someone is and will end up doing it. When I was in primary school, I had a crush on my male classmate too. The more you try to stop them from developing, the more resistance they face, the more stubborn they will be. If I were in the same spot as this mom, I’ll probably want to hear more about this puppy love, teach her to love herself more, what can be done and what cannot be done and what are the repercussions on her life if she cross the line. Out of the 2 parent, 1 of you should assume a more friendly role with your kiddo. You can’t both be the strict hysterical parent. One of you need to be someone who’s a little rule breaker and is there to listen to all her little secrets and guide her in a more discreet way. I kinda thought that’s the role most parents want to play.

Read more

Totally agrees that this is most Mums’ nightmare. I felt the era has changed. As a girl and even until now, I can’t share things with my mum. I wish I can. I wish I can share with her things and then understand while I eventually understand what’s right and wrong, she needs to know and see my views too. While your girl is wrong to to break this trust given, one day she will learn eventually. If things take a wrong turn, she will lie to you and never share with you anything anymore. Let’s take a step back. How about talking to her, not judging, no questioning but merely coming from the perspective of trying to understand what is it that they do as BFFs? Like, who is your BFF? Do I know him? What do you guys share with each other? Like homework? The point is not being intrusive yet enough for her to open up. Then just leave it there. Slowly slowly get her to trust you and share her deepest thoughts with you. Remember, behave like a Friend first. I lied to my mum as young as 15 I think. Well, cos I feel she will never understand me. I turned real rebellious, Glad at some point I turned back. My mum will only scold and beat me. Well, I know I didn’t obey her but I have my own thoughts and beliefs. Just my 2 cents. Stay strong Mummy.

Read more
VIP Member

You know, she will find other ways to be affectionate and say I love you to her friends. Regardless of removing the phone from her. I think another important thing to do is talk to her about love and boys and the various relationships she will build as she grows up. She may not consciously know the gravity of saying I love you to someone. And I find her insecurity when friends don't say it back a bit alarming. So you need to talk to her about her insecurity as well. If she can't get affirmation via her phone because it was taken away from her, she may look for it in other ways like physically (kissing, hugging and even escalating to adult acts). Gotta be realistic about this. Let's not put our kids forever in a bubble. They are curious and they are growing up fast. I am sure you and your daughter will be fine. Just keep an open communication with her. Let her feel that it's okay for her to tell you anything even if deep inside you feel uncomfortable. As for the phone, I would give it back eventually when the trust is earned. Good luck, mama. Remember: have an open mind and an open heart. Maybe she does love that boy and now she's heartbroken. Who better than her mum to talk to about it?

Read more

Be honest and tell her that it’s not the right time to be in a relationship. Her studies should come first and friendships are important and she should enjoy all that then being in a relationship which comes with great responsibility. Let your daughter know that you love her and it’s the best for her. Show her to other single young mums who were school dropouts and struggling in life. It’s never easy to grow up too fast. Accountability to society and one’s action. Be patient, gentle and don’t give up. Show her more love and guide her.

Read more
TapFluencer

Hmm tough decision. But I reflect back when I was young, if my mum forcefully stop me from doing something, then the more I will want to do it? So I feel the best way to find out more is not to react so drastically. Well at least u know she will be more willing to open up and share things w u. Becos at the end of the day, u know one day our children will grow up and have a rs with others. So being so agitated over it might do more harm in the long run becos she wouldn’t wan to share with u n then the more u won’t know her “secrets”..

Read more

All i read is me me me me me me me me me.... I doubt any conversation you start with her will end well. Please seek counselling for yourself first before talking to her. Sorry If I am too blunt but at least it will stop you from making the first wrong step.

Read more
3y ago

or at least be polite. we are all adults here.