Do you believe that a child should have two phones? I understand maybe an adult who has a personal phone, but then a work phone. But a child having a second phone? NO! That’s what I thought until we found out that my stepson did have another phone, and another phone we weren’t supposed to know about.
My stepson ended up telling his grandpa about the secret phone and also told his grandpa to make sure his dad didn't find out because he isn't supposed to know about it. Due to how my husband's parents dealt with his toxic ex, my stepson's grandpa told his wife, and then together, they shared it with my husband. Unfortunately, my husband’s family has never been able to know about anything going on at his ex’s house and the fact that my stepson was told to keep a secret from the other parent isn’t the healthiest either and is another RED flag when it comes to a toxic ex.
Your ex will most likely simply purchase your child another phone and refuse to give you the number. I have to say that that statement is correct. To this day, my husband’s ex is still trying to partially deny it and has not given my husband or any of us the second phone number. The only reason we finally have it is because my stepson texted a friend from our church saying, “Text me on this phone...My father can see these messages”. His friend ended up sharing the phone number with us not because we asked him too, but because he wanted to share the conversation that he was having with my stepson. And it was a conversation that was very concerning. You will learn that throughout the blogs and podcasts the escalating just got bigger and bigger when it came to the accusations and that my stepson said he was “suicidal” just to see if it would get to his dad and then to his therapist. Again, this is a whole another topic, but as another teenager, or anyone else who read these text messages, they would be concerned with how a child was speaking. And because of this conversation, we finally got the phone number.
There are a few reasons why the ex will do this. One reason is to undermine the other parent. I can say this is true because my husband’s ex has always done this. My husband has time limits on certain things or blocks certain apps because his son at the time was only 12 years old. My husband also believes that a child doesn’t need to be on the phone 24/7 either and the American Heart Association agrees as well too.
Due to these restrictions/limits that my husband created, we believe his ex-wife bought another phone for the soul purpose to not just undermine my husband’s authority, but so her son can do whatever he wants on the phone between YouTube videos, games, and even other apps (even if they aren’t age appropriate).
Prior to finding out about the phone, we had a hunch that something was off as my husband had Family Link on the phone that he provided back in 2018. Now Google Family Link is a family parental controls service that allows parents to adjust parameters for their children’s devices. They can restrict content, approve or disapprove apps, set screen times, and more. On the app, you can see how much time the child is on the phone. On the days my stepson was at his mom’s the phone would be silent, but on the days my stepson was with us, he wouldn’t even get off the phone and be texting really only his mom 24/7 as if they were BFFs.
The only reason my husband provided a phone to an 8-year-old at the time is because his mom abused him and was arrested, but also because he was scared to be with her as she had a spell book, and thought he saw a witch at night that looked like her and demons. Back in August of 2018, his son even said to us, "Passwords are important. I don’t want no one to hack into it like my mom and try to delete things. What if I want to text you guys if there’s an emergency and don’t want my mom to know I want to contact you at like midnight?” And though she has a “clean” record now and her arrest file is closed and isn’t available to the public, at the end of the day, she still abused her son which is what she had to tell Bean Behavioral the other day.
But the tables have turned, and the passcode is now being used against us so we can't see the colluding that him, his mom, and her lawyer were up to. From the few times we were able to get the phone, we were able to see that they did talk about legal issues, but also, we noticed many text messages have been deleted if you try to match it to the Verizon Message Log on the My Verizon app. This included the false child abuse incident they claimed happened at our church with 9 other witnesses (not counting my husband or stepson).
There were two unfortunate things that occurred. The first is Family Link app believes that when a child turns 13, they can choose to remove the parent’s authority and have control over their phone. Even though, in reality, it’s still the parent’s phone who’s paying for it. It’s interesting that Family Link believes children know what’s best for them at that age. The other unfortunate thing is the courts didn’t question why my husband’s ex was half denying the secret phone existed while on the stand, or why she couldn’t provide who the provider was, but furthermore, the courts didn’t seem to care that my stepson had two phones and one being a secret one. But also, how do you not know who you pay your bills too? For the protection of the client, even her lawyer denied there being a second phone, but once my husband’s lawyer said she would file a motion for discovery, his ex-wife finally admitted to saying, “yes”, on the stand and nothing more.
And though we have the original phone number and the secret phone number, my stepson will still not communicate with anyone on this side of the family or affiliated with us. So, he either is ignoring our text on the secret phone, has blocked us, or his mom got rid of that phone and gave him a new one. And if she did give him a new phone, of course, she wouldn’t share that either. When it comes to toxic exes, they tend to keep secrets, so those these are hunches, you have to be very cautious of those who train and teach their children to keep secrets, be spies, and even good manipulators.