phone issues


Active Member
Just need support and I know to let him figure it out. It is hard having him so far away but his choice.
His phone is giving him issues. I never hear from him unless there are issues. I did get to speak to him a few weeks ago when he got a new job offer which was nice.
Now last week I get a text that his phone is not charging ... I suggested he get some of the canned air and blow out the charging port or take it to a place near his work that can do it for him.. He then said the following day he felt it was the headphones... then later that same day he said it wasn't charging again then it was. He said he had a prepaid phone he could use. I again text back to take it to the ATT store, APple or the place near his work... He replied he didn't have the money to pay for it... yet he is buying weed...(daughter tells me she sees him post pics on snapchat- he doesn't know I know that and I don't want to throw my daughter under the bus and let him know I know)
A few minutes later on Friday he said it was charging... Then today I get a text that it no longer charges and he is f**cked... and that he will have to walk to the Apple store next weekend... (literally too far away to walk so I guess he was hinting he had no money for an Uber...)
I suggested Best Buy since they fix Apple products and I got "it is 6 miles away". Haven't heard from him since. So I guess the phone is dead.
I don't have his prepaid number.
Sadly, he is on my phone plan. I told him I didn't want to get a new phone because the one he has isn't paid off yet so it had to be fixed- either by the insurance or by paying for it.
It is weighing on me that he has no way to communicate but he did say he had a prepaid phone on Friday to use. He didn't mention that today.
I know it is on him and he is old enough to figure it out. Just needed to vent.


Well-Known Member
Hi there.

Please breathe. Your son is not unable to communicate with you without a phone. He can go to a library and email you if he has a real desire to communicate about things other than what you need to buy him. Or for any reason.' You really don't even know if his phone is broken. You are assuming he is telling you the truth. So did we with Kay. Looking back, with our more realistic new clarity about her, Kay almost never told us the truth. About anything. Her words were meant to get money or other favors. That's it. She never called because she cared about us and wanted to touch base in a healthy way.

Also your son said he has another phone. He can use it.

I am weary when I hear these stories as they remind me of our own sad journey. I have heard too much baloney from my daughter.

Your son isn't sounding as if he is desperate to get his phone fixed. He is making excuses why he cant get it fixed, like he is desperate to get money. Perhaps that is the only problem. He has no drug money if he abuses substances. Or drinks. He needs a reason to get you to send money. That is how my cynical mind works these days.

And you are right about where your son lives too. He is where he is because of his choice to be far from you. Kay is four hours or so away from us, which we now consider a blessing. She can't easily end up on our doorstep. To us, this is a good thing.

Why not sit with this for 24 hours? Do you go to therapy or Al Anon? If not, just think mindfully. Do you believe him? Is it urgent? Does he contact you pleasantly anyway? If he lived near you, would that really matter? Could you make him better?

I bought Kay tons of phones, more than the whole rest of the family combined. Now if she breaks her phone or it breaks either they will have to find a way to buy another one or get an Obama phone. Your son can get an Obama phone too. No, they don't want one. Then get a steady job. At least, if Kay complained about this, that is how we would respond. It would enrage her, but that's what our kids do. They throw fits. Did your son buy that Apple phone? Why does he need an Apple phone? We bought Kay Apple phones too. I feel it was a mistake.

I don't know what your situation is, if you are getting outside help for yourself, how old your son is, or if he tells the truth or not. But you know.

Two things I highly recommend is to sit on it without responding for at least 24 hours and to make sure that you have some sort of strong support system in place for yourself. If God is in your life, lean heavily on Him too.

Be well.
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Deni D

Well-Known Member
I've found whenever I had some sort of tie-in to something my son should be responsible for he was always at me with problems with it. The car, the living arrangements, food(because I agreed if he showed me receipts I would pay), education that he didn't even show up for and so on. When I no longer accepted the burden on my shoulders if it was important to him he found a way on his own to provide it for himself.

The phone was something I purposely let go of years ago. I had to really give it some thought because I knew my son would use not having a phone as an excuse to not have a job. I also was concerned that if there was an emergency he would need a phone and he was messing up plenty with self created emergencies back then.

My biggest problem with the phone was for me not to be able to keep tabs on him to lesson my worry about him. But by then I was well aware that he didn't answer the phone when he was up to something he shouldn't be or if he just didn't want to bother with the "bank of mom" at the moment.

But I also knew he really wanted to have a phone. And I felt it would a smaller expense for him to work towards financial responsibility.

There's been so much chaos and drama since then I vaguely remember he tried to convince me "I" was cutting his lifeline when I informed him I would not be buying him the next phone and told him by the way go ahead and get his own plan, prepaid or whatever. I did get blamed for him not being able to have contact with prospective employers at the time but stuck to my decision telling him he didn't seem to be able to have a job with a phone so maybe he'd do better without one. And I decided if he had a real emergency he was around enough people someone would call 911 for him.

It's been at least 5 years. He's had a few different phone numbers since then but he's been able to make sure he's had a phone for the most part. He knows if he mistreats the phone that's on him. If he doesn't pay the bill that's also on him. He's been creative with some kind of online phoning when he doesn't have an actual phone along with making calls though facebook. He figures it out.

I wish I would have not put so much into cars either in the past. Somehow since I cut that money train off he's been able to afford a car on his own and take care of it, unlike when I was footing the bill. He no longer treats his car like a clown car laughing at whatever he does to it, letting it virtually fall apart, and letting anyone who wants to learn how to drive with it bounce it over curbs. He won't manhandle it or let anyone else manhandle it now that he has to keep up on repairs for it.

This is just what I have done. I know other people who provide phones and have their adult children on their phone plans, both creatively difficult children like ours and others who really just want to provide for them because it's cheaper for them on their phone plans.


Well-Known Member
I am getting ready to take son off our plan or at least have him pay for his share on it as soon as he gets a job which should be this month .He has an interview lined up the 10th.
I am learning that it's a bad idea to mesh finances with an adult child . It keeps them dependent .


Well-Known Member
Deni, this is exactly what we see after buying Kay many phones. She still always has one since we stopped. And we stopped buying her cars and they have an old junky car now, bit it runs and there is the bus too. She could get a job applying online at a library. But I think she still manages to afford WiFi and a computer. She doesn't want a job. I suspect selling weed brings in good money. She did this whether we gave her things or not.

Be strong. I am aware that it is very hard.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I am glad that you aren't giving in and using the forum to vent. This is the perfect place for that.
He replied he didn't have the money to pay for it... yet he is buying weed
Keep repeating that to yourself. His choice is weed or a phone. If you pay for the phone, you are essentially paying for the weed. Every dollar he doesn't have to spend on what should be his adult responsibilities means he can spend it on drugs.

My therapist said that I might as well directly buy the drugs for her. That woke me up. I stopped paying for things that an adult should pay for themselves.

I wanted to share something that happened this weekend. My husband and I stopped paying for our daughter's phone when she was 21. Yet, in all of the drug using years, she always managed to have a phone. She would have one of those non-contract pay up front plans and always had a cheap phone.

When she came over yesterday, she was so excited to show me her new IPhone. She said that she had a "real" phone plan now that she gotten her credit score back up and qualified for an AT&T plan.

Your son can get there someday. You can help him with setting strong boundaries and expecting him to take care of himself.

Those texts he is sending are to try to worry you so you will give in. He is throwing out the hook and trying to reel you back in.

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