Phone or no phone?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, May 16, 2013.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Ok so my difficult children phone is not working. We ordered me a new phone so that we could send my difficult child my old phone but have not done it yet. Now my difficult child is clearly making some bad decisions, is most likely using again, and does not seem to be doing any of the hard work he needs to do. I talked to my friend at the sober house and he suggested we not reward him with a phone. My husband and I are both on the fence, with me leaning against and him leaning for..... but neither of us definite. I do think giving him a phone is in a sense enabling him but it would also give us a way to keep track of him through tracking and a way to reach him. I know from when he was homeless before without a phone it was pretty agonizing at times.

    However at the moment he seems to have a way to get onto FB so we are getting a sense of him at least.

    So the big reasons not to do it are: It gives him a way to keep in touch with the not so great elements out there, ie drug connections, it gives him a way to stay in touch and bonded with ex-girlfriend who he wants to come back here for, it in a sense rewards him for his bad behavior.

    The reasons to do it are: It gives us a way to see where he is, a way for him to keep in touch (not that he will), a way for my friend to see him and get a read on him, a way for him to contact the exgf and maybe fight so that he doesnt come back (probably a pipe dream of mine)...

    Any thoughts about this? I know we have talked about this before but now I am facing a new decision about it.

  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    As a compromise you could always get him one of those kid phones that has four buttons. Each button contacts only one person/emergency 911 and therefore he can contact you and help but no one else. I am guessing you can block them from any number you don't know or don't personally input.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I vote no. If you are really going to detach from his behavior, I don't think you should be funding any part of it. He would always be able to borrow a phone from someone if he really wanted to talk to you.


  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I vote yes and for purely selfish reasons-it was the only way I knew difficult child was alive sometimes. I agree with Kathy in spirit,but I was not that strong.
  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member


    i don't know what is best for you.

    i elected to take the phone away from my difficult child. It has helped me detach. I was looking at where he was way too much. My therapist explained every time I did that I was flooding my system with cortisol. Not healthy...especially for a cancer survivor.

    sure it is hard sometimes not to know but I have adjusted. difficult child manages to find me if he wants something.

    if you are on food stamps, etc., you can get a free cell phone w limited minutes and texts. I told difficult child about this several days ago. He asked me to apply for him. Told him I needed his authorization letter. Has he done that??? Noooo. So a phone really isn't THAT important to him.

    whatever you decide, I hope you can find some peace. Hugs...
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I think this is more about you than it is about him. He will find a way to lead whatever lifestyle he is going to lead... whether you give him a phone or not. He will find ways to keep in touch with you, or choose not to... whether you give him a phone or not. The phone isn't going to change HIM.

    So it really boils down to the REAL impact on you. The need to know vs. the need to detach. Both are strong needs...
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. I have been holding off sending him the phone. Then I got a message from him asking if i had told the sober house he was planning on moving back....that resulted in a very nasty message from him followed by a message asking if I had sent the phone!!! Really! So for now I am holding off. I think eventually i will probably give him the phone for my own peace of mind.... but not yet.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You know they now have some basic phone at walmart for 10 bucks a month for unlimited minutes. I dont think there is any texting though. In my mind, perfect phone for someone who wants to keep a kid off the internet.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Well I have not heard a thing from my son since Friday and there have been no posts on FB which says to me he probably lost his access to the internet. Last I heard he was staying with some friend about an hour away from where he had been..... but now I am guessing maybe he burnt that bridge. So I am worried again and left wondering.... and we are back to thinking we want him to have a phone for our own peace of mind. I think I spend more time worrying but am also more willing to wait than my husband who thinks we should send him the phone. Of course I am not exactly sure where to send it now......Ugh is all I can say.
  10. kennedyland

    kennedyland New Member

    I wouldn't bother. It's an illusion to think that access is only possible if people carry telephones. In today's world there are so many ways to communicate that carrying a telephone is overkill. For decades people did just fine with one telephone in a building. If he wants to get ahold of you he can borrow a phone. My son carries a phone. His mom pays for it. He's run the bill up, she's paid, and he feels no regret. When asked to go to Wallgreen's and simply buy a $20 pay-as-you-go telephone he replied, "Why, it doesn't cost mom all that much money." When told that if it isn't "all that much money" that he could afford one, he got mad. He rarely returns calls. As far as I know, he's now in that treatment program, but I never got a call confirming whether he got there or not. Paying for a telephone for someone else is enabling. Let him take responsibility for that little bit of technology.
  11. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I got burned in the phone deal too. Mine is NC with me because I stopped all forms of 'helping'. I'm tired of dealing with all of the drama. Detaching (for me) has become so much easier now that I don't have the daily whinning.

    If he needs you he can always call collect.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I know that many parents feel that providing a cell phone is a way to keep their child "safe".

    JMHO, of course, but I have always felt that cell phones (especially now that most of them come with unlimited text and web) actually have more potential to get a kid into trouble than to keep them safe. Folks use "smart" phones to do some pretty "dumb" stuff...
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Well we are still on the fence to be honest. In principal I agree with you giving him a phone is enabling him and may get him into more trouble... probably wont get him into less. It was much easier for me to think about not giving him a phone when he was getting on FB everyday.... so that even if I wasnt directly in contact, or his posts were dark and awful at least I knew he was alive. I am having a hard time now that there seems to be no contact at all. .. Sure if he really needs to contact us he will find a way but he may not feel any need to contact us..... and that means for me I have no idea if he is alive or not or where he is and that kind of drives me nuts. And I have no way to contact him!

    That is where the phone comes in handy... in times where he is not contacting us I can at least see if he is talking to someone (and therefore alive) and worst case as long as his phone is on we can track him with the gps feature.

    Of course at the moment I am not even sure where to send a phone.... and if he is really coming back here then I could just wait and give it to him when I see him.

    So really although I know the phone is enabling him it also brings me some peace of mind and so I may still do it anyways.....I have certainly done my share of not enabling him and standing strong and will continue to do so... like continuing to let him be homeless.

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Forget my basic phone idea. Its a home landline phone. Ugh, wish they made that more plain in the ad. It looks just like a cell phone in the ad.