Phone is ringing off the hook and I'm ready to throw it across the room


I wasnt able to read all the posts. But here is what I have done in the past.

My kids are only allowed to talk on the phone in the same room as I am so I can hear at least one half of the conversation. I never feel bad when I say “no” for any reason. If we do sleepovers the kids do not plan them. I talk to the parents of the friend or relative and plan a good night. I know this is a nephew so you may want to have him more then I would allow one of my girls friends to come over but make a rule…thats a mothers right. 3 over nights a month? or something like that. Only one phone call a day. I would tell the nephew that on the phone and i would also tell him he cant call anymore and that my son will call him tomorrow. I would not hesitate to talk to your nephews parents. I dont know why they would feel offended. just let them know that their son calls all day long, and your son is only allowed to talk once a day so it makes it hard with him calling all the time. They probably dont have a clue and if they do know he is calling you they need to know its not ok.

I hope this doesn’t offend you but it sounds like you need to get a backbone and set some firm limits. As a mother we get put into so many awkward positions and thats why our kids can easily have run of our lives if we dont put a stop to it. Tell your kids your new rules and they will tell the nephew them when he says things like, “ask your Mom if i can come spend the night”

Take back your life! You are not a doormat!


I am wondering out of curosity…Does this child attend church regularly?

How connected are the parents with him.

My Oldest child is in 5th grade and is the only one who can talk on the phone and that she must be in the same room as us and it has to be limited to 2 minutes. Also she cannot initiate calls. Our house has a rule that the phone is for utilitarian reasons only not to chit chat.


I think they attend church regularly. As far as I know, his parent spend a lot of time with him. I’m guessing he probably has a phone in his room and that’s where these calls are occuring. Even the most involved parent doesn’t monitor everything an 8 year old does in their room all day.

I think I’m just going to have to sit down and discuss this with DH tonight. I’ve been tempted to many times, but I hesitate because I don’t want to start any issues. DH may be understanding, but even if I say don’t way such and such to your brother, well, he’s a man and he’ll probably say something to his brother that I don’t want him too.

BIL and SIL may be understanding. But sometimes parents can get defensive when it comes to their own child and I don’t know if they’ll react that way or not.

I think I’m going to tell DH that we need to make an agreement with them (and we’ll inform all of the kids) that there will be no more asking if such and such can stay the night. (I’m sure it’s got to be driving them crazy too, although I have drilled it into my kids heads that they are NOT to invite themselves to their house)

The kids are just going to have to be told that if a sleepover will occur, it will be because the adults decided it will occur and made the plans among ourselves. No more asking. By anybody. It’s just gotten out of hand.

As far as the phone issue, I’m really hoping that the issue resolves itself when school starts. But either way, boundaries are going to have to be set. Maybe DH will have some ideas on a better way to handle this. The thing is, in general I don’t want to have too strict rules for the kids with the phone. But due to this situation, I feel we’re being pushed in that direction and I don’t think it’s fair to the kids. This isn’t ds’s fault. Half the time his cousin calls him, he doesn’t call him back. He may call him every now and then, but he’s not really interested in playing this phone tag game.

And as someone else commented, this kid is lonely. And I do feel really bad for him. I guess that’s why I really feel guilty because it’s not his fault his parents decided not to have any more kids and he’s really getting the raw end of the deal. I could make it a lot better for him by letting him come over all the time. But I don’t feel up to doing that and so I feel guilty. On one hand I feel like it’s not my problem, but on the other hand I should be charitable and make sacrifices of my own time to make life a little better for him.

UGH. I feel like such a meanie. :frowning:


Tell him that he can’t stay the night that week and if he is asking he will have to get off the phone, have your son do the conversation on speakerphone so you can help fend off the badgering he is getting from his cousin.


Mason…I have to agree with setting boundries… imagine this…3 teen age girls… (3) 5 minute calls per day each… and if someone called that you didn’t want to waste a call on… take a message or she will talk to you tomorrow at school. The other thing is nobody spends the night on school nights! that leaves Friday and Saturday night… one or the other not both and one kid at a time… so your other kids get their choice on the next weekend…like dc#1 gets first weekend, dc#2 gets second weekend…etc…but if it is Sat night… be prepared to go to mass and get dropped off right after mass. Summer schedule was pretty much the same but exceptions could be made on occasion. Tell him and his parents that you are limiting YOUR kids phone calls and he can’t keep calling… also tell him, his mom and dad that cell phones are for you and hubby, not for chit chat. He sounds like he doesn’t get enough attention at home… again, not your problem… perhaps if you limit mom and dad will pay more attn to kid… or he will find other friends or hobbies!


I just have one question…

How many times has he called since you started this thread? :smiley:

I can just imagine you sitting at your desk typing away while the phone is ringing off the hook in the background!


Ok, first, Masondoggy, I am sorry to say that as a new mommy I have no advice to offer. I just wanted to say that I am very surprised at some of the phone limits parents in this thread set. 2 minute phone call limit! Wow. You can barely make weekend plans, clarify a homework assignment, or otherwise have any meaningful communication in 2 minutes. I really don’t see a problem with kids talking to their friends on the phone as long as their homework is done, chores completed, and they answer call waiting and are respectful when asked to finish their phone call.


I guess I look at this differently since I am only child(my mom couldn’t have children). Nothing was better than getting to go to my cousin’s house in the summer. Getting to stay overnight was even better, because of getting to watch a larger family together.

Also being an only child I’d never really been around babies, until staying with my aunt and uncle. Thank goodness for the small bit of exposure or I’d been even more shell shocked when we had our first.

Being an only child is extremely hard at times, and while its not your fault that his parents don’t want more its not his either. After reading your original post it made me a little sad because I began to wonder whether my aunt felt the same way about me all the times I invited myself over to stay the night.

I am sure its hard with a 10 month old baby and 8 year old (and whatever other children you have in between) and I can imagine that its annoying that he won’t eat what you put in front of him. Which if it was my nephew, I’d tell his parents to provide food for him to bring or just keep a 75 cent box of mac and cheese at the house.

Why can’t your son go over to his cousin’s house and stay the night?


Lol, twice that I know of. The house phone has rang a few times with no messages being left. It probably was him, but I don’t know for sure.

Today and yesterday were actually light days. I usually can tell if he’s home or not because we’ll go through hours of no phone calls and them boom. :rolleyes:

I agree. That’s why I really don’t want to have to make rules limiting their phone calls. I don’t mind if they talk on the phone to their friends as long as they get off when I tell them to without argument and there’s no phone tag going back and forth.

And I really wouldn’t mind if ds and his cousin talked on the phone all day long but it turns into me being hounded to let him spend the night. That seems to be THE only reason they talk on the phone, to get make “plans” for somebody to stay at somebody’s house. This is one of the big reasons why I often don’t even tell ds that he called. Because there’s only one reason why.


You poor thing! I know just how you feel. I homeschool my kids and take care of extras to make ends meet. I have my hands full with what I have at my house. I HATE sleepovers!!! It is just to much and so I have made it a rule that we don’t have them unless it is a special occation. I know it can be fun for the kids, but I just can’t do it. I have made it clear to everyone that if you ask me in front of anyone, the answer will always be “NO!” My plate is full and I just can’t do any more and if I end up on OPRAH because of it then so be it. I limit phone calls to ten minutes for the kids. I use the egg timer. If you abuse my rules then you don’t get the phone. I would have to tell your inlaws the truth. There are some things you can overlook when you only have one that you can’t when you have more. They should be respectful of you and your time. Just tell them the truth and if they get mad, then maybe the phone will be quiet until they get over it.


It seems like not a lot, but remember when we first got cell phones and only had 30 minutes for the month? Now, with unlimited nights and weekends, or just over all unlimited plans, that’s gone!

I don’t think kids NEED to talk on the phone. Meet at the library. Plan what you are going to do when you are in school or otherwise face to face.

It’s amazing to me how many people have NO boundaries for their kids. I’m very proud of those that have established rules.

Besides, isn’t the nephew like 8? What on earth does an 8 year old need to talk about for more than 2 minutes? You should be learning about your family, or your home work!!


I don’t have anything against my nephew. And I do feel for him. I know he’s lonely and it’s unfair to him.

But I have four kids of my own, one that’s only 10 months old. I have had kids here all summer that I babysit. By the end of the day when those kids would leave, I am ready to pull my hair out. By the time the weekend comes, I need a break. I can only handle so much. I’m only human and right now I am a mom who is not getting very much help from my husband. It’s not his fault, my dad needs his help right now to get his project finished. But that’s just the situation and I will make no apologies to anybody for not being able to take on another child all the time.


I think you’ve gotten all sorts of advice. Hopefully you are able to determine which is the best route for your situation.

Whenever I am faced with this type of situation, I always pray that I make the right decision. Things will work themselves out, so just do what feels right.

This thread has helped me create a rule that I will use when my children are old enough to want to have a sleep over “no sleepovers except for birthdays”. -That way they won’t bother asking any other time of the year. I still haven’t come up with a clear cut rule on the phone privileges yet…I’ve got some time. :wink:

Good luck!!!


Well, I talked to DH. The subject came up itself because BIL asked DH if we could watch him tonight. I asked DH to make sure he made sure to the kids that they were not to ask me to have him spend the night, and I explained why I wasn’t up to it (from having the babysitting kids) and I brought up the problem of the kids asking over and over. DH agreed that it’s a problem. So I said let’s talk to bil & sil and make a rule for all the kids that there will be no more asking to spend the night by anybody and any overnight stays will be arranged by the adults only. And I said we need to make a rule that there is only to be one phone call a day no longer than 15 minutes.

DH was agreeable about everything. I tried as best as I could to talk in general about all the kids, without being accusatory towards our nephew. We’ll see if DH says anything to bil.

Well, he’s here now so gotta go. We’ll see what happens.


Well, uh…

unplug it.


I would say to heck with worrying about offending someone. It seems you have gone far beyond being nice. Stop being a doormat and talk to the parents.


This sounds very reasonable. Hope things work out!


Lol, I’ve considered it. :wink: I hate the phone.


I could be completely wrong about this, not having the full story and if I am, please just disregard this post, but I just get the feeling that things are pretty horrible at your nephew’s house and he is trying to get away from it. He sounds desperate not to spend time at home. Being only 8, he has not worked out how to ask for help so he’s phoning and phoning and phoning. You said your sil & bil were having some problems. Maybe, they haven’t really worked them out yet. Perhaps this is the root cause of your nephew’s behaviour. Is he also reluctant to go back home when he has spent the night at your place?

This is not normal behaviour even for a lonely 8 year old and must have something behind it. To me, this sounds like a kid desperate for help but unable to articulate his problems. Just my :twocents:
The next time he comes over, sit him down, without your kids around, and have a heart to heart talk with him about it all. I don’t think you’ll get much joy by going through your in-laws to try to resolve this.

Praying for you and this situation. :gopray:


Goodness nowhere did I say that you have something against him, I just was trying to explain how he feels since I am only child too. Also my aunt use to watch 160 kids a day by herself,(she was an art teacher to K and 1st graders) and i use to help her in the classroom every once in awhile, which made me never want children, so I know what its like to be exhausted at the end of a day.

I am sorry that you felt I was attacking you because it wasn’t my intention, again I was just trying to explain from an only childs point of view.

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