Does My Son's Stepmom Have A Right To Be Mad That I Gave Him An Apple Watch?


“Ok, so…I gave my 13-year old son my old Apple Watch that can be used with his cell phone versus just tossing it into a junk drawer never to see daylight again. Well, today, I get a text from his stepmom that I should have mentioned to her (not even to dad) that I gave him the watch. It literally is a WATCH and a gift from me to my son. In no way did this affect them, and I didn’t think it was a big deal since the screen time on his phone (which they know about) also affects his watch. However, she’s making it out to be a big deal and saying that I’m playing “favorites” between my kids…over….a….watch…My other kids are way too young for a phone and have no use for an Apple Watch, considering they don’t even have phones. I don’t ask my kids’ dad to tell me about any gifts they give to our kids even when I may not agree….Why should I be expected to share every single gift I give to the kids? Am I missing something?”

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“STEPmom has no business saying any of this! That is YOUR money and YOUR CHILD. That is out of line and she seems like she may need a reminder of her role as STEP parent!”

“I would be more concerned about her thinking that you as the mom need to get her permission or acknowledgment to buy your child a gift. She is overstepping her place.”

“Keywords, YOUR son, and STEP mom. It would possibly be different if everyone agreed about talking about gifts, which they clearly don’t, so why should you. It’s not like you bought the kids a car! If he already has a phone, what’s the problem with an apple watch? As far as favorites, even I would get my older child a “fancier” gift than my younger child.”

“You need to put her in her place and let her know to NOT question you!! You’re HIS MOTHER if there is an issue the dad should have brought it up.”

“I’ll be dammed if someone steps mom or not told me to do with MY child. She definitely needs to mind her business. I’d tell her he is the child that I birthed therefore make decisions for, and if there is an issue the person who helped bring this child into the world (his father) can approach me about the situation. She needs to learn her role, and stay in her lane.”

“I would tell her in the nicest way possible that although you appreciate the role she plays in your son’s life that that is your child & unless it affects their household in some way it’s none of her business what you decide to give or do for your child.”

“You’re not missing anything at all. You owe NO explanation to the stepmom. Your communication lines with your child’s father. Nip it in the bud so she NEVER has the audacity to approach you like that again.”

“Your kid. Your gift. Your decision. Has nothing to do with her. I wouldn’t even worry a single second more about it.”

“That is absolutely none of her business. She is the stepmom. She needs to back off.”

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As a mom myself I think you’re too worried about yourself and outranking the stepmother. Her focus seems to be the children. Whether you like it or not their best interest is what matters and communication is key. My husband and I bought my son a Nintendo Switch for his birthday but I talked to his biological father about it first, I did the same thing when we got him his phone. It’s not about “permission” it’s about being on the same page as parents. While she did not give birth to your children she has knowingly chosen to love and support them, to willingly create animosity or perpetuate someone else’s drama if it is there YOU are the one doing a disservice to your children. It’s a bitter pill to take, but when you want what truly is best for them, you want the love, support, and cohesiveness. Children can always tell when there is tension and it really does make a lasting impact on them.