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Grandmother Gives 6-Year-Old A Smartphone Without Asking Her Parents Because Her Mom 'Doesn't Answer Hers'

Photo: Andrey Arkusha / Shutterstock 
little girl, cell phone

Anyone with an overbearing mother-in-law is aware that they overstep boundaries when it comes to their grandchildren. 

One man shared his experience with his mother-in-law doing exactly that after gifting the man’s six-year-old daughter with an inappropriate present for someone her age. 

Now the man is seeking advice from other parents, asking if he is overreacting to the situation. 

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His mother-in-law gave his daughter a smartphone without his or his wife’s permission. 

The man shared his story on the subreddit, r/Parenting, an online forum where parents can record their experiences and ask for the advice of other parents. 

The man began his post by revealing that his mother-in-law gave his six-year-old daughter a smartphone with a SIM card and Internet access as a Christmas gift. The man claims that he and his wife were not aware of his mother-in-law’s plans. 

“She did not discuss this with anyone and gave it to her when we weren’t around on Christmas Day,” he wrote. 

“Our daughter already has an iPad of her own to play Roblox/Minecraft and to watch cartoons on Netflix.” 

The man and his wife monitor their daughter’s activities on her devices through an app card. 

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She claimed that she bought her granddaughter a smartphone since the man's wife “doesn’t answer hers.” 

The man is especially concerned about his daughter’s access to the Internet at such a young age. 

"I am pissed off ... there are so many dangers on the Internet associated with smartphone use, not to mention the effect on brain development,” he wrote. 

The man asked other parents if he was wrong for feeling the way he did. 

Redditors defended the man and validated his reasons for feeling upset with his mother-in-law. 

“Nope, you're not wrong. Just explain to your child, when MIL [mother-in-law] is not present, why it is not okay for her to have a phone and that this decision is up to the parents and not up to grandma,” one user commented. 

“She crossed a boundary. I would give the phone back to her. You and your partner (assuming she feels the same) should talk to your MIL and tell her that she needs to discuss this with you guys beforehand,” another user shared. 

“You don't have to justify your boundaries but you can elaborate on why it's important to you.” 

Others suggested removing the SIM card so that the man’s daughter could not access the Internet or taking away the phone entirely. 

“Lock it down as best as you can right now (ensure any GPS tracking options are OFF),” one user suggested. 

“Take out the SIM card and power off the phone. Put both away somewhere. She may have given it but you decide what’s done with it,” another user recommended. 

Other parents believed that the man should “let nature take its course” and let his daughter misplace it, proving that she is too young to have a phone in the first place. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships. 

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