Recently divorced since April and finalized in September. Moved out about 2 weeks ago to our new house. I have a 12 year old daughter and a 9 year old daughter.
When I was still legally married but mentally separated from my spouse, he would have this double standard where I'd be seeing him swipe women on dating apps. But, anytime I was on my phone he'd say "talking to your boyfriend?" no matter what I was doing. Then I would have to defend myself and show my phone and say "no your mother" or "shopping on Amazon".
For context, I divorced him and he's never processed it as doing anything wrong and I felt like he would swipe the dating apps in the presence of the kids and I out of spite. I thought, "once we move out, this will all be behind us," because it wouldn't be in my face anymore and we could live our separate lives.
The issue now is that my almost 13 year old picked up on the teasing from her dad. Anytime I'm on my phone, get a text, doing anything she'll say "talking to your boyfriend?" and it's her grandmother im on the phone with or something. It drives me up the wall and I still feel like I'm the child and she's the adult monitoring me.
Honestly, I'm allowed to have a boyfriend at this point, but I want to take things very slow since we all just moved out of the family home. I've told her to stop with the teasing because it bothers me, but she still does it. Sometimes the tone she says it in is not a joking one. It's the same tone her dad used to always tease in an insecure sort of way.
I get that she's scared for me to move on from her dad, I do and I take that into account and have been very sensitive with stuff. But he never has to deal with that sort of harassment like I do.
I do know he would openly joke about it in front of the kids and get them involved when we still lived together like "ohh mommy is talking to her boyfriend again" "yep daddy, she's always talking to him" and so it became an accepted thing.
Same as his mother would comment to the kids that "I hope your mom doesn't cheat on your dad" or "I hope your dad is ok with your mom having friends" before she knew we had divorced. It's so toxic and controlling.
"Hon, I have asked you to stop with the teasing because it's hurtful. Why do you keep doing it?"
She's acting like a mean 8th grader, so treat her like it. Call her out and make her explain why she thinks it's okay to be mean. It's okay to be a parent and give her consequences for acting like a little brat after you warned her.
She says what her dad does "it's just a joke mom, geez" and I say "well it's not a joke to me, I've asked you to stop". I'm sure hes egging it on at his house.
Do what they say here on Reddit - make her explain how that is a joke? How is it funny because you don't get it. Put her on the hot seat.
What’s the joke, though? Why is it funny?
I think I can shut her down if she does that by asking her to explain how she thinks it's funny?
I would shut that down so hard. Have a serious discussion with her about how it makes you feel and tell her you expect her to stop immediately. The consequences of not stopping are she loses her phone for one hour.
2nd time, loses her phone for one day and so on. I get she's grieving the breakup, but she's a child and is acting like a toddler. Don't let her become her Dad all over again. Be her parent.
This is your daughter so you know her triggers. So every time you see her on her phone, ask her if she's doing something "again" that will really annoy her. Let her feel what it's like. For example if there's a boy you know of that she really hates, "Are you flirting with [boy] again?"
Your ex and his parents are just shitty people and your DD needs to find out just how hurtful are the "jokes" that aren't really jokes. If it's doable for you, get her into counseling because I guarantee you, the "not-joke jokes" aren't the only toxic thing rubbing off on her from your awful ex and inlaws.