VIC Recording childrens conversations

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Vanda

Active Member
3 June 2020
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Recently my kids (7 and 8yo) have been staying and some of the things they are saying that happens at their other home concerns me.

Am I allowed to record some of the random conversations that openly come out of their mouths?

Thanks in advance
Vanda
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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1) record for what purpose?
2) Record an unprompted private conversation just between the two of them?
3) Record a conversation with them that includes you?
 

Vanda

Active Member
3 June 2020
9
0
31
Recently my kids (7 and 8yo) have been staying and some of the things they are saying that happens at their other home concerns me.

Am I allowed to record some of the random conversations that openly come out of their mouths?

Thanks in advance
Vanda
Hi Atticus,

Its a recording that would include the eldest and myself, and sometime the younger. It does concern their mental welfare. NOT their physical welfare.
And yes, totally unprompted.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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Don't do it. If you have real concerns speak to a professional.

So I don't believe you when you say it is totally unprompted. What you just happen to be filming when the kid said X, Y and Z?

So what purpose do you think these recordings are gonna serve? help you in family court? Hmmm they're gonna make you look like you're coaching the kids.

So give us a ball park? what is the nature of your concerns? Surely if they're serious you'd notify the relevant authorities?
 

Vanda

Active Member
3 June 2020
9
0
31
Thanks Sammy01.
These are totally unprompted. whether you believe me is not my concern. My concern is my children.

Hopefully, they would never see the light of day, but some of the comments are concerning to me for their wellbeing.

Im never ready to record, they always start out of the blue.

One day we were changing the strings on a guitar and all of a sudden (at 6yo) were talking about Tampons and where they went and why. ( I assume because of the strings)
This is just one "mild" example of many.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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197
2,394
Its a recording that would include the eldest and myself, and sometime the younger. It does concern their mental welfare. NOT their physical welfare.
And yes, totally unprompted.
Leaving aside for a moment the recording (which in itself can create complex legal debate over coaching & admissibility as evidence).... If you genuinely suspect (serious) psychological harm may be occurring, then there are a bunch of reasons why YOU should NOT be talking about it with them & most especially questioning them about it...

If something WERE happening, the kids testimony is often all there is. Are you aware that questioning children can contaminate a kids later testimony? That is why these things need to be left to trained child psychologists, who are supposed to take great care to extract information that can be relied on.... Kids are not like adults, they don't think or process things like an adult, & what you think may be a logical extension of something said could be light years from what they are actually thinking or meant... They are also hard wired to tell an adult what they think that adult wants to hear.... Repeated questioning on the same or similar topic for eg, can result in a kid assuming the first answer must be wrong, & they may subsequently change the story slightly ..... Add to that the questioners own confirmation bias, ie, you assume something, then (sometimes even unconsciously) note anything said that confirms your assumption.

So what to do ? ..... IF you suspect SERIOUS psychological harm (because it shouldn't be a news flash to anybody that dealing with separation, not seeing one parent nearly as often as they may like, & coping with separated parents is in itself psychologically challenging for kids & has consequences) then if a kid says or does something that concerns you, WRITE IT DOWN... Don't question them about it, don't record it. Those notes can then later be handed to a child psychologist if it ever comes to that... They are the ones trained in this stuff
 

Vanda

Active Member
3 June 2020
9
0
31
Leaving aside for a moment the recording (which in itself can create complex legal debate over coaching & admissibility as evidence).... If you genuinely suspect (serious) psychological harm may be occurring, then there are a bunch of reasons why YOU should NOT be talking about it with them & most especially questioning them about it...

If something WERE happening, the kids testimony is often all there is. Are you aware that questioning children can contaminate a kids later testimony? That is why these things need to be left to trained child psychologists, who are supposed to take great care to extract information that can be relied on.... Kids are not like adults, they don't think or process things like an adult, & what you think may be a logical extension of something said could be light years from what they are actually thinking or meant... They are also hard wired to tell an adult what they think that adult wants to hear.... Repeated questioning on the same or similar topic for eg, can result in a kid assuming the first answer must be wrong, & they may subsequently change the story slightly ..... Add to that the questioners own confirmation bias, ie, you assume something, then (sometimes even unconsciously) note anything said that confirms your assumption.

So what to do ? ..... IF you suspect SERIOUS psychological harm (because it shouldn't be a news flash to anybody that dealing with separation, not seeing one parent nearly as often as they may like, & coping with separated parents is in itself psychologically challenging for kids & has consequences) then if a kid says or does something that concerns you, WRITE IT DOWN... Don't question them about it, don't record it. Those notes can then later be handed to a child psychologist if it ever comes to that... They are the ones trained in this stuff
Thanks Atticus,

Yes I write everything down on a daily basis.
I don't really ask questions, not at an adult level anyway. Most of the time I deflect it onto another topic. All of these conversations are out of the blue. Something we do our end must trigger them off and then they just start talking.

Thanks again for your time I greatly appreciate you replying to my query.
Vanda
 

Whatnot20

Member
10 August 2020
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0
1
Thanks Atticus,

Yes I write everything down on a daily basis.
I don't really ask questions, not at an adult level anyway. Most of the time I deflect it onto another topic. All of these conversations are out of the blue. Something we do our end must trigger them off and then they just start talking.

Thanks again for your time I greatly appreciate you replying to my query.
Vanda
 

Whatnot20

Member
10 August 2020
2
0
1
I can fully understand you wanting to record what kids say, I have been tempted as it would provide evidence of what goes on in the other parents house. I think it's a matter of wanting to know as it can be concerning and one feels that they need it to be believed and want to protect the children. I have seen video evidence of a child being assaulted by the other parent and shown to the police ,they took out a protection order, judge threw it out not legal, even trough it was filmed in the front yard at drop off, the mother attacked the child, thad child in strangle hold lifting his feet off the ground for bringing ipad from Dad houses. So it was reported by police with no result.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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Or be a grown up... But before I continue. Do you have final consent orders? where are you up to in this stupid game called family law?

I'm assuming you've got final orders for the purpose of my advice. BE A GROWN UP.
Write to the ex.
Dear ex,
During my time with the kids I was concerned when XXX started asking me about where tampons go. This doesn't seem like an age appropriate question. Do you have any thoughts about how or why XXX might be asking these questions.

Context - I've been where you are. My kids would say stuff like 'mum said whe can't afford it because you don't pay enough child support'. But there was other stuff, like the kids telling me they learned swear words from their mum yelling at them.

I wrote to the ex via email. I didn't do this stuff verbally. HELL NO, she would just start swearing at me too.... BUT even my ex (who isn't the sharpest tool) realised that the stuff was being documented. I think I might have had to write at some point that if my concerns are not adressed I will be relying on the emails to support my concerns when I raise the concerns with the authority.

THe ex pulled her head in (kinda). Sad reality, stuff like where tampons go is not high on the things to investigate for child services. But you documenting it and letting the ex know is giving her a heads up to pull her head in. Happy days, you've done something to prevent your kid being exposed to more crazy land BS. You're a good dad... Filming / recording? how is that stopping the behaviour? It isn't and as myself and others have warned it can blow up in your face.